Tuesday, February 18, 2020

2:45:01 and Beyond: Rachael Warner Sanchez

Rachael was among the gutsy last-minute OTQ in HOU chasers.  She certainly had guts - her race plan was to stay with the OTQ pack (no Plan B).  She tells others "We should all savor the process", which is the perfect message for any of us who have ever fallen short of our goal (read: every one of us!).  She loves the way the sport brings people from all different paths together.  She is coached by Kyle Heffner, a 1980 marathon Olympian, and planning to spend 2020 building speed in anticipation of the 2024 qualifying standards.
Name: Rachael Warner Sanchez
Age: 32
City/State: McKinney, TX
Occupation: Law Enforcement

Hobbies/interests outside of running:
Family/friend time and relaxing!

When did you start chasing the OTQ and what inspired you to try?
My good friend Raquel (who hit the B standard at CIM) suggested we try because, with hard work, 2:45:00 was doable. I started in earnest over the summer but with some anemia issues, my big push for OTQ started after running in the Chicago Marathon in October 2019

Tell us about the races you attempted to OTQ at and the outcomes.
The Chevron Houston Marathon in January 2020 was my first real attempt. At Grandma’s Marathon in June 2019 I tested the pace but was not a full on effort. Circling back to my real attempt in Houston, I gave myself one goal (A long shot): hang onto the pace group for as long as possible. There are no second place options today. That was my “A” goal. My other “A” goal was to remain positive and supportive if I fell off pace.

What did you gain from this journey?
This journey really motivated me to try again because the atmosphere of the OTQ shake out run and the huge group of us trying for the same goal was inspiring. I also feel the ability is there because I explored training volume that I had never done before and in a very short amount of time, I made good progress.

What are you most proud of about your OTQ pursuit?
I am most proud that I stuck to the initial goal. For 20 miles I loved the dream. I was running OTQ pace. I promised myself to go until my body would not and then just jog/run/struggle in. All or nothing.

Do you have any regrets or things you wish you’d done differently in your OTQ pursuit?
For sure the surging due to the large size of group taxed my legs in ways I was not used to yet. I had never experienced that kind of race rhythm and feel it took some of my energy from me. I ultimately wasn’t fully ready yet for a 2:45:00 marathon but I came off the group probably a few miles sooner than if I had been running more smoothly. We all had to contend with those circumstances of course.

What message would you like to send to those following your running pursuits?
We all should savor the process. Allow yourself to feel the fruits of one’s hard work and even when a race doesn’t go as planed, still rejoice in the positives that got one to that point. Of course feeling disappointment is part of the process (Don’t feel ashamed for running someone else’s “dream time” and it not hitting the mark for your own personal goal). Gratitude from Deena Kastor’s book, very much, is what it’s all about.

Tell us something unique about yourself.
I am not very unique but I guess one could say I’m corky with an odd sense of humor.

What’s next for you?
I will be focusing on shorter/quicker races in 2020 to help build the threshold power needed for the marathon and wait for the new standards to be released. The 2021 Boston Marathon may be my next marathon.

I currently race for a team in North Texas called the Iron Distance Project and am coached by a man named Kyle Heffner. I will be looking forward to training and racing with my teammates this season. Mr. Heffner is a 1980 marathon Olympian who has really clicked with what my goals are and we are both excited to keep developing my endurance running abilities.

Anything else you’d like to share?
I’d like to say to all the runners out there, both male and female, to keep on running and bolstering this wonderful sport! Seeing other runner’s journeys has been a true pleasure and would love for all of us to keep the ball rolling in this activity that brings all walks of life together.

1 comment:

  1. running someone else’s “dream time” I love that comment. There are so many times when a workout goes poorly or I have a bad race and I remind myself, that is someone else's PR or a time they will never hit. And I don't deserve it any more than them, I just got lucky with my genetics.