What a Summer!

By: Laura Mitchell

It has been a great summer. Loads has happened since my last post. After the Congress Avenue mile, I felt I could go faster if I had a few more weeks of speed training.  I decided to run some track races, and the local all-comers meets were the perfect place. We transitioned my training to shorter, interval sessions versus mileage. I still maintained my long run at an hour, but focused on sharpening up to run some faster shorter distances. I raced the 1500m and 800m and even threw in the 400m and 200m at one meet!  My times improved a bit over the first two meets, but the heat and long season definitely started to take its toll.

In late July, I got to attend the US Olympic Track and Field Trials! I couldn’t think of a better way to beat the heat. I was inspired to watch the best in the U.S. compete and race for a spot on the Olympic team. I felt like a kid in a candy store. I was able to meet some of the athletes – many in which I’ve watched over the past four years! I trained in a beautiful facility at Lane CC and even received some treatment which my legs throughly enjoyed. Just when I thought nothing could top that, I was invited to London to check out the ACTUAL OLYMPICS!

The trip worked out well with my schedule. I’d finished out my track season and was right on schedule for a well deserved break. I was very content to be there, see the city and enjoy the atmosphere. Luckily, I was able to secure tickets for two events! The journey was amazing, filled with seeing the sites such as Tower Bridge and Big Ben to the changing of the guard at Buckimgham Palace. London was buzzing with all the visitors from all over the world there to see the games. At first, the plan was to view the games from the LIVE jumbo trons set up at the many parks around town, but like I mentioned earlier, I managed to land tickets to the bronze metal Football match and the Tuesday evening session of Track and Field. The latter ticket was even more special as the Men’s 1500m Final was on the schedule!  This meant, if everything went right, I would get to see Leo Manzano race! The stadium was spectacular, the seats were amazing, and I was able to cheer Leo on to an Olympic Silver Medal! After the meet, I charged down to see how close I could get to the Olympic Flame. Luckily, I was able to snap a picture and, boy, you could really feel the heat coming off that thing!

I saw places I’d never been, experienced new foods, met up with great friends as well a met great new ones.  I’m so thankful for the opportunity as this summer sure has been a grand adventure!

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