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  • Michelle Howell

Back to Des Moines

The Midwest is not somewhere I ever thought I'd be thrilled to go to. Last June I ended my track season there on Drake's baby blue track after a whirlwind of a travel schedule.

This year returning to the USA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines not only a goal, but an expectation. In January I sat down with my coach, discussing my fall and winter training in preparation for the indoor season fast approaching. We talked about goals for the season, my main one being advancing out of the first round of prelims at USA's. A month ago I ended that conversation with a drastically different goal for the season; finish.

If I've learned anything from my first professional season it's that luck and consistency is key. For me luck has definitely not been on my side. From a freak accident and nagging injuries this season has snowballed into a haphazard last month or so of just trying to get back into racing shape. While practices have been back on track, racing well was not really happening. After hitting in the high 2:05 range I went into the DCRR Track Championships ,capstone of the Eastern Track League , with the intention of it being my last race of the season.

Tables, they turn sometimes

Magic clearly happened at the DCRR meet because things are finally coming together. I ran .1 off my personal record in addition to winning my heat, but most importantly felt amazing doing it. Last Tuesday I officially declared to run the 800 at USA's, something at the beginning of this month still seemed like a pipe dream.

With my bags packed to the brim I'm heading back to Des Moines for my second consecutive USA Outdoor Championships eager and ready to see what's possible.

You can watch me and follow along via NBC Gold

Thursday July 25th Women's 800 meter Prelim 6:22 CT

Photos are compliments of @007trackfan and @runwashington