Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Heptathlon Day 2

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.


Emily said...

Wow - great job!

I loved hearing your report on the half mile. I used to run it in high school and it brought back memories. I totally know how hard it is to run that fast and its awesome that you broke your PR! You totally rocked that race and strategized well.

Good work and good luck in the next meet!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

WOW!! Good job! I LOVE the LONG report, totally made me feel like I was there with you. Good luck with your next adeventure and keep up that fighting spirit, as long as you believe no one can beat you.


Jamie said...

Great job! Congrats on the new PR!!!

I have that bathing suit (bought it for my honeymoon last year). I like it a lot although since I have booty the bottom doesn't always stay put. But really what bathing suit does?!?

Glenn Jones said...

J - that is the most uplifting blog I've read in quite a while. Thank you for sharing!

Now, in the words of Doyle Brunson - "Don't worry about losing, worry about winning."

tfh said...

What a great post and race report. Your account of the 800 is great reading-- that is such a challenging race and I'm awed by your speedy PR, and your ability to strategize and follow through and just have a great race. You did it! Congratulations on a great overall meet, the 4th place, and making your goal.

Marlene said...

Way to go!! I love hearing about these multi-events, it's so fascinating to me! Congratulations on totally kicking butt in the 800!!

Marcy said...

CONGRATS!! What a fantastic job ;D ;D And a PR to boot. Very nice ;D

Amy said...

Wow, that's a great meet report!

I'm so happy and excited for you!! Congrats and good luck!

Nicole said...

You rocked it girl! I'm so proud of you! I can remember EXACTLY how you feel. Its the most amazing feeling ever. I'm sure you are on cloud nine living a track dream. Ahhh the memories! Thanks for sharing and you are going to do even better next time!!!!!! GREAT JOB HUN!!!!!!!!!

Nicole said...


i dont have that swimsuit, but i have swimsuits similar to that style. if you get the bottoms that tie, you can make sure your booty isnt hanging out.

normally i wear mediums and the mediums fit just fine.

Ms. V. said...

WOW!! Great time!!!

Felice Devine said...

Congrats! That's an awesome 800 for your PR! Way to go!!

No Longer Using said...

WOW WHAT AN 800 recap! i was on the edge of my seat for the entire read!!!!! you did GREAT way to stick with that girl, you ran so well and you EARNED that PR, way to go. awwwwwww!!! so happy!!! congrats 100 times over :)

I Run for Fun said...

Aweome job on the 800 and javelin! That was a memorable race.

Aron said...

AMAZING job girl!!! congrats!!

The Laminator said...

Amazing job, J, on your heptathalon, and especially in your final event. Your race report was awesome. My heart was pounding reading the last event and I felt myself racing with you. It was very thrilling. Thanks.
Much congrats on your PR at the 800m. I like the strategy you used there and will try to employ it next time I have a 5K I have to compete in.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! You did what you set out to do. Well done.

Brian said...

Such an awesome/encouraging report! Congrats! Love your enthusiasm, keep up the high spirits!

Chic Runner said...

I have a really small butt and it covers ALL my butt and more. I had to get it taken in so that it wouldn't be so big on my butt ha ha. anyways, GREAT JOB! :) I was so into the long report and I'm so glad you did so great! congrats on the new pr!!! You'll love the swimsuit, it makes me look really skinny ha ha ha. YES! :)

Melanie said...

This is so super exciting! Congrats! So glad you had a great day!

Being Robinson said...

WOW, awesome job. I was cheering you on as I was reading this. I haven't had time to go back and read all the posts waiting for me in reader, but I'm working on it! Anyway, this was awesome to read, CONGRATS!

X-Country2 said...

Great job! Sounds like you have a really great coach.

Brian said...

Congrats! I'm so happy for you. Way to prolong the college career for another week or so. I have to admit that it's something I've never experienced, having started running when I was 29. I can imagine there must be some serious parting pains with the college career nearing an end. So, just do you best in the upcoming meet and know that when college is all over, there's another whole world of competition waiting for you and you're limited only by your own work ethic.

Good luck!

Amy said...

Aw, brings back memories of the 4x800 in high school! Such a fun relay.

Congrats on the PR!