Here we are– the week before the 2015 USA Championships.
We’ve followed the grids. We’ve participated in meetings. We’ve posted on social media. We’ve lived the grind– the grueling winter long runs, the late evening lifts, the cross-training on our own, the physio visits, the mental preparation, the ladders, the drills. We’ve turned down ice cream and stayed in bed instead of going out. We’ve visualized our goals and made our intentions clear. Now, there’s nothing to do but… get it done.
I’m so excited for the week to come; I’ve seen this group dig deep and commit to their personal goals and dreams and I know that every person in Furman Elite is revved up and ready to go. We’ve raced (and raced well) these past six weeks and now all those cheesy terms like “the hay is in the barn” are applicable. We’re in the home stretch, taking our final deep breath before the chaos of the championships is upon us.
This week, we’ll run a few hard workouts, just to make sure all systems are firing. We’ll do laundry and pull out the extra special gear that we’ve been saving all season long. We’ll eat and eat well; we’ll enjoy our last nights of sleep in our own beds; we’ll see our physios and get one last massage at home before trekking across the country to Tracktown USA, where we’ll put our hearts on the line and give it our all.
I found the quote above last year and it chased me around my warmup before the steeplechase final. Am I afraid? Or am I just not ready? Coach always told me that I took confidence from my training and as I stood on the line, I had to admit it: I was ready. When I crossed the finish line in 3rd, it was the culmination of all the work we had done and all the faith I had put in to Furman Elite. This year, I can stand on the start line and take even more confidence from the combined two years of training I’ve had here in Greenville. It’s okay to be a little scared– after all, attempting the unknown is absolutely terrifying!– but I’ll take confidence from every 1000 repetition, every 30 second fartlek, every power clean, every headstand, and every meeting I’ve had with Robert throughout the past 12 months.
You never know what can happen at big championship races. There always seems to be a level of surprise at these things– an underdog pulls out the W, a favorite stumbles under pressure, someone sneaks in and makes a team without anyone noticing. For Furman Elite, this is our time to make our presence known. It’s our time to showcase all the work we as athletes have put in and all the dedication our support team– Robert, Chris Borch, Furman University, our individual sponsors and agents, Performance Therapy, Chris Neal, Rita Gary, Chad Balyo, and the Furman strength coaches– has put in as well.
It’s our time. It’s our time. It’s our time. We are ready.