Saturday @ Bartlett: Historically, we have not run well at Bartlett. There is something about the difference between Warren's flat, fast course and the rolling hills of Bartlett's course that does something to our mentality. Until this year. Now I am not going to say that I am thrilled about our performances today--I believe there is still plenty of room for growth at this particular invite. BUT, I am pleased that we looked stronger than usual at this meet. Thanks to our awesome managers and Violette, you can click HERE to see your mile splits from this meet.
In the Fresh/Soph race, Jackie was our early leader with Shayla and Lainey not far behind. Shayla emerged in the middle of the race, surprising me with her tenacity on the hill section during her second loop. Her mental toughness was rewarded with a lifetime PR--no easy feat on this course--of 22:53. Jackie was second and not far off her PR. Lainey is looking more and more like her Oshkosh-self as the season progresses. She was our only other bee to set a lifetime PR today of 24:07, and she earned it by being consistent in the second loop. Sarah looked good in her first three-mile race of the season after an extensive illness. She looked competitive and did a good job of using the downhills; now she just needs to get fit! Overall, our remaining competitors looked solid, but there is still be work to be done with this group. While they did an outstanding job of supporting our runners in other races, they did not offer themselves that same enthusiasm or encouragement during the warm up to their own race. I know there is great potential in this group. Who will be the one to step up and make this group into a true team?
In the Varsity race, we busted out our BA black uniforms. We have been on the verge of a breakthrough for several races, and I hoped that a change in clothing would spur a change in swagger. Ana, Mary and Asia got out strong at the start and looked like they were working well together by the 800. Ally and Jocelyn and Karyn were also within steps of each other at the half. After several weeks of great racing, Taylor took on the challenge of her first Varsity race. She got out solidly, but did not seem to be in the rhythm of this race; racing Varsity for the first time provides a different race perspective. I'm confident that Taylor will continue to grow into this role. Overall, our first mile splits were decent, but I still believe we can get out faster. The second mile has been our Achilles heel all season, and our workout this week will address that issue. While the finish times did not match our pre-race mentality, I am happy with the progress of the returning runners. Last year I was furious at this meet because to a woman, we rolled over and gave up--physically and mentally. This year, I saw you all battle to reset, battle to work through the physical and mental. That is a big achievement! Now we need to continue on that path of growth--we need to take all the lessons from our post-race chat and apply them to Monday's race.
By the time the Open Race was about to start, the temperatures were pretty toasty. Not only was it near 80, but there was no breeze and little shade on the course; the women of the Open Race definitely faced the toughest conditions of the day. Like the other two races, these women stepped up to #runforthem. What I liked about this race was some very courageous moments: Violette's aggressive start, Tiara's strong middle section, Olivia's nice kick, Chandell's reset and surge by the pond on the second loop, Jennifer's fight against her knee, Melanie's comeback after an illness this week, and Sabrina's hard work to catch a pack ahead of her. If I didn't say your name, it's not because you weren't courageous; these snapshots are simply the moments I happened to witness. Overall, times were off in this race, but I anticipate that this group will bounce back and race well on Monday.
This weekend, take care of yourselves, stretch well, and do lots of rehydration! This warm weather takes more out of you than you realize. Bee ready to race at Lakewood on Monday (bring food, water, clothes, bug spray, etc.). We should be home around 7:30.
Some food for thought for this week: We are at the point in the season where we need to cast our eyes to overall goals. What do we want to have happen by Sterling/Wheeling? Conference? Regionals? Come with answers on Monday! #irunforthem
BEAT D CHALLENGE: My husband and I made a pact to run at least one road race each month. We both raced in July (I ran at the Titan 5K with an Olympian and many of you, and he raced at Bee Linked with many of you!), but we slacked in August. Welp, it seemed silly to make a pact and then not follow through, so I took to the mean streets of Schaumburg this morning to race in the Run to Read 5K (great choice, right? A race that helps put books in kids' hands? Love it!). I am proud to report that I shaved a minute off my Titan 5K time, but I still have A LOT of work to do. I'm hoping this challenge will encourage you and me to keep working toward our goals. There are two different ways you can win the challenge:
1. If you are already ahead of my current PR of 3-mile PR of 26:45, then you have to "beat" my splits (9:00, 8:45, and 8:52) by having your second mile be your FASTEST, and your third be your SECOND fastest. This requires you to be mentally tough in the middle of your race. Are you up for the challenge? **Please note, if you are one of those stat people who is looking up my time online, I'm using my 3-mile split from the 5K race to make an apples-to-apples comparison. ;)
2. If you have not beaten my 3-mile PR of 26:45, then that's your goal! I'm old, and I have not done HALF of the training you have this season! So stop letting an old woman beat you when you are in the prime of your life! :)
1. Helping the team become more successful. #irunforthem
2. Gaining some more pride and confidence....which will help the team become more successful. #irunforthem
3. Drinking a free Gatorade (flavor of your choice) that was purchased by D for you.