It’s fun to write this blog post today because it’s almost time to race! After weeks of really good training, minus missing one full day and a couple easy days for food poisoning, this marathon build-up as gone very well. I’m not racing the marathon tomorrow, but I’m running the Rothman Institute 8k race in Philadelphia. The last time in Philadelphia was also for a “tune-up” race. This was for the Penn Relays 5k this spring, where I also came away with a win in the college section of the 5k. You can watch that race here, which the last 1k I make pretty exciting. That race was a confidence boost because I had three consecutive 100+ mile weeks between the Stanford 10k and that 5k and the legs were definitely pretty tired from the start. After a slow pace for the first 4k, I took the lead and hammered home, running my fastest 1k I ever have and almost setting a new personal best 5k time even after a very slow start. I remember a speech by Dr. Dave Yukelson, the sports psychologist at Penn State University when he said that “you do not need to have your ‘A’ game to run well, you can compete well even when you have your ‘B’ or ‘C’ game.” This really hit home in this race because I remember thinking how hard the pace felt, even though it was almost my 10k race pace for the first half of the 5k, and I told myself that I am better than this. I surged to the lead, felt better, and made a good charge for the win. I no longer worry about how I’m going to “feel” in the race because I know I can compete well even on tired legs. (Obviously the goal is to feel great in important races, and feeling good can lead to huge breakthrough races.) Simply put: I love competing and cannot wait to toe the line tomorrow at 7:30am in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum against some very talented, hardworking athletes. In addition, my parents are coming down with me and they have not seen me race in a Mizuno singlet. After the race, we are going to go to the Franklin Insitute and see the Cleopatra exhibit since my mom is an Egyptian History fanatic.
My high school coach is also coming to watch me compete. Megan and I have become the best of friends over the past (nearly) decade. She was a mentor to me and really helped me enjoy the sport, plus she always let me vent my frustrations!! She has not seen me compete since my freshman year in college when I was a Maryland Terp, so I’m thrilled she’ll be there tomorrow morning in Philadelphia!
Now it’s time to head out for an easy shakeout run on my favorite hometown trails, Jacobsburg Park. A nice short run, some drills, a few strides, and I’ll be ready to give it my best tomorrow morning!
Thanks for reading and good luck to those competing in the biggest racing week/weekend of the year! (Turkey day!)