Sunday, March 3, 2013

Linfield Ice Breaker 10k Recap

It's been quite the weekend. 

I probably experienced every single emotion I was capable of experiencing twice over. And there is no way I can debrief you all on everything - and you probably don't want all the details, anyway :)
 So I'll do my best to do a short recap.

Friday afternoon, after eight hours on a charter bus, my team arrived in McMinnville, Oregon for the Linfield Ice Breaker. 

We hung out at the hotel for an hour or so and then headed over to the track for a 10k under the stadium lights. Running at night is absolutely exhilarating. 

Pre-race nerves. Crazy faces, crazy emotions. 

We were scheduled to race at 7 pm. 

Three of my teammates competed with me against a group of 22 girls total. 

The weather was perfectly mild, but I opted to wear running tights instead of spandex. I prefer to be almost a little warm when I run. Needless to say, only 2 of the 22 girls were wearing under armour. I didn't care. It felt perfect. 

We toed the line, and I felt unusually calm and excited. The gun went off. 

And we began the first of 25 laps. My teammates who were not running the race were spread out in the in-field cheering us on. My coach yelled my lap splits to me each lap. For me, racing wise, there is nothing more exciting than being able to hit the exact same lap split 10 times in a row. I love pacing. 

This race felt pretty much like a tempo to me. I was mostly by myself (unless I was lapping people... this happens a lot in distance races on the track), because the leader was way faster than me and the other girls not as fast. I stayed in 2nd place the whole race and basically coasted at 6:02 minute/mile pace (give or take a few seconds) for 6 miles. 

Mile 4 was definitely the most difficult. But once I made it to the last two miles, time flew. Before I knew it, I was on my last lap, and I managed to kick- a solid 10 seconds faster than the laps I had been running. 

All in all, I was pretty satisfied with my race. I was 9 seconds slower than my PR, but in a race as long as a 10k, 9 seconds is really just a technicality. And I feel like I could go much faster if I had people to pull me along. It's early yet. I have high hopes for that race. So I got 2nd out of 22. The girl who got first place broke 36!!! She was crazy. 38:10 was my time. My goal for the season is to break 37. I think it's doable.

Mostly, I just genuinely enjoy the 10k. For awhile I was beginning to dislike running - the same thing happened to me last year in the winter. And some aspects of running are not fun. But the 10k is fun. You feel so accomplished after!!!

After our race - Exhausted and freezing but incredibly happy!

We tried to cool down, but it was a mess. I had crazy runner's high (I usually do) and was zig zagging and sprinting all over the infield.  Another girl could barely jog. We eventually stopped and stretched and sipped on coconut water while we watched the boys race. 

My friend Annie (far left in the picture) was speaking with a coach from a different school, and after he complimented her on her race he said "Susanna did really well, too. I'm actually surprised she did so well... wearing tights!" 

Apparently wearing running tights instead of spandex when I'm racing makes me look like I'm not serious. 

Believe me, I'm serious :) 

My friend Tyler was a champ and cheered me on the whole time!

All the other events were on Saturday, so the next day I got to watch my team compete without having to worry about racing myself. That felt amazing. My race was over. I could eat whenever, not be nervous, and enjoy the day. The other 10kers and I ran about 10 miles easy in the morning, too. Needless to say my body is pretty tired!!!

All in all it was a pretty amazing weekend. There were tons of good conversations, many great memories made, and it made me hungry for more. I feel so grateful and blessed. 

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