Well we finally made it back to Knoxville last night after flying to Atlanta and driving up. Jordan and I didn’t get to Matt’s house until 4 in the morning, and Matt got back half an hour later. It was definitely a fun and rewarding trip up to Boston. After arriving Friday afternoon, we checked out the Reggie Lewis Center and ran around downtown Boston. On Saturday we took the subway to Cambridge and ran around the Harvard campus. I’m sure that everyone thought we were complete idiots because we had no clue how to get around on the subway, and we must have asked at least a dozen people for help or directions that day.
My race was at 8 in the morning on Sunday. I wasn’t sure how I’ d feel after the travelling on Friday, waking up before 5:15 on Sunday and Friday, and having my lungs polluted by Jordan’s never-ending farts during the entire trip. We spent a lot of Saturday walking around Cambridge, so our legs were a little tired. I was also a little worried because it was difficult to warm-up in the gym, which is where we had to stay for a half hour before the race. But I also felt confident because of how well my workouts had been the last two weeks. The track felt amazing when I put on my spikes and jogged to the line. It was really soft and very responsive. I was in the second fastest of the four heats. My heat was supposed to have about 13 people in it, but only 7 showed up. Since it was such a small heat, I knew it’d be fine to start out at the back of the pack. We came through the first mile in 4:40, and I stayed in fifth or sixth the whole first mile. With 1200 meters to go, Kyle Satterwhite took the lead and picked up the pace, so I quickly moved into second. I was planning on making a move in the last thi rd of the race, but I decided to wait since he was picking it up anyways. I took the lead with 600 meters left and held it from there. My final time was 9:15, which converts to 9:11, 10 seconds faster than my PR. I felt comfortable the whole time, and I think I may have been able to go faster if the third, fourth, and fifth laps were faster. I probably would have picked it up more in those laps if I was running for time, but since I was just trying to win it made more sense to sit back and wait.
This whole experience was new for me because I’d never been to nationals for track before. I’m usually more interested in the distance events, but the sprinting and field events were incredible to watch too. The race gave me good experience for future races and set me up well for reaching my goals the rest of the year.. I guess the only frustrating part (besides sharing a bathroom with Jordan) was being only two places away from All-Amer ican. But that wasn’t really my goal coming in, though, so I wasn’t too disappointed. I would encourage anyone who qualifies for NIN to make the trip, because it’s a lot of fun, a good chance for a PR, and a great learning experience. Congrats to everyone else from Tennessee that ran well in the meet. Thanks to Jasen for letting me do this again, and good luck to everyone in outdoor season.
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