My Teammates Did It, But Next It’s My Turn!

With my training partner and 2016 Olympic Trials qualifier, Nicole, the day before her big race. (She likes pink!)

As I revealed in my intro post a few weeks back, my main goal right now it to make the “A” standard to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. This means I have to run a 2:37 marathon sometime between now and 2016. With a pr of 2:40:17 set in 2009 and recent shorter race prs set this past year, I know I have it in me. My original plan was to get the OTQ monkey of my back with a 1:15:00 or “B” standard half marathon performance in Akron last month, but due to an ill-timed injury, that just didn’t happen.

In the meantime, I’ve been watching my teammates snag their own OTQs! This is at once exhilarating and a little disappointing that I’m not celebrating my own OTQ along with them.

Just over 2 weeks ago, my teammate Jessica and I raced the Akron Half (click to read my race recap). Jess had high hopes for getting her first Olympic trials qualifier and it was no surprise when she did! She ran 1:14:21 to win the race! I was a pretty proud teammate. While I can’t lie it was hard to know that prior to my injury my goal had been the same. Nonetheless, I was stoked to learn of her pr when I crossed the line in 2nd in 1:18:35.

The weekend after the half, my other teammate Nicole was running the U.S. Marathon Championships in Minneapolis at the Twin Cities Marathon in her question for the Olympic Trials “A” standard. Nicole is not only my teammate, but one of my best friends. I had the time and I decided to drive up to cheer her on! It was a long drive broken up by a brief visit with my old college roommate in Madison, Wisconsin. I arrived in Minneapolis on the Friday before the race.

Beautiful views while driving through the Midwest.

A good friend of mine and Eric Finan, an Ohio member of Team USA Minnesota, and I hopped on our bikes to watch the race unfold. We were all over the course and were able to see Nicole at mile 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 17, 19, 21, 24 and the finish. She looked solid the whole race! Smiled every time we saw her, never lost good turn over and slowly moved from 10th-ish  at 2 miles to 7th at the finish! No one passed her during the race! She finished in 2:37:26 just shy of the 2:37:00  Olympic Trials ‘A’ standard. But top 10 and a new 1 minute and 44 second PR made for a lot of smiles after the race.

Nicole making it look easy. Photo via Wendy Shulik.

I couldn’t help but wonder what I could have done in this race had I not been injured. I know I have the ability to qualify to the trials, because I have run under the ‘B’  standard numerous times.  While being on the sidelines was a blast, it was hard not to be a little jealous of what Nicole and Jessica had accomplished. I want to be mentally and physically ready to race like they are, after all 90 percent of all of my workouts over the past year have been done side by side with Nicole.  My turn will have to wait.

However…waiting SUCKS!  I raced a 10k this weekend that was hardly faster than Nicole ran for 4 10k’s and it was hard to think of all the work I will have to do to get to where I want to be as an athlete. That being said I have done it before.  When I started training for my first marathon my shorter prs were much slower than they are now.  I am currently fitter than when I ran that first 2:43 back in 2008, so to get back to sub 2:40 shape, where I believe I’ve been already, should not take a terribly long time.  Even so, I know it is going to take a lot of little things.  I have to rest more thoroughly; go out a little less, and be willing to train harder than I have in the past. I have to do my core and strength training daily, not just when I feel like it. And I have to go back to visualizing myself as a goal driven athlete. I have until June or next fall to get there, so I have at least 8 months of working hard and being patient! And this will be made easier as I hit the track this winter and spring to go after some shorter race PRs. Sub-16 5k, here I come!

Believe me, my teammates’ success my heart happy. This was really a good couple of weekends of racing, running for fun, goofing off and getting inspired for me!  But saying I wasn’t jealous of where they are would be a lie. While my heart swells with pride for all they have done, it is hard not to want to be there without the sucky waiting part!

Have you ever been in the situation where your good friends or teammates achieved the goals you set for yourself, before you were able to achieve them? How did you cope?

2 time Olympic Trials qualifier in the Marathon, looking to make that 5. I'm a talker, and I'm loud, if you get embarrassed easily...don't go into public with me. I laugh harder when trying to explain why I am laughing. A-Type, try to get things done before the microwave beeps sort of gal.

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  1. First, I am so excited for Jess and Nicole! WOW! They are so inspiring and just so darn fast. They have both come such a long way since I’ve known them. Truly amazing! And you are one awesome friend to be so supportive of them and to drive all the way to Minneapolis! Sounds like a blast! That being said, I totally know how you feel. I was doing workouts with Nicole not that long ago and couldn’t even do an easy run with her now, probably. I feel like I’ve been in a fitness holding pattern for 5 years (yeah, it’s my own damn fault! Ha!) I realized a long time ago I can be constantly frustrated and bitter or be happy for others and celebrate their successes. Wow, there’s an easy choice! I know I have many more of my own successes in my future and for now I enjoy supporting my teammates, friends and any one else kicking ass – including YOU! Can’t wait to cheer you on to your OTQ! SOON!

  2. Nice post Becki! Be patient and you’ll be exceeding your goals in no time! Just don’t force it like some knucklehead I know (ahem Me). Being injury free is worth the wait and that OTQ will taste much sweeter!