Sunday, January 27, 2013

Third time's a charm?

On Friday morning I took my usual January pilgrimage to the motherland (for those not in my know the motherland is Boston) for a track meet, BU Terrier Invitational. I love this meet and pretty much every time I've raced it I have PR'd. Why wouldn't I love it. It's also is a great excuse to see and catch up with old teammates/friends since I've ran away to NY and don't get to see these lovely faces as often as I'd like. Again why wouldn't I love it. There is only one major caveat that I do not love about it though. I've become a super bad traveler in the past years, somewhere somehow I've developed a serious bout of motion sickness when I'm a passenger in cars and buses. For obvious reason this doesn't bode so well when trying to race. To add boot I also am unable to sleep in all moving vehicles, and of course sleep is said to help aide in the ease of symptoms.

Let's quickly back up to the week(s) leading up to this race day. I believe in order for me to be a complete athlete I have to be honest with myself and come out with the truth and the whole truth. That also means sharing that truth with my blog and to others. Here's that truth: I haven't really been on my game with my training since after Christmas. It's been quite spotty and inconsistent. I have no real viable excuse (except the actual week of). Yes the 2 prior races that haven't panned out quite to my liking have had some direct effect on my lack of passion. I mean blaming a couple lack luster performances isn't exactly nothing but it's not a good excuse. I need to (wo)man up take responsibility, especially if I want to excel in my sport. You get out what you put in and I know this. On a real excuse note I did however the day after I registered on Monday actually got legit sick, go figure. Already many strikes against me going in to the race.

Now back to race day. In order to accommodate other plans Thursday night, I decided to take a risk and bus up to Boston the morning of my race (I wasn't scheduled to race until 5p so I had hoped that catching an early bus I could maybe off set the inevitable). This bus ride managed to only procure a very mild case of nausea, Woosah! there might be a small bit of hope for my race later. I get into Boston at noon, grab lunch at South Station and kill a little bit of time before I make my way over to the track. I try not to get myself worked up and keep settled down before I have to warm up. I manage to do an alright job of this. It's incredibly hard not to sit still and even harder when you see so many people you haven't seen in forever and want to get all chatty with. When it came time to warm up I had managed to take a young runner under my wing. Oddly calming her same worked up nerves and assuring her that she'd be fine helped me to settle my own. Weird how that works.
The earlier strikes against me had me not knowing exactly where I would be time wise so my plan for this race was to be aggressive and present. Lining up on the line for a 2 turn stagger sharing my lane with another racer, I hear the 1 command then the gun and off I go. I knew I was fast off the start but I wasn't going to back off since I've done that in the past and it hasn't turned out well. The 1st 400 was on the quick side, then I fell off in the next 200 (that 600 split always finds a way to get me), I managed to not so prettily hold on for my last lap kicking down 1 girl, finishing in 2:20.74. Gah, I know that I'm in way better shape than that. I also know that the preceding weeks dictated exactly what I ran, so I am only to blame. Not super thrilled but I'll take it, I executed my race just as I had planned (can't be mad about that).
After cooling down I found myself scouring the meet calendar figuring out how to finagle the upcoming race schedule and where I'd race. I also found myself again in the mentoring role to my young wing runner as we chatted about her long future as a runner. This and my fired up race ignited a spark that had been out for the past couple weeks. Finally I'm back to my spunky runner ways (so much so that I even went on a 5 miler the day after).
Also since I decided to hang around for the next day I was able to watch Day 2 of the meet with the men's events, getting to catch a couple Olympians boss a few races. Yeah no big deal. Also another spark to fuel the fire.

A horrible blurry camera phone (b/c I forgot my real camera) photo of Galen Rupp trying to break AR in the mile.

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