Monday, I left work around 4:30 pm, changed into my rain gear and jeans and raced over to the track to see the first track event, the women's steeplechase.
Bridget Franek in green (OTC Elite/Nike) looked calm and comfortable the entire race and finished first in her heat, second overall with a 9:44 in the 3000m steeple.
We had awesome seats, thanks to my friend Jimbo who is in town covering the meet and doing his typical Track Geek thing. You can bet those athletes heard me screaming!
Alysia Montano sure showed everyone how bad she wanted that win. About 200m into her 800m race, she took off like a bullet and kept the lead through the finish!
Julia Lucas is one of our two main Thurs night speed coaches. The other is her husband Ian Dobson who also ran in the men's 5K Monday night and moved on to the finals based on time with a 13:49.
Most of the race, Julia stayed at the back of the pack, but as the laps ticked down to a mile to go, she started moving up, much to my relief. She finished 3rd in her heat and overall with 15:42.
This is truly her season.
Next up, was heat 1 with Lauren Fleshman. Let me tell you, when you know these people's stories and you talk to them in person, you can't help but feel completely connected to their joys and disappointments.
Fleshman is one of those runners with a good story, some heart breaking let downs and an epic comeback. She qualified for the finals by just a hair (after running only 10 miles per week the last several months), coming in 6th in her heat and digging with everything she had to make it.
This girl is a fighter, no doubt. Finished in 15:51.
As Fleshman crossed the finish line, there was a serious wave of relief on our entire side of the grandstands.
I felt like a proud mother dropping off her kid at kindergarten or something. It was just so freaking awesome to see these athletes do well and keep on excelling toward their dreams (despite that I have no effect on that).
Dinner for these hungry track fans was Little Big Burger. I had a local vegetarian patty, while the manfriend had a meat version. They're just slightly bigger than slider size and $3.75. We also shared truffle oil fries - definitely tasty compared to a normal fry.
On our drive home, we were treated to this epic view.
Now that we got everyone we wanted qualified, it's just a few nerve racking days until the finals. I'll definitely be checking twitter for updates in the midst of wedding excitement for Kyle and Sabrina.
Here's hoping I packed everything I need/want for this weekend! You know how I feel about packing...