Friday, February 29, 2008


If there was another word for the pain I feel, then tally it with OUCH! Sometimes I over exaggerate things a bit, but now's not case. Tuesday's practice kicked not only my butt, but also my thighs, calves, pecs, abs, and pretty much every connective muscle in my body. Since we won't be competing for a while we've reverted back to some strength workouts. We did a set of 50 ab exercises, then 20 push ups, a drill for an extended amount of time, jog 200m, then sprint 200m, then repeat the sequence 8 times. Secretly I really love this workout. I have absolutely not an ounce of energy at the end but I enjoy the challenge. What I don't enjoy however is how my body feels not the next day but 2 days later. Oh the joy of delayed onset muscle soreness. I even ice bathed afterwards (which is seemly becoming a common practice of mine) and it still hurts. Runners...It's crazy to think what we put our bodies through hoping it will make that one moment down the line the most glorious one we've ever experienced. Can't wait for that day!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Reload, rewire, reassessment time

The indoor season is now officially over. Competing wise that is-thankfully we'll still be practicing inside for about another month. Sunday was the USATF Indoor Club New England meet, I ran the 800 and a leg of the 4x400. My parents came to watch with my youngest sister, who was so excited to see me run. I love that I aspire her to pursue being a runner. It makes me giddy when I hear that she wants to run track. She didn't get to see me run my best race or even close to it but I don't think she cared. And honestly I didn't really either, well I did care but it wasn't as disappointing as it has been in the past.
I decided that I would go out with a different race tactic than usual-Not go out into the lead right away but hang back a little and make a move on lap 3. Well it didn't exactly pan out quite like I planned. I did hang back but I never made the move up. I just didn't have it in me. I felt sluggish after the first 200, I didn't even have my infamous kick at the last lap. Even one of my teammates said I didn't look like myself. I'm not sure if it was the approach for the race or if it was just me being exhausted.
It is what it what it is...time for a new game plan. So I've taken myself back to earlier in the season when I was running strong, trying to pin point what I was doing differently then than I am now. I've found that I've been slacking in the weight training and mileage. I've decided that I'm going to rework my lifting schedule back into training more regularly as well as some hill workouts and stadium stairs. I hope that this will make a difference, if not than I'll figure something else out. I am absolutely stoked for the outdoor season to take off!! Ready to take on my PR's.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A not so Daily Quote

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer"
-Albert Camus

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!

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Here's an excerpt from the my so called life-haha I think that that show was actually supposed to be made for me, though I can't say I've ever watched it, so maybe just the title was meant for me. Anyways I've been slumming around the past couple of weeks after returning from my vacation, due to losing my job while I was away (it was by no fault of my own, I'm over it, there was nothing I could do) It's been kind of like getting hit by a freight train you didn't see coming, actually it is that, for some time now. I've sent out dozens of resumes, went on countless interviews and so far have come up empty handed. All the while I've been telling myself that everything will work out, just be patient, something will come out of the work. I've been trying to keep up the appearance of it's all good. But truthfully I've been doubting myself, I haven't been fully believing in the things that I keep telling myself. It's that slow creeping doubt, the one that isn't there initially but once it finds it's way in it lingers, then by the time you've flushed the negative thoughts it's too late. You become the victim of self sabotage. All too often I find myself in this tangled web I've spun in all aspects of my life. (Just to clear things I'm not always a "Negative Nelly" by any means, just at times)

Yesterday was the start of Lent. I'm not super crazy religious and what not but I have my beliefs (enough said). Typically I give up a food or something along those lines, this year after countless thinking of what vice I should give up, I decided to give up being negative and all negative thoughts. This all came about because last week I got a book to help guide me some with the mental aspect of my running. To briefly sum up the book, it's mind over matter, positive thinking, visualization techniques, etc., one of those self-help round-a-about kind of things. As I was reading it and contemplating giving up sweets, it came to me...what better way to kick start the mental game then to let go of the If-I-think-of-the-worst-possible-scenario-when-something-turns-out-bad-it-won't-be-as-bad-and when-it-turns-out-good-then-it's-great security blanket.

Well to get to the heart of the story, yesterday I went to a place that I knew was hiring, and filled out an application. The manager gave me an on the spot interview, I also interviewed with the owner. It went very well, and was told that the manager and owner would talk things over the following morning and I'd get a call today if they wanted to set something up with me. I left with a superbly great feeling. I woke up this morning, even with not getting a good night's sleep, very positive. So early this afternoon I decided to give my house a good scrubbing, it's been a tad bit neglected. At this point I hadn't heard anything back from the restaurant, but I made a promise to give up the negativity, so I continued to clean and not get down on it. As I was cleaning I picked a piece of paper and on it was the word "Believe", it happened to be part of a tattoo I started to design about 2 months ago. What's funny about this is on one side was mass doodling and on the other was the lone word without the rest of the design and phrase. I laughed to myself and thought I do need to believe, put the paper away and finished cleaning. I continued to think about that piece of paper and how ironic it was that it pops up in that very moment seeing as I haven't seen the paper in a while and I've been going through this whole epiphany thing. After the cleaning frenzy ended I sat down to check my email. NO joke there in my inbox is an email from the owner saying that the manager was out today and they'd like me to come in on Mon to train/trial period. It's sounds crazy that just thinking of a positive word brings a positive ending but as far as I'm concerned it's one step closer to me believing in me, in all my walks and runs of life!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

No pain, no gain...right??

I made the trek up to Dartmouth today so that I could get in an extra race in before the end of the indoor season. I also wanted to change up the scenery and race the mile, to hopefully drop my time from earlier in the season. I ran 5:33.71, which is a second faster than my mile in December. I'd be lying if I said I was pleased with the time, but at the same time I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I honestly should not have ran. So sometime last weekned my calves were getting a little achy but I just kind of pushed it to the back of my mind and iced. It wasn't anything painful until yesterday. When I finished my run, the pain was petty bad. I knew that I had shin splints. As I got ready in the morning I told myself that it's nothing to worry about, hopped in my car and made the 2 hour drive up to NH. I should have scratched, needless to add that I only had my sprint spikes with me...not helping the cause. I sucked it up, what else would a stubborn mule do, and raced the mile in the spikes...yes I hear you all reprimanding me right now. But see it's okay because I have to pay the consequences...because of my pig-headedness I have to take training off and sit on a bike for the next couple of days instead of running!! You see my friends that hurts worse than the pain in shins right now. It all could have been avoided had I just listened to the little aches and voices telling to take it easy. But seriously telling a runner to take it easy is like telling a child not touch something that they really want to touch. You know that 9 times out of 10 they're going to touch it.
So though I'm not happy with the race, I realize that external factors besides my mind contributed to my performance, therefore I can't be too upset about it and dwell on the negative. I'm working being more positive when I don't have a good race. I have the next race. This part of my training might just be more difficult than the physical part. It's a work in progress.