#HOKAmdc, Pasadena – That’s the End of Califonia Dreamin’ 2015

Well I’m officially on the plane home. I am watching ‘BoxIMG_6457 trolls’ after a very smooth and easy check in process at LAX. For those of you who don’t know me I have a ‘thing’ for animated kids movies; Despicable Me is my favourite.

I spent my last morning here doing what I love best in coastal places, running aIMG_6451long the beach. After dropping off Geoff at the Burbank Airport I headed to the Santa Monica Pier. Unfortunately the sand around the Santa Monica Pier isn’t quite firm enough to run on so I ran along the paved path next to the sand. But imagine this, California is in the worst drought they’ve faced in years and I spent my last morning running in the rain! I didn’t really care, all I wanted was to hear the water lapping against the sand.

Last night was the HOKA One One Middle Distance Classic. It is the biggest middle distance classic in California and attracts all the stars. Kara Goucher. Jenny Simpson. Mary Cain. Nicole Sifuentes. It is a meet about running fast and trying to qualify for World and Olympic Championships. They had divided up the first two sections of the 800m and 1500m evenly to give everyone a fair chance of running fast. All of the heats were offered rabbits.

I faced a bit of blow to my self-confidence and did not make the top two fastest heats. I read and reread the criteria. I couldn’t understand why I had not made those first two heats. It toyed with my emotions. Coach Terry said he would email the meet directors and it played even more with my heart and head; I deserved to be there, it was warranted from the race criteria. In the end there was no way I was going to get into those first two heats.

I made the best of it. I have front run before and it was just fine, no wait, it was more than fine. I ran a great 1000 at Spire in the winter and I could do it again. Plus I had a rabbit that was going through in 2:12. I could make it work so I did what I do best, I went for it!

The rabbit went out a bit quick, approaching 200m in about 30s and I tucked in behind another runner. As I felt her slowing I surged ahead to maintain contact with the rabbit. I could still feel her going a bit fast so I tried to stay a few steps back. She split about 64 high for 400, which was way too quick.

At 600 we head settled and went through in 1:39 but she started to speed ahead again. I could feel her surging and I held the pace. I saw 2:11 high when I crossed 800 and the rabbit was well ahead of me. By that point I had basically been running on my own since I couldn’t quite sit in behind the rabbit.

I split 1k perfectly 2:45 and at that point I kind of lose focus on what happened next. I know I went through 1200 in 3:20-3:21 and finished in a disappointing 4:13. But I went for it. I really tried. I gave it my best and if I didn’t lose focus I think I could have chased after my sub 4:10 goal. Oh, and I did win my heat!

If I reflect back on it I don’t know what caused me to lose my focus with 500 to go. Maybe I thought I just had to get to that point. Staying focused has always been my weakness and I’ve worked so hard to work fix it. I know it didn’t work last night. But instead of figuring out why (because I probably never will) I’m just going to move forward, learn from this mistake, and work at staying focused for the next race.

Pasadena is just north-east of LA and sits just at the south edge of the Angeles Forest. It is home to CalTech, I believe it is one of the most prestigious engineering and science schools in the world. I was quite honoured to be able to do my shakeout run at the CalTech track. It may have been a little dried out, only 6 lanes, but I was honoured to run at the track and through their beautiful campus.

Unfortunately where we were staying in the not so nice part of Pasadena. But Celia, Dan, Geoff and I would pile into Gary (our Nissan Versa) and head out to adventure in Old Pasadena. It was a great little area to enjoy some coffee, a snack and walk around.

It’s time to get back to head home, get back to some solid training with my girls and get ready for the next block of races. Love what you do. Make sure you get up everyday and love life. Learn from the tough patches. Learn from the successes. But if it’s something you truly believe in then keep chasing your dreams. I sure will.IMG_6433.JPG