Race Day!!!

*This is part 2 of my recap of the Olympic Trials weekend:

Race day started, in earnest, at 2 in the morning. A group of intoxicated guys entered into the room next to me and were excitedly discussing what time they were waking up to watch the Trials (ironically). I knocked on their door about 15 minutes later asking them to be quiet.

I actually think I saw the guy that opened the door cheering on the course the next day. I think he recognized me as well. Funny.

Anyway, I was WIDE awake at 2, ready to race. I was so excited, smile on my face, ready to go. Nothing worse than having to tell yourself to go back to bed after that :). But, I did fall back asleep and slept pretty hard until the first wake up call at 6:15 (2 hours before race time).

Time for breakfast #1 - bagel with organic jam (I brought a lot of my own food, just in case -- and most was from Just Food, love that place!!!!). I then went back to bed until the second alarm at 6:45, which was accompanied by Nathan (now feeling better, and now I don't have to be paranoid about him making me sick!) and a big bowl of oatmeal. Maybe it's odd to have two breakfasts before a marathon, but it's what I've found I need (as well as a lot of gel out on the course, guess I'm a big eater).

I changed into my race uniform: CW-X shorts, Run N Fun jersey, long sleeve and jacket for the warm-up. Nate helped me pin my bib on, and I was set to go. Can this be real? Am I really about to head down to the warm up area for the Olympic Trials? I'm normally pretty smiley and excited for races, but found myself nervous, unsure of myself, and actually a little emotional about the entire event. I thought back to a book Dr. Asp had given me: You can be nervous, just don't act nervous.

We got to the warm-up area at 7:15 and the last call to the staging area was at 7:45. Perfect time to eat another 1/2 of a banana, hit up the bathroom 2 times and get my first 5 minutes of warm-up in. I noted that my legs felt okay, but definitely not springy like before Grandma's. I didn't let myself think about it.

7:45 - last call, women! I joined the line of women being ushered to the staging area. Here's where it became really real. The mood was solemn, quiet. Note to self, in the event I'm here 4 years from now: make sure you're smiling and light hearted throughout all of this! It's just another race!

Upon entering the staging area I realized that the 38 degrees they had forecasted at the start felt a lot warmer (could be that I'm from MN, or could be that it was warmer than 38). In any event, I decided to switch to racing in a singlet to just a sports bra. I also contemplated switching to shorter shorts, but knew the longer ones were tried and true. So -- Nate and I scrambled to unpin and repin the number. Why do they make these things so huge? He somehow made it fit onto my sports bra.

I warmed up another 5 minutes (my typical) with a few pick ups. We were confined to a small track-like circle, so it was a little different. I then headed back to my bag and Nate to take off warm-ups, take my before-race gel and a handful of Sport Beans. And then... they ushered us closer to the start race...

It's about to begin... oh, my... am I really ready? Is this really happening?

I line up, almost at the back of the pack. Too far back? I knew the men had taken out their first mile BLAZING fast, and didn't want to be caught up in that. I know I need to start conservatively and work into my pace. I turn around and find I'm staring right into a NBC camera. Sweet, maybe my back made it on TV :)

I'm trying to maintain my typical Nichole attitude, but I'm finding myself a little emotional about the entire event. I am so happy to be here, for the opportunity to race at this level, to be lining up amongst the country's best...

And then the gun goes off :)

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

1 comment:

  1. Nichole, congrats on another PR - on your biggest stage yet. Way to battle through the Achilles, stay positive and run a smart race!

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