For the last time in my collegiate career, outdoor season is back! It’s once again a momentous occasion marking the first outdoor completion with both a Men’s and Women’s team competing in San Jose State history!
This exciting day started like so many of my previous race days with a serenade from Bruce Springsteen. This was followed up with the classic three pieces of peanut butter toast and a last minute bag check to make sure I had all of my gear. The race this week was in Sacramento, so we had a 2 hour drive to get to the stadium. As we got onto the bus, my teammate, Adi, asked me how I was feeling about today. I told her that my goal was just to make it onto the track. I’ve been fighting the same achilles injure from the winter and had taken most of this week off to cross train. So as long as I could get through the warmup pain-free and get on the track, I’d be happy. And as always, I made sure to bring the bread.
I was placed in Heat 1 (the fast heat) of 6. Coming off a week of little training, I was nervous about this, but I had to do it. The warmup, drills, and strides all felt good so I decided that I would run the race. With my new cornrows on display for the rest of the world, I took off from the gun and was in the lead. That lasted about 150 meters before the rest of the field realized what pace I was running for myself. We rolled through the first lap in 61 seconds and I was spit out the back of the pack and started running in last. But before that, another runner moved inside too soon and I ended up with another nasty gash on my right leg. I really can’t run a race without getting spiked. The next lap was somewhere around 63-64 seconds, and Coach Wick was worried my achilles was hurting and that’s why I was in the back. In reality, I just didn’t have the right training to run a quick 1500 this early in the season, and I was putting in everything I had. I rolled through that lap, making up some ground on the pack that had pulled away early on. My third lap is where I make up all of my ground because I know it’s the time to grind. With one full lap left in the race, I saw one guy ahead of me and made it my goal to catch him by the finish. My form went to crap, my hamstrings started to tighten up, and I was hurting. But with under 100 meters to go, I passed the guy and finished the race not in last place! Instead I was second to last with a time of 3:57, which is a 2 second PR for me!
The time wasn’t too important for me in this race, but a PR is always nice. I was just happy that I walked out onto the track today without pain, and I know what exercises I can do to work on it and keep my achilles from flaring up again. The season is just getting started, and I should be racing a steeple in about two weeks at San Francisco Distance Carnival or at Stanford. I can’t wait to see what this season has in store, and hopefully I can achieve the goal of setting a new school record in the steeplechase of faster than 8:43!