Stronger Together

I had an epic weekend and the results from it are starting to set it. When I think back to my 1000m race on Friday night I cannot help but smile! With the Varsity Blues Track Team I headed to Geneva, OH to the Spire Institute. Spire is home to a 300m indoor track, which naturally makes for some fast times. It was a D1 invite, along with a select contingent of Canadian schools racing

As I was warming up for the 1000m I saw this t-shirt go by that said ‘Stronger Together’ on the back. It really resonated with me; my speed and my strength is a result of not only working hard but working hard with my teammates. I was really struggling in my warm-up; I felt sluggish and heavy running and my strides just did not feel zippy.

My friend Rachel Aubrey, a New Balance Canada runner, was rabbiting the 1k; she was trying to help her Guelph Teammates make CIS standard. Her plan was to go through 400m in 65s. I wanted to just be a bit quicker than that and knew I had to pass her just before the 400m split.

There were 3 sections of the women’s 1k. I did my last stride as the 2nd section started and tried to get my head in the game. We lined up and the gun went. The first 250m are a bit of blur, I knew I had to sit on Rachel’s shoulder but I definitely didn’t feel in the race. Then a switch flipped and it was ‘go time!’

I passed Rachel on the home stretch coming into 400m. And from there I just kept pushing forward. I wanted my 600m split around 1:36 and from there it was hammer home with only 400 to go. I have no idea what my 600m split was. I think my 800m was 2:08 high and all I could think was ‘push,’ ‘hammer,’ and ‘quick feet.’

With less than 80m to go I could see the clock. I could see the seconds counting up. Then I could hear my teammates screaming for me. I had been on my own for so long, at least 600m. I wasn’t giving up. I wasn’t there for the ‘W.’ I was there for a fast time. I kept pressing and charging. I was not giving up!

Sasha GollishWhen I crossed the line it said 2:39.70! I was so excited. I don’t think I can explain the emotions but I just wanted to jump in the air. I ran over to my teammates. Then I ran over to my coaches. Then there was more hugging with my teammates. And all I could think standing there with them, was ‘I was stronger together because of you!’

Saturday I ran the mile and the 4x400m, about 30 minutes apart! The mile was a little frustrating. First we went through 400m in 74, I grew really irritated and took off from the pack; I went through the 800m in 2:20high and thought I was really off pace. It was really loud and I could hear my 1k or 1500m splits. Turns out I went through 1500m feeling pretty relaxed at 4:17! I had really relaxed on the last lap; my plan had been to try to kick but as I crossed the finish line with 300m to go I thought to myself ‘save those legs and run a fast 400m!’ Only when I got close to finishing did I realize how fast I was running; I finished the mile in 4:37! And I ran my 4x400m split in 57 mid!

I believe in ‘Stronger Together.’ Running may be an individual sport, but Gestalt theory and the sum is greater than the parts applies; I am so much faster because of all the work I do with my teammates.