3000m Steeplechase: Nationals Div. III @ North Central
Without a doubt, this was the most physically satisfying race I've done. I knew I was in good shape coming in to this weekend, but the pressure of being a repeat champion was weighing on me.
The plan to go (like last year) with 3 1/2 laps left worked perfectly for me. I'm not sure if the other didn't know it was going to happen, or were just waiting for me, but we went through the first four laps in 4:48. I had been in the back of the back, slowly moving up through each lap, and I was in great position when the time to go came up. The next lap was :65, then :70, :70, and :35. I don't think the rest of the field was ready for the :65. In fact, I'm not sure I would have been ready for it, but I wasn't watching or listening for splits, I was just racing--it was all by feel...and it felt good.
I still believe I could have gone faster that day. I think I was good for a sub-8:50, and that's the race that made me believe I could run 8:42 to get into the Olympic Trials. Now, that's long gone, but it was still a great memory.