Deanna Ardrey, one of our Elite athletes living in Boulder, CO competed in Puerto Rico on February 24th at the World's Best 10k. She recap's her experience there competing internationally for the first time:
On February 20th I travelled to San Juan, Puerto Rico to race the World's Best 10K. The race was held on the 24th so I was able to enjoy some sun and beach in the days leading to the race. This was the first time I've ever travelled out of the United States for a race. I felt so honored to be invited to such a prestigious race. From the moment I step off the plane in San Juan I fell in love: The hot weather, ocean air, the culture, the spanish language and architecture, etc. The race put us athletes up at the Intercontinental Hotel which literally sat right on the beach. They were so accommodating and kind to us all. Thank you so much, World's Best 10K! Every morning I'd meet the other runners in the lobby to head out for a run. One morning while out running I hurdled a wild rooster and found five dollars on the path! It was very exciting!
The day of the race I spent laying around trying to mentally prepare myself. The race was to start at 5:25pm. I was so nervous because I knew I wasn't in my best shape or even close to it. I have been going through some tough life changes and it was showing in my running. That's the thing some people don't understand. Runner's are not always at their best, and we too go through hard times that can really affect how we perform in our running. I am so hard on myself and want to run my best all the time. Note to self: You are not a super human Deanna! You will be again soon though! Ha ha! Joking!
We toed the line around 5:20pm. My heart was racing. The gun went off and all the runners bursted out of the gate. There was so much energy and I felt excited to be there in one of the best 10k's ever. I felt pretty good for the first 5k. I was holding on to a pretty quick pace and feeling focused. Then it hit me. The mental and physical wall. My legs hurt, my body hurt, my soul hurt.
I remember at one point during the race I thought to myself, “They should call this the world's hottest and most humid race!” Ok, so you know you're having a bad race if you start thinking thoughts like this. I know I'm racing my best when I'm focused and barely have a thought in my head other than FIGHT! Regardless of how the race was going I needed to finish. That's something my coach, Steve Jones, has taught me. Never quit. So I didn't. I finished 8th American and 17th overall. Notice I'm leaving out my time! Ha ha! You can easily look it up! World's Best 10K is such a phenomenal race and I'm so thrilled to have been a part of it regardless of how I finished. I hope to go back next year!
What did I take and leave behind from this race?
Left behind: My tears, fears, and humility.
Take away: A chip on my shoulder and something to prove!
Thank you for reading and believing!
This birdie will be flying high soon! Promise! xo