I raced at the Olympic Trials this past week and I’ll be blunt and honest; it did not go how I had hoped. In the steeplechase, there are prelims and finals and I didn’t make it to the finals round. I felt relaxed, confident, excited, and the right amount of nervousness before prelims. Strides the day before felt great- my legs were ready to run fast! So what happened? The gun went off, the race started, and after the first 1000 meters I felt like I couldn’t breath. I struggled through the race, trying to make moves up to the front of the pack but my body wouldn’t let me. It was the worst I’ve felt in a race in a long time and I had to dig deep to even finish the 3k. The only thing I remember from the last two laps is the lap counter telling us two laps to go and wondering if I could run two laps without barriers and water jumps (thankfully I made it through). I had been having trouble breathing while I was training in Dallas but I thought it was just hot and humid and I would feel better once I got somewhere cooler with less humidity. That didn’t happen. I’ve had bad races before- everyone does- but this seemed different. After the race, my coach told me that he thought there might be something wrong with me physically like an iron deficiency or exercise-induced asthma so I’m headed back to Dallas to do some testing and figure out what the problem is so I can get back to feeling like myself again.
This was a very upsetting race for me because I had been training all year for this specific race. With so much pain in workouts and so much sacrifice and self discipline to do all the “little things” right through the year it was very hard to see things seem to fall apart when they should have been coming together. I’m not going to say that it’s ok and put on a front of fake happiness because I believe it’s ok to have struggles and admit when you’re going through something hard. However, I am going to say that running- like life – is filled with ups and downs and I still believe God has a plan far greater than any one I could imagine. Even when my body fails me, God never will and that is something that gives me great comfort. Yes, these past few days have been rough watching the trials and wishing so badly that I could be there in the finals but thankfully my hope does not lie in my athletic abilities which will eventually fade away, my hope is in a never changing God who loves me because He loves me because He loves me. He created me perfectly and I know that through the ups and downs in this sport He created me to run and I love worshiping Him through that talent. Even though I didn’t feel like myself at all in that race, I gave it everything I possibly could so there’s no way I can be mad at myself or wonder if things could have gone differently if I were a little more head strong or gave a little more effort. It wasn’t a good race by any means but it is a race where I gave 100% and I’m proud of myself for that.
For now, I’m choosing to be positive. I know I’m in good shape; my legs are ready to run fast and as soon as I figure out what’s wrong I’ll be back stronger than ever. I am so so thankful to ASICS who has supported me for a full year now. I love this company and have received support to become a stronger runner and a stronger person and I am so thankful to everyone in the ASICS family who has been part of my journey this year. I’m thankful for my coach; I love his training and feel like I am a stronger runner this year and hopefully I can get into some races later on in the summer to prove that. He is also someone who has grown me as a runner and a person and he never fails to remind me to “have fun,” with running (which, of course, I do!). I’m thankful for my parents, sisters, family, friends, and fans of the sport who have given me an overwhelming amount of love and encouragement. I’m blessed to have the best agent, Flynn Sports, to help me out with travel and administrative work that I hate doing (yall make my life 2000 times easier!). I’m thankful for all the doctors and massage therapists (especiallyyyy Dr. Ford and Lee Ferris) who have helped keep me together this year. I feel so blessed to have all these people around me who support and encourage me. Especially in the past couple of weeks, I have felt an insane amount of inspiration from all of you and I can’t express in words how much it has meant to me. I wish my race were a better representation of the amazing support I have but there are other opportunities and I’m going to continue to follow my dreams because of the way each of these people above inspires me. With that being said, it’s time for me to get out there and run the world, thanks for reading 🙂