One of the best birthday gifts I got this year was a phone call letting me know I had gotten into the Adidas Grand Prix Diamond League 3k. I had an opportunity to compete with some of the best athletes in the world. At that point I had almost three weeks to mentally prepare for such an elite meet, and I went into the race with three goals in mind:
Don’t get overwhelmed by my surroundings.
The closest meet I had to compare this one to was Millrose this winter. And while the circumstances for this meet were different (I didn’t find out I was in 24 hours before the race), they were both high profile races that tend to make me nervous. When I reflected on my experience at Millrose, I realized I needed to be more confident despite the huge stage I was on. I wanted to go to Adidas, be confident, and run like I knew I was capable of running even with the huge names that were in the race with me, the packed stands, and flashy cameras.
Run a new PR.
The 8:56 I ran indoor was a big ten second PR from the previous winter and I was very proud and excited about it. But that was early in the year and I have been training hard. In a race that was bound to go fast, I knew I could do even better.
This one is from Gag minutes before getting on the track. I think it pulls my first two goals together. Competing meant putting myself in the race and being aggressive. It meant not thinking too much about the time to get that PR but running the race that was in front of me and letting the PR come.
I think I accomplished my goals with varying degrees of success. I was not too overwhelmed by where I was, I felt much more comfortable this time. This was largely due to the company I had in my teammates, Ashley Higginson and Nicole Schappert, who ran the 3k as well. I did run a new PR, but, like the Oxy 1500, it was only by one second. I would have liked to get closer to 8:50, but I’ll take a PR anyway and I know I’ll have other opportunities. Finally, for the most part I was competitive. I knew the leaders were going out at a pace that was unrealistic for me to go for, but I would have my own pack to compete with. I stayed calm but attached for the first mile and a half, and I had a kick for the last 200M. Looking back, I wish I had made a move earlier. I could have trusted my strength a little more and tried to go when the leaders of my pack did. But there are always things I think I can improve on and each race is a lesson for next time. In general, I’m pretty happy with my first Diamond League experience.
In the past, this time of year has been pretty much the end of the season for me, but now things are just heating up! In just over a week I’ll be out in Sacramento running the 5k in the USA Championships, and a week after that I’ll head over to Europe! Big things ahead, can’t wait!