Almost "go time!"

 

Tomorrow I will be toeing the line to run in the IAAF World Championships in London! To say I am excited would be an understatement.  Before I talk more about this though, I’ll catch you up on everything that has happened over the last two months.

 

At the end of May, I raced in my first Prefontaine Classic, and boy was it a fun one.  I absolutely love running at Hayward Field, and the Hayward magic was present once again.  My coaches, Jerry and Pascal, really wanted me to focus on staying calm and relaxed for the first 2k and then really attack the last 1k of the race.  We felt like this would be good practice for USA’s and allow me to be competitive with the other American girls I would be racing against. 

 

The race went out very fast and I found a spot in the back of the pack and just focused on keeping my composure and executing my race plan.  With 800 meters to go, I found myself catching a large group in front of me and with just over 400 meters to go, I decided to make a move and really pushed the last lap.  I knew I was close to finally breaking the 9:20 barrier and as soon as the board flashed 9:19, I was overwhelmed with joy.  That race was exactly what I needed to get my season back on track after the disappointment I experienced in Doha.

The next morning, I boarded a plane at 6 am to head back to Park City, Utah to continue training at altitude.  Jerry only likes us to drop down to sea level for 48 hours max, so it was a very quick trip.  For the next four weeks, we really buckled down in order to be at our best for USA’s!  Our last month was full of great runs in Park City, post workout smoothies and acai bowls at Ivie in Orem, and pizza and bachelorette nights!

   
  
 
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    Post workout acai bowl at Ivie!

Post workout acai bowl at Ivie!

 Pizza Night!

Pizza Night!

The last weekend of June we had our U.S. Championships in Sacramento, California.  We expected fast races and hot temperatures and that is exactly what we got! This year I found I was definitely a little more nervous than I was at last year’s trials.  Last year I had accomplished so many things in the NCAA, making the Olympic team was just the cherry on top.  This year, making the world’s team was the big focus and I really had to learn how to handle the pressure.

 

Prelims went very smooth for both my teammate, Colleen, and I and we were both very confident with our fitness heading into the final.  Right after our prelim we watched our teammate, Emily, run an awesome race to qualify for her second world’s team in the 10k and Shalane run amazing race after only having been training for a few weeks after her injury.  The next night we saw Shelby win her first national championship in the 5k and Ryan make the team in the 5k.  We were full of inspiration from our teammates and ready for our turn!

 

Our final was at 2 pm, so we were ready for a hot race.  The race started at a very slow pace until Emma Coburn took over.  I focused on executing a very similar race plan to Pre and spent the first 2k staying very relaxed and then pushing the last 1k.  When I crossed the line in second I was so happy to have made my first world’s team and even happier when I turned around and saw my teammate Colleen in third! We were London bound! 

   
  
 
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    Right before our final…”let’s do this”  Photo by Rebeka Stowe

Right before our final…”let’s do this”

Photo by Rebeka Stowe

   
  
 
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    Victory lap  Photo by Brett Guemmer

Victory lap

Photo by Brett Guemmer

The next 6 hours were very hectic to say the least.  We quickly did our victory lap and award’s ceremony and rushed to drug testing so we could get on the road to head to San Francisco.  We were trying to get back up to altitude ASAP, so we were flying out that night to Zurich, Switzerland in order to get to St. Moritz, Switzerland in the Swiss Alps.  We got to the airport with 10 minutes to spare!

   
  
 
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  Award’s ceremony at USA’s

Award’s ceremony at USA’s

 

Despite the rush, we made it safely to St. Moritz, Switzerland, and that is where I trained for the last 6 weeks! I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to train in such a beautiful place with such amazing running.  The trails in St. Moritz are awesome and the weather was fantastic.  Every few days we drove an hour to Chiavenna, Italy, where we are able to do our workouts at sea level.  Being able to do our workouts at sea level has really helped boost our fitness.  We found a wonderful café in Chiavenna called Mastai and it quickly became a post-workout staple.  The workers were so friendly and were always giving us free bags of cookies. 

   
  
 
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    Track in Chiavenna

Track in Chiavenna

Halfway through July, Emily and I made a quick trip to Lucerne to race a flat 3k.  The race went alright, but I definitely left hungry for more.  I was riskier than I had been in previous races, which allowed for a good learning opportunity, but I know I am capable of running much faster.  Nonetheless, I walked away with a 40 second PR and even more motivation in training. 

   
  
 
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  Emily and I in Lucerne, Switzerland

Emily and I in Lucerne, Switzerland

Since then, my training has been going really well! I have PR’d in the 400 and 800 in practice and my steeple workouts have been better than ever.  I am so excited to have the opportunity to hopefully put it all together and show all the hard work I have been putting in at worlds. 

   
  
 
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  Ice bathing in St. Moritz

Ice bathing in St. Moritz

   
  
 
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  Lake St. Mortiz

Lake St. Mortiz

I also had the opportunity to see and run with my Lobo teammate and friend Molly while I was in St. Moritz! It was so much fun to be able to catch up.  I love getting to see teammates in different parts of the world! 

   
  
 
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  Molly and me in St. Moritz

Molly and me in St. Moritz

I am now finally in London with the rest of Team USA! My prelim will be tomorrow, Wednesday, at 7:05 pm in London so 1:05 pm CT.  My only goal for that race is to make the final so that will be the focus. My parents, sister, Griffin, and his parents are all here in London to watch and I am so excited to have their support! Here’s to making the most of this wonderful opportunity I have coming up!

 

Courtney