On Friday night I gave the 10k Olympic Trials A Standard one final shot... unfortunately, I came up short. My track season has concluded, as there will be no Olympic Trials for me... no 32:45, no Eugene, no Hayward Field.
I ran 78 seconds per lap for as many laps as I could (I was 16:20 through 5k, 20:56 through 4 miles) but couldn't quite hold the pace in miles 5 and 6. I ended up finishing a respectable 7th place in a new PR of 33:01.03. It's not quite the time I wanted, but it's a PR - and the rule is that you can't be upset if you run a best time. The older you get, the less frequent the PRs come, so you've got to be happy and celebrate them. So while I left Portland feeling a little bittersweet, overall I'm trying to be pleased with the personal best.
This race brings my Olympic Trials bid to a close. My time currently places me 36th on the 2012 descending order list -- it's been a CRAZY-fast year for American distance running (for reference, my 33:01 would have ranked 17th in 2011, 13th in 2010, and 10th in 2009). With more than 24 women having run the A Standard auto qualifier, it means those of us without the A Standard won't be toeing the line in Eugene on June 22nd. Thus, my Trials bid ends here.
So, what's next? I'm not quite ready to hang up the racing shoes. I'm the fittest I've ever been and want to take advantage of that fitness... this spring I've PRed in the 1500, 5k, and 10k, so why not go for a PR in the half-marathon? :-) I'll be chasing that PR in Duluth, Minnesota on Saturday, where I'll be racing at the USA Half-Marathon Championships! I'm excited to race a fast half-marathon against a competitive field!
While I won't be racing in Eugene later this month, I haven't given up on my Olympic Trials dreams. Like I said in my previous post, this race in Portland wasn't my last chance, nor are the 2012 Trials the end of the road. In many ways, they're just the beginning of bigger, better things to come. I wish I was headed to Eugene, but sometimes these things are out of your control. You do all that you can do, run as fast as you can, and sometimes, life doesn't work out the way you'd hoped. I'm sad, definitely, but I'm also at peace with knowing that I've run to the best of my abilities.
So I won't stop dreaming, won't stop setting big goals, won't stop eying fast times. I'm already looking ahead to summer base training, a fall road racing schedule, my marathon debut, and the 2016 Olympic Trials...! The wise Olympic marathoner Magda Lewy-Boulet once told me that success in our sport is all about sticking with it. If you can stay in the sport and continue competing despite the roller coaster ride, if you can weather the injuries and the heartbreaks and can tough it out when you want to quit, you'll eventually find great success. Sounds like great advice not just for running but for life!
Here's to sticking with it and dreaming big! And as always, thank you for sticking with me on my running adventure - your support is more important than you know. THANK YOU!