March 14, 2010
Wednesday (Day One)
We just got into our hotel in Fayetteville and it is 11:45 PM. It’s been a long day of traveling, but everything went smoothly for the most part. Our flight in Dallas was postponed due to weather, but we finally made it here. I was able to get unpacked and now am heading to bed to get some sleep from a long couple days of exams. Everyone on the team is getting really pumped for the meet. We think we can do really well, and I know we’re going to have some top performances this weekend. I can’t wait to see what happens!
Thursday (Day Two)
Today has been a good day! We woke up and had breakfast in the lobby, and then headed to the track. You could feel the anticipation right when you walked into the track. Everyone was checking out the other teams, trying to size them up and evaluate their competition. About thirty minutes after being there, I went on a run around campus with my coach. I just tried to enjoy the run and not think about the race, but just soak in the fact that I was at indoor nationals. I got back to the track and we did three 200s around the track. I felt strong and it felt good to be on the track. It got me really excited for tomorrow.
I have a really good feeling about tomorrow and this weekend! I’m so pumped to see what happens and how the team does as a whole. Coach has given us some really good motivational speeches, and if we perform our best, the national championship is definitely within our reach.
When we left the track, we went back to the hotel to get ready for the banquet. The banquet was a great experience, and the food was really good. won an award for our region, along with Coach Johnson and Coach Wilson winning individual coaches’ awards. When we got back to the hotel we received our NCAA gifts and race numbers. I’m not sure what God has in hold for me and my team tomorrow, but I know we are going to do really well. I can see all the girls believing in each other in their encouragement and motivation. It’s crazy that in two days we’ll see if all our hard work has paid off!
Friday (Day Three)
What a day! It started with a shakeout around the Arkansas campus with my coach. We ran for about two miles, and then stuck around the track to support the team as they competed. Then I spent a long day of doing nothing in my room. I tried to keep myself occupied, but it’s hard when you’re trying to pass time for 10 hours. I thought about the race a lot and tried to stay focused, but I also tried to enjoy the rest and relaxation. My parents showed up in the afternoon and it was so great to have them here to support me. I spent the rest of the afternoon with them, and it was great to catch up. Throughout the day I received a bunch of calls and text messages from friends wishing me luck. I love receiving the encouragement from friends saying they’re praying for me and are proud of me. Sometimes I don’t realize what great friends and family I have, and how much they support me.
When I got to the track there was no more relaxation; it was time to get focused. I got there around 6:00, so I had about two hours to pass before my race. I sat in the stands and just soaked in the environment and tried to imagine myself out on the track. Once I did my warm up and stretched, it was game time. I felt good getting ready for the race, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. The race went out fast. I got boxed in at the beginning which was kind of frustrating, but I got out of it. Throughout the race I got passed by a couple of girls, but I ended up catching them in the end. The race was really fast, but my goal was to just stay in it and push myself as hard as I could. It was a really hard race, and my body hurt during it, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I felt good when I finished, that just means I didn’t work my hardest; pain is good! The last two laps I pushed as hard as I could and finished seventh with my personal best of 16:01. It was a good race and I scored two points for the team, received a trophy and was named All-American. It was a great day and I’m glad that I was able to help out the team out and represent Clemson!
Overall this national experience has been one I will never forget. I’m looking forward to tomorrow to go out and watch all the other events. It will be fun to go out there as a spectator and just hang out and watch everyone else compete.
Saturday (Day Four)
It was a pretty relaxing day. I was able to sleep in and go running in the morning with my coach and a couple others. I hung out in the afternoon, then headed to the track in time to watch the mile. The competitions were very intense and it was awesome to witness some of the records that people hit. I was able to watch the 3K as well. A handful of girls I raced with in the 5K also ran the 3K and the competition in that race was exciting. The winner won by less than a second! It made me want to be out there and made me eager to race this outdoor season.
After the meet was over, we finished seventh as a team! It was really exciting watching everyone compete in their events. Our coaches were very pleased and congratulated us on an awesome weekend. Overall, this experience is one I will never forget. Not only did I get to compete at the national level, but I got to spend time with my teammates and get to know them better.
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