Saturday, February 21, 2009

Virginia Tech Invite 5k

First Run: 1 mile
10 mins. active stretching
Race: ~2.5 mile w/u + strides
5k race in 17:32
2-2.5 mile c/d
Total: 9 miles

So, the good news is I won the race. The bad news is there was just no one for me to run with. I literally led from the gun and was absolutely solo the entire time, which is super frustrating when you're trying to run a fast time. I ran a few seconds slower than at the New Balance meet two weeks ago, but this race felt like much harder work. The most frustrating part is I could hear Jeff shouting my progressively slower splits each time I passed him, but I couldn't seem to kick into the next gear and do anything about it. To make matters worse, I kept having to pass girls on the curve as I lapped (and sometimes double-lapped) most people in the field. Despite the fact that there are just as many straights as there are curves per lap, I almost always found myself coming up on the other girls on the turns. The way I figure, since I spent most of these turns in lanes 2 and 3, I probably ran at least another kilometer, right? I'm sure Jeff is working on his NCAA petition as we speak.

Coach G-Unit agreed to hug me post-race even though I was
disgustingly sweaty. That's dedication.

Jokes aside, I was pretty frustrated with how things panned out. Not necessarily this race specifically, as I believe I did everything I could do given the circumstances, but it's almost a certainty at this point that I will be left out of the field at nationals when just two weeks ago I was convinced I was a lock. If you look at the other girls' times I'm right in the mix, but when you see how far back I am in the rankings it's obvious I won't make the cut. In addition, next weekend is our last weekend to qualify (yet D1 gets two more weekends, naturally), but the race prospects are slim because most schools run their conference meets at that time. At this point it doesn't look like there's much we can do, and that's disappointing.

Jess and Holly posing on the football field at Va Tech during our cool down

Looking at the bright side, I do think my fitness continues to progress. Jeff said running this effort solo was actually a better performance than my slightly faster go at the Armory a few weeks ago, and knowing how much harder this felt I'm inclined to agree. Yesterday Scott mentioned entering me in the Gate River Run (which is also the US 15k Championships) in Jacksonville in lieu of Nationals in a few weeks, as he thinks this will facilitate my natural progression to the 10k distance in outdoors. Jeff and I will discuss this over the next few days and see if it's a viable option.