So, the US Track and Field Championships did not go as well as planned. I came in with the fastest time run so far in the year, since Emma Coburn didn’t compete due to injury, but I got 4th in the final.
I felt strong and relaxed in the prelims, but it was hard running at the hottest and most humid time of day (3:00 in the afternoon). As I have said several times in my blog, I have struggled with the long, grey winter and spring in Minnesota. This time, moving to hot weather did not help, because it was a harsh transition. Usually I would have had the chance to run in humid, hot weather, but I really didn’t get the opportunity before going down to Des Moines this year. But thanks to ice tubs, massage therapists, and our awesome chiropractor, Travis McCathie, I felt ready to go for finals.
The day of the final I was so nervous. I had so many supporters come to watch – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, parents’ friends, college teammates, Team USA MN Teammates, my college coach, etc. I felt so loved, but was scared to disappoint. My plan was to stay relaxed the first three or four laps and then make a move with whoever went. I did a good job of staying near the front of the pack without straining, and when Nicole Bush made a move after a few laps, I did my best to follow. I was able to drop some competitors eventually, but Ashley Higginson passed me with about 2 laps to go. I gave everything I had the last lap, but I was passed on the last water barrier by Shalaya Kipp. I felt like I hit a cement wall at that point, and did not have anything else to give. I struggled to the finish line and felt as though I was going to faint.
The final had also been at the hottest time of day (4:20), and while this gave something for all of us women to lament about together, I think USATF could have arranged a more conducive schedule for the steeplechasers. Hello, this is a really hard event?!? Two races in three days on a 100 degree track with high humidity; are you trying to kill us? I never thought I would say this, but after the weekend, I am ready to go back to Eugene for every championship.
Anyways, I still have a very small chance of getting to go to Worlds since I have the ‘A’ standard, and Ashley and Shalaya have only the ‘B’ so far. They have until July 20th to chance the ‘A’ standard, and if one of them gets it, both go. They are both very capable of running the ‘A’ standard, so I’m sure they will get it.