paul short was not a failure, but it sure wasn't a success. left with bruised hearts and cracked smiles, but our passion and drive will not fade.
we left on wednesday night for birmingham. we were all excited to go to pennsylvania. thursday morning we flew out of birmingham for philly. it was a long and exhausting day of travel, even for flying. eating and sleeping schedules were throw off-course. i could handle that though. thursday late afternoon we went to the course. my spirits were high as i was more than ready to run. we got to the course it was a mud pit. i couldn't help but smile. muddy conditions suit me because i am a pure strength runner. i am bigger, muscly, tough, and full of meanness when it comes to battling it out in the worst of conditions. i got to eat dinner with my parents on thursday night at my hotel. the hotel had a pasta buffet! it was delicious. i am so thankful to have such supporting parents. they drove nearly 12 hours for a 20 minute race. (okay, granted they wanted to see philly, NYC, gettysburg, etc.....but still, i am lucky and blessed and i was their excuse to go to those places, i know that i was their first priority!) after the race i was probably the most sad i have ever been to see them go. i didn't have the greatest of races and all i wanted to do was hang out with them. i was being rushed to get back to the hotel and i just wanted to hug onto my parents just a few minutes longer.
friday morning rolled around and i knew i was going to be in for a crap shoot. 400 girls, one race.....holy geeze. it was 10 wide for the whole race.
runners take your marks, BAM! the gun goes off, UAWA! i get out like the only way i know how to, FAST! i position myself perfectly trying to lead my team into a safe zone. with that many runners though, you can only do what you know how to do and hope that everyone follows suit. taking out the first mile at 5:28, i knew i would be in for a painful next 2.5 miles. i told myself to chill out, stop freaking because this was faster than planned, and just run. so....i did. i just ran. i grinded. i only remember running through mud, mud, and more mud. good i thought, i love mud. literally 10 girls wide at every point on the course, i just tried to stand my ground and go with people i knew i could stay with. one being tennessee's Brittany Sheffey. i knew her to be a solid girl who i could count on being tough. tough she was. i kept her right in front of me for 4k. 4-5k was the hardest kilo. in that it was completely uphill, muddy, secluded in cornfields. it was easy to give up back there, but as soon as that negative thought got into my head, i looked up and there was coach franks (completely unexpectedly, and thankfully he was) i have never wanted to quit, just walk, mentally give up with no regret before. i refuse to give into those thoughts again. thankfully coach was there to pull me through, i can't let my team mates and coach down, even if i feel as if i have failed myself. with about 1200 to go, i passed Brittany Sheffey and tried to just throw down like no other. my forearms were cramping so bad and my legs were in no shape to even walk. i just tried to make it down the finishing stretch. i finished, 21:30. after i crossed the line i blacked out, and have no idea what happened. dad was there, i couldn't see and i had no clue where i was. i was so out of it, i need to figure out why this is happening after every race.
overall, the meet was really rough for everyone. this is to be expected though. we have yet to go out at VO2 95% pace and hold it for 2.5 more miles. it was a great body shock and next time it happens, my body should remember the feeling and be able to respond much better.
Anna had a GREAT race. she PR'd by about 23 seconds! she is coming on so strong and really developing as a distance runner. this track season is going to be a light's-out experience for her.
though Haley had a tough race, she fought to stay in the mix and never once gave up on her teammates. she pulled through and proved to have grit.
I couldn't be more proud of my team for fighting through. We have collectively learned so much this weekend and will use all of this to pull out a good meet at Pre-Nats.
94. Anna Jarman 22:09
116. Jodie McGuff 22:29
146. Dominique Lockhart 22:42
202. Katie Huston 23:14
240. Madeleine Takahashi 23:33.
314. Emma Neigel 24:01
it was a great learning expereince for us all. to know what it is like to be thrown in with top teams in the country and to go out at a fast pace is wonderful. even though we didn't run as fast or as tough as we would have liked, the trip was not wasted in the least.
overall, we had a great team bonding experience. we showed each other that we will not give up for one another, we all endured the hard times together, we all suffered through together.
through many trials we became one team,
through discord we found harmony