millrose game

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Ashton Eaton… oops!

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Jan. 25, 1985: Carl Lewis on a long-jump attempt at the Millrose Games in New York, where a year before he set the record for the longest indoor jump, at 28 feet 10 ¼ inches. An article in The Times listed a flurry of athletic accomplishments from Feb. 2 to Feb. 11 that year, and devoted a number of words to his singing, noting that he sang the national anthem before a competition. “There are many stories of singers who have forgotten the words” to the song, wrote The Times, but “Lewis remembered them all, and he said he never feared a problem there.” Photo: Jose Lopez/The New York Times

Getting the opportunity to hold the finishing tape at the Millrose Games was an experience I’ll never forget.I was so close to many of the runners who’ve inspired me to go above and beyond in my training. I saw so many records being broken in both the professional and high school events. It has always been a goal of mine to break a finishing tape, and to hold the tape and see how happy the winners were brought me a sense of excitement and happiness. It made me want to win even more.I aspire to work as hard as they have for their moment and someday I hope to have a moment like they did.We all see the start of the race, the middle, and the finishing place/time, but what no one sees is the amount of hours spent running interval after interval and mile after mile.No one sees the mental challenge of having to get yourself out of bed at 6 AM to run 8 miles. No one sees the minutes spent stretching, lifting weights, and doing strength exercises. No one sees the pain that was experienced during the race, and the moment they felt like giving up.We all see the finish, but there’s so much more behind that moment of breaking the finishing tape.

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Today I met Emily Infeld, the woman who I decided to think of every single moment I felt hopeless in the depths of my injury. For the last 5 weeks, I finally started running again, and although I’m not entirely pain-free, I know that I’m slowly chipping away at it.

Watching these runners at the Millrose Games today had my in tears, literally. And somehow, someway, when all the crowds disappeared, I wandered into a waiting area where I finally spotted Emily, waved to her when she looked my way, and got the chance to speak with her, hug her, I ended up crying a bit too, and told her how much she’s helped me this last year.

I’ve been sucking wind so much with my speed and endurance coming back. I haven’t ran in almost a year, and these last 5 weeks have been some of the sweetest weeks yet. I don’t find myself discouraged that my stamina is in the negative range, but I find myself in awe of what my body can still do after all this time, and I know this time around, I’m so much stronger.

So I immediately came home and started to make a list of goals. Right now, it’s to continue with rehab for my IT bands as well as some strength + plyometrics 2-3X a week. I’m using this track season to build my base back for the summer, leading into XC.

I missed this year’s XC season due to injury, so I only have competed during my freshman year so far (2014). I ran ~18 minutes for a 5k IN a 6k race at Big East. In Big East, I came in 41st, so the next goal is 1– break 18 minutes and then eventually 17:30, chipping away. #2– get top 30 for Big East this upcoming XC season.

I’m so anxious and so passionate and I’m sitting in bed with tears swelling because this is so much more than running. This is about me and my passion and what I want to show others. I want to be one of the greats. Even if that means continuously making goals and shattering them.

Emily Infeld hugged me today, smiling so big, and said to me, “You’re going to be so much stronger now. You’re going to do great.”