My last race at Hayward Field in Eugene Oregon had a lot of emotion going towards it….last race as a Duck, running for our first women’s team title, racing for an outdoor NCAA title, to name a few things.
It is amazing to think that a whole year has gone by since that race. In my post race interview after finishing third, I talked about how this race was only the beginning and how I was really looking forward to returning to Hayward as a professional. Well, this week it’s about to be that time at the PRE classic 2 miles on Saturday!!
As I reflect this week about returning to Hayward field, this time running as a professional athlete for the Nike Oregon Project, I thought I would share a few thoughts and updates about the past year. Before I begin, just a quick thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this time. It’s been fun to hear from other runners and fans through my webpage. I hope that my journey can inspire you as much as you inspire me!
It has actually been quite easy to forget that I have only been with the Nike Oregon Project for less than a year. The time has just flown by! After the end of last summer, I returned from Europe and took a good break to recharge and spend some time with family. Then I moved up to Portland officially and began training. It was nice and strange at the same time to not have a cross country season to race. I had raced cross country for 8 years straight from high school to college. The training built up slowly and I was able to take my time to get adjusted to the new group. At first the workouts seemed really easy, but as I soon learned that time was pretty short lived as things started to ramp up in December and January for the indoor season.
The indoor season was overall a success as I set PRs in the 800, 1500, one mile, and two miles. Outdoors I’ve set PRs in the 5k (twice!) and 10k…as well as the 300, 400, and 800 in practice trying to keep up with our amazing 1500m group! It has been both a challenge as well as an added bonus to train with some of the best women in the world. Comparing my workouts from last year to this year, well, there is no comparison. Basically workouts are at the pace I would finish my last intervals at. My mileage is higher, and speed workouts faster. Despite the harder training, my body has been able to handle it very well and I’ve been injury free, I believe in great part through becoming much stronger through our strength program. In the weight room, I’ve gone from not being able to dead lift the bar, to lifting 180lbs. This is all really exciting. When I joined the group, I was a little bit discouraged that I was so terrible in the weight room, and my workouts didn’t seem that great compared to what Alberto projected I would do this year. But, we quickly turned that around and realized that that was the exciting part! If everything had been perfect, where was the room for improvement?
I really like the quote from Michael Jordan that says, “I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”
There are certainly things that we still want to work on and believe that the huge jumps are still coming. I’m still waiting for that breakthrough race. Each race has been a series of little stepping stones. But, as I’ve always believed throughout my running career, the true happiness ultimately lies in the journey. It’s about loving what you do, enjoying the ups and the downs and taking things as they come. It’s important to give the best you have, every single race and every single workout, even if that means you still fail. Give 100 percent all the time and eventually results will come, because that’s all you can control.
By focusing on these things, the process and the journey, the year has totaled 9 PRs and as I said above, we still think there is much improvement to come. If you have some time, here is my interview from a few weeks ago after running my first A standard in the 10k with a PR of 31:39.67
Okay, enough of the motivational stuff….more updates—Off the track, it has been a lot of fun to be a part of the Nike Running family. Among one of the highlights was being a part of the Nike Flyknit commercial. Check it out here if you missed it
….Also, look for the new Zoom Project launch this weekend at PRE!
With no World Championships this year, my schedule for the summer is a bit up in the air still and we are going race by race based on how I feel. I’m definitely planning to race the 10,000m at the USA championships on June 26th. After that I’ll head to Europe for some fast races in the 1500, 3k and 5k.
I’ve always wanted to race the PRE classic. It was one of the first track and field meets I ever watched on TV when I started running as a little 4th grader. Back then,I didn’t understand the times at all.. I just noticed a bunch of people in the stands and some fast looking runners on the track. This time, I am honored to be one of those athletes and I’m inspired and excited knowing that all those people in the stands are my hometown Duck crowd, the people that started the “Come to Oregon chant at the ’08 trials!” Check out this video!
This Saturday, I gladly come back to Oregon and look forward to racing in one of the best track and field meets in the world!