We hit the hills around mile 7 and our little pack strung out. I was at the back, actually feeling rejuvenated by the changing elevation, but trying not to get myself into trouble early. My eyes were set on Emily Harrison who was only a surge away. I slowly reeled her in on the 9th mile and then made one precise, hard move. She tried to tag along, but I wouldn’t relinquish – I didn’t want her to sense any weakness in my stride. Once I could no longer feel her presence I slowed back into a steady tempo. At this point I wasn’t prepared to lose my 3rd place ranking or give up on a chance at 2nd – there was 10k left, if all things went my way there was a chance for at least one more victim!
At mile 12 I got caught by Mel White. She flew by me with ease, making it seem as if I was merely walking. I had no reaction and let a size-able gap form between us. My wheels were showing signs of wear and tear – I was tempted to play defense for the next 3 miles, but I eventually noticed her lead on me wasn’t getting any larger; maybe I could still stake my claim on 3rd!
With 1.5 to go another girl caught me, but this time I clung onto her. I had no intention of finishing 5th and I was going to do everything in my power to put myself between her and the finish line. I surged ahead with about 800 left, put my chin up and dug deep. I almost held her off, but she nipped me at the line.
My 5th place finish in a quick 1:26:29 was my highest placing at a National Championship. I’d say it was a very successful day, especially since I am training for a 10k and this was my 3rd race in 13 days. The goal was to get my feet wet in the longer distances and see if its worth giving the marathon a shot this fall. So far so good, look for me to be stepping it up in distance again this fall!
Here’s my splits if you’re interested: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/177736591