Saturday, February 9, 2008

Still learning

Yesterday and today marked the second to last meet of the indoor season, the BU Valentine Invitational. This was a HUGE meet with roughly 2800 athletes competing between the 2 days. Just like the Terrier Invite two weeks ago, the women ran on Fri with the DMR on Sat and the men ran on Sat with the DMR on Fri.
Yesterday turned out to be a long day. I went to work at the gym until noon, then I came home hoping to sneak a little nap in before I headed over to BU. Unfortunately my plans were a bit foiled. I kind of volunteered myself to take care of the team packet (collect $$ & make sure everyone has bib numbers) at the meet. I was unaware that I was meet manager for the team until I checked my email when I got home. So I had to pack up and rush to track much earlier than anticipated since the meet had already started at that point. I didn't mind going up early since all I would be doing anyways would be sitting around the house doing nothing, whereas at the track I could watch the races. The only downside of it was my race was the last of the night and it wasn't scheduled to go off until 8:55p.
I entered into the 1000m again looking to improve, though I guess that's what every runner has in mind when choosing what they're going to race. I've been working on my visualizations the past week, trying to get "on track". I definitely felt good. The race felt okay. I improved by 1 sec. Not bad. It's that learning experience thing. It was pretty much the same race as the last with my 200m splits (34.7, 37, 40, 43, 35)- So now it's trying to find a strategy to have more even splits. I led the way until about the 650 mark, and this is where I've been straggling in many of my races. Three girls passed me and I broke my focus. I've slowly becoming aware that this has been a mental breaking point for me, I've noticed it as well in practices. Not so much of the sense of defeat but more along the lines of losing the concentration. When I'm leading I have nothing to focus on except me, the track & my race, when I'm being passed at any point I shift focus onto the everything but me. I don't regain the focus back until I hit the last 200 and hear the lap bell, but by then I've given up too much time. It's very similar to when you're trying to get a child's attention, so you shake shake some keys or such and they look at you, then they turn back their attention to what they were doing before. That's what my races have been equated to. The distance coach {we'll call him Coach TD...for grace of not keeping names. He's not my coach} jokes with me that I fall asleep in the middle of the race. One amusing part of my night is Coach TD recalled one of the guys while watching my race commented on that I looked like I was dying and he promptly replied no she's just taking a snooze just wait she'll wake up in about 150 meters. I laughed, the infamous kick. (Video of the 1000m on Fri)

Today in the whole wasn't there. I was present physically (sort of) but I truly wasn't there. The main factor here is sleep. I didn't get home until 11p and I wasn't able to unwind completely for a couple of hours after that. I was supposed to be up by 8a, that didn't happen, I got out of bed around 9:15ish. I knew I'd be cutting myself short since the DMR went off at 10:45a and it takes appx 30 min to get to BU taking the T (I would have drove but parking's more of a hassle than I care to deal with). I got there with an inkling of time to spare. I managed to shave some minutes by getting off the T a few stops earlier and used that as my warmup. Kudos to me for using a bit a ingenuity. Though I had a feeling when I got up that I wasn't up to par it became clearer when I started to do strides. My body felt so heavy and flat. There wasn't any spring in my step. Not being able to back out at this point being as it's a relay and there wasn't anyone there to replace my leg, I just ran to run. I didn't care to get my split time, knowing that if it wasn't what I should have run it would upset me. I ran what I could. I can't change today but I can certainly change tomorrow. I still have 5 months until all of this matters the most. Then I repeat the process again in Dec and it will continue until I stop running at the ripe age of let's say 90. One can only hope!

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