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Reisverslag The Adventures of An Unattached Athlete
19 april 2015
The Adventures of An Unattached Athlete
In preparation for a sub-16.10 5000m at the Stanford Invitational in two weeks, I really wanted to do a 1500m as a tune-up for the speed. There was a small local meet not too far from school that I could go to, but when I tried to sign myself up on Tuesday morning, I found out that unattached athletes were not allowed. Well… there went my plan. I talked to Ian, and we decided to just do a normal workout on Friday instead. Bummer!
Tuesday afternoon, I went for a hard 25’ tempo followed by some speedwork, and when I came back, completely destroyed, one of my teammates mentioned that one of the guys, who is also running unattached this season, was running at the Oregon Relays. What???!! Quickly I searched on the internet for some more details, and indeed, on Friday there was a great meet at Hayward Field. But then I saw the closing date to sign up: Monday. Oops.
Luckily I am not that quickly defeated, and asked my coach to contact the organization. And the unbelievable happened: even though the heat sheets were already announced, they would place me in the A-heat if there was a scratch.
Wednesday. I walk into Ian’s office to ask my workout for Friday, and the luck is on my side once again: A scratch! At that point the A-heat still contains 26 girls, way too many. But when later on the day the final heat sheets are announced, I see that somehow, I am one of the 14 girls that will start in the A-heat. A heat consisting of Mary Cain (World Junior Champion in the 3000m), professional athletes, a legion Ducks, and... me. I looked up some of their PR’s but quickly stopped, because it was clear I was by far the slowest in the field. But hey, being the slowest in the field is actually a quite excellent position: A, because there is nothing to lose; If you finish last, well that was to be expected, and any place better than last is above expectation...! B, because I was basically guaranteed a PR if I would just follow, follow, follow.
So there I went. Skipped classes on Friday, and down to Eugene, hoping that my legs would be more or less recovered from the Tuesday workout and I would be ready to run fast. We arrived at 12 pm, which meant I had … 7,5 hours till race-time. After spending 4,5 hours in a coffeeshop (After skyping my parents, reading everything about the Boston Marathon, and following race-results from my teammates in Mt. Sac, I finally just started homework out of pure desperation to pass some time) and another 2,5 hours on the track, I could finally start my warm-up. All alone. No teammates, no coach, no people to cheer me on. Well, after all the energy I put into getting myself down here, I better would better run my heart out!
And that’s what I did. I went straight to the back after the start – partly planned, partly because there was no way I could keep up – and did not feel too good, but in the second lap I started to feel better. The field stayed close together. With 500 meters to go, I was prepared for everyone to just start kicking. But instead, I was the one that was able to kick. I had a lot left and when in the last 200 meters I had at least 3 Ducks right in front of me, I found another gear and was able to roll them up. Because I was focused on racing and not on time, I had no idea what I had just run. 4:22.47 means a 10-seconds PR, which I am very happy with! After two full years of only barely improving in the 1500m & 3000m, this season everything seems to come together. Curious how much faster I can go!
Foto's bij verslag (2)
19 april 2015 08:33 | Door: Anja luijten
As an unattached athlete, I would say you were quite attached!
19 april 2015 20:05 | Door: oma luijten
zover je oma heeft kunnen begrijpen ging het weer best en was je tevreden, nu dan zijn wij het ook.
blijf zo verder gaan en tot spoedig ziens. liefs oma
19 april 2015 21:09 | Door: Sonja
I like the photo's, especially the one of the start. I am astonished about your performance. Stay fit for at least three more weeks and your season will turn out successfully, although it already is.
When you are back in The Netherlands, please tell me all about the Ducks!
Keep in shape, Anne.
21 april 2015 20:27 | Door: tante els
wowie, seems like unattached fits you very nicely...
maybe less focussing on your time is the way for you to do it... You know me: I think it's all in the mind!