Friday, January 13, 2012

2012 Olympic Trials Marathon: Friday

35 Minutes of Running for 4.4-ish miles
Strides + Drills

If you haven't noticed, there's been a common theme for each of these days leading up to the each day passes, the flurry of activity increases dramatically. On Friday, there was not much down time as there was a lot of information that the Houston Marathon Committee had to share with us and there was a lot of food to be consumed. As I walked to the lobby to meet Jordan and Meagan for a run, there was a certain buzz of excitement that you could feel in the air. Lots of runners were also making their way onto the streets in their warmup gear, to simulate the start of the race at 8 or 8:15AM.

We ran through the first mile of the course before jumping on the greenway in the park outside of the city. My legs felt great, and I could tell that my nasal congestion had improved from yesterday. The head still felt heavy, but I figured it wouldn't affect me too much in the race tomorrow. Meagan and Jordan went on to run a bit further, so I turned around early and ran into Esther Erb and Alissa McKaig from Zap Fitness. I really like Esther and enjoyed the time running with her. She sang the national anthem before the race on Saturday!

The three of the Charlotte women met in the Massage Room in the late morning to get our final rub down before the big day. It's the little things that count, and these massages were the best 20 minutes of rubbing that I've ever had!

The rest of the day was spent trying to eat the right portions of food, the right amount of water, and getting the right amount of time off of my feet. I also wanted to spend some time with my support crew, so I opted out of the free lunch to dine with my crew at Whole Foods. My brother Ben surprised me and flew in to watch at the Trials, so when I went to my parents room to leave, he jumped out of the bathroom. I was very happy he came to watch since we didn't see each other over Christmas. It was also nice to enjoy lunch with the people who spent time and money to make this trip to support me. In fact, I felt bad because the days' events didn't allow for much time with family and friends, so I tried my best to be with my supporters as much as possible.

In the afternoon, all 300 of the runners, plus their athlete support person, crowded into a conference room of the George R. Brown Convention Center to attend the Elite Technical Meeting. A lot of information was shared during this meeting, but fortunately the Houston Marathon Committee did a lot of work (and explaining) to ensure that everything was manageable.

A woman presented to us with a PowerPoint Deck related to the pre-race information (be at the warmup area no later than 7AM), the water bottle stops (don't grab two water bottles, but you can grab one water bottle and share it with runners), the holding area logistics (women are to start as soon as the last man runs through the start line), the u-turn (there is cattle fencing there, so don't cut yourself), and the bag check (you get two bags, make sure to put your bag check number on the bag). The questions asked were comical - "How many ounces of water are in the cups?" "Do you have extra numbers so if I want to shed clothing, I can?"

During the presentation, everything seemed so real, especially the feeling of nervous excitement that just had amplified. Fortunately, Meagan and Megan were sitting right beside me, and I knew they were probably sharing the same feeling as me. After the hour of information overload, all of the runners crammed to the back of the room to pick up our bibs and chips. It definitely was not a very organized method of pick up since the lines were haphazardly formed, zig-zagging past chairs that were in the way, and cutting into the lines for a person with a different last name. Either way, we were all able to get our bibs eventually. 

After some slight down time with my sister Vanessa, I explored the Trials Town on the lawn outside of the Hilton with Matt and Garrett. There was an Opening Ceremonies for the Olympic Trials, which I naturally avoided because I wanted to eat dinner at 530PM. Any misgivings about not attending the Opening Ceremony were immediately dissolved when I walked into the Elite Dining Tent and saw Kara and Shalane eating early. Further affirming my decision not to attend was the fact that at 6PM, all of the athletes who had attended the Ceremony all arrived in the Dining Tent at the same time and had to wait almost 30 minutes in line for food. Jordan, Meagan, Garrett and I all ate while they stood waiting.

After dinner, Vanessa braided Megan's hair and then mine. Ben chatted with Garrett in the room while Garrett rolled out his IT and Quads with the Trigger Point Performance Quadroller. It was relaxing to get the hair braided, ready to shine tomorrow morning.

The Sign before the Elite Dining Tent
Where we Buy our Gear
Matt Jaskot and I

Dream Big, right?


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