My training has been a bit of a roller coaster ride – one week I’ll pound out amazing workouts and the next week I can’t even finish a workout. For some reason I just wasn’t able to recover last week – I actually didn’t even finish a workout all week. Based off of my previous workouts I thought, if I felt good on race day, Stephanie Rothstein’s course record (53:07) seemed beatable.
My goal was to run even 5:40/mile splits the entire time.
During The Race:
1st 5K: I got out well & sat with the pack for the first 800 meters or so. Atalelech Asfaw put a little gap on us, so Alvina Begay and I split from the group and tried to reel her in. As soon as we hit the first down hill Atalelech started cruising at like 5:10/mile. My goal was to win, but I was hesitant to go with her this early in the race. She crossed the 5k mark 10 seconds ahead of me, but it felt like an eternity when we were out there!
1st 5K split: 16:55 (5:28/mile)
2nd 5k: This section of the course was full of rolling hills (a lot like the Boston Marathon course) and with each step I was slowly closing the distance between myself and Atalelech. I couldn’t stop smiling! I have never felt so happy in a race before – I was actually telling myself how well I was running as I was running! By the 10k mark I had caught up to Atalelech and placed myself right behind her, waiting for the right time to make a move.
2nd 5k split: 16:49 (33:44, only 1 minute off the A standard for the Olympic Trials!)
3rd 5K: By this section of the race I was starting to get tired. I made a couple little moves around or next to Atalelech whenever she slowed down, but she was insistent on leading. The 7th mile marker was on the middle of the courses biggest hill – self doubt trickled in & I thought if this wasn’t the last hill I wasn’t going to be able to finish. I caught my breathe on the down hill and then devised a plan to beat Atalelech.
I needed to make one big move and never look back.
About a mile from the finish we hit another hill and Atalelech led us slowly up it. She was hurting and that meant it was time to press. I accelerated all the way to the finish line, killing her spirits after about a half mile.
3rd 5K split: 17:05 (50:49)
Super excited!!!!! Broke the course record by 2 minutes & 28 seconds! Defeated a 2:33 marathoner & former Ethiopian Junior World Cross Country team member.
I can’t stop looking up what 50:49 equates to for a flat 10k!
After weeks of hard training it’s exciting to line up, race well, and see all of your work pay off because it’s not always that simple. I can’t say anything negative about this race, it was definitely one of my best & I’m excited for many more!