Sunday night I could feel that I was tired from being outside in the sun as well as running 4 events. I settled into the hotel bed around 8pm and just watched tv until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore (which happened to be 9:30pm).
The next morning I woke up at 7am with that nervous feeling in my stomach. There was so much riding on this one day. After a breakfast of oatmeal, coffee, yogurt and a banana I met my coach and we headed to the track meet.
My coach had figured out what I needed to jump/throw/run in each event in order to get 3400 points. For each event the numbers I needed to hit were either a little below or above my personal records from this season so that helped me to become a little more confident that this could actually happen.
The first event of Day 2 was long jump. I felt that I had fresh legs so I should be able to jump close or over my PR of 4.70m (a little over 15 feet). Once I got my mark I just couldn't seem to get a good run in and wasn't getting near the board that you are supposed to jump off of. I ended up jumping 4.49m which was much lower than I wanted.
The second event was Javelin. I have been practicing recently but there are so many aspects to jav that I just wasn't sure. I was hoping to throw farther than my PR (21.33m) and I did but only by a little bit. I threw 22.03m.
The last event was the 800m.
My coach had figured out that I needed to run a 2:35.42 in the 800m to get 3400 points and the last time I ran the 800m was in indoor in a time of 2:38.04.
Paraphrasing, this is what my coach said to me:
"In all the other events there is some technical aspect, there is something that is out of your control. But this event you can control 100% of it, there is no technical aspect, all you have to do is run. If you believe that you can run fast then you will. You have to believe in yourself."
The girl that ended up winning the Heptathlon was a very good 800m runner. We knew that on a good day when it wasn't 92 degrees out and she hadn't just done heptathlon that she could run about a 2:28. So the plan was for me to stick with her.
There was a strong wind coming off the back stretch (if you visualize the track from the starting line, that would be the first straightaway) and so for the first 200m of the race I was supposed to just keep this girl 3 to 5 feet away from me and then once I reached about 300m I was to slowly reel her in and stay right on her tail. Therefore I could use her for drafting for the beginning of the second lap (basically the 500m-600m area). The wind was perfect for the final straightaway so it would help me to push it in.
Back when I ran Pentathlon in high school (they only do heptathlon in college) they used to line us up by our position for the 800m, so if you were in first place you got the first position on the track because they do a waterfall start. (if any of this stuff is confusing please let me know and I can clarify more).
Well now they changed the rules and they line you up randomly. I was in the 3rd position at the start and before I knew it we had started the race.
The fast girl, as I will call her, elbowed her way to the front of the pack where she managed to trip the girl in front of me, who then almost tripped me. I stayed right with those two girls through the first 200m. I could hear my coach saying "that is perfect, keep it up".
As we entered the second straightaway I passed the 2nd girl and reeled in the fast girl as we passed the finish line and headed into the third straightaway. At this point I was feeling great - my first lap split was about 73 seconds and I just knew I had more in me at that point. I drafted off the fast girl for the straightaway and then we hit the curve. I patiently waited (pushing the fast girl all the while) and when we hit the final straightaway I pulled out and started to pass her. I could tell at this point I was getting tired but I just kept thinking "you want this more, you want to go to the next meet!"
I could pick out my coach's voice the whole time - I honestly have never heard him more positive and encouraging or excited as when he was coaching me. It was amazing and as I crossed the finish line I was exhausted.
The fast girl ended up passing me right at the finish so I came in second but it was the best second place I have ever had because I ran my 800m in....
2 minutes and 33 seconds (2:33.57 to be exact)
A new PR for me!!
After finishing I had no idea if I had actually made the time and I tried to ask my coach but he was dousing me with water from a water sprayer. He finally told me my unofficial time and I just put my head in my hands! I was so happy! I couldn't believe that I had actually done it!
When I told me parents (who had driven to watch the whole 7 events fiasco) it was very emotional. I just felt tears welling up in my eyes because this dream that I had had was finally coming true.
So overall, I came in 4th place with 3422 points and on May 14/15th I will be competing again in Heptathlon!! Friday morning I will be leaving with my whole team to go to the "REAL" state meet. It is a two day event and I am really excited to spend time with my team. At this meet I will get my medal for placing 4th in the state in my conference and I will post some pictures!
Thanks so much for reading this super long post/race report/track meet report! I am still so tired from competing. Yesterday I did a light practice and all my muscles were sore. Having competed Sunday/Monday my whole schedule is off - I can't even tell what day it is!
* Did anyone actually buy this bathing suit that Chic Runner had in her blog? I want it so bad but I am afraid that when I get it and actually put it on my butt will be hanging out!!
**I have had a few of you ask which school I run for and I would love to share that with all of you but I had intended to keep my identity basically a secret on this blog.