RACE: Payton Jordan Invite (5,000m), 2014
RESULT: 15:04, third place, 19-second PR
When I’m locked into a race, I feel this amazing sense of belonging. I know that I am doing what God made me good at, and He must be smiling down on me. It was a 19-second personal best and a time that I didn’t think I could run even on my best day. A total surprise!” to read the full article go to runners world
“As soon as the gun went off, I became completely focused on one simple thing: Just race. I didn’t listen to splits. I just looked at my teammates’ shoulders ahead of me. There are many elements that can go into a race, but I find it helpful to just simplify my focus to a single goal. In this race, my goal was to win.
As the race progressed, I became more confident as I passed those around me and the lead pack became smaller and smaller. For a moment, with 600 meters to go, I started to think about how fatigued my legs were feeling and became distracted and stepped on the rail. I t was a scary reminder that my goal was within reach but not achieved yet. As I regained my balance, I focused on relaxing my hands and neck and then was able to lock my focus back into the goal.
I always repeat to myself as I enter the last 150 meters of a race: “You can win!” Of course, it doesn’t always happen, but it gives me the self-belief I need at that moment to dig down and chase the person ahead of me. By focusing on what I think I can do, it automatically pushes the thoughts of what everyone else expects me to do out of my mind.
RACE: 2012 Olympic 1500m final
RESULT: 3:34.78, silver medal
“With 400 meters to go, I thought I was going to give up. My legs felt so done. Then I thought about all the work that I had put in during my career to be exactly there. The ultimate goal was to perform well. As I pushed myself to continue the race, I thought of my supporters and began to pray to God to give me strength and energy to continue. I felt my body and mind reconnect. On the backstretch, I focused on the task at hand–to catch people, as I was in about eighth place. With 200 meters to go, I managed to catch Nick Willis [the 2008 Olympic silver medalist], whose kick usually rivals mine. Yet I continued right by him.
With 100 meters to go, it was as though time just paused. My mind felt clear, and I knew exactly what I had to do. I was in about sixth place and needed to pass at least three other athletes to medal. I started my kick and felt a great sense of confidence and energy to accomplish the goal. As I crossed the finish line, I fell to the ground exhausted, crying tears of joy. I looked up to the crowd and then realized that I had just become a silver medalist, a dream come true.”