Feb. 14, 2000
Beth Ahern is a senior distance runner on the Clemson indoor track and field team. She placed fifth in the 3,000m and sixth in the 5,000m at last year’s ACC Indoor Championships. Ahern earned All-ACC and All-Southeast Region honors for cross country in 1998.
Ahern will provide a journal for ClemsonTigers.com to give fans an inside look at the Clemson women’s track & field program.
February 10, 2000 We left for Arkansas today at 12:30, embarking on what became the longest, most out of the way trip that we have ever taken at Clemson. We drove down to Atlanta in a van because it was just four of the distance runners that were going to the meet. From Atlanta, we flew to Houston, Texas and, after a long layover, flew into Tulsa, Oklahoma. From Tulsa, we rented a car and drove two hours to Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Unfortunately, we had some trouble finding our hotel and our heads didn’t hit the pillow until 2:15 our time. I was nervous about how the race might go the next day, since we had had a pretty tiring day, but that didn’t keep me up.
February 11, 2000 We woke up at 11 a.m. their time, 12 noon ours, and went for a short 25 minute run. When we race late in the day, we usually run in the morning to let our legs get moving. After the run we went to eat breakfast at Denny’s. Then I came back, had my legs massaged, worked on some homework, and took a nap.
When I finally woke up I went back over to Denny’s around 4:30 to eat lunch. I didn’t race until the 3000 at 9:25, so it was really important to get a good meal in. I ate by myself and thought a lot about race strategy. When we got to the track around 5:30, I was amazed. The University of Arkansas’ indoor track is the best facility I have ever seen. They had a new, banked track and a separate warm-up area away from the crowd where we could do strides, stretch, and anything else while we waited for our event. After looking around the track I took a couple of pictures and waited for the races to start. I took pictures of each of my teammates in their races (Erika, Anne, and Shannon) and between races, I sat up in the stands to rest my legs and think about the race.
By the time I left to warm up at 8:25, my three teammates had already raced. I ran the usual warm-up and felt unusually loose, which is usually a good thing and turned out to be for me. My race started at 9:25. It went out at a good pace and I felt very relaxed through the mile, but there was a lot of pushing. I ended up running my lifetime pr (personal record) in the 3000, which was 21 seconds faster than I had run two weeks earlier. I was very excited.
We finally left the track after I cooled down and went out to dinner, because it was our coach’s 50th birthday. Nothing was really open at 11pm, so we ended up at IHOP again! It was a pretty good dinner, except for the fact that the cook’s voice was so scratchy we cringed every time he talked.
February 12, 2000 The next morning Erika and I got up at 10 a.m. and ate the buffet at our hotel. It was great! Then we walked over to Wal-Mart to buy our coach a present and to get my film developed. Then we did some homework for a while.
Around 1 p.m. we picked up the film and went for a 50 minute run on campus. It made Clemson look as flat as a pancake. The Golden Spike Tour, a meet for professionals and Olympic hopefuls, was going on at the track, so we went over to watch that with the rest of our team. It was so amazing to see how good some of those people were.
After the meet Erika and I went out to eat with our coach at Le Chico, a Mexican restaurant. It was good, but I ate a little too much! We went back to the hotel and did homework, taking a break in between to go in the hot tub and pool. I stayed up late writing a paper for history and then went to bed around 1 p.m., anxious to get back to Clemson.
February 13, 2000 When the alarm went off at 5 a.m., I was so tired I didn’t think I could make it out of bed. I finally did and we left for the airport at 5:30. We flew out of Tulsa to Houston and then from Houston to Atlanta. I was so tired that the trip was pretty much a blur. We finally made it home at 5pm, worn out, but happy to be back in Clemson.
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