Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Let's play ball

Ok so this is not a game of ball but more however a game of playing catch up. My last real post beyond the Boston one was February 21. And well obviously things have happened in between that time and now. As much as I would like to give them all neatly separate posts, let's be honest if I attempt to do that I'll be playing catch up again, leaving the masses of 5 people wondering what's going on. I'm going to recap the past couple months hitting all key moments and trying to not leave out any relevant pieces. Hold on for the lovely ride back in time.

Not going to lie this was a pretty low month for me, when I say low I mean bottomed out low. The saying when it rains it pours, well it was a mastermind storm going on for me. I'd love to elaborate on all the tidings and as therapeutic as it might be I'd rather not hash out all the personal details for the public to see, but it is noteworthy to share that things were bad. Running sucked, my racing sucked, work sucked, things just sucked all around. End of story.

Beginning of March things weren't super great but they started to balance out for me. I will say that as bad as things were the last month I learned a lot about myself and truly grew as a person. I also learned to reach out. I tend to try attempt to tackle everything by myself, which is partially why I ended up in the place I was. But that's neither here nor there. In my personal life things really took off for me and turned a corner at the end of the month.
As for my running, indoor racing season officially ended for me March 5th. I capped off my crappy "train through" season with a mile. I wasn't quite in mile shape but I was curious and I also thought it might be the only way I could salvage the season not hitting a single goal on my goal list. I managed to scrap a 1 sec PB so I will deem that successful. I trained through the rest of the month prepping for outdoor season to start in April.

April 1st was my soft outdoor track opener at St John's in Queens. At this point I hadn't stepped foot on an outside 400m track since November. Yikes! This isn't exactly conducive to 400 hurdles, since you really can't replicate the hurdle placement on an indoor track. The need to race hurdles as much as possible made this meet a necessity. It wasn't fantastic but it also wasn't completely disastrous. More a practice than anything, getting my body primed for the next couple months. I also threw in some 100 high hurdles in for good measure as a debut race since it was a very low key meet where I wouldn't feel intimidated. My goal was to finish and I did that, not pretty but ground work set in place.  
After the April 1 magic then kind of set in, that corner I was turning at the end of last month flipped me into extreme happiness and almost perfection (I say almost because there's always room for more awesomeness). I was connected with insanely incredible people and the already incredible people in my life were right there by my side. The weather was getting nicer, the things I struggled with in my running training came together. I was in bliss. 

April 13th I raced my official outdoor season opener in New Jersey, 400IH then double backed with a 200 right after. What was supposed to be a great post on this meet unfortunately turned to the shadow of the misdealings in Boston. This meet was beyond what I imagined it to be, even though I always have extreme hopeful ambitions. I ended up leaving for the meet a little/lot earlier than I wanted but was getting a ride from a good friend and teammate who was competing in the first event so I just made it work. We got there at 11a, hurdles weren't expected to go off until at least 330p and that didn't include if the meet ran behind (which it did). I decided during the extra downtime to hide away in the car and relax for a couple hours and hopefully decompress before I raced. I don't know if it was this time before hand, my training going well, life in place or possibly the art therapy (I'll have another post explaining this a little more in detail) but I managed a 1 sec PR (3 sec faster race than soft opener) AND some really spot on hurdles. I even hit a handful of hurdles with my right leg lead which I've never done in the past in a race (this is a struggle of mine, I will stutter to a hurdle to make it hit with my stronger left lead). My last hurdle which is often one of the weakest was probably the strongest hurdle of my race. I knew the second that I went over that hurdle it was exactly as it should be, then as touched down I caught a glimsp of the clock at the finish line and couldn't hold back the happiness. I didn't know the exact finish time but I KNEW it was PR. It was seriously the best feeling. Afterwards chatted with a couple teammates and even they said that was the best that they had seen me race. I couldn't get too over my moon since I still had a 200 to bang out. I was already "warmed up"  and pretty lactic from the race so I just sat still for the hot 15 min I had before I had to line up. Did a couple drills, shook out my legs, and wound my legs into the blocks when my heat was called to the line. I really had no super expectations from this race seeing as I just walked off the finish line of another race. When I came out of the blocks my legs were like bricks and did not want to turn over, eventually after 100 meters they got some turn to them. I could see the clock but it was hard to tell exactly what the official final time was. I thought I had a small PR but couldn't be certain until I saw the results. Low and behold it was a .5sec personal best! Well hot damn! Double PRs back to back in an opening meet. I couldn't have been more ecstatic. This. This was exactly that boost to my track ego that I needed. Still a ways to go and still a lot more potential for the hurdles to get much faster but going in the right direction.

Well there you have the great catch up of 2013. Hopefully I won't leave you hanging in rafters again as the next couple months unwind to Club Nationals. 

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