While looking over my training during the cruise, I had noticed that my coach was planning on having me do two indoor track meets. One meet was going to be a Masters USATF sanctioned event, so I wasn't too worried, while the other was going to be a college race, which I did worry a little bit about. I did my research and saw there usually weren't too many females in the Masters races compared to men, so I figured I'd do okay; the college race, I wasn't so sure about. I mean, these girls are TRAINING for this kind of stuff... I was just hopping in a race to see where my fitness was at after the longest training week of my season.
The first Indoor meet I participated in was the Masters meet. Well, it was worse than I figured: there were ZERO girls signed up besides me. I was put in the 1500 race with the men. I figured it would be alright as I would just try to stay up with as many as I could. I ran my warmup inside as it had started snowing pretty hard, was all warmed up and ready right at 10 (like they had said), and they didn't start until 10:30. I was pretty antsy doing my strides and trying to keep myself warmed up. The first lap was a shocker: right away I could feel my throat on fire (which I assume happens to everyone during indoor?). I went through in 35, which was 1 second faster than my coach wanted me to. Shoot. I held back a little and just ran the rest of the race at a pace I could hold. It was pretty frustrating to go around the guys just to have them then try to pass me again...I felt like I could never really get a strong sense of how I was doing and what my speed was. Anyway, with one lap to go, I sprinted and passed a few guys and almost caught the second "lead" group. I actually continued to the "100" so Ryan could get my mile time. 5:30. I guess that's what you have to expect after running a 16-miler on the Friday before and closing the week with 62 (an all-time high) miles. We knew I'd be tired going into this, but I will say that I didn't give up:)
University of Chicago Meet
The next meet I participated in was three weeks later at the University of Chicago. A huge thanks goes out to Eric Wallor for getting us in the meet. For the mile, there were probably 12 girls running in my heat. I felt much better going into this race than the prior mile, so I knew I could be up near the top. I had Eric seed me at 5:25 just to make sure I got in the fast heat. The first lap was terrible: the girls TOOK OFF and I was immediately boxed in. Because I had seen the other girls' seed times, I KNEW I had to get out. I sprinted the first straight away so that I could get ahead of them before the second curve. Turns out, I didn't need to do that, and I paid for it. The next laps I stayed strong and pretty close to a girl. With one lap to go, I heard Ryan yell at me to pass her...usually when he says things like that, I just shrug it off, but I was feeling good and confident and passed her quickly. I ended up finishing in 5:20 flat, exactly what my coach wanted. I ended up going 71, 2:36, 3:59, 5:20. I was happy with it as it was very close to what I was doing my freshman year in high school, yet I did it while marathon training. Oh and did I mention that Ryan ran a 4:20 mile with little competition? If he could focus on running, I honestly think we could see him in the Olympics....