Fifteenth-place finish comes with a big smile |

Fifteenth-place finish comes with a big smile

It’s after the final and let’s just say WOW! That was an experience!

My race was not all that I hoped for, but I learned a lot and am excited for what is to come!

After a day of torrential rain, we lined up for the final of the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. The stands were packed to bursting, even though there was rain (I love the Finnish track fans!). Tension and excitement were at an all-time high ” I couldn’t wait to get going. After all I have been through to get here, I planned to go out there and go after it!

We stepped up to the line and were off! The whole line got out hard, and I elbowed to stay out of trouble. I wanted to sit in fifth and see how long I could stick. The pace was blistering. I fell off the back of the front pack and tried to slow the pace without losing contact.

We came through the first lap faster than I had ever gone in a steeple, and my body reminded me of this. I managed to get through three laps at this pace, then started to fall off the pace. I had pushed myself too far and do not yet have the stamina to maintain such a fast pace for so long in the steeple after a prelim two days before.

I kept my focus and knew that I got myself to the final. I would finish hard no matter what. I cross the line in 15th with my dignity and a smile ” after all, I did qualify for worlds, made the final, went for the podium and was part of a historical event ” the first women’s steeple ever at worlds.

In my book, that makes it a pretty good week!

The race was definitely a tough one. The girls up front went out at an 8:45 pace, coming through the 1,000-meter mark at 2:57 ” pretty fast for a steeple!

As things progressed, some of the top picks for winning were losing ground, and many women were dying on the vine ” including myself ” but fighting through to the finish. At the end there were tears of joy, tears of sadness, and sighs of relief ” including a big smile on my face.

I was pretty happy to have just run in that final, gone for it, and finished hard.

Overall, the world champs was an amazing experience. From walking out with my teammates in the opening ceremonies, to racing the prelim with a personal record and making the final, I could not be happier with my time here.

I have learned a lot racing at this level, and look forward to applying it to my races to come. It has been an honor being a USA teammate with the likes of Amy Acuff, Joel Brown, Adam Nelson and countless others. I have also had a blast with my fellow steeplers, Lisa Galaviz and Liz Jackson, both of whom rock, and have made the whole worlds experience that much sweeter.

I am off now to check out Finland and spend some time resting my brain ” which, as any runner knows, usually needs the break more than the body. I also plan to spend some time in the Finnish sauna, to rest my legs and get them ready for my next round of races. One thing about running that never wavers, after getting a PR, the first thought that enters your mind is…

I know I can run faster.

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