Tuesday, April 23, 2019

CSP Meet: Part II

            I had been mulling over the 5K since I asked coach to put me in it. I wanted a test run at a 5K, but was this really the time or place? I hadn’t tapered for it. I only ran outside once (it’s been all treadmill work otherwise). I didn’t feel the need to win it, but I didn’t want to be last either. There was a 21 minute seed, and one close to my 20:13 PR that I set last fall at the Three Eagle 5K. I’ve been putting in a lot of work on my run, but these were COLLEGIATE distance runners I would be up against. Let's first just remember that I was never a runner, ok? Not a distance runner, not a sprinter. Any running I had to do in college, I struggled with.
I was 95% sure I wouldn’t run. If I got a NH for PV, then I thought I would have to (which was almost the case)! Was I going to let the fear of failure keep me from taking a risk? Or maybe it was really the fear of embarrassment holding me back. My legs were fatigued from vaulting. I had been in the sun all day. I watched the 1500 race and saw how fast the girls went out. Could I handle it? What did it matter anyway? Would it matter if I was last – by a lot? At the end of the day, who would even know, or care? Sometimes when you crack open the door to self-doubt, it ends up being flung wide open.
            I also knew that I didn’t want to look back and regret not taking the chance. I checked in, re-warmed up, put my hip numbers on, and toed the line with the (gulp) college girls. My only strategy was to drop to the back right away and try not to go out too fast. I hung at the back, but stayed on the girl in front of me. First mile was 6:24. Too fast I knew. We caught up to another girl who was dropping back, passed her, and I lost the one I was hanging on to. 
I slowly reeled in another girl, but when I tried to pass her, she picked up the pace and I pulled in behind her again. We ran the next several laps together, and whenever she would slow up on the one corner, I would say a few encouraging words and she would pick it back up again (better than me trying to pass every time). I hung on to her until the final lap when she kicked in the final stretch and I didn’t have what it took to go with her. I finished in 20:23, taking 9thout of 10. Andy told me that if I beat one collegiate distance runner, then I could consider myself successful. Score! I’m glad I sucked it up and just ran it. It was tough, but a really great experience that I would do again. I like the strategy and mental aspect of distance/endurance racing.

            All in all, it was a great day! I can’t be too upset about missing out on 11-8. It will come. The 5K wasn’t a PR, but I still ran well. And I had my Mom and Katie there cheering me on. I would do it all again!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

CSP Meet: Part I

            On Thursday, I found out that my alma mater (Concordia St. Paul) was hosting a women’s meet the next day. I told Andy about it and his response was, “Go ahead.” Heat sheets were already out, but the coach put me in anyway. I was immediately in a cold sweat of nerves and excitement. I got entered in both the pole vault AND the 5,000m race. Now let me be clear: in my college days, I was not a runner. I was not a sprinter, or a distance runner. I was slow and terrible. I have come a long way, and my training over the winter has been going really well. But a race with actualcollege distance runners? Was this a stupid idea? I’ll get to that race in my next post.
            There were 10 other women pole-vaulting, but all had seed heights a foot lower than me, which was a big confidence boost. My short approaches in warm ups felt good, but my take-offs struggled as my approach lengthened. When stuck in a gym, I haven’t been able to practice that. I was also getting on big poles with higher grips. This was my first time outdoors since last summer as well. While it was a tailwind during warm-ups, it would shift during competition to a crosswind or head wind at times. I came in at 10-4, as they were only going up by 10cm (4”) at that point. Opening height was at 8’, so I had some downtime before starting. My first 2 attempts at 10-4 didn’t go well. My final attempt was ugly, but I did what I had to do to make the height.
11-8 Attempt

            At 10-8, there were 5 of us still in. I made it on my first attempt, but no one else made the height, which meant that I not only won the meet, but that I could also pick my heights from then on. I jumped up 6” to 11-2.25, which I also cleared on my first attempt. I still wasn’t feeling good about my jumps though. We raised it to 11-8. It would be a post-collegiate PR (by 2”) and also tie my 2ndhighest jump ever. On my first failed attempt, my elbow hit the bar really hard, and my right hand went tingly. Fortunately, I had 5 minutes between attempts, and I got feeling back in my hand in that time. My second attempt was better, but not there yet. My third attempt was my best jump of the day, and I felt like I was doing what I needed to do to make the height. I had put the standards pretty deep though, and it was too much for that jump. I had a lot of height, but I came down on the bar. I had a great day overall, but I was crushed. I wanted that height so bad. I wanted to make another run at 12’. I could have made that bar with room to spare if I hadn’t had my standards so deep. I won my home meet at CSP though!
            Check out the video of my 11-8 attempt. Despite having a terrible take-off, I still got a lot of height out of the jump (as you can see in the picture I am far over the bar, but my legs are touching it on my way down). Stay tuned for the next post regarding that 5K…