Monday, October 25, 2010

Where Does The Day Go

Monday’s and Wednesday’s always feel like the longest days ever.  I wake up around the same time everyday, but each time something different hurts.  Today as I woke up and tried to get out of bed, I realized my abs were still hurting from an intense core workout last Thursday.  I tried three times to sit up, but the only thing that would rise was my head.  I accepted defeat and just rolled out of bed instead.  This looked like it was going to be a great day already.  Every morning I start off with a protein shake, just milk and a couple scoops of the grossed protein I’ve ever tasted.  I’ve always learned though, if it taste bad, its going to work…Thanks Buckley’s for that life lesson :-s  I choke down the concoction along with the ten different vitamins and minerals I take to start off the day.  After drinking my shake my taste buds are usually pretty disgusted with me, so I wait a while to eat anything.  I use this time to creep! I spend a little time on Facebook to check out what my friends are up to and try to respond to any emails that I get. Creepin’ definitely makes me miss home a lots, but I just remind myself that I’m here for a reason and I just focus on that to get me through it. 

After the nasty taste finally dissipates from my mouth, I can finally eat breakfast! I try to eat the same thing every morning, that way I know it won’t mess with my stomach at practice and I will have enough energy to train.  Once I’m done eating I still have a bit of time before practice starts so I do a little on my own before I head out.  I took a yoga class in my last semester of school as a joke, but now its actually paying off.  I spend about 45mins doing yoga to help loosen up, and stretch out any nagging tightness before practice.  After yoga I shower up then start packing and get ready for practice.  I’m use to dressing in layers for practice because around this time in Regina it would be starting to get really cold.  Old habits are hard to drop, so five layers later I’m ready to go to practice! I pack extra clothes because after practice I still have lifting to do, and lifting in sweaty clothes is no fun.

Every practice is hard, but Monday’s always seem the worse.  This Monday is no different, 600-300-200-200 is on the  plate for today.  I’ve slowly getting better at running 600s but no matter what they still hurt.  The five layers of clothing turn out to be too much, so after my warm up jog, I’m already down to two.  As the layers come off I know the workout is coming closer and closer.  I work through my drills and dread what’s coming at the end.  Once again I stretch out anything that is tight, then I’m ready to go.  The first time I did this workout I ran the 600 in over two minutes, my goal this time is just to beat that.  I line up and tell myself that its going to be ok and just to give it all I’ve got.  I take off pretty hard and at first I worry that it may have been too hard.  I set myself into a good pace and just tell myself to hold it.  300 meters in and I’m actually still feeling pretty good, I’m actually a little surprised.  I pick it up just a little and continues to keep my form.  With 200 meters left I expect fatigue to set in, but nothing, I’m still feeling great.  I pick it up one more time and pump my arms faster. I finish in just over 1:38, I’m more then pleased with my results!  I can’t believe the improvement, now just to finish the rest of the workout.  We have a rest before the next rep so I try to conserve my legs and prepare for the next one. Anything after a 600 feels like a piece of cake, I fly through the rest of the workout and leave the track pretty satisfied.  After the running portion we still aren’t done.  A couple lengths of drills are up next.  When your tired running As and walking Bs are just that much harder. My legs can barely lift, they feel like 100 pounds each. I activate my core to keep my balance as my hips and my legs burn with each step. Thirty meters feels like 100 and the drills seem like they take forever to finish.  Even though it all hurt, taking off more then 20 seconds in the 600 in just a couple weeks felt pretty awesome. I’m excited to see how this will improve my time in my races.

Even though the workout is done, I’m still not done training for the day, off to the weight room.  I take a bit of a break though before hitting the weights.  I give my body a minute to recover so I can put in a solid effort with the weights.  This week I’ve only got 3x3reps of bench press, back squat and hang cleans.  Even though its low reps, its going to be pretty heavy so I need all the energy I can get to do them. 

After the little break my body feels ready to go, and I hit the weight room.  I am able to do each rep and each set with no problem.  I’m pretty close to where my maxes were at the end of last season, and I’m just getting started.  Once weights are done my body is exhausted.  I spend a good ten minutes in the ice cold tub to give my body the therapy it wants.  I never though water that cold could feel any good, but today it feels amazing.

By the time I get home its been close to six hours.  All I want to do is sleep, but I muster the strength to cook myself a nice little supper and plop in front of the TV to finally relax.  I’m not really sure what’s on but I know it feels good to finally sit. 

This is day 1, only 4 more to go…

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Feelin Good'

So coming to this group and this training program was a pretty big shock to me. I’ve been doing running like I never have been before, and getting my butt whooped in workouts like I never did before.  The first few weeks were pretty hard on the body and the ego.  I was never good at running anything over 300 meters in a workout and now I’m getting distances like 600 meters thrown at me.  I tried my best when I started to not get too down on the long runs, but the home stretch was always a killer.  I would lose my form and the pack would just get farther and farther away from me. 

This week started off a little different for me though.  The workout was still really hard, but something felt different, something felt better.  Monday’s workout was 6-3-3-2-2-2 with 15-5-3-3-3 minutes break in between.  The first 600 meter I did when I came was 2:10 and ever the couple after that were still in and around there.  When I stepped to the line for this one though, I knew it was going to be different.  I pushed through the first 400 meters with ease and kept my form and my rhythm.  When I came to 200 meters left I expected my legs to get heavy and my form to break down.  It didn’t happen though, not this time.  This time I felt fine.  I was able to bring it home with easy and 20 seconds faster then before.  I was able to complete the rest of the workout with ease.  The last two were hard, but I still gave it my all.  I can feel my body adapting to the workouts and it feels great!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Up and Running

Where to even start?  It has been a VERY long time since I last blogged.  I think when you last heard from me I was just heading back to Regina for my convocation.  I finally got that piece of paper after six and a half years of university.  I didn’t stick around too long to enjoy it though.  By the end of the week I was on the road again.  After running two races in Alberta I headed back to Toronto to prepare for nationals.

Nationals didn’t exactly go how I wanted, but it was a learning experience.  A week before the event I went to Tobago for a family get together, which was amazing, however it was not good for my back.  Returning to Toronto the week of nationals was a not enough time to get repaired in time to race. 

On race day I knew things were not right, but I wanted to run anyways.  As the gun went off and I took my first step out of the blocks I knew my injury was real and a pain shot from my stomach to quad.  I tried to push through, but with every step the pain got worse and worse.  Coming around the last corner I told myself, ‘150 to go Ese, you can do it!’. I attempted to put it into another gear, but instead more pain.  I couldn’t take it anymore, it was too much! I pulled up just at the end of the bend and watched the rest of the field run past me and finish.  I wasn’t sure which hurt more at that point, my leg, or the shame of not finishing. 

I headed back to Regina a week after nationals still very disappointed in my performance.  The pain in my leg persisted as well as the one in my heart.  I had never not finished a race, and it hurt more then I thought it would. I spent a lot of time lounging around the house re-playing the race over and over in my head, each time ending with tears.  I hated the feeling and knew that I never wanted to experience it again.  I went to physio to help get my leg better so when base season came I’d be good to go.

The Toronto experience over the summer was a good one and I learned a whole lot in the two months I was there.  After some discussion with my coach in Regina and the coaches in Toronto we decided that Toronto might just be the best place for me.  I was super excited, and also scared.  So far in my life the Regina and White City were the only places I had ever lived and trained, was I going to be ready for this kind of move?

The offseason flew by faster then I thought it would and next thing I knew it was September 18th and I was on the road.  After several teary good-byes I was out.  I packed up my Lancer and headed due east.  Two provinces, six states and 2500km later I found myself in Canada’s biggest city.  I wasted no time to get to training, straight from the road I jumped into my first workout.  Nothing too hard though, a couple 100s on the grass just to get the blood flowing and get that nasty drive out of my legs.

So now I’ve been here for just over three weeks and the training and the city are definitely a lot more then I’m use to.  The group I’m with is amazing and a big change from back in Regina.  The first full week was real hard and at times I thought I was going to die! As the workouts keep coming though I slowly got better and I’m very excited to see how it will help my racing.  My injury from the summer hasn’t really bothered me yet, knock on wood, and I use the experience at nationals to fuel me to do well in workouts.

I’m excited for this change, and so far its been good.  I’ll try to keep updates coming, and I’ll try to keep then interesting too ;-)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Toronto Experiment

Well I've been in Toronto now for almost three weeks. I'll be heading home on Tuesday in order to attend my convocation on Wednesday, then back on the road Friday to hopfully compete on Saturday.
This has definitely been a year of suitcase living so far. Starting off in Trinidad, then Arizona and now Toronto. All three locations have had their benefits. The first two were really nice because the weather was beautiful and I was missing winter back home. They were still missing something though. Since being in Toronto I've realized what it partners! Now don't get me wrong Wade and Nathan were awesome dudes to train with, but they were boys and long jumpers so it just wasn't the same.
Since coming to Toronto I've been able to train with an awesome group of girls, and no only girls but sprinters too! The dynamic of the workouts is a lot different when you have someone on your level to train with and I've loved every minute if it. So far the Toronto Experiment has been a success and this weekend we'll find out if it pays off in my race.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On To The Next One

I made it safely out of camp a little injured but still functioning.  I wasn’t able to do all of the workouts, but I did do the last hard workout with the group.  Every year we finish the camp with a Brazilian, not the wax, a circuit.  This year was no exception, and to mark the 30th anniversary of the Tucson camp, the coaches pulled out a retro Brazilian from back in the day.  I tried my best to stay near the front of the pack for the workouts and for the last run I gave it all I had.  It was definitely tough, but I felt pretty good when it was all said and done. 

I took the next day off before starting my adventure back to Canada.  It was hard to believe I’d been in Arizona for almost two months, it seemed like I had just got there.  I did some last minute shopping and sun bathing, then prepared to head back home.  Some how when I packed my bags they seemed lighter than when I came down, I’m not complaining though, it made it a lot easy to get on the road.  After a stop off in Scottsdale to pick up some clothes that were left behind, I headed on the road.  My training partner Wade and I drove back to Canada in our other partner’s, Nathan, car and over the span of the two day drive we experienced all four seasons.  The drive started off nice through Arizona and Utah, the sun was out but not beating down on us and the sky was pretty clear.  As we got closer to Colorado the wind started to pick up and tossed the little car back and forth on the highway.  As we started our way up into the mountains the clouds came out to play and the temperature started to drop.  Before we knew it, it was raining, then soon after it was snowing.  For 5 hours straight we drove through the snow before stopping off in Wyoming for the night.  When we got out of the car we were clearly not prepared or dressed for the weather. We ran into the hotel and instantly pumped up the heat in the room.  The next morning we found out the highways heading east to west were closed because of all the snow! Lucky for us, we were heading north.  The snow had stopped falling but there was still plenty of it on the roads.  Wade did most of the driving, which both of us were pretty ok with.  It had been a while since I drove at all let alone in snow, so this probably wasn’t the time to start.  Slowly but surely though, the clouds started to part and the snow turned to sleet, then rain and finally it was clear.  It seemed like we turned a corner and it all disappeared, then next thing we knew, we were in Montana.  I drove a bit once the roads cleared up and with only one state left till we were home, I didn’t hold back on the gas :-)

The two day tripped when faster then I thought it would and I was super happy to be home.  The stay was a short one though.  We got home on the 12th and by the 17th I was on a plane heading to Toronto. 

I arrived yesterday and the plane ride was remarkable quick and comfortable.  I got a whole row to myself so as soon as we reached cruising altitude I sprawled out across all three seats.  Once we landed I found Toronto a little cooler than I thought it was going to me, so I instantly put on two sweater even before I was out of the building.  I found my uncle right away when I got out and we headed straight to the track to check it out. 

By the time we got home and I got settled in it was already 7 but it definitely didn’t feel that late.  I ate supper and headed to bed by 930 in hopes of getting the time change under control.

So far I haven’t worked out yet, but I’m hoping to get on the track today.  The track is 45 minutes away which is just a bit farther then I would drive back at home. I’m still in the process of figuring out how I’m going to get to and from practice, but I know something will work out…

Friday, May 7, 2010


After resting up my leg and taking it easy for a couple days I decided it was time to test how its doing.  Wednesday morning I did some short speed, but just on the grass to see how things felt.  My hamstring held up pretty well for most of it and I was looking forward to finally lighting it up in the afternoon session.  The workout for the afternoon was some starts on the corner then some speed endurance, 150-120-80 with three minutes break.  After the starts things were feeling pretty good, I could still feel a knot in my leg but things were definitely better.  My coach was a little hesitant to let me do the speed endurance workout, but I was able to convince her that I was ready to run.  Several days of ‘easy’ workouts were really starting to get to me, I was ready to run!  I told my coach that if I felt anything funny I would stop running and call it a day.  I lined up and awaited the commands.  I felt like I was ready both mentally and physically.  *GO!* I pushed off hard and everything was feeling good.  As I came off the bend I went from pushing, to standing up tall and pushing down on the track.  Halfway through the stretch I started to feel something, I had felt this before.  I could feel the knot in my hamstring starting to grab.  Everything was feeling so good! Why was this happening!  I let up at the first feel of the grab and coasted in for the remainder.  I thought I could just walk it off and be ready for the next one.  I started to walk back, and as I did my leg started to burn.  From my bum to my calf was on fire and I could barely move.  As each second passed, the pain got worse and I had to stop in my tracks.  I knew this was going to be the end of my workout.  I took off my spikes are retreated to the pole vault mat to raise my leg and hopefully keep down some inflammation.  I spent the rest of the evening icing and taking Advil trying to keep it from getting any worse.  I knew going into the workout it was possible this was going to happen, so I wasn’t too upset about it. 

I took the next morning off and did an easy workout the following evening. I continued to feel the soreness, so I didn’t push it. After doing some weights and some general drills my hamstring was still holding up pretty well.  I continued to ice all night with hopes of being able to get back to normal workouts. 

This morning I was able to put spikes back on and do some short speed without any pain.  I’m hoping that tonight I’ll be able to do a full workout again without any pain.  I think for the rest of the camp I’ll just try to get the most out of the workouts that I can and not get anymore injured.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Slowly But Surely

Each day since my physio appointment my hamstring has slowly gotten a bit better.  I can still feel some tightness but with each day its definitely getting better.

For the past couple workouts I haven’t been able to do my full workouts and I’ve been kind of disappointed with it.  I’ve been doing a lot of REALLY short speed, 10 meters then shut it down.  Today I was able to do some easy stuff on the grass and I was feeling ok.  I got my hamstring taped up a bit and I think it helped, so tomorrow I get to try out a full workout.

I’m hoping my hamstring loosens up and I can train for the remainder of the camp. So far its looking good, so I’ll have to wait for the morning and see if my leg holds up.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tucson Camp Begins

Every year since my first year of university I have been coming down to Tucson for a high performance training camp.  It runs from April 29th until May 8th and each day usually has two to three workouts in it.  We drove down Thursday early in the afternoon and got in around 3:00.  In the past I had stayed in the camp hotel, but this year we decided to rent a house instead.  It ended up being the same price as staying at the hotel, except now we have a kitchen so we can save some money and cook for ourselves.  Once we finally got in and settled we headed to the track for a nice light warm up to get the drive out of our legs.  When we got to the track there were some University of Arizona athletes training, as well as some of the other members of the camp.  Walking into the track facility brought back many memories of the past camps.  The camp is pretty intense and some days I feel like dying from the workouts.  It was a bit cooler then expected it to be and I actually wore sweats for my whole warm up. 

Friday morning the camp got into full swing.  It was an early rise with a 6am morning run.  My run was 30 minutes, and the guys was only 20, so we woke up at the same time, but immediately parted ways.  The run started off really crappy because it was still pretty cool out in the morning. I ran on campus which was really nice, and by the second half of my run, I had finally warmed up.  I was pretty pooped by the time I got back home, so went back to bed for an hour then got ready for the second workout of the day.  We met at the track at 9 and got a chance to meet the rest of the people attending the camp this year.  There are 12 athletes this year and four coaches.  The weather was still surprisingly cool so the majority of my warm up was done in sweats again.  It felt really strange to be in Arizona and in sweats.  The whole time I was in Scottsdale the weather was really nice, and the last couple days were blazing! We worked on some technical parts of running as a group with one of the coaches.  We worked on quickening our contact on the ground, which meant a lot of ankle exercises.  The drills seemed to take a lot of ‘not thinking’ which I had a pretty hard time doing.  I ended up over thinking a lot of them, then just messing everything up!  I’ll continue to work on them though, because I think they will be really helpful.  We finished up just before 12 then headed home for lunch.  After a little time in the hot tub, I squeezed in a nap before our afternoon session came around.  It was back to the track at 4 for workout number three of the day.  After warming up as a group, everyone slit off into their events.  It was just me and one other girl with the sprints coach.  My blocks still have some way to go, and that’s all the evening practice worked on.  With some help and encouragement from the coach, my starts were beginning to look a lot better.  We finished off the workout with some longer speed, 3 x 150 full out with a 5 minute break.  Some of the other athletes joined us for this part of the workout, so six of us ran them together.  It has been a while since I’ve really trained with anyone, so having five other girls doing these with me was really nice.  The first two felt amazing, and I was able to finish them with out a problem and I wasn’t even tired.  After the second rep though I started to feel a bit of tightness in my hamstring.  I tried to shake it off and not think about it, I had one more left and I’d be done.  The sprints coach told us to just try and run the most technically sounds 150 we could.  He said not to worry about what the time was, and just keep everything together.  Coming off the corner I felt a little bit off, and something just didn’t feel right.  I tried to be tall down the home stretch and I pumped my arms fast and relaxed.  With 50 meters left something was feeling really wrong in my right leg.  It wasn’t a pull, but I could definitely feel my hamstring knotting up.  I eased up and just coasted through the line.  I know my time and my form weren’t the greatest for the last one, but something was feeling very wrong.  After cooling down a bit I could still feel a little something in my hamstring so when I got home I jumped right into the hot tub and put the jets on my hamstring to help work the knot out.  I did a bit more self recovery exercises before I went to bed and hoped it would feel better in the morning.

For Saturday morning we didn’t have a morning run, which I was very happy about.  When I woke up I could still feel a little something in my leg, but it was definitely better than the night before.  I started off practice with some weights and then moved into the running portion.  I didn’t feel too much while lifted weights, so I thought maybe my hamstring would be alright.  Some light split jerks, squats, squat jumps and finished off with incline press.  I hadn’t lifted since last week and it felt good to push a little weight again.  We headed out to the grass to do the running and I felt ready to go.  They were just easy runs, so I thought this would be a good time to test out the leg.  I didn’t go out too hard, but strong enough to see how things felt.  After the first four reps I was feeling ok, but I knew something was still a little off.  I did eight more, and I could feel the tightness building. It wasn’t painful but I knew it wasn’t right.  I finished the last four reps a little slower and eased off a bit.  It was so early into the camp, and it seemed like I was injured already.  We got the afternoon off because there was a meet in the evening at the track.  I had originally planed to go watch, but given how bad my hamstring was feeling, I had an appointment with physio instead. 

I spent about an hour with physio and so far its been the worst hour of this camp.  I’ve never been good with needles, so when acupuncture was recommended I immediately started to panic.  As I was prepped for the needles I could feel my heart start to race and my palms start to sweat.  My coach came with me to help comfort me, and I will admit it did help a bit.  With each prick of the needle though I began to sweat more and all I could think was ‘when is this going to end!’  I maybe got a total of eight needles, but to me if felt like a million.  This was only the second time I had gotten acupuncture and I just hoped it would work. 

I woke up with a bit of soreness from the acupuncture, but my hammy definitely felt a bit better.  Today I took it easy and just tested out how it feels.  I’m really hoping the tightness lets up and I’m able to do some quality training while at this camp.  I hate sitting on the sideline being quasi injured.  Even though the needles really sucked, if its going to help me out I’m willing to do it again.  I’ll just remember to bring an extra t-shirt next time!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Not So Nerves of Steel

After finally getting my muscles loosened up a bit, I was able to compete last week in Los Angeles.  There was still a bit of tightness in my back hamstring, but not nearly as bad as it had been the week before.  The workouts leading up to the meet were fairly light and technical in preparation for competition.  Los Angeles is five hour drive away so we headed out early Thursday morning to get into LA with some time to practice on the track before the meet.  When we finally got to the track, steeplechase was about to start, so we could get right onto the track for a workout.  We walked around a bit and did a light warm up on the field beside the track. Being at the track made me really excited to compete and finally put all my training to work.  We had a pretty quiet night, and when I woke up Friday morning I was more than ready to run.  I didn’t run till 1:55 so after breakfast I chilled then started to work on some mental preparation.  I went over my race in my head over and over again.  I slowed it down and tried to lay out what would be the best way to run my race.  The more I played the race out in my head the more excited I got.  The excitement slowly turned to nervousness.  The more I thought about it, the more ways I figured the race could also go wrong!  I tried to stop thinking about the race and just relax, but it was too late.  I had worked up my nerves too much, and now I had to try to bring them back down by race time. 

We got to the track by 12 and the stands were already filling with people. I walked around for a bit to get a feel of the atmosphere and to try and calm myself down.  I watched some of the races that were going on, and at 12:55 I started my warm up.  The music I listened too during my warm up calmed me down a bit and refocus on my race.  When I finally checked in and got my number I knew game time was right around the corner.  I started scoping out the other girls and tried to figure out who I would be running against.  I knew I was in the third heat, and in lane 8.  The lane wasn’t the best, but I knew I would be running against girls around the same calibre as me.  When the announcer called for my heat I got so excited and nervous I thought I was going to throw up!!  They gave us a couple minutes before the race to set up our blocks and do a couple practice starts.  I went to my lane and tried to refocus as I set up my blocks.  I went down into the start position for a practice start and something felt very off.  I looked down at my feet and realized I had set up my blocks the wrong way, and I had the wrong foot forward!  I quickly changed them up and proceeded to do a practice start.  As I walked back I could see the other girls were ready to go, so I sped up a bit.  I took a look at my blocks one more time, and saw that they were angled in the completely wrong direction.  My nerves had really gotten to me, but by this point I had said ‘forget it’ to myself.  I left my blocks angled the way they were and stood behind my blocks and waited for the race to begin.

*RACERS TO YOUR MARKS*.  I got into my blocks and tried to be as calm as I could.  I tried to clear my mind, but it was going 100 miles an hour.  I tried to pick one thing to think about, one thing to focus on but nothing was working.  As I placed my hands down onto the track I could see them shaking.  *SET*  I took a deep breath in, this was it. *BANG!!*  And we were off.  I really don’t remember much of the start all I remember is looking up and I was coming up to the back stretch.  I could hear the girl coming up on me in lane 7, I wasn’t going to let her pass me, I pushed a little harder.  As I got to the 200 mark I was still feeling alright.  I couldn’t hear the girl behind me anymore and everything was still holding together.  At the top of the bend, everything changed.  Something was happening, things were getting heavy.  I continued to run, and as I came to the home stretch I looked down to the finish and it looked way more than 100 meters away.  The heaviness continued to build, and I couldn’t think of any way to fight it.  The girl in lane 7 passes and all I can think is ‘Go with HER!’  I feel like for two steps I can stay with her, but that soon fades, as do I .  Each step brings the finish line no closer, and I continue to get passed by other girls.  With 20 meters left I all but give up, I stride it out across the finish line and all I feel is exhausted. 

I walk and grab my things and say good job to the other girls.  Most of them are making friends with the garbage cans, as I try to figure out what went wrong.

The first 300 meters of my race were definitely pretty good.  The start needs a little work, but that should be easy to fix.  The nerves got the best of me this time around.  Instead of running my own races, I got caught up in someone else and faded out very hard at the end.  I ended up running 56.49, which considering how bad the last part went, was still pretty good.  Once I finished my race and cooled down, I had a good laugh at myself.  I’m not really sure why I got SO nervous, probably just some first race jitters.  I’m definitely glad I got them out of the way, and now I can just go out and race.  Once the race was over I remembered how much I like racing. 

My next meet will be this weekend at ASU.  My back is feeling much better, after some painful physio appointments, and I think it will hold up until the weekend.  This time I should be able to keep my nerves under check, and hopefully break into the 55 second range.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tight Ain’t Right

Every since mid last week I’ve had a giant knot in my right hamstring.  After practice on Tuesday it felt a little tight, but I didn’t think too much of it.  We had Wednesday off, so I thought this would be a good chance for my hamstring to loosen up.  By Thursday the knot had grown and so had the pain.  I warmed up as usual in hopes that it would loosen up as I got warm.  The workout for the day was 4x4x200, so sixteen 200s all together.  I had three minutes between the reps and five minutes between the sets, so I knew this was going to be hard, even without the bum hamstring.  Putting together how I felt about my leg, with how I felt about the workout, I was very angry going into the workout.  I didn’t like being hurt, and sixteen 200s seemed like a lot to me!  I was able to get through the first set fairly easily, and all in 29 seconds as well.  My hamstring did not get any better though, as the workout went on, the ball seemed to get bigger and more painful with each rep.  The second set started off well, with a 28 and a 29, but the last two ended up as 30, which just made more angry.  I was getting tired, and my leg was just getting worse.  I had two sets left and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it.  My coach could sense my anger, and discomfort, so we agreed to just do one more set.  My legs felt drained, and the sun was in my eyes for every rep, it just seemed like nothing was going right for me.  The first three reps were slow, and I felt like I had nothing left.  My coach told me just to stay strong on the last one and not to worry about the time.  I had to worry about the time though, I needed to redeem myself.  So far the whole workout had felt horrible and I needed to finish off good.  I hit the last 200 with everything I had and more.  I felt like I was floating, and I couldn’t feel anything in my legs, not pain, no tiredness, no energy either! I cross the finish line and clicked down on my watch.  I looked down, all I wanted was a decent time, 29.66! Not bad for being so down, so tired, and a knot the size of a baseball in my hamstring. 

On Friday my training partners competed in long jump at a meet at Mesa Community College.  I warmed up with them to get the blood flowing and feel out how my hamstring was feeling.  It didn’t feel too bad in the morning, and during the warm up jog it was alright too.  I did drills like I normally would, and that’s when the tightness came out again.  I did a couple starts on the corner and that’s when I knew my hamstring still wasn’t ok.  I was worried after my warm up because I had planned on running the next day at a meet at Arizona State University.  This was going to be my season opener and I was super excited to run.  As I warmed up though, my excitement turned to fear.  As I finished my warm up I saw my coach had shown up so I immediately told her what was up.  She felt my hamstring and knew that something wasn’t right with it.  She made the call I hoped she wasn’t going to.  ‘Don’t run tomorrow’, the three words I didn’t want to hear.  It was especially hard to hear that from her, while standing at a track meet.  Being at a meet just made me want to run more, and being told not to was a hard pill to swallow.  I knew  it was for the best though, hurting it seriously now would just mean I wouldn’t be able to run more later.  I enjoyed watching the boys long jump, but longed to compete myself for most of the night.

On Saturday I woke up kind of down knowing that I wasn’t going to be able to run.  As I got out of bed though, the tightness in my hamstring emphasized that not running in the race was for the best.  Me and my partners ended up going later in the evening to watch the meet at the university.  The atmosphere at the university reminded me of that in Trinidad and Tobago during their meets.  The stands were packed, people were cheering, and music was playing.  Being there definitely made me want to run more then ever. I quickly got caught up in the meet though, and just enjoyed being there. 

Today I was back to training.  My leg still hurts a big, but I had an appointment with physio tomorrow, and I’m really hoping it will help.  I’m set to run in LA on Friday.  I feel ready to run, I just have to figure out what’s wrong with my hamstring then I’ll be set to go!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hoppy Easter

I got Easter Sunday off, but not before laying down a good workout on Saturday.  I only had to practice in the morning so I made sure to make it a good one. 3 x 250 with a  15 minute break, this meant all out on each of them, just like I was in a race.  My goal was to do them all in 33, that way in a race I should finish in around 52 or 53 seconds, if I run it right.  I took off hard on the first one, and coming around the corner I felt amazing, and fast! When I crossed the finish line I wasn’t tired at all, and my time was right on, 33.03.  I thought I had fifteen minutes to rest, but when I went over to tell my coach about my time, the break quickly got switched to 12 minutes instead.  That was ok though, I felt fresh and ready to go.  There was a football team practicing in the infield so I watched them during my break.  At ten minutes in, I went back and put my spikes on and got ready for the next rep.  I was still feeling fresh, but I don’t think my mind was 100% into the run.  I took off hard just like before, but as I came into the corner I felt like I was thinking about everything but running.  My mind was wandering, and by the time it came back and refocused on what I was doing I was already done.  I finished in 34.58.  I was a little off, but my main concern was keeping my head in the workout.  For this break I didn’t watch the football practice at all, I just plugged in my iPod and chilled for the break.  I starting to feel a bit tired, but I tried my best to block it out.  Once again at the ten minute mark I headed over to the start.  It seemed just as I was walking over to the start, a bunch of cornerbacks were also heading in the right direction.  As I got ready to do my last rep, the football players started to do some drills which ended with them running out and across the track.  So much for blocking them out!  I tried to get their attention and let them know I was going to go, but I didn’t work.  At 12 minutes I attempted to go, and of course just as I was about to take off, on of the players ran out in front of me.  I must have given him a pretty evil look, because as he walked back he had a look of fear in his face, and he yelled at the other players to stop until I was done. I walked back to the line and tried to re-coop myself.  I took off hard again, but I was still a little hesitant that someone would jump out off the field.  As I hit the corner I knew I wasn’t going as fast as I should be, so I tried to speed it up.  I could feel myself get tighter in the shoulders, and my legs were starting to get heavy.  The last 100 meters seemed to take forever, but I tried my best to keep my hips high throughout the whole run.  I finished 34.98, definitely wasn’t happy at all.  I just wanted to grab something, anything and throw it! My coach had to leave right away, so I rushed over and told her the time.  She saw that I was upset about the times, but she told me not to worry.  The times were still good, and next time I just have to shoot to keep them all in the 33 range.  I guess if my coach is happy with my times, I really shouldn’t have too much to worry about. 

So Sunday was off, partially because it was Easter, but also just to get some rest.  With a race on Saturday, rest will be important this week, and I’ll just work on some fine tuning until then.

Monday I was back to two practices, but still some pretty easy ones.  In the morning I did some general exercises and some light short speed.  I’m still working on some of the pointers that I was given last week.  My first step has gotten a bit better, now to just work on my arm movement.  I felt it come along in a couple of the accels I did, so I at least now know what its suppose to feel like.  For the afternoon workout I was back into the blocks.  Blocks are my weakness, so I’ll be working on them as much as I can to improve my race.  Once again I did a couple starts that felt really good, and my coach said they looked good too.  I finished off with 5 x 150 from the 400 meter start.  This gave me a chance to see what the beginning of my race should feel like.  I think once I get out of the blocks my race is pretty golden, I just gotta keep working on the starts then I’ll be good to go. 

This morning we had off.  I woke up with my a pretty sore hamstring so I went for a jog then tried to stretch it out the best I could.  I’ll have to wait till practice tonight to see if it did the job.  Only a couple days till race day, and I’m hoping my hamstring wont become an issue.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Just Your Typical Monday Workout

Today was back to practice, so up early and at the track by 9am.  The track was a little quieter today as a lot of the junior athletes that had been training with us, left to go back to Canada.  We were finally able to get our coaches undivided attention.  She gave us a warm up that seemed a bit familiar and it wasn’t till I was halfway through I realized what it was.  It was the Monday warm up, which meant Monday’s workout.  It was 6x200 with 3 minute break. The last time I did this workout was the day I got into Arizona, and it got the best of me.  Today I was a little more rested and prepared for the workout,  so it shouldn’t go too bad.  Just like the last time, I did the first rep a little too fast, 28 seconds.  I was feeling pretty loose and not too tire though, so it may not end too bad.  The next four were in 29 seconds, but on the fifth one I was really tired.  I could feel as I came down the straight that my form was falling apart and I was getting.  With each run it was taking me that much longer to walk back to the start to get ready for the next rep.  I took an extra 30 seconds for the last one, and gave it all I got.  The first 50 meters I didn’t really feel anything, but as I came around the corner, that quickly changed.  I looked down to the finish line and it seemed like with each step it got further away instead of closer.  By the time I crossed that line my hips had dropped and my arms were barely moving, everything you don’t want when you run! I was still able to finish in 30 seconds, and this time my breakfast wasn’t all over the track when I was done.  I was able to improve from last time, and not feel as bad when I was finished. 

After a hard morning, I had a little bit easier afternoon.  I had worked a lot on my starts a could days ago, so in the afternoon we tested it out on the corners.  I pulled out the blocks and tried to work on what I was taught, and on a couple of the starts it actually felt a bit better. I know if I continue to work on my weaknesses my overall race will become a lot better.  Both of today’s workouts felt really good, and I know I’m on my way to a really good season.  Only 8 days till race day, and I starting to feel really ready :-)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rest and Recovery

Today I only had one practice, which was a very nice change.  I spent the morning working on the weakest part of my race, my starts.  I worked with one of the sprints coaches to help break down my start and figure out what I had been doing wrong.  It seems like everything I knew about starts was wrong :-s  We ended up breaking it down to the first two steps of my start and tried to dissect and analyse it from there.  I got a lot of good advice, but by the time the starts session was over my mind and body were both beat! I was suppose to do some speed endurance afterwards, but my coach called it off since my brain had taken such a beating from working on my start.  I’ve got a couple things to focus on for now, and hopefully if I get those down, my starts will be a little bit better.

The rest of the day we were actually given off, same with tomorrow! This has been the most time off I’ve had in a while and I’m not 100% sure what to do with it.  The rest will be important though because when we head back it will be a couple of really hard days of training, then preparation for the meet on the 10th.  My hips are pretty sore after all the short speed this morning so I’ll try to stretch that out, then just chill for the rest of the break. 

After this break I think training will pick up a bit, plus competitions will start.  This is finally the time when all that hard training will get put to the test.  The first three meets will be pretty big ones for me.  Before this year I’d only really competed in Saskatchewan and in a couple small meets in BC.  My coach says they will be a good start to the season, and should be really good for experience.  I’m always down for experience, as long as it makes me better in the long run…get it, long run :-)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Circuit City

I had this morning off so I was able to sleep in a little bit.  I closed the blinds a bit to keep the sun out, but it was still able to wake me by 8:30, so, so much for sleeping in I guess.  I used the morning to relax and go to the mall and walk around for a bit.  By 2 I was antsy and ready to go to practice, but I still had 2 hours before we left.  Lucky for me USA was having a Law and Order marathon!  I got captured by the title music and next thing I knew it was time to leave. 

It was an easy workout for me today.  The other girls I had been training with were doing some testing, but my coached decided that I would just do a circuit instead.  I had no complaints with the switch up and enjoyed every minute of the circuit :-)

Tomorrow I’ll be working on my starts and some short speed.  I’ve realized these are my weaknesses in my race, so I’m hoping I’ll learn some things to help that out.

I found out today that I’ll be running in a meet on April 10th.  At first I was a little nervous, but as the day went on it turned to excitement.  I know I’ve done a lot of training up to now, and now I need to just put it all together.  I’ve heard the track is pretty quick too, so if anything, that will help me out as well :-) 

(11 days till race day!)

Training Camp

So I've been in Arizona for just over a week now and so far it's been pretty good. The day I got in was a little rough though.
I landed in Phoenix at 9:30 prepared to go straight to the track. My partner picked me up and it was the first time I'd seen him since November. It was nice to be back with the old group and around some familiar faces. We dropped my bag off and when straight to the track. My workout was 6 x 200 with a 3 minute break. The break ended up being just long enough to slowly walk across the field and get ready to go again. The goal for the runs was 29 seconds, so I knew it was going to kinda hurt. The first rep wa in 28 so I had a good feel of how the rest needed to be. Even though it was a little fast I knew I'd have to take out the rest just like I did the first in order to keep them around the target. The next three were in 29 and I could feel the heavy legs start to build up. It was nice to have my training partners there cheering me on, and I knew they were really gonna help on the last two. I took an extra ten second break on the fifth one and just told myself to take off hard and set myself up for a good run. The first few steps were a little weak, but I recooped myself with 150 meters left. As I came off the bend the finish line seemed farther away then before. I tried to look up and past it and just pumped my arms through. 30.03 was my time, a little off the mark but still ok. I was feeling a little more tired than usual but I only had one left. I lightly jogged across the field and got ready for the last one. I didn't want the tiredness to kick in so I kept moving until it was time to run. I took off as hard as I could but by the third step both my legs felt like they weighed a thousand pounds each. I tried my hardest to keep my knees driving up and my arms pumping though. With 50 meters left I could feel my whole body fall apart. I was too tired to fight it, I finished in 30.28. It felt a lot slower so I was somewhat happy, but I was also tired as hell. I walked back to the start with my partners and they helped point out somethings I could work on for next time. I could hear what they were saying but for some reason it wasn't sticking. My head was light and my body wanted to just collapse and rest. Half way back I had to stop and just lay down. As I layed there I could hear noises around me but they didn't mean anything too me, I just wanted the pain to stop. I knew I shouldn't stay down for too long so I got up and tried my best to get moving. I made it back to the start but I still felt aweful. One of my partners offered me a protien bar to make me feel better, but it did the exact opposite. On bite of the bar induced barf faster than a bottle of epicac. We realized that waking up at four, only eating three mini oranges, then going straight from the airport to the track was not the best pre workout plan. My partners finished off their workout as I rested then we headed back to the house.
The rest of the days have consisted of two a day workouts which at first I was a little worried about. While in Tobago I did a couple days here and there with two a day practices, but it seemed like almost everyday down in Arizona has been a two a day. I've been able to adjust pretty well so far though. Other than a little tightness my body has felt pretty good.
My coach came down on the 23rd but it wasn't until the 26th that we were able to see her. Athletics Canada is holding a camp 20 minutes from where we are staying and since my coach is coaching the camp we are able to train with them as well. Some of Canada's best athletes and coaches are at the camp, so being there is very intimidating but also very exciting. I've been able to get some help from some of the coaches on my starts, which are my weakness. I'm hoping I'll be able to transfer what I learn from them into my races and make some improvements on my time.
Today we have the morning off which is a nice little treat. I slept in a bit and now I can just relax until practice tonight at 5. Hopefully it's nothing too hard :-)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Poor Neglected Blog

So its been a good week since my last post.  My week in Texas ended up being very enjoyable.  I was able to do all my workouts with little to no interruptions. My sister was on spring break the week I came down, so the detour ended up working out perfectly.  The day after I first got in I was suppose to workout, but given it was 10:30 pm by the time I landed in Dallas I figured it was a good idea to take the day off. 

Wednesday I did the workout that was prescribed to me for Tuesday and it went pretty well.  It was a bit cooler then I thought it was going to be given I was in Texas.  I warmed up with quiet a few layers on, but by the time I was ready to get into the workout, the layers got stripped off.  It was a pretty easy workout on paper, with a lot of drills, but my body was still stiff from all the flying the day before, so the workout felt a little harder then it was suppose to be.  Some of the high school kids came in to practice over the break and it gave me a chance to try out my coaching skills.  I was able to help a couple girls with some drills, which felt really good.  After practice I was pretty tired, and as soon as I got home I ate real quick, then headed right to bed. 

Thursday I finally felt refreshed and back to normal from all the traveling.  I had a short speed workout and the weather was a lot nicer out then the day before.  As I looked down to the start line I could see heat waves come up from the track.  Since I left Tobago I hadn’t seen anything close to a heat wave, so this was a very welcome site.  My sister was working out at the same time as me, and she was able to give me some feedback on a couple of my short sprints.  She was able to help me fix a couple things off my start, and by my last rep I definitely felt some improvement.

Friday was a day off, so I hung out with my sister and my nieces.  By Saturday it had cooled down a bit, and had actually started to rain.  It was cold, and only 2 degrees out! I couldn’t believe that I was actually in Texas with this crappy weather.  My workout was 3X250 with 12 minutes break, so I was going to have to run them pretty hard.  I warmed up the best I could inside the field houses, but as soon as I got outside, it felt like I hadn’t warmed up at all.  I did a couple drills outside, then headed right into the workout.  It seemed like right as I started my first run the wind picked up and it started to rain again.  I tried my best to push through it, and keep strong through the run. My goal for the runs was 33 seconds, but when I looked down at my watch I saw 36. I was pretty disappoint with the time, but I reminded that the weather wasn’t helping and just tried to refocus on the next reps.  I headed straight into the field house as soon as I was done running to keep warm, and try to amp up for the next rep.  The next two reps were not much different from the first, running 36 and 37 seconds.  I was really down after the runs, and didn’t even do a cool down, I just walked to the car and was ready to go home. I was pretty quiet for most of the ride home trying to figure out what went wrong.  The weather was bad and it definitely didn’t help the workout at all.  I told myself that next time it would go better, and just chalk this crappy workout up to the weather.

Sunday was off as well, so the whole family headed into town and went out for some creole food as a little treat.  Monday was a similar workout to the week before.  The temperature had gotten a lot better, but I decided to still do the workout inside the field house.  There were a lot of drills and no long runs, so it was nice to have the cushion of the field for them.  My sister had to head back to work on Monday so I just went with her to the school in the morning.  It was a lot different there when there were kids in the hallways.  By the time I had finished my own workout, the high school kids were starting up theirs.  The girls I had helped a couple days earlier were there, and it seemed like what I told them had stuck.

Monday was my last day in Texas, I was heading out early on Tuesday to Phoenix to finally be with my training partners.  I went shopping with my sister for some dry foods and cereal to take with me over to Phoenix.  And like always I was up take doing last minute packing for Tuesday morning.  My flight was heading out at 8:30am, and in order to beat the rush hour traffic we had to leave at 5:30am, so it meant a pretty early morning for me.  I got up at 4:20am and finished up packing and headed out the door right on time.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Well after a week at home I was ready to leave.  I did my workout on Monday at the university then said good bye to my friends once again.  The week seemed to go by really quick, and it felt like I was just repacking what I had unpacked.  I've learned from travelling to Tobago how to pack a little bit more efficiently.  Going down to Tobago I was over by 23 pounds between my two bags.  I wore most of the stuff that I brought, but I also know that I brought things that I didn’t touch the whole time I was down.  I was able to fit all I needed in two small bags, maybe weighing 50 pounds collectively and that included three pairs of shoes. 

I left really early this morning and headed to Phoenix.  I had a 6:53 flight, so once again I had a sleepless night with fears of missing my flight.  Lucky for me my mom was taking me, and minutes before my alarm went off I heard her moving around up stairs. Instead of hitting the snooze button I got up right away and finished up with some last minute packing.  It seems like no matter how hard I try, I always seem to forget something when I pack.  I got luck this time and only forgot my deodorant…well luck for me, not so lucky for the guy beside me.  I left for Phoenix not 100% sure where I was going to be staying.  I have a couple training partners down in Phoenix already, but unfortunately they won’t have room for me for a week.  I had made a couple calls, and prayed they would just work out once I got there.  On the lay over in Denver I found out that one of the arrangements fell through, so I crossed my fingers for the other one to work out.  Well I must not have crossed them hard enough, because when I finally got to Phoenix I found out the second one fell through as well. 

I spent about an hour and half looking for affordable accommodations but to find something for the week was going to be very expensive, and my tight budget was not going to be able to afford it.  I felt defeated.  I knew I couldn’t head back home, I needed to train outdoors and Regina wasn’t going to cut it right now.  I need to start doing longer, faster runs and the smaller indoor track at the university makes it very hard to do that. 

I started to brainstorm, and after a couple text messages, a few phone calls and doing something's I’m not very proud of I was able to acquire a ticket to Dallas.  My sister lives near Dallas and she’s on spring break so I’ll be able to stay with her and train outdoors.  It ended up being cheaper to fly to go to Dallas for the week and spend with my sister, than to stay in a hotel in Phoenix.  So even though this little detour wasn’t planned, I think it will be for the best.  This way I can see my sister and still be able to train.  This week is an easy week, so I’m glad that I travelled this week.  If this had been a harder week I would have been a lot more stressed about this all. 

I think everything happens for a reason, and maybe I wasn’t meant to spend this week in Arizona.  I should be able to get all my workouts in, and not lose ground by heading to Dallas.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

One Week Catch Up

Well I’ve been back home for a week now, and I’m already getting prepared to leave again.  The last week in Tobago ended up going by pretty quick.  After the time trial on Sunday, I had my last workout at the park on Monday.  6x300 with a three minute break.  The week before I had done the workout a little too fast, so this time around control was the key.  The goal for the reps was 50 seconds, so my focus was on keeping them around there.  I still wanted to run them hard, but more relaxed was going to be the key.  I started off hard, but instead of accelerating at each corner I maintained my form as good as I could. The first one was 51.62 so just a little faster than the goal, but not as fast as the week before.  It felt really good, and it gave me a good idea of how the rest of the workout should go.  The break was only 3 minutes, so just enough time to walk back and shake out the legs a bit before I got going again.  I took off just like I did the first one and relaxed the whole way through.  I didn’t feel like I was pushing any harder than the first rep, but the time showed me otherwise, 49.61.  I wasn’t feeling too tired and the reps were feeling really relaxed, so the best I was hoping for at this point was that I wouldn’t get too tired by the end of the workout.  The third rep ended up being too fast again, and part of me was feeling a bit frustrated.  No matter how much I tried to relax, I was still going to fast…but I guess better too fast than too slow.  I was starting to feel a little tired, so going into the next rep I just focused on keeping my knees high down the home stretch.  Coming around the last bend I could feel I was getting tired, so I just fought to keep my form and finished in 50.01.  Right on goal, but now I was getting tired, so the last two were going to be really hard.  The break seemed to go by faster when was tired, and the fifth rep was a struggle to finish.  It started off really well, but as I came around the first corner my legs felt like they weighed 100 pounds each.  It was really hard to keep my form coming home, and the time showed it, 52.09.  I wasn’t really sure what happen, but off the start of the rep I wasn’t feeling like I was going to run well.  I let the mental part of the rep get the best of me and it really effected my performance.  I knew the last one was going to be my final run at the park and I wanted to make it a good one.  I wanted to end my training in Tobago on a high note.  I got all the negative thoughts that had accumulated from the last rep out of my head, and hit the last one with all that I had.  It seemed like within a blink I was already 100 meters in, and coming around the first corner.  This rep I didn’t feel tired and I just thought, ‘I wanna finish off good’.  I accelerated off the corner, pushed through the pain and pumped my arms as hard as I could.  I finished off in 49.40 and was ready to keel over!  I felt good though about the way I had finished.  It was my final workout at the park, so after cooling down I spent some time saying good bye.  I was going up with the secondary school kids, so I exchanged contact with some of the older athletes then said good bye to Shaw Park.  The park was a great training facility for the time I was down in Tobago.  I was able to improve in my short speed quiet a bit, and the park made it a lot easier on my body to train.  I know I’ll miss the great friends I’ve made in Tobago, but I do plan on coming back real soon so I’ll try not to be too sad.

One Tuesday I had to wake up super early to catch to boat over to Trinidad.  This would be the final good bye to my uncle in Tobago as I’ll head back to Canada from Trinidad on Saturday.  I’ve learned a great deal about myself, not only as an athlete but as a person while also getting to know my uncle in Tobago.  I really look forward to returning to Tobago not only for the amazing weather, but more so to spend more quality time with my family.

I wasn’t able to train once I got over to Trinidad, so I used it as a week to rest, and just enjoyed the secondary school meet on Wednesday and Thursday.  A lot of the kids that I trained with did very well at the meet, and it was nice to see their hard work pay off in competition.

Friday was my last full day in Trinidad so I did some last minute souvenir shopping.  I couldn’t believe that my time had already run up and I was heading back home.  It felt like I had just got to Trinidad, and now it was time to leave.

Saturday and Sunday were travelling days.  Saturday I flew to Miami and spent then night, then headed back to Regina on Sunday.  As happy as I was to be home to see my friend, I was not happy to see snow.  Waking up on Monday I looking out the window all I saw was snow everywhere!  It had been less than 24 hours, and I was already ready to leave Regina, I was not feeling this cold!  I did my workouts for the week at the university with the university team.  Nationals were on the weekend so, most of my friends only practiced on Monday and Tuesday then headed to Windsor of Wednesday for the meet.  It was nice to get onto the softer track at the university, but the air really killed me.  My workouts were similar to the ones I had been doing in Tobago, but my body was not liking the adjustments to the indoor track.  After two workouts my body was already starting to feel sore and tight, so I knew I needed to get back on an outdoor track right away. 

My training partners are in Arizona, so I decided to head down as soon as possible.  I’m leaving Tuesday, and hoping that training inside hasn’t done too much damage on my body yet.  It’s a bit cooler in Phoenix than it was in Tobago, but I guess it will have to do :-)  I’m definitely happy to be back with my group, and in just under a month competition season will begin.  Hopefully all my hard work so far will pay off.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wrapping Up

Friday was a day off so I tried to use it to get ahead in my packing.  My uncle is headed to Trinidad on Monday for a round of chemo, so he will be taking one of my bags down ahead of time for me.  Once I got my first bag done it started to kick in that I was really leaving in a week.  It seemed like when I wanted time to slow down the most, it sped up into high gear.  When I was done packing one bag I still had a lot off stuff left.  I don’t know how I was able to pack it all the first time, but this time I’ll take it home in three bags instead of just two.  I went to a beach for the last time, and just like always it was perfect.  I sat on the beach and just enjoyed the waves crashing over my feet at first, then I went in for the last time.  There were a couple fish that swam up close, and the water was nice and warm.  We stayed until the sun started to set, and then it was time to say good bye to the beach. 

Saturday was church day for my uncle.  Since I have been here I think he has been out to church two or three times, and I hadn’t got with him yet.  He was going to the church he would be pastoring once he gets better and I decided to go with him to check it out.  The church was down in town, right by the shore.  When we got there they had started already, so we snuck in the back to join.  I had decided to wear a nice light sweater which quickly turned out to be a mistake.  There was a nice breeze from the sea coming through the door, and couple fans, but I was still sweating like crazy!  Other then the over heating though, the church service was really nice.  There was lots of singing and dancing, kind of like the black churches you see on TV. We spent lots of time afterwards catching up with people my uncle hadn’t seen in a long time.  A lot of them were very surprised in how well my uncle was doing, and even amazed he had made it through his surgery.  Every time I see my uncle I remember how much he’s been through, and how positive he still is about everything, and just how strong he has been.  He has been a real motivation and inspiration for me while I’ve been in Tobago. 

Once we got home I rested up for a bit, then headed to the soccer field down the street.  I had an easy workout since there were time trials on Sunday.  10x200 turn arounds on the grass, with 100 meter walk recovery.  Nothing too hard, but something to get the heart going.  I used this workout to try and work out some kinks in my form.  I think since I’ve come to Tobago my arm movement has gotten a lot better, so for this workout I tried to focus more on my legs.  Even though the workout was suppose to be nice and light, it seemed like the more I focused on getting my legs in the right position, the faster I would go.  The workout ended up going a lot faster then I thought it was, and I was done in just over an hour. 

I headed back home and just as I walked in the door, a friend called and invited me out for the night, talk about perfect timing.  I quickly got ready and headed back down the hill to get picked up.  It was my friend’s aunt’s birthday and he said it was going to be a big party.  Well he wasn’t lying.  There were cars lined up for several blocks and the crowd was huge.  When we finally parked the car and got to the house, the sweet aroma of Trini food filled the air.  I didn’t have time to eat after working out, so this was going to be perfect.  My friend had to help a bit with the park, so I plopped myself beside the food table and ate to my hearts content.  We stayed for a while and mingled, and my uncle actually ended up at the same party.  By 11 I was beat so we headed back home. 

Sunday was the last time trial for me and I wanted to end with some good times.  For the first time I was not the first person to the track for time trials.  There was a handful of guys already there waiting to get started.  Everyone was limin’ near the storage area, where there happen to be a golf cart.  Before I knew it, three guys were pushing and four were pulling the cart all around the track. None of the guys have there licenses and I could definitely tell watching then try to manuver the human propelled vehicle. From where I was sitting I could not see the stands, but the boys could.  All of a sudden in mid turn all the boys on the golf cart bailed like it was a sinking ship.  They all ran under the stadium, leaving me sitting there wondering what had just happened. Thirty seconds later one of the coaches came waltzing down the stairs, then one by one the boys came from under the stadium acting as though they had just got there.  I started to warm up for my last time trial not knowing what I was going to run, I just knew whatever it was, it was going to be fast.  The high school kids have their national championships on Wednesday and Thursday, so I knew there weren’t going to be too many rounds for the time trials, I prepared myself for a 200 or maybe a 150.  I was ready to go for the 200 when I was told it was going to be a 300 instead, I was a little off but either way I was going to run it well.  It was me and two other guys running the 300, then one guy running 300 hurdles.  I tried to put into play everything I had worked on during the week.  The 300s that I had done on Thursday helped me mentally to be prepared for the time trial.  I use to get scared of 300s because I thought they were too far, and that I was going to get tired.  Now I know that I may get a little tired, but doing reps of three or more 300s in practice help to let me know that no matter what, after I run I’ll be alright.  I made my way over to the 300 meter start and told myself just to take it out like I had on practice on Thursday.  Short quick steps off the start with a good acceleration phase, pick it up with 200 left, then once again on the home stretch.  The first 200 went just as planned, nice and smooth.  I didn’t get caught up in anyone’s race but my own, I knew where the guy in front, beside, and behind me were, but that didn’t change how I was going to run at all.  Coming on to the home stretch I could feel the tiredness kicking in.  I dropped my form coming off the corner and I could feel it.  I fought to bring it back, and as I did I could feel myself get taller and my stride come back.  There was a boy coming up on my from my left, I did not want to let him pass me.  I pumped my arms as hard as I could and finished off strong.  40.50 was my time, not a personal best, but my best so far in Tobago.  We took a short break, then went right into a 150. Doing the longer distances first really help to make the shorter ones seem not as bad.  I ran the 150 like it was a really long acceleration phase.  One of the coaches told me that patience wins the race.  I tried to stay low and powerful for as long as I could, and made a smooth transition into running up nice and tall.  I stayed relaxed but still quick and the time showed it paid off, 18.28, another good time.  Before coming to Tobago I ran 18.22 once before, and that was three years ago.  So, coming back and almost running a personal best just 5 minutes after running a 300 was awesome.  My shorter speeds have gotten really good since coming down, and it feels good.  I finished off with two 60 meter sprints, but unfortunately I didn’t get the times.  The 60s felt good, and I was able to keep fairly close to the guys, so I think they went pretty well.

And just like that, my last time trial was over. I now only have a week left in Trinidad and Tobago.  I’ll be going with the secondary school kids to Trinidad for nationals on Tuesday, so tomorrow will be the last workout at the track.  I still can’t believe my times almost up, it feels like I just got here.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Watch Yuh Step

So, for the workout on Thursday I had made some predictions on how I was going to do.  I never claimed to be Miss. Cleo, so I ended up being a little off. “I predict…42.22, 42.68, 42.40…so I guess we will see.”  I ended up running 42.64, 42.20 and 41.97.  Like I said, I was a bit off :-)  I was definitely happy with my runs, and I was able to do them all on my own. The first rep I just told myself to try hard on having a good first 100 then see where that sets me up for the rest.  It was suggested to me to shorten up my first three to four steps off the start and make them quicker, so I did just that.  It seemed like by the time I was coming up from my acceleration I was heading into the bend.  The pace felt good, so I maintained it for the next 150 meter.  I wasn’t feeling tired or anything, so for the last 50 I just kept my hips up and brought it home.  When I looked down at my watch I knew I was a little off from my prediction, but I felt really good and I wasn’t tired at all from my run.  I relaxed for the break and just shook out my legs to make sure the tiredness didn’t kick in.  I chatted with some of the other athletes, then with three minutes left in the break, I headed over to the 300 meter start.  I relaxed myself then got ready for the next rep.  I was going to try the same thing again for the second one, but carry it over for 150 meters instead of just 100.  The shorter quick strides felt good from the first one, so this time I just focused on making them even quicker next rep.  Once again the acceleration phase felt amazing, and going into the bend I accelerated even more.  I came down the home stretch with ease.  The whole run felt effortless and when I stopped the watch I though it might have been slower then the first.  I looked down at my watch and it showed me otherwise. 0.44 faster than the first, and it felt real easy.  I did the same for the break as I did for the first because it seemed to work.  I just relaxed and didn’t think about the run until 3 minutes left in the break.  At that time I headed back to the start and got refocused on the last rep.  At this point I was very happy with how the workout was going so far.  I wanted to end just as good as I started if not better.  I reminded myself how easy the first two reps were and told myself just to step it up one more notch for the last one.  I took the last one out just as I did the second one.  Once again I accelerated around the curve, and this time when I had only 100 meters left, I stepped it up one more time.  I told myself this was the last one, and after I was done I would rest.  I pumped my arms as fast as I could but still stayed relaxed.  I could feel my legs get tired, but instead of thinking about my legs I just focused on my arms.  I tried my best to keep my form, and when I crossed the finish line I knew I had given it all I had.  I was so tired I didn’t even look at my watch, I fell to my hands and knees and just stayed there.  As I was hunched over I brought myself to look at my watch and as I saw the time I had a jolt of energy that brought me to my feet.  41.97, I was so excited I jumped up and pumped both arms in the air.  The excitement lasted for about 30 seconds before tiredness kicked back in.  I slowly made my way over to the side and started to take off my shoes.  I took my shoe and sock off my left foot first and naturally moved over to the right foot.  As I started to loosen up my right shoe I felt a burning sensation on my left foot.  A figured I ran so fast my feet were probably on fire.  I looked down though to find something very different.  Seven very large black ants were biting their way through my foot with no mercy.  I swear they were trying to burry their heads in, and it hurt.  I was so tired though all I could do was try to blow them off.  Somewhere between my head and my feet though the power of my blow weakened and didn’t even phase the ants.  They continues to bite hard, so I had to muster up some strength to bend over and kill them before they killed me! Once I finally got them all off I quickly moved away from the ant hill and relocated to the water pipe.  The biting was bad, but the burning was even worse.  I ran the water on my foot until the burning stopped, but large red welts remained to remind me of the attack of the ants. 

Two days later the welts have come down a bit, but smaller bumps remain as does the itching.  I guess this will just teach me that no matter how tired I am, I still need to watch where I step.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Don’t Know What You Got Till It’s Gone

With less than two weeks left in paradise, I’m trying to take full advantage of the remainder of my stay.   Yesterday I was able to do two workouts and both of them went very well.  The morning workout was just basic drills to help work on my technique and form.  Since I didn’t need any equipment for the workout I trained on the field down the street instead of at the park.  My uncle was able to join me for a morning workout, which was nice to have him along.  He started chemotherapy on Monday and he’s trying his darndest to exercise and sweat out any ill effects it might bring on.  He walked and jogged around the field as I did my workout in the centre.  Seeing him fight through everything he has gone through, then having him there with me working out side by side was a huge motivator for me.  I realized I have it pretty good, and all I need to do is work hard and I’ll be able to achieve my goals.

After a hour of drills for me, and walking for my uncle, we were both drenched through and through.  The 12 o’clock sun beat down hard on us for the walk home, but as we came up the last hill before home, a cool island breeze helped cool us down.  After breakfast I spent the rest of the morning limin’ with my uncle and getting prepared for the evening’s workout. 

The workout for the evening was 4(4x50m) strong runs.  The workout always seems easy when I see it on paper, but by the third 50m run, I remember its not going to be that easy.  This workout will help me on my form though, and the coaches were able to tell me what to fix and what looked good.  From day one here I’ve been told I look tight when I run, so that’s all I focused on for the workout.  I tried my best to relax my shoulders and it paid off.  The coach said I looked like a totally different person, which I assumed was a good thing. By the time I was done running the sun was down, but it was still nice and warm.  I did a nice long cool down with some drills then spent 20 minutes sitting down and listening.  I could hear the ocean, the birds, some bats, I could hear the chatter of people at the other end of the field.  I looked up and I could see the moon crystal clear like I had never seen back home.  I looked off into the hills and they were spotted with lights from peoples homes.  It was hard to believe my time was almost up, it felt like I had just got here.  Before I got too overwhelmed I jogged back to the gym and lifted weights until my uncle came to pick me up.

Today when I woke up I could feel the effect of last nights sprints and weight lifting session.  With every step I could feel tightness in everything below the waist.  I went for a walk with my uncle to help loosen me up, and it worked! My uncle continues to whoop my butt when it comes to walking though, and today I was only able to make 3 rounds of the community, whereas he was able to do 4.  I told him I had to save my legs for my workout later on, when really I just couldn’t keep up to him anymore.  When I got back I quickly ate breakfast, then I started to pack my bags up.  I don’t leave until next week, but I know if I don’t start now I’ll be rushing and I’ll probably forget something.  I was able to get in with the secondary school sports team that is competing in Trinidad next week for their national meet, so I’ll be leaving Tobago on the 2nd.  This is the big meet of the year for the secondary school kids, and I guess for the past 14 or 15 years straight, Tobago has beaten Trinidad.  I’m going to go with them and help the kids with their warm ups and getting to the call room in time. I think its going to be a great experience, and ten times as entertaining as the meet that was in Tobago. 

The workout for tonight was drills again.  When I get two days in a row of drills, I know the third day’s workouts are going to be hard.  Tomorrow morning I’ll be doing some short speed and block work on the corner.  Then in the evening I have 300-300-300, with a goal of 42 seconds.  Last week I was a little off of the goal, but I feel with how well I did the workout on Monday I will be able to hit this goal no problem.  I predict…42.22, 42.68, 42.40…so I guess we will see.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Two Weeks And Counting

Yesterday I spent the morning on a glass bottom boat.  The boat was suppose to leave at 11 and be back by 1 giving me two hours to rest before the time trials.  I should have know better that the boat was not going to leave on time.  When 11:30 rolled around and the boat was not there, I knew I was going to be late for the time trials.  We boarded at 12 and by that time I had conceded that I was going to be late, and just enjoyed the ride instead of stressing out.  The boat took us out to the Buccoo reef where we were able to see a corals and fish through the glass in the floor.  Once we set anchor the captain gave us the option to go snorkelling.  I didn’t hesitate for a minutes and I stripped off my clothes and jumped in even before getting my snorkel.  After getting properly equipped I was able to see way better and get right up close to the coral and some fish.  One of the guides lead us off to a part where some sting rays were sleeping.  He dove down and scared them so they became visible.  We followed the sting rays around a bit and uncovered four of them before heading back to the boat.  The next stop on the trip was to a nylon pool.  The pool was maybe waist deep, but it was located in what felt like the middle off the ocean. The sand in the pool was made up of dead coral and the guide said it was really good for exfoliating.  My uncles rubbed some of the sand on their arms, and I was about to, when someone notices the sand made your skin stink like fish.  I very quickly let go of the sand in my hand and just swam around instead.  When we finally headed back to shore I knew it was getting well after 1 and the activities so far had tired me out a bit.  We got back and changed out and it was already quarter past two.  I knew for sure I was going to be late, but the adventure on the reef was worth it.

As soon as I got back home I changed into my workout gear and headed right back out the door, sea salt and all.  I ended up making it to the track by 3:10 and when I got there there was music playing and I wasn’t quiet sure why.  As I walked through the stands and to the track I came to see a large stage set up on the home stretch.  It then clicked in, all the banners I had been seeing, there was a  comedy show and it was that night.  The show wasn’t till later on, but they were already there setting up the stage.  I found my coach helping some people with some shot put, and I went to him to see what the deal was.  No one else was going to be coming for the time trials, but I was free to still train if I wanted.  I was pretty tired from all the swimming, but with only two weeks left in Tobago, I wasn’t going to waste a training day.  I ended up doing some short speed and coach helped time me do a 150.  He had a video camera with him, so I was able to watch my runs and get some good analysis which I usually wouldn’t be able to do on a time trial day.  By the time I got back home I was so tired from all the activities throughout the day I was ready to go straight to bed.  But as I entered the house, I saw countertops full of food prepared by my mom and my aunts earlier in the day and my tiredness was quickly replaced by hunger.  With all the activities I hadn’t had time to properly eat and I guess I was hungry then I though as I ate two and a half heaping plates of food.  I fell asleep real quick after supper and had the best sleep ever.  I may have in fact been in some sort of food coma, but it was good either way.

Today was the first real day back to training since coming back from Trinidad.  I had trained last week, but it didn’t really feel the same.  There were no people at the track last week and the atmosphere was just different.  Today was back to normal though.  As I came into the park I was greeted by several familiar faces.  And just like before there were people having heated discussions about something or the other, and people telling jokes and someone playing music off their laptop.  It felt real nice to be back.  My workout picked up right where I had left off, 6x300 with 3 minutes between and a goal of 50 seconds for each.  The 300s were a bit further than the 200s I had been doing so far, but it’s starting to get closer to competitions so a little more distance is going to be needed.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the workout or how exactly to go out, so I just settled into a nice pace for the first one and tried to judge from there how I should go.  Well I guess the pace was real nice, 45.67 for the first one. This was either going to hurt me real bad for the next five, or I might just be in good enough shape to pull it off.  I let up just a little bit for the next one and ran 46.36, still too fast, but I wasn’t feeling too tired, so, so far so good.  48.57 and 47.91 for the next two.  After the fourth rep the tiredness was starting to kick in and I was regretting going too fast on the first one.  I tried really hard not to get too down as I got tired.  I took an extra 30 seconds on the break, and just took it out like I did the first four, 48.39.  I was slowing down a bit, but I was still under the target, so I was still doing good.  I was super tired going into the last rep and I could feel my legs getting really heavy.  At what felt like a hundred pounds a piece, I didn’t know if my legs were going to make it through the last one.  Coach just told me to relax and what ever happens, happens.  I knew I wanted to do them all under the target, so I took off hard like the ones before.  Fifty meters into the run I felt like giving up.  As I came to the bend for the final 200 meters, I reminded myself I only have two weeks left, so I better make the most of it.  I told myself to turn over faster, keep my shoulders relaxed and it would all come to me.  As I came down the home stretch I dug really deep for whatever I had left.  I felt my face and my hands get numb, and I told myself not to give up. *BEEP* 49.11.  I felt on top of the world for getting them all in under the goal, but then I soon fell right back down as lactic acid kicked in and I realize I was tired as hell!  I fell down to my hands and knees and stayed there for a good 5 minutes. A couple of the guys helped peel me up and after a nice cool down lap, I felt good to go.  I missed out on the abs session tonight, but I was told they would have something extra special for me tomorrow.  I usually like things that are extra special, but I have a feeling this may not be a good one.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Saturday Surprise

Saturday was suppose to be a day off track and fun in the sun day with my family.  Well late Friday night I got a nice little present telling me that wasn’t going to be the case.  Strength circuit, and just to make it a little more fun, I was going to have to do it twice.  I wasn’t too down about this because the last week in Trinidad made me feel really gross from not training, so this extra workout was going to be nice.  The only downfall though was my family wanted to hit the road early to get to the beach and spend the day.  I told my uncle of the new found workout and thought for sure he was going to be perturbed that it would mess up the plans.  ‘You do what you got to do girl!’ He wasn’t mad at all, and the rest of my family was the same too.  I woke up early to make sure I didn’t waste too much of the day and mess up a good outing.  When I woke up my aunts and my mom were in the kitchen cooking up a storm.  Turns out my workout was a blessing in disguise as it gave the ladies a chance to cook up a nice picnic for the trip instead up just white bread sandwiches :-)

The warm up and the drills portion of the workout seemed to take forever and as it progressed on, the sun got hotter and hotter.  By 11 I was ready to start the exercise and running portion of the circuit and it seemed like the sun was just getting to its hottest.  The t-shirt I was wearing was soaked already, and the exercises were going to be done on the ground.  After the first set of exercises my shirt was real filthy and I still had 9 more sets of five exercises to do.  I trekked through the workout and by the end I was dead tired from the sun, but definitely felt good for working out.  My shirt was covered in grass and dirt, and it didn’t look like it was coming out anytime soon.  I head back and got home just in time to leave for the beach, so I showered quickly and was ready to head out the door. 

The beach we headed too was only 20 minutes away, but by the time we got there I was already falling asleep.  The post workout nappers were starting to get the best of me, so I set up a hammock and dozed off for a hour in the shade.  I guess everyone else was tired too because everyone fell asleep!  When we were all rested up we enjoyed the awesome lunch the ladies made then went adventuring in the forest.  The forest we set up in was located on a hill just above the beach.  My aunt that lives in Tobago knew her way around so she lead our adventure.  She took us all through the forest, then lead us onto a peninsula at the edge of the island.  It was pretty sweet there because the waves would come up and crash against the rocks beneath.  I spent some time climbing in and around the rocks and I felt like a little kid again going on an adventure.  I ventured down the rock and got right up into where the waves were coming up.  I even got to see two snails going at it! After my little adventure was over, we heading back to the camp we had set up, and packed up then head out.  Before we headed back home, we went up into the country to see some more family.  When we got up to the house there was no one out front so we headed around to check out the back.  When we got there the whole family was sitting outside watching the sun set and listening to the waves hit the rocks down below.  It was the most peaceful site ever.  So we joined in, relaxed and limed until the sun went down. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Back To Normal

After an amazing week in Trinidad for Carnival, it was time to get back to the grind.  Thursday I headed back to the track for a nice light workout to warm my body back up.  I got a bit of a sore throat and nose from all the dusk and late nights over the past week, so I was really hoping it would not effect my training.  Thursday morning me and my family took the boat over, so we got into Tobago by 10 am.  I had to get re-settled in to my home away from home, then took a much needed nap before heading to the track.  On the way up the hill by the park a couple of the high school boys were limin’ about, and as I passed they waved and said hi and seemed some what happy or excited to see me…I’m not going to lie, I was happy to see them too.  When I finally got to the park there were more cars then usual, so I figured they were having a big welcome back party for me.  Well it wasn’t exactly that, instead I came to find a cricket game in progress.  The game took up most of the field, so we had to sit and wait until it was over.  I took this time to catch up and see what everyone else had done for carnival.  Turns out a lot of the same stuff that went down in Trinidad, they had a smaller  version of in Tobago.  I guess I could have saved the trip and just partied over here, but I guess now I know for next time.  By 5 o’clock the cricket game was still going on, and I had told my uncle to pick me up at 6:15 so I needed to get going.  I used the little area that was still free to do the best I could to warm up.  The circuit was pretty general so a lengthy warm up wasn’t needed.  Timing workout out perfectly for me though, and as I was ready to start the running portion of my workout the cricket game had finished and the field was all mine.  The circuit didn’t take too long and when I was done I still had time to talk with some of my friends. 

Today, Friday, I did my workout earlier in the day.  Since no one else works out on Friday’s I was going to be alone, so I decided to go early to get it out of the way.  300-300-300 was the workout.  It had been a week since my last real workout, so I was going to have to try extra hard for this one.  The week off was good for resting up, but it may also have some adverse effects, so with this workout I was going to find out which it was.  The goal for reps was going to be 42 seconds, but if I don’t reach it, I’m not suppose to get too down.  There were a couple workers at the field fixing up the cricket pitch, but other then them I was all by myself.  This was a good opportunity for me to work on the mental aspect of my training.  The first rep was 44.40 and I knew I wasn’t as focused as I should have been.  On my break I didn’t think about what I did wrong on the last one, but what I should do right on the next.  44.06 was the next, a little bit faster then the first but still not right on.  The sun started to get real hot, and even though I was trying to stay positive and focused, I was getting down because of the first two runs.  I wasn’t feeling tired, and I couldn’t figure out what was going wrong.  ‘Miss ya look tight!’ someone yelled from the side.  At first I thought I was being hit on so I just ignored it.  ‘Just relax na gurl then you’ll go fasta!’  Turns out it wasn’t a come on, just some good advice.  I took the strangers advice and relaxed on the last rep.  I told myself to speed up at each hundred mark.  Faster around the corner, faster down the stretch, keep the shoulders relaxed.  It wasn’t a 42, but it was still an improvement, 43.86.  Even though the runs didn’t go the way I wanted them too, I took the positive I could out of the workout and next week I’ll hit 42 each time.

After getting the workout done nice and early I spent the afternoon at the beach.  Me and my family packed into the car and headed down island to a new beach.  The beach had beautiful white sand and nice clear, deep water.  I attempted to swim out to a boat, but when I saw a dark object swim under me, I immediately swam back for shore.  I was kind of tired from the mornings workout, but once I saw the black object I got my second wind real quick and became a black female Michael Phelps. All the time I’ve spent at the beaches down here has actually made me a bit of a better swimmer.  If only I could find those kids from my first week and show them I can swim!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Carnival in Trinidad

Once I finally got into Trinidad on Friday I could feel carnival in the air. There was no workout for Friday so I just limed at my aunt's house with my cousin and did some catching up. My uncle Deryck from Canada is also here, so he came over and we just spent some quality family time together. The finals for the steel pan competition were on so we watched them. It was very exciting to see the competition and listen to the very energetic music all night long. I headed to bed a little early though because Saturday night was going to be a long night at the Insomnia fete. A fete is basically a party, but on the larger scale. Since it was carnival, this fete was going to be even bigger then a normal one.
Saturday my mom and I took a little walk into town to watch Kiddie Carnival. This was just a mini version of what Carnival on Monday and Tuesday was going to be like. There were a lot of cute little outfits, and a whole lot of loud music. The little walk we took ended up being seven miles long and at the end of it I had a nice shoe tan going on. I got back and crashed hard, but it turned out to be for the best because it gave me my second wind for the night. Around ten my cousin Keisha came and picked me up to head to Insomnia. On the way I could see stages set up for different fetes. When we finally got to Insomnia it was way bigger then I thought it was going to be. There was a stage set up and booths for alcohol and food, it was the real deal. By eleven the first performer was up and the crowd was loving it. For the second act we snuck into the VIP area and was able to get stage side for the performance! It was pretty exciting and the energy was amazing, the only down fall was I had no idea who the artists were and I couldn't understand any of their songs. This didn't stop me from jumping and dancing like the best of 'em though! By 5 a.m. I was beat, so we headed back home and once again I crashed as soon as I hit my pillow.
Sunday was more of a relaxed day. We woke up at 9, which at first I was very angry about, but then we headed to the beach which made my day. The beach looked like one of the beaches off of a post card or something. The sun was the hottest is been since I got here, the water was perfect and the waves were amazing. Other then being a little tired when we first got there, it was amazing. The sand was so hot I had to sprint to the water, but once I got in it was all good. I was suppose to do a jog and a warm up for my workout on Sunday, but since we spent the whole day at the beach I wasn't able to get it in. I did some running in the water for 20 minutes and did a lot of swimming so I was able to at least get something in.
Carnival Monday started bright and early at 4 am wit j'ouvert. Just before 4 a large truck was driving up and down the streets blaring soca music, waking people up to take part in j'ouvert. By 5 my family and I were up and out in the streets dancing and welcoming in Carnival. The streets were full of music and people, people covered in paint and mud. As soon as I saw the crowd I knew I had made a error in my wardrobe selection as I was wearing nice bright white pants and a t-shirt just out of the dryer. As I danced down the street with the crowd I tried my best not to get any paint on me, and I was doing pretty good until paint started falling from the sky and there was no escape. I didn't get too upset though because it was all in the name of the celebration. For three hours we danced up and down the street, and as soon as the sun came up it instantly got hot! We headed back to the house to eat a little breakfast and clean up from j'ouvert. My coach back home sent me my workout for today, Monday, and after taking a nap I started to look into getting to the track for the afternoon. My search didn't last long because after asking my aunt I found out that the facility will be closed for Monday and Tuesday because of Carnival. I was really bummed that I couldn't workout, but maybe the rest will be good. I ended up spending the afternoon watching the Carnival parade in town with my mom. The parade was like no parade I had ever seen before. There were costumes like an ordinary parade, but they were more than ordinary costumes. Some were so big you would think they were floats, but when looked at closely you could see that it was just one person alone carrying the costume. Then the same trucks that supplied us with music for the morning were parading as well and this time they were accompanied by a sea of people partying and dancing around them. They call it 'playing mas' and basically you follow the truck down the parade bath and 'whine' or dance and drink and just have a great time all day long, and these people definitely looked like they were having a great time! We ended up spending six hours watching the parade and when we left it wasn't even done yet. I wasn't ready to leave but I was told there would be more tomorrow. I know next year for sure I'm going to 'play mas'. My cousin said she did it before and if she wasn't pregnant she would be doing it again this year. And even though I wasn't able to workout again today, six hours of dancing has to count for something :-)