Wednesday, February 13, 2013

US Cross Country Champs

I made my goal of finishing in the top 10 at the U.S. Cross Country Championships by coming in 10th, just a couple places, and a few seconds, out of making the world cross country team.  When I first looked at who was entered in the race, I thought I could have a good day and finish 20th.  The field was very deep and included four Olympians. 

I started out conservatively, in about 20th place, and after the first 2k loop, I started to slowly pick people off.  I was in a great zone most of the race, just short of redlining, but moving well and not in pain.  Unfortunately, my spike came untied at 4k, and I decided to spend a few precious seconds tying it in order to save my feet.  When I got back up, a few people had passed me, but I tried to hang onto Sarah Hall, who had also started farther back and was now making her way up through the race.  I got back into a good rhythm, but my shoelace came untied again with 2k to go.  I decided to let it stay untied as I was starting to redline and didn’t think I could make up the ground I would lose.  I worked hard the last k to pass Hall and McKaig, but they got me, although I did manage to outkick Brianne Nelson the last straight away.  Meghan Peyton also had a great race, finishing in 13th, just a little bit off me. 
                                                        Starting out conservatively
                                                                Awards for Top 10

I ran 27 seconds faster than last year on the same course in softer and sloppier conditions.  I’m excited to see what I can do on the track!
              Minnesotans after the race: Me, Meghan Peyton, Ladia Alberson-Junkas, Hassan Mead
                                                       Parents drove from Minneapolis to watch
                                                     And Joe came from Madison to cheer


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