Saturday, January 28, 2017

Last Chance Invitational

Grace ran the 800 and the 1600 in The Last Chance Invitational this weekend.  This is the last meet to qualify for state.  To qualify for state you have to meet the qualifying times but then you also have to be in the top 2 in your school for those events.  Even if Grace had made the qualifying times, both Liz and Kristen are just a little faster and more than likely would have better times.  So this weekend was all about Grace shaving off some time and getting a PR.  

She ran the 800 Friday night and did great.  Her time to beat was 2:42.49 and shaved off almost 2 seconds running a 2:40.54.  This time also earned her a spot on the 4x800 relay team at the State Meet next weekend.  Way to go Grace!

Grace with her teammates, Kristen Day and Liz Holcomb.  Liz set a school record in the 800 this weekend with a time of 2:28.

Dave, Zach and I headed home after Grace's race and she spent the night in Birmingham with the rest of the team.  We got up early this morning and headed back to the Crossplex to watch her run the 1600.  

She was seated 14th in heat 4.  There were a lot of girls in her heat and she didn't have as good a start as she did at the last meet where she fell nor did she look quite as fast.  There was a big pack that she couldn't get ahead of but she ran hard and had a GREAT kick at the end.  She has been trying to break 6 minutes all season and was on track to do it at the last meet when she tripped and fell.  Needless to say, she never regained her composure and didn't have a great time. But today she PR'd and broke 6 minutes with a time of 5:59! We'll take it! Way to go Grace! So proud of her!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Reconnecting with an Old Friend!

A few days ago one of my old college roommates, Angie, reached out to me and wanted to come to Madison to see me and have lunch.  She lives in Birmingham and we've talked about re-connecting ever since I moved back to Alabama but haven't up until today.  We tried to hook up last year when I was in Mountain Brook for a track meet but weren't able to connect.  

We met at Old Black Bear Brewery in downtown Madison and it was so good to see each other!  We had not seen each other since our graduation 24 years ago!  That's crazy!

We laughed, and talked and caught each other up on our lives as much as one can in a 2 hour lunch when there is 24 years to catch up on.  I hate that it took us this long to reconnect but am so glad that we finally did.  We will definitely plan on meeting up again so she can meet Dave and the kids and continue our friendship.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King Indoor Track Classic Catrastophe

The Martin Luther King Indoor Track Classic was today in Birmingham.  Grace was initially only going to run the 800 but she talked to Coach Bell and really wanted to run the 1600 as well.  She didn't do as well as she wanted to do in either the 1600 or 800 at her last meet and she really wanted to PR.  She felt good about this meet.

She was seated 4th in the 4th heat.  The gun went off and she had a great start.  Normally she hesitates and then gets stuck behind the pack and can't get around them but there was no hesitation this time.  She was behind a pack of girls but she easily and quickly made her way around them and put herself in 2nd place.  She looked great!  She looked fast and was keeping that same pace.  The lead girl was a good 100 meters out in front for the first couple of laps and then she started slowing on the 3rd lap.  Grace and two other girls were gaining on her and as they came around the turn, I'm not sure what happened except that the lead girl slowed so much that she was immediately right in front of the other 3 and she fell.  Grace was right behind her and tripped over her and went down as well landing on both knees.  The other two girls stumbled but were able to recover and not fall.  My heart sank and I immediately jumped up out of my seat.  Grace looked dazed and confused as if she had no idea what happened or what she was supposed to do but she got back up and started running again.  But at this point so many had passed them and she was never able to fully recover.  She finished with a time of 6:19:97 and 14th out of 25 girls.  

Coach Bell gave her a big hug when she came off the track and told her that she looked awesome up until the fall.  He told her that it was her best start ever and that she was on pace for a 5:45 mile which would have killed her PR and qualified her for the state meet.  Her PR for the 1600 is a 5:59 and that was from the outdoor season last year.  Her indoor PR this season is a 6:03.  

As soon as it was over, I went to her to make sure she was okay.  Her knees were red and scraped and hurting and she was upset that it happened especially since she was having as good a race as she was. But she handled the whole thing like a champ and I was just so proud of her.  I was proud of her strong start and how well she was running.  I was proud of her for getting up and finishing that race even though she was hurting and probably didn't feel like it. 

She planned on still running the 800 but after icing her knees and walking around, she realized how badly they were hurting.  She and Coach Bell decided she should not run the 800 so she wouldn't injure herself any more.  

This was definitely not the way she planned for this meet to go.  She still has the Last Chance Invitational in two weeks to try it again.