Surprisingly, the weather at this meet turned out to be very cooperative; the sun was shining, the wind died down, and our crew took advantage of the conditions to run some great races! Our 4X800 started things right: Holly ran a 10 second lifetime PR, Jocelyn ran a great first lap to kick the rust off, Lainey matched her lifetime PR, and Ana set a season PR. Overall, we shaved 10 seconds off our relay best, and we looked competitive. Ana closed well to earn our relay 3rd place! Great work to all of you!
With Shayla sick, Melanie was left to represent us in the 3200. Although this was only her second time racing at this distance, Melanie ran a new lifetime PR of 15:06! Nice work!
In the open 800, Lissette went out more measuredly and finished with more strength than she has all season. The result? A huge new PR of 2:46! In the second heat, Ana ran a solid race to close out a great day of work.
In the mile, Lainey went out strong and raced well throughout. She never lost sight of the leader in her heat; in the last 200, she outkicked her to win the heat and earn a new lifetime PR of 6:09! Excellent work! Jocelyn had a great first half of her race and ran a season PR of 6:32. I know that as she recovers fully from her illness, the second half of her races will come back to her. Evidence? Her kick was fabulous!
Finally, Holly stepped up to help the sprint crew by running the first leg of the 4X400. She ran a lifetime PR of 69. Excellent work!
Overall, this was a great step forward for our Varsity crew--lots of mental breakthroughs. Proud of this group!
It was also great to see Amanda Flores, class of 2002. She ran for four years and is one of the originals to earn a link. She showed off her three links on her keychain--once linked, always linked! As we head into another week of racing, remember that you are running for more than just you! Your team reaches back for decades!
Mother Nature showed her true colors today, and she showed the newbees what track weather USUALLY feels like. Although the D-Crew had a good attitude about the situation, the day proved one truth: we need to have longer warm-ups on days like this in order to race the way we want. With that lesson learned, there were a few highlights to the day:
In the 4X800, Lainey and Shayla each ran solid legs for their respective relays. In the 3200, these newbees to the race--Jacqueline, Alexia, Helen, Julia, and Syra--all raced with focus and overcame their fears of the race. The open 800 was home to some PRs, including Lissette, Tianna and Angy. Great work, ladies! In the 1600, there were also several PRs, including Holly, Lissette, Shayla, Tianna, Monica, Olivia, and Lauren. Excellent work to all of you!
To conclude the meet, our 4X400 of Lainey, Karyn, Syra, and Jacqueline won for the day! Nice run, women!
On Friday, we were lucky to travel to Crystal Lake Central to compete in a new invite for our schedule. We were one of eleven teams, and the races were competitive! We enjoyed a perfect evening of running weather--there was NO wind, and the temperature was perfect. I was proud of our D-Crew members who stepped up the challenge of this very last-minute meet!
In the 4X800, Monica, Ally, Alexia, and Helen looked strong, with Monica and Alexia earning lifetime PRs. :) We agreed that it was good to get the nerves out, and we discussed how to attack the remaining races of the evening.
In the 800, Ally ran the same split time as the 4X800 which shows consistency. Alexia peeled off another second to set a second PR for the day! :)
In the 1600, Helen and Syra worked together throughout the race. Syra set a PR for her 800, but struggled to do so overall. Helen, on the other hand, was able to push in the final lap to set a new lifetime PR of 7:01. Although she fell short of her goal of breaking 7:00, I am confident it will happen soon if she keeps running with the same intensity as tonight!
Finally, Monica stepped up with courage to help the 4X400 compete! She ran a lifetime PR in the 400 of 77!
Overall, I am extremely proud of this group. Not only did they ask a ton of questions about invite format, but they seized the opportunity to compete with courage! What a great night! :)
Monday, April 13th--@ Mundelein:
We have been spoiled rotten with great weather so far this spring. With only a slight wind to contend with, I anticipated there would be many great performances on Mundelein's young track. Our 4X800 teams kicked things off right: Jocelyn, despite fighting a nasty respiratory funk for weeks now, looked spectacular--running a split of 2:47; Lainey ran a nice 2:51; Shayla ran a PR of 3:07; Ally looked aggressive in her PR of 3:09, as did Tiara in her PR of 3:00. I was happy to see the progress of this whole group!
In the 3200, Ana took the lead early and kept it to the wire. She looked aggressive, focused, and strong! Lissette and Holly worked in tandem to push each other through this longer race. Their teamwork yielded great results! I was proud of all of the two-milers--I hope the misconceptions about this race have now been put to rest. :)
In the 800, the group looked tentative in general. It was a solid race, but I need everyone to accept that the 800 should be a DASH--let's capitalize on the recent speed work you now have in your legs!
The 1600 was more promising--we had several PRs in this race! Lainey looked like she was on a mission as she set a new PR of 6:11. Tiara matched her PR of 6:42, while Helen set a speedy new PR of 7:05. Jacqueline looked simply amazing as she dropped a ridiculous amount of time to set her new lifetime PR of 7:20. Alexia was only steps behind her in setting a new PR of 7:23. This race gave me chills--even the women who didn't PR looked great!
Finally, in our first 4X400 challenge, the team of Holly, Angy, Julia and Olivia won! Let's see which relay brings it home next week!
Overall, I was pleased with the teamwork of the day. Let's keep growing each meet!
The Weather Channel predicted that the weather would be cold for Saturday's meet, but the bees would not be deterred by a chill in the air!
In the 4X800, Ana and Olivia set season PRs (and Liana matched hers), while Melanie, Holly, Julia and Ally all set lifetime PRs! This is the way to start off a meet! While the 800 group has made some nice progress, our ability to deal with the pain and fatigue unique to this race will dictate how much more time will be slashed from PRs.
While Mary, Jocelyn, and Lainey all ran solid races in the 3200, Tiara ran the race of the day. Not only did she set a lifetime PR for her mile split, but she also overcame her pre-race fears about the race. Nice work!
The open 800 produced three lifetime PRs. Lissette ran a gutsy race from gun to wire. She pushed the pace early and finished with her strongest final 200 meters to date. The result was finally breaking the 3:00 barrier with a time of 2:54. Bravo! Monica was inspired by her teammate and pulled on Lissette's energy. The result? A seven second drop to earn a new lifetime PR of 3:02. Great race! And Tianna looked great with a strong, open stride as she finished with a lifetime PR of 3:08. Great effort, ladies!
Finally, our four runners in the 1600 did a great job of competing, and the times reflected it! Karyn showed her same race-grittiness as Carthage, weathering several lead-changes before outkicking a Waukegan runner in order to set a lifetime PR of 6:07. Her goal of breaking six is coming closer every race! After several weeks of leg-soreness, Tiffany looked strong and free on her way to setting a lifetime PR of 7:08. Shayla and Syra both ran season PRs for the day of 6:47 and 7:19 respectively.
Overall, I was happy to see the you support one another throughout the meet. We need to continue to extend that supportive hand to the sprinters, jumpers, and throwers in order to make our TEAM the strongest it can be!
Going into this meet, I was cautiously optimistic. Not only is this 200 meter track a nice way to help dissect a race more easily, but the competition usually brings out the best in everyone. While the bull pen area and automatic timing can be a bit intimidating for new runners, our crew handled the changes with grace.
There were several moments of growth for the day: Julia set a new 800 PR of 3:08, finishing strong along side Monica, who also set a PR of 3:09. Helen was working with them both, matching her lifetime PR of 3:09. Nice work to this trio!
While the 3200 often evokes fear in distance runners, Karyn and Shayla proed this reaction is unnecessary. After some pre-race trepidation, Karyn took control of her mindset and raced with tenacity. Not only did she lead the race for the majority of the laps, she also reacted aggressively to attempts to pass her. This mindset allowed her to set a mile PR on the way to her great finish! Shayla came close to a lifetime PR in mile, too, and finished with a faster-than-predicted time. This race was a pleasure to watch because both these women chose to compete the whole way.
Overall, there were some great performances, but I know we have more work to do. Let's keep working toward greatness!
When the coaches at Highland Park asked if we wanted to attend their relay meet this week, we enthusiastically said, "YES!" Not only did this meet allow us to continue to work on racing skills, but it also allowed us to have fun with the relay format. Sometimes the second meet of the season is more difficult than the first; runners have experienced the reality of the "pain" of racing, and now they are required to look that pain in the eye and proceed with enthusiasm. This truth is difficult for many runners to face, and as a result, many runners try to negotiate with themselves: if I go out a little more conservatively, then I will be able to finish without dying; I want to feel better at the end, so I'm going to run even or negative splits; I thought I was going out just as hard as last week--what happened? These lines of thought are common, but they must be overcome. The results of this meet largely reflected that second-race-hesitation. Let's learn from that problem and move forward!
There were several gritty highlights to the meet:
1. Despite being tripped during the 4X800, Holly popped back up and finished her race hard for her teammates.
2. Lainey, Karyn, and Tiara all shaved time from their mile splits. And Mary ran hard...only to be stopped by a fire alarm!
3. Several people ran odd races (Lissette and Helen) in order to help the Medley relay succeed.
Overall, this meet was a great learning experience. More importantly, I am pleased with the character of this group. You are coming together to help one another grow as runners--let's keep that progress coming! :)
We have been braving the cold since January 20th. Through snow, sleet, and windchills that are just plain rude (or tropical...depending on your mindset), we have been grinding to get ready for indoor. I have been very proud of everyone's progress, and the meet at Highland Park illustrated the pay-off.
We fielded three teams in the 4X800. All three looked aggressive and impressive. While every single runner made me proud, the two standouts of the race were Lissette and Liana. Lissette, despite her inexperience, ran a strong first leg for her relay, hanging with the varsity runners until the fourth lap. Liana ran second for her relay and was aggressive from start to finish: her gutsy performance put our relay in first place!
In the open 800, I was once again pleased with all the performances! Positive attitudes abounded before each heat, and I watched great arms and nice kicks. While everyone was gutsy, Helen certainly had the premier race of this group; not only did she race courageously, but she also posted a nice time for her first race after nursing a rude hip for the past two weeks.
The mile provided more opportunities to brag. I loved the pack mentality of the varsity sophies: Jo, Karyn, and Lainey pulled on Mary's lead in order to help each other out. In the open heat, Tiara had the race of the day. Not only did she lead from gun to tape, but she also earned a lifetime PR in the mile: 6:52. I was proud to watch her tenacious race, as were her teammates!
Overall, I am THRILLED by our first outing. Not only did you support each other, but you all went into the meet with the right mindset. I look forward to watching this team continue to grow as the season progresses.
A few items to consider as you form or reform your goals for the season:
1. Athletic.net is a great way to keep track of your races! It's my goal to keep it updated this spring (so hold me to it! I always struggle with it during track). See how you compare to your teammates, yourself, and other teams. Click here to check out your results!
2. DyeStatIL, a great website that highlights the best of Illinois running, is featuring a sub 5 and sub 6 contest this year. I would love to be able to add your name to the list! Click here to check it out!
Download the official Twitter app here<https://twitter.com/download?ref_src=MailTweet-iOS>
3. We will continue to focus on arms and nutrition as two ways to improve performances. Check out these two videos!