Thursday, March 25, 2010

Go West

AM: 6 miles
PM: 3 miles + 800m on/off strides = 3.5 miles

What. A. Long. Day. In case I'd forgotten since our trip to Albuquerque a few weeks ago, today reminded me what a pain it is to travel across the country. Despite leaving for the Charlotte airport at 9:30am, we didn't arrive at our hotel in Palo Alto until past 6pm Pacific time. In other words, 12 hours later. This included a layover in Houston and a delayed second leg of our trip, which was already scheduled at four hours long to begin with. Even though I'd been snacking sporadically throughout the day--and by "sporadically" I mean about once an hour--I was beyond ravenous when we got to the hotel. Unfortunately for me, we still needed to get in a shakeout run at the Stanford track before getting dinner.

Coach Simmons, Tanya and I rolled up to the track just as the sun was setting. There were a few stragglers still going over their preparations for tomorrow's races, but for the most part we were on our own. Tanya and I set off on an easy jog on the campus trails, enjoying the fresh air and the opportunity to finally be outside. Believe it or not, all my hunger and frustration melted away as we set off into the night, and after a few sluggish minutes my body felt the best it had all day. Funny how a run can do that sometimes. As the miles clicked by, Tanya and I reminisced about how each of us had gotten to this point. Three years ago Tanya attended the Stanford meet as a spectator, fresh off a then-PR of 18:10 in the Carlsbad 5k. Tomorrow she will try to break 16 minutes for the same distance. I came here for the first time last year, as wide-eyed as an 18-year-old freshman in my first collegiate outdoor track race, hoping to best my previous road PR of 37:50. Now my goal is to run at least as fast as the 35:30 automatic qualifying time for Nationals. Not to say that we're out here breaking records now, but we're both pretty proud of how far we've come. Now it's time to put everything together when it counts.