These past 12 days have been amazing. I don’t think I can express how transformative it was to witness the greatest athletes compete to represent USA at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Pictured above are 2 of the highlights of my trip. On the left I was able to meet Alexa Efraimson whom is someone that I have always enjoyed seeing race and looked at for inspiration. After taking a hard fall and fighting back to get into the top 6 of her heat and make it onto the next round she finishes 3rd in the semifinals. It takes more than just strength to do that, you need heart and determination. On the right is one of the most familiar faces in track and field / distance running, Bernard Lagat, who finished 1st at the Olympic trials to become the 5k champion at the age of 41. His love for the sport is unmatchable and I was honored to finally get to meet him and exchange a few words.
Above is Brenda Martinez taking charge and leaving no doubt to the fact that she will be in the 1,500m final. After a horrible fall in the 800m final which was devastating even for the crowd that witnessed it she makes the team the hard way and doubles back to compete in 3 1,500m races. She ended up throwing herself over the line to take 3rd and the last spot on the 1,500m team. This is probably one of the most exciting races I saw and really gave me the urge to get my racing legs back under me. To say that seeing these 3 athletes compete was inspirational would be an understatement. What got me to actually start going to races and push myself was seeing how hard these class-A athletes would push themselves. I won’t be at a Class-A level but I can sure as hell take a cue from them and push myself to my limit.
Last but not least I closed my trip to Eugene with a pilgrimage to Pre’s Rock. This place has a special air about it that cannot be explained. If you don’t know who Pre is you need to start Googling him and have your life changed. He was one of the most influential runners for Track and Field. He continues to have an impact on so many people’s lives and has had an influence on mine since I first found out who he was and how he raced. Just standing here and remembering him lit a fire in me to get back and always give my all.
While in Eugene I went over a few things with my coach and we decided that I should start setting up some smaller goals that will help me track my progress to becoming more consistent and getting back into my racing shape. This 12 day retreat was a perfect time to level set and take a deep hard look at where I was / am / want to go. I’m more fired up than ever to get some new PRs. Here are the short-term goals for all to see so I can be held accountable:
- Always use a Garmin to keep better track of my runs
- Have 3 straight weeks of running 4+ days
- Be more consistent and stay true to my scheduled plan
- Run a 20+ mile week
- Run a 30+ mile week
- Have a sub 9:30 pace run
- Have a sub 9:00 pace run
Time to run!