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!
Giant Relays @ Highland Park
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! :)
Triangular @ HP with Deerfield
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!
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3. We will continue to focus on arms and nutrition as two ways to improve performances. Check out these two videos!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.