69th Place at the Olympic Trials!

Quick update: I had SUCH a fabulous experience in Houston this weekend. It was the experience of a lifetime, really — from the Opening Ceremonies to the race itself (and evertything in between).

The race went really well. My legs didn’t have their best day – I struggled to find a rhythm and to be able to move FAST enough (weird thing to say – but every mile I willed myself to bring down my pace a few seconds as I knew my lungs were feeling strong & my legs weren’t tired enough — but they just simply couldn’t move any faster than they were). BUT, despite that, I was still able to finish with a new PR – 2:44:12 (2:44:06 chip).

I just KNOW that I was capable of a 2:40, or even sub-2:40, so I wish I could have had a great legs day where I had that unique-Nichole spring that makes for a “fun” and very fast race :). Oh well… maybe that means that I’ll be scheming to continue this marathon journey in 2012 :). (But we’ll let myself digest this race & most importantly, rest this achilles which is now three times the size of the healthy achilles… ug).

I am most proud of my finishing place & how I raced. I started out conservatively. I guess I didn’t know how conservatively – I was in 4th to last at the 2 mile mark (glad no one told me that). But, I raced my own race & didn’t allow the fast opening pace to get to me. From the 3 mile mark & on, I focused entirely on dropping my pace and picking people off. It was fun πŸ™‚

With 10k to go, my husband told me I had moved up to 89th place (150+ raced/finished). Again, I willed my legs to move faster. I’m not hurting enough! But they just couldn’t. Ug.

I was SO mentally tough during this race. Wow — thank you, Dr. Asp :). I don’t think there are too many women out there that can embrace pain & think as positively as I did on that course on Saturday.

I finished in 69th place. Pretty exciting to think that I’m one of the top 70 US women’s marathoners :). I am very proud to have been here, to have raced my way to a fantastic place amongst the women competing — and most impressed by the support that I had on the course and from people back home. THANK YOU to everyone who has sent me Good Luck messages, Congratulatory emails/texts, etc. I can’t tell you how much your thoughts, support, and overall encouragement has helped me to get me where I am today — and encouraged me to think bigger and set higher goals. Thank you especially to my family and friends down here (Team Nichole!), to Jerry for believing in me a year and a half ago when I came to him injured, unsure of myself, and slow, and RWSC for their support throughout the journey. I honestly never thought I could get to this level, and I KNOW that I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s support.

I’ll write much more later πŸ™‚

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