And in the blink of an eye my 2016 indoor season has come and gone. On Saturday February 20th I raced at Millrose Games in the National 1 mile race walk championships. Two years ago I had a huge PR and finished less than 1 second off the National Record…a record I have wanted to break ever since. But alas it eluded me again this year. My PR is 6:19.00 and I finished in a relatively slow 6:30.16 this year, which while slow compared to 2014 was still faster than last year when I finished in 6:34.47. While I continue to struggle pushing myself solo in a race I had at least improved from last year’s solo performance.
It’s always such a joy to race at the Millrose Games. The Armory has always been one of my favorite places to compete; there is such a great energy there. This year was no different and was even more exciting because our Sachem East High School 4×800 was invited to compete in thel 4×800 meter relay Eastern High School. To top off this year’s experience was the fact that it was unusually mild that day and cool down was really pleasant outside.
After Millrose it was back to 20k training, where I had another key two weeks left to put in quality sessions before USA Indoors and my 20k season opener. Luckily I would not have to be solo for several key training sessions. The Sachem East girls: Kaitlin Veigl, Rachel Semetsis, and Caitlin O’hehir stepped up and ran alternating laps of 800’s next to me to help carry me through one of my fav workouts 5k, 4k, 3k, 2k, 1k. This workout is a key staple in my training over the season and over the years so it serves as a great bench mark indicating my current level of fitness. When the workout was over I had a huge mental confidence boost. My fitness was really progressing nicely and every thing was coming together well for my 20k season opener. I was very fortunate to only be sidelined indoors once in that period of time due to snow. The period of training was completed with a 12x 1k that started my first taper workout for a jam packed 13 days of racing and traveling.
On Wednesday Mar 8th after a full day of classes I flew out to Portland, Oregon. Portland held the USATF Indoor Championships where I would race the 3,000m RW. The morning started off great with a text from Sachem East athlete Lauren Harris stating she walked 6:57 winning Nationals and breaking the American Record…she didn’t just break it she crushed it!!!!! She thanked me for believing in her. And it made me think, if I could believe in her, I needed to believe in myself the same way. I needed to be the one telling myself it was possible, yes you have what it takes, you’ve got this and I BELIEVE you can do it. After all training had gone very well thus far and while I only had two real speed sessions 3x (1k, 800, 600, 400, 200) and the MIllrose Mile I knew I had the speed in my legs for a fast time and wanted to give the American Record a crack.The game plan I came up with was to walk 49 seconds per 200m lap. This would give me a little cushion to break under the record of 12:20. But I guess what they say is true, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. The gun went off, Miranda shot out and the competitor in me wouldn’t let her have it. We duked it out the first 400m or so in a blazingly fast opening time of 1:33. The best way to describe that start was STUPID! While I was well under my goal pace I knew I was bound to pay the price of that foolishness later in the race, and that’s exactly what happened. I hit a rough patch of 51-52second laps in the middle end of the race that added too much time on the clock. In the end I still finished in a PR. My time of 12:33.75 (previous best of 12:42.97 from 2013) was fast enough for a decisive victory, earning me my 7th straight indoor title! And as it turns out is the 3rd fastest performance in the year, which makes me the third fastest ranked female in the WORLD!!!!
The race was very special, as I know it could very well be my last race at this level as next year Joe and I would like to start a family, and after that we’ll just have to see what the future holds in store for me athletically. It would have been sweet to cap it off with a record, but top 3 world performance will have to do for now. The race was also special because it was my sister Katie’s very first USATF Senior Indoor Championship. Her time was not what she wanted but like myself, she also went too fast at the start and would have to fight through the middle end of the race. But nonetheless I was very proud of her performance, especially because she has only been able to race walk since the end of December because she was recovering from a XC injury.
Traveling with her is always a blast and while we never got a chance to take a sister picture track side we had a fun post race shakeout Sunday morning together. Downtown Portland is great to train…minus the rain that is.
And that was it! In those three short weeks my indoor season opened and closed. I guess the competitor slight perfectionist in me always wants more and post race reflection you always seem to think another second here or there was possible. In the end I am happy with my performances especially because our training has been focused on preparing me for this weekend’s 20k. I am currently typing this while flying to Japan. I departed straight from Portland on Sunday March 13th and will land Monday Mar 14th in Tokyo. There I will spend the next 4 days before flying to Kamotsu, Japan on Friday Mar 18th and race in Nomi, Japan Mar 20th in the Asian Championships. Last year there were several fast performances around my goal race pace. Hopefully I will have someone to race with this year. I’m feeling really hopeful about this race with lots of great vibes, positivity and training confidence.
Stay tuned for all my Japan adventures!