I did it! On Friday evening, I ran a 9:52 steeple to hit the Olympic Trials “A” standard and qualify for the Olympic Trials in June. In 2008, I was the second person out of the trials, so I am very excited to have set a PR by 10 second and guaranteed my spot at the trials. Furthermore, I have finally broken my “curse” of always having my first steeple race of the season be my fastest. Ever since I started running the steeple my sophomore year of college, I have never been able to improve on my first steeple time for various reasons including getting sick, getting burned out, and falling at prelims at the USA National Track Championships last year. Until now.
Coming into this track season, I predicted that I should be able to run about 9:51 with a solid effort. My first effort, at the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford University, did not feel good from the first lap, and I struggled to run a 10:02. Coming into this meet, I was nervous my legs would feel the same way they had in the first race. I was doubting my abilities and my fitness. Although I used some time each day to meditate and visualize myself running a strong race, I still had a lot of negative self-talk and images coming into my head. Yet, when the gun went off, I felt so much better than I predicted. I hung out in in second or third place for a conservative first 2 and a half laps. I wanted to wait another lap before making a move, but I felt too comfortable, so I went for it. I ran on my own for the rest of the race, and it felt good the whole way! My Edinburgh roommate, Bethany Nickless was second in the race, and ran a PR of 10:59.Teammate Gabe Anderson looked swift in her track opener of the season, winning her 1500m heat in 4:06. Unfortunately, training partner Carrie Tollefson had her spike stepped on during the second lap of the 5k. She wasn’t able to get the spike back on, and had to drop out of the race.