What a crazy journey it has been. As you all know, I had surgery on my Achilles’ tendon in October due to tearing that eventually led to a hole in the tendon. I missed all of preseason training (August and September) and got my surgery in October. After that, I was on crutches for about 3 weeks. I started walking (read about my first day walking and how I celebrated here!), then did tons and tons of rehab and eventually trained on the underwater treadmill (link here!) and got back to running on the track mid November.
Thankfully, I have a huge support system and team on my side.
My coach and I had many talks before my surgery to make sure this was what I wanted to do. I had already missed so much training and any operation where you have to go under the knife is a big deal. I ended up seeing two doctors before deciding to go through with it.
One of the biggest things that kept me going and motivated to come back was everyone who believed in me and helped me believe in my own abilities. My family always made sure to check to see how I was doing not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. And I cannot thank them enough for that.
This past weekend was the 2018 Indoor Big Ten Track & Field Championships which was held at the Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio. I was entered to run in the open 400m dash and we had everyone on standby for the 4x400m relay.
Friday was the start of the meet, and I had my prelim for the 400m as my only race. Coming into the meet I was ranked around 13th with a converted time of 53.9 seconds from 54.6 seconds. Only 8 women make it to finals. I basically had to run a personal best to make it back.
Of course I was nervous, but right before I ran, my coach reminded me of all of the hard work I had put in to get here and that I was prepared for this moment. I ran in the first heat and did end up running a personal best time of 53.35! However, I still had to wait for the other 8 heats to finish to see if I made it back.
After everything was said and done, I ran the 6th fastest time of the day and made my first indoor final. I was beyond ecstatic.
Next day was finals day.
The 400m final was at 1:40pm and the 4x400m relay wasn’t till 4:20pm which I was very happy about because I got to rest my legs a good bit before I had to run again. I was less nervous for the 400m final than I was the previous day. I knew no matter what, I would score points for my team and that meant a lot to me. I ended up running close to the same time as the day before and came out 6th overall! Being ranked 13th and placing 6th is a pretty big accomplishment in my book.
Next up was the relay! The 4x400m relay is such an exciting race, especially at Big Tens. All the teams line up around the track and everyone is cheering super loud as you run past. At this point in the meet, my coaches were most concerned about our relay running a qualifying time to make it to nationals. We had to run collectively about three seconds faster than we had previously to make. It may not sound like a lot, but in a sprint dropping a whole second is huge.
As a senior, I was very motivated to make it back to nationals and I knew I had to put it all out there for my team. I was first leg and I had to give my team a lead.
Before the gun goes off to start the race, it always gets extremely quiet. The calm before the storm. But as soon as the starter shoots that thing, man, all chaos breaks loose!
I felt really good during my warmup and just gave it my all.
I probably ran one of the best races of my life to be honest lol
My team ended up getting second place and we all wore our silver medals with our heads high! We ran a qualifying time to make it to nationals and I am so proud of my teammates for giving it their all with me.
Back in October if you had told me all of these accomplishments I had this weekend, I would have been just as happy as I am now haha
Now, my team and I have about a week and a half left to get ourselves ready to perform on one of the greatest stages in track and field: nationals.