Last Friday, I ran a version of a familiar mile breakdown workout on the track at Cal State Sacramento, and as I churned out laps I allowed my mind to wander back previous races in that stadium. Over the past two years, I have come to identify Hornet Stadium as my home track; in 2014 I had the privilege of competing there for the US Championships, and last December I made a return to track racing and I obtained the Olympic standard at the Pacific 10,000m Pursuit. On both occasions, friends and family gathered in the stands to push me across the finish line.
In recent months and weeks, family, friends, local runners and even people in my local market have asked me which event I intend to run at the upcoming US Olympic Trials. Four years ago I didn’t have an Olympic standard in either the 5000m or 10,000m distance and chose the event in which I felt the most confident I could obtain the standard at the Trials. Although this season I enter the Trials with both standards I still feel as though I need to make a mental and emotional investment in a primary event during these final weeks of preparation.
During my workout on Friday, as I reminisced about my Sacramento 10,000m races, I felt eager to embrace it as my primary event in Eugene. The 10,000m is an extremely deep event in the US this year, but I feel drawn to that challenge. The presence of many of those same friends and family at Hayward Field come July 2nd leaves me excited to contend for a spot on the podium and the Olympic berth I deeply desire.