Linden knew this course was going to be exhausting for everybody. It was new and nobody had run it. The locale was out of the consolation zone of elite racers used to working the marquee races in New York and Boston and the like. In these races, Linden is aware of the place the robust components are, the place the pack will surge, the place she is going to damage. In Atlanta, the day earlier than the race, she didn’t even know the place she was going to get her common prerace bowl of rice.
As anticipated, the race began slowly and tactically, with six-minute miles, then slowly gained steam. Still, 14 girls crossed the midway mark directly, in 1:14:38, and at Mile 20, there have been as many as 10 runners with a shot at the podium. Linden, proper there amongst the leaders, appeared stable.
Then, round Mile 22, she felt the tempo quicken, as Molly Seidel and Aliphine Tuliamuk pushed to a 5:17 mile.
“A big jump for me,” Linden mentioned.
She didn’t have a solution.
For a second, she thought of Boston, simply seven weeks away. Maybe she should jog in, save her legs and are available again sturdy for that race? She dismissed the thought. Stay out right here and struggle. And so she did, into the wind, up the hills of the last miles, getting only one spot away from a seat on the aircraft.
And that’s the place she completed.
“You learn,” she mentioned whereas the reminiscence was contemporary and goose bumps had been rising in the chilly wind of the end space. “You think: Next time. And then: Oh, yeah, no next time.”
Linden might be 40 in 4 years. She has been at this for greater than a decade. So a lot ache, so many miles.
But Boston beckons. That’s the place all the miles lead, as she has mentioned, particularly on a day like Saturday, when she was pressured to strive exhausting to consider that typically a race isn’t about the outcomes however the effort and the course of. Believing in anything may result in insanity. Plus, a brand new era is rising.