I’m writing from the hallway outside my hotel room at 2:00 AM with a bad case of post-race insomnia. I kind of forgot that this happens when I have night races (sometimes worse than others), though this was more of an afternoon race. I think my body is totally confused. On the one hand this makes sense. My legs and my heart are feeling a bit jittery from all of the excitement, and I did drink I small cup of coffee on my way to dinner to make sure I survived the evening. But on the other hand I should be exhausted! We’ve had so many awesome events planned this weekend all leading up to a great effort on the track and an amazing team dinner. After the flurry of activity and a little bit of wine, I would think my body would just relax. Instead I tossed and turned for a couple hours before deciding to give this a try…
Ending #springtraining by flying to Oiselle City (aka Seattle) and kicking off the 2014 season was such an awesome idea. I had run the 3k at the Dempsey twice before and both times were PRs and great trips, but doing it in flystyle was pretty special. I had really been looking forward to meeting the Little Wing women and getting to know them. We first met up with them Thursday morning when we got to act like models and do a photo shoot in some new Oiselle duds. Then Amanda, Kate, and I headed to the track for our pre-race workout.
I’m running out of adjectives to describe how I’ve felt for our activities. Everything was just AWESOME! On Friday I got to see the Oiselle HQ for the first time. It’s very cool spot just a short walk away from where we did yoga with Jasyoga founder and head coach Erin. I have been following all of her posts on the Oiselle blog page in my quest to get into yoga this year. Normally I’m not one for trying something I have never done before a race, and yoga has certainly never been part of my race prep. I went into it with the plan of hanging out with my legs up on the wall if there was anything I didn’t want to do. But I ended up doing the whole thing. It was all very light and relaxing. Every so often Erin reminded us not to visualize the race, but to think about and take in the feelings that we experience when we have accomplished our goals. I really liked that exercise and it’s something that I can keep in mind when prepping mentally for all of my races.
Then yesterday was go time. I stuck to my trusted race day routine; shake out jog, breakfast (though I took a risk and had oatmeal instead of pancakes) while watching ESPN College Game Day (GO CUSE!), hang out in the room watching Netflix, go for a walk and get a sandwich, shower, and have some coffee as I head to the track. I could feel myself getting a little nervous. I raced on the roads a couple times this fall, but this was my pro track debut. I knew I wanted to break 9:00 but sometimes I have trouble saying my exact goals out loud. It’s like I need to protect myself in case it doesn’t happen. Instead I told myself it would be good to PR and great to break 9:00, but I knew the whole time I wouldn’t be totally satisfied if I saw a 9:01. We got on the line and Kate Grace was announced as our rabbit. She did a really awesome job; the race felt so smooth. I felt really strong and we got the wheels going a little for that last lap. That feeling that Erin had us embody the day before was all there, plus some. Amanda and I went 1-2, respectively, each with big PRs of 8:56.37 and 8:56.44. I felt so proud to be part of Oiselle and NJNYTC. And to be a Syracuse alum! By the time I cooled down, Cuse had taken care of business in the Dome with Duke.
As I said before, we finished off the night with a celebratory team dinner. Heading back to New Jersey (which seems like the Antarctica after spring training in San Antonio all month) tomorrow night. All kidding about the weather aside, it’ll be good to be home. More work to do!