Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Gains and Losses

The road rolls on back to New York. I have no more steeple chances left but I do have a chance for a provisional race. The last Tuesday night at the races it is, 1500m here I go. I sign up and decided to grab an extra finish sticker just in case I miss the 1500 and I have to try for the 3000. I try to keep positive and know in my head that I can hit 5 minutes. I line up and start asking around if anyone planned on racing a sub 5 so I could make sure that I pace with them, only one girl answers and tell me it's all mine and to go ahead. That doesn't really help me. The gun goes off and I go trying not to go out too fast, a couple of girls go way out, I decide not to go with them. Shoulda, coulda, woulda just went and held on, instead I meagerly eased on running by myself and missed my time by 6 seconds. I was pretty heart broken. I bitterly try to get myself together to race the 3K in a short while afterwards. It was hard to digest that I had to go at it again. As the race started and the rain started with it, I should have just let the let down wash away and put my whole effort into it. I let it go for the first mile, trying my hardest to stay on the shoulder of a girl who I knew would clear the time I needed, then the length of the race got to me. It allowed me time to think, and I slowly I lost touch with the girl and myself. Being a thinker is a great attribute to have, but it's one of my biggest hindrances in life. It causes me sleepless nights, unmade decisions, and faulty races. I don't want to not be conscious of what's around me but I do need to learn when to stop. Needless my thoughts, and maybe a few outside sources ie. by the end of the 1st lap it was pouring rain, I failed yet again.
After going over,and over in my head,replaying every move I should have made, harping on the 6 seconds in the 1500, I completely failed to recognize that I had a PB in both races. They aren't huge leaps and with proper training I could easily abolish those times, but nonetheless they were still the fastest times I've ever run in either race. You win some and you lose some and sometimes those losses are actually wins.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Close but no Cigar

On my quest to pick up a qualifying time for the steeple, I thought racing back to back distance races might be a brilliant idea to achieve that. Of course as we all know that is simply not the case. I was paying for those two 3K races days later. My calf muscles did not want to do anything, by anything I mean anything, including walking. Not good especially since I was planning on racing New England's on Sunday, a mere 4 days later. My only solution to hopefully get myself up and running was resting , and lots of massage (self and paid). I bit the bullet and didn't run the days leading up to the next meet. This could have been detrimental, but not so much as devastating as not being able to run or attempt again.
I hop on the bus for yet another 4 hour pilgrimage to Boston. Per usual I like to fill my cup til it runneth over. I started off with a meager intermediate hurdle action. I was simply just curious as to what I could run on pure strength and no speed. I seriously did not have any expectations, yes you read that correctly no expectations. I mean I did kind of hope that I'd hit the minimum time for Nationals, but that was just hoping. In the end it proved to be blah, I went over the first hurdle ok then I'm not sure what exactly happened at the 2nd hurdle. Not sure if I forgot I was hurdling or in my attempt to studder step I got too close, but I approach hurdle 2 and miss my take off so I stop at the hurdle for a good couple seconds. I sit and debate walking off the track or popping over the hurdle and continuing. I make a split decision and continue to finish the race. I knew the end result wasn't what I was looking for but I finished the race and looked forward to the next race, steeple.
I was geared up and ready to take on the steeple, I chatted with another teammate in the race during our warmup and settled that I would stick with her for as long as I could and then when I couldn't I would keep her within distance.  After 2 laps I lost contact with her but I kept her in my eye trying not to let her get more than 100m ahead. For one of the1st times racing this race I felt really good going over the barriers, especially the water pit. I really thought that I might have a chance, but yet again I was disappointed by 23 seconds. I was however 1 min faster than the week before so I knew that there was progress, I would just have to find another race to beat it out of myself.
A good plus besides the improvement was my family came down to cheer me on. It was nice to be able to see them since the move. I also decided to make it an extra long weekend and stayed through Tue to practice with the team and hang out with friends. What more could a girl ask for, I certainly was a happy camper!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Rinse and repeat

Finally after the many months of starting and stopping and trying to get myself on a consistent training program I have success. Four weeks down and counting, mileage is up and strength is returning. I'm finally feeling like myself again. Slightly speedless and hurdleless but back.
Perfectly timed is a New Balance Twilight Meet in Boston with a steeplechase. I decide to give it a go. Turns out to not hit my expectations of qualifying for Nationals, I was a minute off. In the beginning I felt a bit foolish against some of the field, but I still mustered up to the line, even as I felt flat for the 7.5 laps, I still hammered on. Not sure if I wasn't ready to race yet or maybe doing the travel thing the day of was a bad idea. Either way I did it. I needed to get my legs rolling and besides I got to see and hang out with my teammates, even if only for a couple of hours.
Next up a couple of days later, there's a low-key meet in NY. I decided that I would attempt to qualify through a provisional race for the steeple. I know that the times and races correlate with each other to a degree, but sometimes it's a little easier to run a flat race vs a hurdled race. I thought maybe my body wasn't quite adjusted to popping over 28 barriers and 7 water pits, and maybe I just needed to ease into it. Not that I ease into much, seeing as 90% of the time I'm a take gusto kind of person rather than a take my time. Why not give it a try. I debated between the 1500 and the 3000 or even both, and in the end opted for the longer race thinking that I should be able to hit the qualifying time without too much trouble, even though I'd never actually raced that particular distance flat before. I also had a slight feeling that I'd either hit the mark for the 15 or I'd be devastatingly close (which would be frustrating). I gave it my all or something as near to my all as I could. No luck, 30 seconds away.
Still hoping there's a chance I set my head to Sunday, Club New Englands. No telling what 3 races in a weeks time will do.