Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Trip To San Diego

This past weekend my Dad and I went to San Diego for me to run in the USATF National XC Championship.  We left Thursday and came back home on Sunday.  It was definately a crazy 4 days!

Thursday didn't start out as planned.  We were going to fly from Charlotte to Houston and then from Houston to San Diego.  However in the middle of the night before we left, our flight from Houston to San Diego got cancelled.  Luckily my Dad happened to be awake and was able to get us booked on a later flight, but we'd have a 6 hour lay-over instead of 2 hours.  Things hadn't started out as planned but we made the best of it including watching Princess Bride on his computer in the airport terminal to help pass the time.

We finally made it to San Diego and got checked into our hotel by 9:00 PM west coast time.  Not long after we checked in it was lights out and off to sleep, we were both exhausted from the day of travel.

On Friday, my dad and I got to pick up my race packet and t-shirt in the morning and then around 11:30 we went next door to the course and I was able to run it a few times (it was a 2k loop) to see how I liked it.  The loop was all grass, flat the first 1k and rolling the second kilometer.  I really liked it and was excited about the race the next day.

Later in the afternoon, around 2:00, dad and I met with Jonathan Beverly the Editor-In-Chief at Running Times.  Mr Beverly is currently writing a story on kids and running mileage and was very nice to ask to for our input.  He was very nice our conversation was fun.   Afterwards Dad and I hung around the room until dinner time then went to Subway to eat.  At 7:00 we went to the technical meeting and got the low-down on the race.

The next morning was finally the day of the race, pretty exciting!  When I woke up I jogged the 2k course once as a shake-out jog to get the blood pumping (not that that was a problem).  We relaxed in our rooms the rest of the morning watching the women's master race on the internet and saw Colleen De Reuck dominate the rest of the field.  Once the masters men's race started we headed over to the race.  At the race we watched the remainder of the race and cheered for Jonathan as he came by each time (it was a 4 lap race).  After the Masters race, my dad and I bumped into David and Jane Monti, from Race Results weekly and NYRR, how we had met this past summer when they brought me up to run in the NYRR's Women's Mini 10k.  It was awesome to see them again and they were sweet as always. 

About 30 minutes before my race started I started my warm-up jog and started getting excited.  After the jog I did my high-knee and butt-kick drills and changed into my racing flats.  Then I went into the starting area and did a few strides on the starting straightaway.  After wishing me luck and helping me find spoton the line, Dad headed down the straightaway to find a good stop to cheer from.  The announcer started to get us all ready to go then we had a delay because  the TV channel covering the race had to go to commercial.  Then as we got ready again we had another delay when one of the competitors realized she forgot to put on her timing chips. 

As we kept having delays I started thinking about the teams around me and my comeptitors and started to feel intimidated, which is not what I wanted to have happen.  Then the gun went off and I didn't get out fast enough and got caught in back of the pack.  The rest of the first lap of the race I felt good and was moving up places pretty consistently.  The second lap I started to get tired and wasn't passing people as often and by the half way point I was starting to feel pretty tired and discouraged.  I wasn't where I thought I would be at this point.  At the beginning of the 3rd lap I should have started pushing and gotten agressive as was my plan, however I didn't, I was behind and tired and just went into tempo run mode.  I never put myself into the race for the top like I know I was in shape to do, so once it got hard I just wasn't motivated to push it in.   I stayed at tempo pace until 100 meters to go then sprinted it in to hold off a few girls, but that was a little to late to change gears.  Once I finished I was very disappointed in myself.  I had blown a great opportunity to show everyone who I was.  My finishing time was 23:11 and I had finished 19th.  That time is equivalent to a slow tempo workout for me so I was sad with how I had performed.

I stayed after my event to watch open women's and men's races, which was awesome.  I cheered for Shalane F, Molly H, Lisa K, Magda, and Kara G. during their race.  I was incredibly impressed by the dominance Shalane showed the rest of the field during her race, to win the championship.  During the Men's race my dad and I cheered for Abdi the whole race and were very impressed by Brent V when he broke away from the large pack and won the race.  Also while watching the men's race I had the privilidge to meet the 2010 Foot Locker Champ Aisling Cuffe (who also won the race I was in).  She was super nice and was great to meet her.

Afer the races were over my dad and I headed back to the hotel.  On the way back we bumped into Greg McMillan and my dad introduced me to him.  My dad had recently met Greg at the Super Distance Summit that Coach Simmons at Queens Univserity put on in Charlotte in January.  Mr. McMillan was very nice and my dad tells me he is a very good coach as well.

Back at the hotel I had some thinking to do.  I needed to down load my thoughts from the race and learn what I could from them.  Dad was great in helping me do this.  We spent alot of time talking and coming up with a game plan to help me be more consistent in my races.  After our talk I was excited about our plans and feeling better about everything.  Even though the race didn't go as I would have like it to go, what was done was done, and all I could do now was learn what I could from it. 

Now that my trip is done it was time to go home the next morning.  Our flights went smoothly for the most part and we got home about when we had planned.  Just in time for bed and to ready for another week at school and my regular routine.  Report cards come out this week!