Sunday, July 8, 2012

Olympic Trials!!!

For anyone who has been long awaiting my thoughts on racing at historic Hayward Field, running two steeples in 5 days, and attending my first fashion show, no more need to hold your breath.  If you think that sounds pretentious, I am completely kidding, because the main people who read my blog are my parents. 

I had such a fun experience competing at the Olympic Trials this past week.  I missed out on the ’08 trials in the steeplechase by a couple spots, so I was very happy to get to race this time around.  Especially since the field in the steeple is so much deeper.  In ’08 the last athlete in had a time of 10:10; this year the last athlete in had a time of 9:58.

In the first race, I ran a half a second PR of 9:51 to time qualify for the finals of the women’s steeple.  I was pleased with my effort because I was able to keep my cool running in a large pack, something I do not have a lot of experience with in the steeple.  I was disappointed with my performance in the final.  My goal this year was to be in the top 8, and I finished 12th in 9:56.  I was only able to stay with the lead pack of women for 2 or 3 laps.  My goal next year is to be in that top group of athletes. 

I stayed in a house for the week with Heather Kampf, her husband Ben, our coach Dennis, and elite master’s runner and board member, Paul Gionobile.  We spent the week playing hearts and golf, and watching Dennis eat cheez-its for every meal.  Our official mascot of the week was a squiver (squirrel beaver) - someone had drawn a picture of one and framed in on the wall of the house.
On Friday evening, after my final race, I went out to a wonderful dinner with all my relative who were kinds enough to come support me: my mom and dad, cousin Cole, his parents Tadd and Julie, and my aunt Eileen and uncle Gene. 
After dinner, I attended my first fashion show with my mom and two aunts.  The show was put on by Oieselle to highlight their fall line of clothes and celebrate the trials.  The event was so fun – lots of runners, drinks, food, and MC Hammer was the DJ!  The new clothes were awesome – I can’t wait to get my hands on some.  Fellow Minnesota Erin Ward got to show off a sports bra and spandex shorts.  I was happy to find fellow young tracksters Caitlin Gregg and Whitney Liehr.  We had a blast dancing and taking pictures in the photo booth.

Since trials, I’ve been doing a little bit of running around.  I spent a couple days in Portland after the Trials exploring with marathoner, Ariella Deprenger Gottfried.  We got to visit the Nike Employee Store, run in Forrest Park, and walk around downtown.

Once I got home, I hopped in a car with Heather Kampf, Elizabeth Yetzer and her boyfriend Dan, and Chris Rombough and his girtlfirend Melissa, to drive 13 hours to Cleveland for our college friend, Katelyn’s wedding. 

I am now heading home and trying to decide whether or not to buy a ticket to Belgium for a few more track races before the season is over.  I am hesitate because I don’t have anyone to travel with, since most of my teammates finished their track seasons by now, and I don’t have an agent yet, so I don’t have a group to travel with.  I am excited to try out the European experience!

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