Sunday, January 31, 2010

You Learn Something New Everyday

Today was an off day from the track, but still an early one.  My aunt and cousin were heading back to Trinidad on the 9:30 boat and wanted to make one last visit to the beach before they left.  So by 6:30 we were up and out the door and on our way to the beach.  It was a little chilly out and a bit cloudy, but the idea of the beach still sounded like a warm idea.  When we got there it seemed like we weren’t the only ones who thought so.  There was a group of 15 people already there enjoying the water. So with out any hesitation I kicked it full throttle down the beach and into the water! It was freezing!! I looked around at the other people and I couldn’t figure out what was going on.  Everyone else seemed perfectly fine with the temperature, whereas I was standing there freezing my buns off!  I swam around a bit and did some squat jumps in the water to help warm up a bit, but it only did so much.  I stood around for a while then I was ready to call it quits.  We had to head back right away, so my timing was right on.  As we drove back it started to rain, and with the windows down on the car, I continued to freeze the whole way home.  It didn’t seem like any of my other family members were really being effected by the cold swim at all! You’d think growing up in the prairies I’d be use to being cold, but that was not the case.  As soon as I got home I ran straight to the shower and stood in the stream of hot water for a good 20 minutes!  For the first time since getting here I had to wear my sweats and my sweater to keep warm.  My aunt and cousin left at 8:30 then it was back to bed to warm up for me.  It didn’t take to long to warm up though.  The sun was back out by 10 and my sweats became too much to bear, and it was back to a tank top and boy shorts :-)

Outside of my uncles houseOutside of my uncles house

     Morning at the beachMorning at the beachEarly morning beach  


I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon finishing off a book while working on my tan on the back porch.  Once the sun started to go down a bit and it was no longer as hot, my uncle and I headed out for a little walk.  The morning swim ended up being a little much for him and he developed a fever from being in wet clothes.  He figured a little walk would help, so I was happy to go along with him.  We went on a different route this time that I hadn’t been on yet.  There were a lot of new flowers and fruit trees that I hadn’t seen yet.  I saw a pineapple plant which was cool because I always thought pineapples grew in trees.

After watching a bit of football and Planet Earth it was off to bed for me.  It’s back to practice tomorrow and I need to make sure I’m all rested up.  This week I’m going to try some of the workouts with the guys down here so it should be interesting, and hopefully challenging as well!

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Once again this morning I ventured out for a walk with my uncle.  This time my aunt joined us, so when my uncle got way ahead I at least had someone to walk with.  It seems like each time we go walking he gets stronger, and the only way I can keep up is with a slight jog!  I was pooped again when we got back, so straight back to bed I went.  I think I may have been dehydrated, or maybe just exhausted from the week, but I slept till 1:00! When I got up though, it was off to the beach!  My aunt and cousin came over from Trinidad, so we (and by we, I mean they) packed a lunch, loaded the car, and off we went.  We found a nice little forest by the beach to park up in and spread out a nice little picnic. After finally waking up fully, I ate and then went off to the beach and go for a swim.  The water seemed rough, but I didn’t realize how rough until I tried to go in.  The waves coming up on the shore were so strong that they almost knocked me over! I decided to play it safe, and just enjoy the water from the edge.  It turns out it was going to be a full moon and all the beaches on the island were rough today.  So instead of venturing into the rough sea, I walked down the beach instead.  The sand was super soft and it sank beneath me, it felt like I was walking in snow except for not as cold and horrible! Near the end of the beach I saw a coconut tree that I was sure that I could climb.  It was smaller then the rest and it was hanging by an angle that made it seem like it would be an easy feat.  Even as I got close it still seemed like it would be ok, once at the base though, that quickly changed.  As I looked up the tree, then down to the ground below it I realized this might be harder then it looks.  On my first attempt I tried to climb up on all fours, that didn’t work too well.  Next I tried the bear hug approach, once again, not too successful.  Maybe I could use my speed to my advantage.  So on my last try, I backed up as far as I could and take a run at the tree.  One step, two step…and that’s as far as I got! All I could do was picture myself slipping, falling and breaking my arm or my leg.  It was fun to at least try though.

After the little tree adventure, we packed the car back up and we were on our way.  We drove halfway up the one side of the island to a look out to watch the sun set.  You could see the ocean go on forever, and back onto the beach we had just come from.  From there we took the path that cuts through the island to the other side.  The path actually goes through the rainforest, and there are 3 to 4 thousand hectares of protected rainforest on the island that have been left untouched. The road was very windy and undeveloped but the scenery was amazing.  For the last half of the journey though the sun had set and other then the lights from the car, we were in complete darkness.  In parts where the trees parted, you could see the stars in the sky perfectly, it was beautiful!

When we finally got home everyone was tired from the long day at the beach, especially me!

Friday, January 29, 2010

A Little One on One

Even though I usually have Friday’s off, today I practiced to make up for the missed workout on Tuesday.  This probably worked out for the best since today I was able to workout at the stadium, and it was a short speed workout.  When I first got to the stadium there was still some school sports going on, so I sat patiently in the stands and waited.  Today it was just a primary school, so nothing too exciting, but still entertaining.  They were just finishing up ball throw, and it reminded me of how I use to rock at ball throw when I was younger.  Something happened along the way though and now I have the upper body strength of a CFL kicker, and can’t throw diddly-squat :-s

Once they finished up, I started up with my workout.  It was 3:00 so it was a little earlier and warmer then it usually was for practice, but I was definitely still loving it.  4(4x50) was the workout, with a turnaround between reps and 4 minutes between sets.  It was just me and coach Franklyn at the stadium, since everyone else has Friday’s off, so I was able to get some good advice throughout the workout.  He timed a couple of them, just for fun, and with each suggestion he made, my times got faster.  By the last set, even though I was tired, I was running faster then the first.  I think if I can carry these changes over to my races, I’ll definitely be running faster soon enough.  It was a pretty short day at the track, but I got a lot of tips that I think will really help.  I finished off by lifting weights, and then limin’  a bit at the park afterwards.  I learned two more peoples names :-) I’m on a roll now!  Five hours later I was done practice and lifting and I was just ready for bed!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Did The Five Fingers Say To The Face?

Yet another rainy day today, this was good and bad.  It was good because I was able to sleep in a bit since there was no morning walk, but bad because I had to stay inside all day.  I had initially planned to hit up the beach and get rid of the evil sock tan that I have.  I didn’t really notice it at first, but in the shower the other day it really came to my attention.  I didn’t think I was getting much darker, but the almost white complexion of my feet told me otherwise.  So I once again just relaxed, watched a couple movies and attacked my tight muscles with the tennis ball until practice time.  There were a few sunny breaks throughout the day, and the temperature still stayed around 29 degrees, so overall it was still better then the weather back in Regina :-)

Today’s practice was a harder one, and as it rained throughout the day part of me was hoping practice would be cancelled.  I had to remind myself though that I didn’t come down here to not practice.  So I went prepared and packed an extra set of clothes and my rain jacket this time.  There was no way I was going to be the stinky Canadian girl again today. It rained pretty hard the whole drive down to Shaw park, but once we got there it wasn’t too bad.  It was misting a little but definitely bearable to train in. 500-300-300 was the damage to be done in today’s workout.  I knew in my head what I needed to do, so the task now was to actually do it.  15 seconds every 100 meters for the 500, that seemed doable. As I changed into my spikes the rain started to come down and once again people fled for the stands for cover.  I pulled out my jacket, I wasn’t going to let the rain stop me.  I did a couple warm up strides, and I was ready to go.  The rain had stopped once again so I knew I needed to go now before it started up again.  I take off my rain jacket because I know it will just make me too hot, and probably slow me down too.  I start walking down to the 100 meter start, for the 500, when all of a sudden I hear a loud ‘WHAAAAPP’.  I flinch a little because I think there is something coming my way.  There’s nothing.  So I turn around to where I heard the noise come from and there is a huge brawl going down.  I immediately stop, turn around and walk towards it.  It was the group of girls and boys from the high school across the street practicing their March Pass routine.  March Pass is like the color guard portion of the marching band.  They have flags and they march and have a little dance in their routine.  Well the flags in this group turned into weapons real quick.  The guy and the girl going at it were using their flags like they were swords, and the girl was laying some really hard licks on the guy.  At one point three other girls were trying to hold back the one girl that was fighting , but they were having no luck.  It was like watching a Arnold in Kindergarten Cop as she dragged the girls trying to hold her back. Eventually the guy got outta there, mostly likely because he was getting his butt whooped, but not before getting one good open hand slap to the girls face.  The whole time this is going down other people from the track team are watching and laughing.  I guess fights like this are a common occurrence, not only at the track, but at school too!

After a little entertainment I regroup myself and make my way down to the start so I can get this workout rolling. The rain had still held back and I was ready to go.  I start off really strong and at 400 meters I feel like I was making really good pace.  Everything is where it should be and I’m not feeling to tired yet.  At 450 its another story though, I feel like I took off too hard and I have nothing left in the tank.  At first I think ‘well at least I only have to do one 500’, but first I need to get through this one.  I pump my arms harder but it still feels like I’m going no where.  I look for the finish line and it feels like its inching further away with every step I take.  *BEEP*  1:21, not what I was looking for, 4 seconds off.  I try not to get too down because I still have two 300s left.  The 300s are to be done in 47 so I know if I can do them in that or faster I’ll still be somewhat happy with the workout.  After a 15 minute break I feel fully recovered and ready to go.  *BEEP* 44.11.  I knew I’d be able to do it! One more left then the workout is in the books.  None of the other track people are doing running workouts today so I’ll have to do this one all alone. Last time I was able to jump in with some of the guys and even though they weren’t really running with me, it still helped to push me.  This time I was on my own, so I really had to dig deep.  I knew I had run bad on the first one so I just told myself I owe it to me to make it up.  The first 150 meter feel great, my knees are high, my shoulders are relaxed and I don’t really feel all to tired.  Coming off of the last turn I feel the lactic acid in my legs and they start to feel heavy.  I don’t let this get to me, I just stay strong.  I continue to pump my arms, I’m trying so hard it feel like all my energy is going to my legs and the rest of my body feels like its getting cold.  I tighten my abs, pull my hips forward and react quick off the ground.  *BEEP* 45.02.  Good finish Ese, good finish.

So even though the 500 wasn’t exactly what I wanted, I still finished off pretty strong.  I’m still working on being able to run distances over 400 meters without falling apart.  I know the more I do them, the easier they will become.  With competitions not till April, I’m trying not to get too down when times aren’t exactly what they are suppose to be in practice.  I know that by the time I leave Tobago I’ll be hitting those times no problem.  So for now I’m going to try not to worry too much, and just try to enjoy myself while I’m here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rain vs. Snow

Today was another early morning walk with my uncle.  The last couple times the walk has been 30 maybe 40 minutes long, so today I expected the same.  I really don’t know why I keep setting myself up like this, so of course it was not the same today.  We woke up 15 minutes earlier and I was still half asleep for the beginning of the walk.  We started passing places that I hadn’t recognized and it kind of woke me up a little.  My uncle also seemed to have a little pep in his step and it was a real struggle for me to keep up.  I looked forward to slight incline because these were where he slowed down and I was able to make up ground. The walk seemed to be taking forever! I did see a lot of fruit plants and very pretty flowers, so I did make a mental note that next time I’ll bring my camera…if there is a next time!  Throughout the walk my uncle graciously offered me short cuts to go back home, but I figured if he can make it so can I.  An hour in I was really starting to wish I had taken one of those short cuts.  We talked for most of the walk, but it still didn’t help speed up the course this walk was taking.  The sun was starting to come down on us, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to take much more.  As we turned the corner I was ready to ask for one of those short cuts, when I realized where we were.  We were half way between home and Mt. Irvine, the beach I had gone to.  I could feel my spirits lift and I no longer had trouble keeping up with my uncle. An hour and half after we started we were finally back home!  My uncle seemed fine like we had just walked around the block or something, but I was exhausted! As soon as I was done eating breakfast, I went straight back to bed for 3 hours! No more walks for me for a little while.

After recovering from the walk I lounged around a bit before practice time.  I was lucky that today’s workout was easy or that morning walk would have really killed my practice.  A nice light circuit was the workout for this afternoon, I should be in and out in just over an hour. 

As I got ready to go I noticed a little bit of overcast but didn’t take too much into it.  When I got down to Shaw park though, the clouds there seemed a little bit more menacing looking then the ones back at the house.  I told my ride to come back at 630, that way I could lime after my workout and get to know some of the people a little bit more.   At 4:30 I got right into my workout, that way I figured I’d have just under an hour to chill after.

I got the first set of exercises in the circuit done and I start to notice those menacing clouds are starting to get closer to the park.  I run the first 200 nice and strong, but not to hard.  When I pick up my water bottle from on top the sheet with the circuit I see that its gotten the top quarter of the page wet.  Great! Now I’ll have to rewrite it out when I get home.  Next, just like I was in a movie or something, as I’m holding the sheet little drops start to hit it and smear more of the writing! I look up and the people practicing cricket on the far side of the field are running towards me! They run past me and head for cover like they were being chased by Godzilla. The rest of the athletes start to follow, not with as much panic, but to the stands to also get some cover.  At this point I have a decision to make. Do I follow and run for cover as well and hopefully finish the workout when the rain stops? Or, do I continue?  The way I saw it was if I waited till after I’ll get dirty and wet from the ground anyways, so I just continued.  The rain started off to not be too bad at all.  It was more of a mist then anything, and it was keeping me cool so I had no complaints.  By the 4th set of exercises though, the rain had really picked up and was coming down hard.  I had given up on saving the sheet with the circuit on it, but I continued to go since I was almost done. On one of of the 200s it seemed like the rain was coming down extra hard, but all I could do was smile.  Everyone had run for cover except for me and three other guys.  As I ran all I could think was ‘this sure beat 27 centimetres of snow’ and the smile on my face just grew bigger.  For the past couple days in Regina it has been snowing like crazy, and I know I would take the rain over that snow any day!  The best part was that even though it was raining, it was still 28 degrees out! I finished the workout with ease, and just as I did, the rain let up.  Everyone rushed back onto the field and continued on with their workouts like nothing had just happened.  I was soaked, but at least I had a little fun.  The only down side to it though was that it was only 5:00 and as the sun came out and warmed up my sweaty rain soaked clothes I started to smell and quickly became the butt of everyone’s jokes. I stayed around and laughed and joked a bit, but by 5:30 I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it to 6:30 with my soaked clothes, so I made the most expensive call probably ever and called my ride (with my Canadian Rogers phone that is) to come get me. 

Rain will beat out snow any day in my books, and I’m glad I that I did my workout in the rain today.  It ended up going well, and other then the funky smell that followed, it was lots of fun.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

School Sport Day

Ever since getting to Tobago I’ve been hearing people talk about school sports.  I’ve caught the tail end of a couple field days at Shaw park but that had been about it.  Basically school sports is the track and field day for each secondary, or high school, on the island.  Each school will have their own, then ‘intercol’ will be held on February 9th and 10th between all the schools, and then the winners from there go to Trinidad for nationals in March.  The field events are held the first day at Shaw park, then the track events the next day, usually at the stadium.  So today I decided not to be a bum and actually get out and go watch some track.  There were a couple kids from the club, and a coach that was running too so I knew I’d at least know some people there.

By the time I reached the stadium it was 2 and they had already started.  I walked into the stadium and I was shocked!  There were way more people then I expected for just a high school meet, and not just a high school meet, but a meet for just ONE high school.  There were more people in the stands than even some of the university conference finals I had been too. Then it dawned on me that it might be harder then I thought to find my people.  Usually I can do one walk by in front of the stands back home and I’ll find my group no problem.  Well, three walk bys later I was starting to feel a little silly, so I took a seat by myself.  I sat there and just looked around at what was going on around me.  There wasn’t really anyone on the track at the time, and it seemed like they may have been on their lunch break. Half of the student seemed to be in their regular school uniforms, but the other half were wearing different coloured uniforms.  I soon found out that the school was broken into four houses and that they competed against each other.  This wasn’t too new to me since it was like that in elementary school, high school and even at inter squad meets in university.

After a little more searching I eventually found my friends.  A couple of the guys had competed in the 100 and the 400 earlier in the day, and the 200s were just about to start.  So far the whole time I’d been there music had been playing through the loud speaker and people were dancing and cheering everywhere.  Once the races started this didn’t change much.  The only time the cheering stopped was for the start, but as soon as the gun went off they were back at it.  These kids took cheering to a different place for me.  It wasn’t just ‘yahoos’ and ‘hoorays’, they had banners and flags and a drum section, all just for a school meet!  With so much support, and enthusiasm even at this level I now understand why this island country does so well in international events.  The crowd got into it 100% for every race and didn’t let down until the end.

By the time everything was said and done it was 6 o’clock…ooops!  Practice starts at 4, and I didn’t get to Shaw park till 630, so I really only had time to do weights.  Even though I missed my workout, I’ll be able to make it up on Friday.  Seeing school sports was very entertaining, and  definitely worth it.  Since I’ll still be able to get the workout in, I really didn’t feel too bad.  Tomorrow is another early morning walk with my uncle, which are ended up to be not too bad.  Getting up earlier may be better for me instead of sleeping all the time.  I figure I’ll be able to see a bit more and if I just a take a nap I should be ready and good to go for practice later in the day.  The workout tomorrow isn’t too hard, just a simple circuit, then Thursday I get to try running a 500 again, I know this time though, I’ll meet my goal.

Just a Little Peek at School Sports in Tobago

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pang pang ping pow pow

Today like every Monday so far I had 3(3x200).  I came into the workout still feeling bad from yesterdays workout. Instead of letting the reminder get me down, I used it as fuel to do well today. I could still feel the effects of yesterday race in my legs but with some positive thoughts and some determination I was able to run through it. I ran between 28 and 30 for most of the reps and only faltered once with a 31.  I was happy with how I ran not only because of the results but because of my ability to get past what had happened yesterday.
When I finally got home I was pretty tired, but my night was just beginning. After a quick shower and supper I was out to the panyard.   Prelims for ‘Panorama’, a battle of the bands if you will, were going on at different sites around the island.  Four of the sites were pretty close to my uncle’s so we went to check them out.  I had seen and heard some steel pan before at Mosaic in Regina, but this was very different.  It was bigger and louder and the players had so much energy!  The guys playing the big pans would shake the stands as they jumped around to the beat and striking the right pan at the right time. Each group played their one song to perfection and enjoyed every minute of it.  The judges for the event were running late, so we moved on to the different panyards even before their ‘actual’ performances, but for me the practice runs were still amazing.

By the third group, the workout was starting to kick in, and tiredness was creeping around the corner.  I tried my hardest to stay awake, but eventually sleep got the better of me.  After the third band I called it a night and headed back home.  Even though I only got to see three, I know there will be more in the future.  These were only the prelims, so for the next round I’ll be better prepared to enjoy a whole night of pan!


…also I’ll have better pictures once I get my better camera, sorry!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

There Is A Positive In Everything

Sunday means time trial day, this could be good or bad.  Throughout the week I had been hearing that we may run flat races instead of over-under speed.  Basically it meant I would have to run a 400.  I wasn’t really sure if I was ready for this, but until ‘race time’ I wouldn’t know exactly what I was going to run.  I convinced myself that I would just be running a 300 and a 150 again, and I was totally ok with that.  It seemed too early in the season to be running a full 400.

So early this morning, 6:30, I went for a nice little walk with my uncle.  This was the first time he was able to do any sort of exercise since his surgery.  We went for a brisk half hour walk, and I was pooped! I’ve never been really good at walking, and I’ve actually been told several times that for a runner, I walk really slow.  During the walk we saw some banners saying that some of the panyards, steel pan bands, would be playing Monday night in somewhat of a battle of the bands.  Every night before I go to bed I can hear them practice, so to see them finally put it together and perform will be nice to see and hear.  We saw three different banners, but I’m pretty sure there will be more then just the three bands.  The park where they are playing is just down the hill from my uncle, so Monday looks like it should be a pretty entertaining night.  Once we got back it was still fairly early and I didn’t know what to do with myself.  I was caught in the dilemma of to shower or not to shower, and this isn’t the first time I’ve had to answer this question to myself.  It was only 7:00 and I had worked up a nice little glisten on my walk, and at 2:00 I’d be heading out to the stadium to compete in my time trials.  Was this enough time to justify having a shower, just to get all sweaty again in just 7 hours?  I didn’t think so :-)  So I ate breakfast and after some randomness around the house, took a nap to rest up for the time trial.

I got to the track at 2:15 and once again I was the only one there. Within a couple minutes a couple boys showed up, I didn’t recognize them though so I stuck in my iPod and went for a little walk.  I discovered where everyone warms up, and that there was a 100 meter stretch of track on the outside of the stadium.  When I came back there were a couple of the younger kids there that I recognized, but it wasn’t until 3:00 that the older people started showing up. By 3:30 I started warming up, and I still didn’t know what events I would be running.  No one was really saying anything, and I convinced myself if I didn’t ask then it would probably be the 300 and the 150 like I wanted.  Well the don’t ask, don’t tell policy didn’t work here.  Even though I didn’t ask, I was told that today we would be running the flat races, 100, 200 and 400.  They didn’t give it much time to set in, and within 10 minutes we were lining up to run.  As I came up to the line I didn’t really think anything, just go when he claps.  Coming off the bend and down the back felt amazing, I worked on getting my knees up and being strong just like my coach told me.  Coming around the corner I was reminded to keep my shoulders relaxed and stay strong to the end.  Then at 350 meters, I’m not sure who it was, but somebody threw a wall right into the middle of my lane.  Within one stride my shoulders tightened back up, my hips dropped and my back formed a nice little arch, all the things I didn’t want.  I tried my hardest to bring my body back to its right form, but the best I could do it stop it from getting worse.  A race that had started so well, ended real bad.  At one point I thought maybe I ran a 56, but then I went over to the timer and found out 58.  I felt like I got dumped at prom for my ugly cousin. I wanted to kick something, but I kept my composure.  At first I was only going to run the 400, but after I got my results I knew I had to run the 200 as well, it would be the only way I could get some form of redemption for myself. They ran five sets of the 100 and one boy ran a 400 meter hurdle race, then we were up.  Even though I had just ran, I felt no tiredness in my legs or my lungs, only in my heart.  I wasn’t happy with the way I had ran my 400 and I needed to make it up to myself.  I came out of the start nice and strong and I kept my form for the whole race.  I pumped my arms with strength and control, and at no point did I feel tired.  It had only been 20 minutes since the 400 and I was still able to run a 26.  Even though this wasn’t a personal best or anything, I was still happy that I could run a decent time that soon after a 400.

A lot of people after a crappy day want to quit, I however, feel that I can take a positive out of this.  First off, I know next time there is no way I’ll run a 58 again, I did not like how it made me feel, not physically but emotionally.  Last season I started off at a 58, then the next time I raced I ran a 56.  By running bad this one time, I will carry how it made me feel into practice and make sure I workout hard enough so I never have to feel like that again.  This is just the beginning of the season and I have lots of time to make improvements.  I have coaches here and back home that know I can run faster, and with a little work I know will.

400 meter Time Trial in Tobago

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day In The Country

Once again I had Friday and Saturday off. I took full advantage of it on Friday and slept in till 10 :-)  It was kind of windy out for most of the day, so I spent some time catching up with friends via email and watching a couple movies.  I sent in the times from the workout on Thursday to my coach back at home, she said the times were alright.  She said times will get better and the improvement from one 500 to the next just showed I was in good shape, but also that I was being a pussy.  Next time I just need to take it out harder and I should get the results I want.  Funny enough being called a pussy made me feel a little bit better.  That that I know this, and what to do, next time I know it will go a lot better.

 IMG_0239 IMG_0237IMG_0232  

Today, Saturday, I went up to the ‘country’ to visit some family. The ride up was a little rough because the roads were very windy, so for most of the trip I stuck my head oIMG_0214ut the window and tried not to be sick.  Once we got up there though, the view made it all worth it.  Out the back of the house was a beautiful view of the ocean, and all around the yard there were fruit trees like bananas, mangoes and even coca trees.  I ventured around a little bit, but then it got too hot and I retreated back into the house.  The country was very quiet and peaceful and I just relaxed as I listened to the waves beat against the rocks below. 

After a nice meal of fish, caught right from the ocean in the back yard, we headed back home.  The drive home was a little bit easier, and enjoyed the view on the way back.  It wasn’t really until then that it really clicked in that I was here.  That I was on this little island, this tropical paradise. I smiled the whole way home :-) 

Once again just a relaxing weekend, and now I’m ready to start up training again tomorrow.  Time trials will be held again at the stadium and hopefully I can improve a little from last weeks.  I’ll either run a 300 and a 150 again, or possibly a 400.  Not matter what though, I’ll take it out hard and confident and I’m certain I will get the results I want.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Calm Before The Storm

Yesterday’s workout was nothing really special, and nothing really to blog about.  Nice light warm up, followed by a short circuit.  Everything was said and done within an hour, shortest workout yet!  I knew this was nothing to get too excited about because of what was in store for me today.

It seems like anything over 400 meters I have a tough time wrapping my head around.  Silly little head keeps getting in the way. So today’s workout of 500-500-300 had been bothering me since Tuesday morning when I got it.  All through the circuit on Wednesday I milked how easy it was, and actually wanted it to last forever so today’s workout would never come.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen because I have yet to perfect the ability to make time stand still.  I tried not to think about the workout too much and just enjoy the easy day yesterday. 

This morning I had to go for a 25 minute run, so I decided to run to Mt. Irving beach again. This time I was prepared not to get overly excited at the hotel sign.  I tried to wake up early, at 6:30, but I just couldn’t do it.  Through some convincing by my uncle though, I was able to get up and on the road by 7.  The sun wasn’t nearly as hot this time in the morning, and the jog to the beach was much more enjoyable.  The run back was a little harder though.  It took no time for the sun to show up and start beating on me for the return part of my journey.  By the time I got back home it was minutes to 8, so much for a 25 minute jog.  By 8:30 I had showered and eaten, and I really didn’t know what to do with myself.  Usually by this time I’m just getting up and contemplating whether to have oatmeal or corn flakes for breakfast.  After some stretching and a couple morning jams on MTV I was actually pretty tired, so naturally I took a nap.  Since I’ve come to Tobago I’ve been napping like I’m in Kindergarten again, and I love it!

Once I woke up and recovered from the morning’s run, the thought of this evenings workout started to sneak into my head again.  I tried to figure how I would come through 100 and 200 and 300, and no matter how I broke it down, it was still going to be 500 meters, and it was still going to suck.  I tried to occupy myself with other things like reading and a movie, but there was no escape from the thoughts of the workout.  So once again, naturally, I took a nap.  I know, two naps in one day, awesome! At the least I knew I would be really rested for the workout.

So the time came, 4 o’clock, game time.  Even though I get dropped off at 4, I usually just ‘lime’ for a half hour then get on with the workout.  Today I couldn’t chill though, so 10 minutes after getting there I was well into my warm up.  My warm up’s have become very abbreviated, due to the warm weather, so within 30 minutes I was ready to run, or at least my body was.  No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get into the workout mentally.  Unlike other workouts so far, I hesitated and procrastinated to start the workout.  Even when I came to the line I still wasn’t as into the workout as I should have been, and the time showed it, 1:26.  I was suppose to come through at 1:17 and this was very off.  I couldn’t get to down though, at least not now, I still had two more runs to do.  I got 15 minutes between the runs, and I knew that I should have been more tired then I was.  With a full recovery I should be running harder.  So with the next 500 I tried to think of the break and that no matter how hard I ran, I’d be able to recover enough for the next run. 1:20 was the next time, better, but not where it needed to be.  I was disappointed, super disappointed!  The best I could do was try to make it up in the final run, the 300.  There were a couple younger boys running 300s as well so I figured I would run with them.  They were ready to go before the 15 minute break was up, but I felt like I hadn’t run hard enough in the 500 to need the full break.  I lead the boys because I knew if I tried to follow they would just get away from me.  I told the coach to give me 3 to 4 seconds since the boys were going all out in spikes.  They had been running 39s and 40s, and I only need to run a 47, so the head start should be just enough to push me a little.  I came to line and I knew I had a lot to make up, the 500s before were horrible and I needed a way to make this workout not go to waste.  I took off hard down the back stretch,  coming around the corner I could hear the guys behind me.  I kept my knees high and didn’t let the idea of tired even slip into my mind. Down the home stretch I drove my arms and focused on my form, I could feel them coming, I was not going to let them pass me.  *BEEP* I cross the line, I don’t let down for one step, watch read 43.31!  A great end to what so far had been a horrible workout. I look back to congratulate the boys, but they aren’t there. I look back a little further and see them just coming around the bend.  There is no way I beat them by that much, the lead was only suppose to be 4 seconds max.  I ask the coach how fast they went, 40 seconds, well that makes no sense.  I investigate a little further. I guess when they saw me take off they said I was too fast, and they didn’t want to get embarrassed, so they waited till I was done to go.  I’m not sure who I heard then, maybe it was just me not wanting to run slow, but whatever it was, it helped.  I felt better about the workout, but I know next time, the whole thing has to be better.

I finished off with some weight, which only took 30 minutes and finally put a close to the night.  Even though the whole workout didn’t go the way I wanted it to, I was still able to end it well. I know next time I’m dished a couple 500s I need to man up and not be scared. I think now that I’ve done the workout once, I’ll do it better next time. 

I have Friday and Saturday off, then time trails again on Sunday.  There might be a straight 400 which would be great, but I’m not 100% sure if I’m ready for.  Either which way, I’ll take some lessons from this workout and know not be scared of it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

That’s What She Said

Today’s workout was long and hard, not only did I have to run, but I also had to lift weights.  I spent another hour in the afternoon with the tennis ball working out some tension and it really helped.  I found that if I have the computer on the floor with me and I watch a movie it doesn’t seem to hurt as much. 

My workout today was 3(4x100) with a walk back between reps and 4 minutes between sets. But before any of that there was a whole lot of shorter drills to do that made the workout take forever.  By the time I was ready to run the sun was starting to dip below the skyline.  I didn’t rush the runs, but I definitely didn’t take my time doing them.  Once I was done the sun had completely set, but it was still 26 degrees out! At one point during a walk back I could hear the ocean crashing up against the rocks on the other side of the track.  So even though the sun was down and it was dark, it was still 100 times better then training back in cold Regina!

Once I was done running, I still had some lifting to do.  Tonight marked the one week anniversary of me ‘mashing up’ my hand in the weight room, my goal for the night was to leave all intact.  The weight room was kind of empty so I was a little worried that there was a chance that I would hurt myself again.  That changed very quickly.  Within 10 minutes the throwers had finished throwing and the weight room was packed.  I was lucky that I was early because I was able to grab a lifting platform all to myself.   The weight room is located under the stands and it’s kind of small, so as soon as the throwers showed up the room turned into a sauna.  The  mixture of running, lifting and sauna conditions made me look SUPER ripped after lifting, yet another reason why I love it here :-)

Four and a half hours later I’m finally done!  This week has only a couple hard days, and today was one of them.  The running wasn’t super hard, but just putting everything together in one session is really tiring.  When I finally got home I just wanted to eat and go right to bed.  Well you can’t always get what you want, but this time it was worth it.  TBS had a three hour mini marathon of The Office on, I couldn’t say no to that!  So for three hours I sat on the couch and didn’t move a single muscle (other then ones on my face).  Yet another good end to a night :-D

Monday, January 18, 2010

Boom Goes the Dynamite

Today I woke up stiff as hell! My calves, my knees, my hammies and my thighs all were tight and did not want to move! Turns out stretching is pretty important after running two time trials the day before, lesson definitely learned! Lucky for me I packet my yoga mat and a couple tennis balls.  I spent about an hour in the most pain I’ve felt in while, but after some precise placements of the tennis ball, some of the tightness went away.  I’m thinking that using the ball more often to release some tightness in my body will help in the long run.  I know for sure if I hadn’t forgotten my foam roller at the airport, I’d be hittin’ that up too!  Other then the soreness from this weekend, my body has been holding up pretty well.  I was worried at first that the plane ride over would jam up some things and make training difficult, so far so good though.  The club is looking into getting a couple cold tubs soon, and those will definitely help after some of the harder workouts.  I was told that the club actually already had a cold tub, but some how someone stole it.   The tub was even full at the time when it was stolen! No one is really sure how the thief even got it out, but  where there’s a will, there’s a way!

My workout for today eventually came to me last night, at 2 in the morning, sometimes I wonder about these hours my coach works.  So when I looked in the morning it was there waiting for me. Lately I’ve been trying to work on my mental training as well and getting myself prepared physically and mentally for workouts the following day.  Today’s workout was one of the regulars, and not one that I usually have problems getting my head around so I was ok with getting it late.  3(3x200), one minute between the reps, and 15 minutes between the sets.  Since I did time trials yesterday I didn’t have to do them as hard, just use it as a flush out my legs.  After a good warm up though, my body didn’t feel too bad, and I decided that maybe I could still hammer this one out hard.  The first set was done fairly conservatively at 30, 29, 31.  I didn’t feel too tired, and after the last one my body had really loosened up.  The next set I knew I would be able to step it up a notch.  I focused on the beginning to drive out hard, keep my shoulders relaxed and my feet coming out right in front of me instead of side to side.  The first 40 meters felt really nice, and as a I look up I could see a guy off to the side.  I see him, he sees me, we make eye contact.  Now back in Regina eye contact is enough for the guy not running either to stop or get out of the way.  I made a little noise, not really sure what it was, but it wasn’t enough.  As I tried to run around, he stops, then starts to go again, then Boom Goes the Dynamite! Head on collision, with no attempt to slow down.  I was baffled at what had just happened, part of me wanted to keep going,and a bigger part of me wanted to punch the guy.  Instead I turned around and walked back to the start.  Once I got back I realized my one coach had seen what had happened, and all he could do was laugh.  At first I thought he was laughing at me, but then he pointed out the guy that I had hit was still crouched down on his hands and knees behind me.  I guess that’s what happens when 140 pounds of pure muscle comes roaring at you! I took a couple minutes to recover, mostly from laughing, then I was on my way again.  There were two of the other quarter milers doing 200’s as well so I ran with them.  It helped to get my mind off of what had just happened to run with the boys and the second set ended up going pretty good, 29, 29, and 30.  Going into the last set I was feeling nothing in my legs from the day before, even the two sets prior, I knew this was my last one so I gave it all I had.  I didn’t think about how heavy my legs should be, or how tired my lungs might feel.  I relaxed my arms and my shoulders and just let my legs follow.  I relaxed, thought positive thoughts and let the times come to me.  29, 30 and 28,  an alright finish to the workout. I closed out the night with some rudiments and some medball ab exercises (gotta keep the tummy tight!). 

After some chatting I found out that one of the guys at the track is one of my cousins, and I was not surprised at all, he’s just like me.  I’ve been told that I can be heard laughing from a mile away, and this kid is exactly the same! I’m not sure what his name is, and actually, I really only know anyone’s names.  I think I should probably start working on that if I’m going to be here till March!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kiss The Boys and Make Them Cry

Once again I stuck out as a foreigner at the track today.  Time trials were being run at the stadium and I was going to work my workout in with them. I was told to be ready by 3, so to me that means be there at 2.  Well low and behold I show up and I’m the only one there.  I’m not too surprised, so I just chill for a half hour and enjoy being at the track.  Well 2:30 rolls around and a couple of the younger kids show up, but that’s about it.  I start to get anxious with every minute past 2:30.  2:32 I start to warm up. I think that this is going to have to be a rushed one to be ready for 3, good thing I shortened my warm up.  Ten minutes into my warm up and I’m still the only one there.  I see people show up, but then they disappear, I figure they are just changing or something.  Almost done my warm up and still barely anyone where, or so I thought.  As I go to set up some hurdles for a couple drills, I can hear some familiar voices coming from under the stands.  I go and look and everyone is warming up under the stand, out of the sun!  I was lucky that today it wasn’t too hot, and my warm up was bearable, but now I know for next time.  I just acted like I knew what was up, said hey, and continued to warm up under the sun.  Three o’clock rolled around and people started to make their way onto the track. I was ready to go, but it seemed like no one was really doing anything, just sort of waiting.  I asked one of the guys, and they said we had to wait for coach to come, so I did.  By 3:30 there still was no sign of him and I just really wanted to get this workout under way.  I had thought about it all night, and I knew mentally I was prepared for it.  But as the time passed and coached still didn’t show up, I could feel my extra long warm up start to drain me.  At 4:10 coach called and dished out the events for everyone.  All the quarter milers were going to run 300 meters and 150 meters.  By this time I wasn’t cooled down, but I wasn’t really feeling my workout either.  I asked one of the guys if I should just work around them or what should I do.  My spark was some what brightened when it was suggested I just run with the boys and show ‘em how it’s done! With that I felt re-energized and ready to run again.  The long warm up no longer felt like a drain, and I was ready to make the boys cry.

Even though this was very different then what was first prescribed as my workout, I still felt like it was going to be beneficial.  Luckily the quarter milers were first, and I was ready to go. As we set up to go, the beaking started between the boys, and I immediately felt like I was back at home.  I got my couple snaps in then refocused on the new workout.  The 300 meter didn’t go exactly like I wanted but I still got an alright time in, 40.92.  It was a bit off my personal best, but a good start to the year.  Plus I was able to beat one boy, and that’s all that really mattered :-)  The 150 meter I took out a little more relaxed, and I was able to set a new personal best at 18.20. 

Every Sunday the club has these time trials, and I think they will help me to determine how I’m improving and how well my training is or isn’t working.  The time trails have the feeling of a mini meet, which brings some familiarity and comfort to me.  There’s some smack talk, some competition but still a little relaxed and fun.   I’ll be missing all of the indoor season back home, so these will be a nice substitute.

The workouts for next week are unknown at this point.  I haven’t heard from my coach yet, so if nothing comes I’ll just take the day off…or just do their workout down here :-)  If I start to take too many days off I might start looking like a normie!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Definition of Nothing

I had the last two day off of track, and I did absolutely nothing!  At 6pm yesterday I tried to figure out what I had done all day, and I really couldn’t think of anything.  I slept in a bit, 1030, which felt weird, almost wrong, then I had a nap at 1.  I had planned on going to the beach, but some how that got thrown by the wayside.  I was able to do some catching up though with some friends back home via email. I’m really enjoying Gmail’s chat like conversation email set up, it made it really easy to email back and forth without losing track of what was said.  I talked my little brother a bit as well, and caught up on some shows online.  I really wish there was more to say that I did, but that was it.  I did feel accomplished at the end of the day though.  Ever since fall of 2003 I’ve been on the go.  School, work, and track ruled my life, with little to no break.  I finally feel like I know what it is to really relax.  I had nothing to do, and no where to be, I was on my own time, and it felt great.  I’ve been able to finish two books so far, and two books that I actually enjoyed reading, not just a textbook.  Now there were sometimes in the past where on a Sunday I would just sit around and do nothing, but I knew that by doing so, I’d be behind for the next couple days with school, so this time it was very different.  I really enjoyed just relaxing and taking in my surroundings.

Today I still relaxed, but I took a different approach.  Once again I didn’t have to practice, but I didn’t sleep in.  I was up and about by 8am.  I told myself though, that I wouldn’t spend my hole day in front of the computer or the TV.  So after breakfast I spent an hour and half just talking and catching up with my uncle.  He talked to me for the whole hour and a half and I happily listened.  He told me about his battle and struggles, not just with cancer, but life, love, everything in general. It seems like everyone has their different battles, some bigger then others, but still some sort of battles.  I seem to be full of saying lately, but you know what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  I have a whole life of battles ahead of me, but right now mine is on the track.  Tomorrow’s workout will help me determine where I am in this battle. 

2(250+150) is the workout.  So I run 250 meters, take 1 minute, run 150 meters, take 15 minutes, then repeat.  This workout will help me to gauge how I would run a 400 meter race at this point, and I’m hoping for something in the 54 second range.

So after my conversation with my uncle I took a bit of a nap, at first I was going to jog to the beach but I was told the 1 o’clock sun would be too hot!  At first I was going to nap for just an hour, but my body wanted a bit more.  At 3 I got up and jogged to the beach, and I’m really glad I took that extra hour, because even at 3 the sun still killed me.  I had been driven to this beach before and it took maybe 3 minutes so get there, so I figured it would take me no longer then 10 to 15 minutes to jog.  Before I even got to the bottom of the hill of where my uncle lived, I was sweating up a storm.  I don’t think my body is ever going to get use to this humidity!  Half way through the jog I was ready to turn back, but I knew a beautiful beach was waiting for me.  Even though I’d been to the beach once before, I still got foiled by a sign on the way.  Coming over the last hill I saw the sign saying “Mt. Irving Beach…” and in my mind, I thought "almost there!” So naturally I sped up, thinking the beach was just around the corner. Well the rest of that sign read “Hotel”, and another 200 meters away was the beach I was wanting to go to.  I was partially devastated for using that burst of energy a little too soon, and continued on briskly the remaining 200 meters.  When I finally got to the beach, I couldn’t take my shoes and clothes off fast enough.  I ran and jumped in the water and it was everything I had been waiting for.  The cool ocean water was soothing and relaxing on the muscles that had just worked so hard to get me there. I usually hold back and don’t put my head under when I go swimming, but today I didn’t care.  I dove in and swam around like I was a little dolphin!  I must have looked silly though because a couple kids around me were looking at me funny.  I instantly looked down to make sure I wasn’t pulling a Janet Jackson, but everything was in its place, so I just continued on my merry way.  After about 20 minutes a gentleman came up to me and asked me what event I did, didn’t even ask if I did track or anything, just what event.  He said from the moment I ran up the beach, he knew I did track.  His daughter had competed for Trinidad and Tobago in the last Olympics and had gotten 3rd at the World Championships last year! I had told him, and about the club I was training with while down here and some of the coaches.  He confirmed that I would be in good hands, and the guys helping me out really knew what they were talking about.  It made me feel really good to hear him say that, and excited to see what will come of me training down here.

After 45 minutes at the beach, I was ready to head back home. I left my wet bathing suit on and threw my clothes over top so the jog back would be a bit cooler.  But before I left I was stopped by the life guard and was asked what sport I did! She also said that once I ran up on the beach, she knew I wasn’t just a ‘normal girl’. I told her I was from Canada and all she did was shiver, I guess they heard how cold it gets up there.  After getting some well wishes, I was on my way. For most of the jog I couldn’t believe that two people had been able to identify me as a runner without talking to me or anything.  I couldn’t believe it, until a woman stopped in her car beside me on the road and asked me the same thing!! Let’s just say today ended up being a really big confidence booster.  Having people notice and wishing me luck and all the best just felt really good. It’s hard to describe, but those kinds of little things just add up and help to motivate me to train harder.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Nice and Easy

Last night I had the best sleep ever.  After getting yesterday’s workout done in good times, I knew today’s was going to be a piece of cake.  Plyo and lifting, the easiest workout I could ask for. I was suppose to do some speed endurance, but that got pushed off until Sunday, so today was looking extra good to me.  Then to top it all off, my aunt made the best homemade ice cream ever.  I convinced myself that since it was homemade it was good for me, so I indulged a little…and by a little I mean a lot!

I started reading my second book of the year and its turning out to be more then I thought it would.  I’m The New Black by Tracy Morgan is an autobiography that I thought was just going to be a string of jokes with little to no structure.  Well I was wrong, it does have a lot of laughs but there are also a lot of lessons.  I’ve only just begun the book, but I sense that I will learn a lot from it.  So far its really shown me that anything is possible.  Tracy Morgan came from and extremely tough background and up bringing and now look at him! The hardest part of my up bringing was growing up in the ghettos of White City!  Knowing that Tracy could make it through all that and be successful means that my goals are very attainable.  I just gotta keep my eyes on the prize as they say.

I’m also reading a book on mental toughness preparation for athletes.  I really think this book helped me yesterday through my tough workout, and I think it will continue to help me through my training.  Ninety percent of sports is fifty percent mental.  I think if I continue to work on the mental part of my I will see major improvements this year.

Outside of the track today, I once again just chilled at home and read my books.  I was invited to go the beach again, but I turned it down.  Tomorrow will be a different story though.  I have tomorrow completely off of track, so I will take full advantage of it.  I plan to spend a large part of it at the beach, working on my tan.  For as long as I’ve been here, I should really have a better tan.  So tomorrow will just be fun in the sun, to change that.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Island Boy…or Was it Island Girl??

As I went to bed last night I knew that today had nothing nice to bring.  After practice yesterday I showed my workouts for the remainder of the week to the coach down here (Mista Franklyn), and he told me that today’s was going to be a hard one.  I looked at it and thought he must be confused, four 350s, that should be a piece of cake.  But then Mista Franklyn went on to explain that with the rest given (5 minutes), there will be a build up of ‘nastiness’ in the muscles that will make the workout feel like hell, plus with the sun, I would definitely feel like I’m in hell.  Well thanks Mista Franklyn. As soon as I got home I ate quickly, showered then went to bed, I wanted to get the best rest I could before this workout. 

After waking up several times throughout the night, I finally got out of bed at 9.  Everything Mista Franklyn told me haunted my dreams last night, and induced several running nightmares.  I had the classic, running but I wasn’t able to move.  The one where your legs weigh 100 pounds each, the killers coming after you, and you just can’t move.  Then there was the weird one where I’m doing, and almost finished the race, then a giant penguin comes out of no where and swallows me up, I blame that one on the cheese I had just before I went to bed. When I finally woke up, it was morning as usual.  Breakfast, movie, stretch.  But the workout still pestered me in the back of my mind.  My cousin went to the beach, and in hindsight I should have go as well to help relax a bit.  Instead I just rested and waited for 4 o’clock to come.

When practice time finally came, there was a nice breeze and the sun wasn’t quite as intense as the two earlier days, I started to think it might not be too bad.  I did my new abbreviated warm up, and worked on getting some positive thoughts in my mind to help me through the workout. Forty-five minutes later I’m ready to go. The old me would have messed around a bit before beginning, but I knew if I did negativity would fill my head again and make the workout harder then it needed to be. So without a second thought, I hit the workout full tilt and never looked back.  The first two reps were done comfortably, 58 and 56 seconds, now comes the hard part.  I’m told to keep strong form on the back straight, then really focus on the arm on the home stretch, this one will hurt I’m told, but then after this, just one more left.  Well they were right, it did hurt, but I did what I was told and it paid off, 57 seconds.  Everything starts to hurt and there is no position that is comfortable, my mouth is so dry I can’t swallow, and my legs are so sweaty that my hands slip off when I try to hunch over.  I have one more left, one more Ese!  My goal is just not to fall apart, keep it together, keep it strong.  I go into the last rep with the mind set that it’s my first.  I hit the back straight strong like before, my mind is telling me I’m good, so my body feels good.  As I turn the corner I see 4 little children take off, I know the home stretch is where it will hurt, so I don’t think about it.  All I think is ‘I can’t let these little kids beat me’.  I pass the first three with ease, but the fourth puts up a fight, I keep my form, arms pumping strong, this kid is not going to beat me! With 20 meters left I pass the kid and I’m on top of the world! At 24 years old, I can still beat an 8 year old boy in a foot race! I owe that little boy more then he will ever know.  Any other time I would have fallen apart on that last home stretch and came through in maybe a 60, but not today, instead I finished in 57.  Thank you random island boy :-)

After it was all said and done, 4 x 350 did hurt, but only when I let it hurt.  After the last rep, I laid on the grass for 20 minutes and let the hurt sink in, then dissipate.  After some hurdle drills and a couple ab exercises, I was still alive and ready rest and let my body recover.

The short workout did hurt, but I think these are the ones that will help me out the most.  A wise man once said “No pain, no gain”.  The same man was later eaten by a shark…

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Don’t be Scared to Ask For Help

I woke up pretty early today with the hopes of lifting weights in the morning, then running in the evening.  Up and out of bed by 8, breakfast in me by 8:30 and ready to go by 9! Didn’t exactly workout that way though.  I was ready to pump some iron, but the chicken pox had gotten the best of my aunt and she had to go to the clinic instead.  It was all good though, I got a chance to show off my chef skills.  I made the most amazing salad, then got booted out of the kitchen before I burnt anything down.

After lunch I followed my now regular afternoon schedule of movie and nap before practice.  Death Becomes Her was my little treat for the afternoon.  If you think Bruce Willis was good in Die Hard, check this one out!  Lets just say I went to nap a little earlier today.

My warm ups have been cut in half due to the amazing weather down here.  Unlike back at home, my body is pretty warm and an extra long warm up is no longer needed.  By the time I was done my warm up yesterday, I had already sweat out any water that I had drank for the today.  So today I made some adjustments and by the time I was ready to run, I was nice and warm plus I still had a lot of energy left to do the workout.  Today’s workout was short speed, so a couple 20s, 30s and 40s followed by 3(4x100m).  I didn’t wear my spikes for this workout because I was on the grass track, but I probably could have.  All the athletes that train at the grass track regularly put on their spikes all the time and seem to have no problems.  I might just try it for my next spike workout and see how it goes. 

Since I wasn’t able to go in the morning to lift weights, I just lifted after my running workout.  There were a lot of people in and around the gym, but I was still able to get a platform to myself.  The coach down here has been very helpful and was very impressed with my lifting abilities.  I think I may owe some of it to Carla, but I’ll take the credit while I can  :-)  The weights at the gym don’t have the same racks that they do back home to make it easy to load and unload weights.  So when I was done with my sets of power cleans, instead of asking for help, I tried to unload the weights myself.  At first I tried to awkwardly hold one end of the bar in my left hand while trying to slide the weight off with my right….well that didn’t work.  Next I tried to hold the end of the bar on my leg and slide the weight off with my hands…once again that didn’t work.  On my last attempt I straddled the bar with the end out in front of me.  Holding the bar up with my left hand, I grasped around the bar with my right and began to push the weight to the end.  It was going good until I got to the end.  I’m not 100% sure what happened, but the weight some how tilted forward and pinched my hand between the weight and the bar then proceeded to fall off.  It hurt for a split second, but not as much as I thought it should have.  I looked down at my hand and it seemed ok, so I proceeded to the next side.  Then the kid beside me says something, I’m not really sure what, it just sounds like missyohandisbleedin’ (with a Trinidad accent of course).  I’m pretty sure I looked pretty puzzled, then he points to my hand.  My right hand is covered in blood and its now starting to drip on the platform.  I’ve never really been good at knowing what to do in situations like this, and this was no exception.  I look at my hand, then I look at the boy, then once again back to my hand.  I throw it up into the air and ask “what do I do!” (in a Canadian accent) and he just points to the bathroom.  As I’m leaving the weight room another guy asks me if I’m done with the weights, so I tell him “yah I think so” :-s  As I wash my hand of all I can think is, ‘I shoulda got some extra health coverage’ and I try not to throw up from the gash. 

I cleaned up the cut the best I could with the supplies they had at the track.  Once the bleeding had somewhat stopped I finished off my weight program and amazed some of the boys with my incline press skills (140lbs).  The coach was once again impressed that I didn’t just leave after ‘bussin up me hand’.  He says I’m a different one,   I’m hoping its a good kinda different.

Tomorrow’s workout is a tough one, so I plan to get as much rest as possible.  I plan on beatin up the beat of tomorrow’s workout, and showing it who’s the boss. Tony Danza style!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Shark Park….Shaw Park, Same Diff

Finally! Today I finally got to workout in Tobago.  The park wasn’t exactly what I thought it was gonna be but, I still think it will work.  There are a lot of events going on in Tobago on the actual track so access is going to be limited.  Shaw Park (or Shark Park as I thought it was) is a wide open grass track, it still measures 400 meters, so it will work! Except for today’s workout though, it didn’t :-s  I was suppose to do 3(3x200) with just a minute break.  There was only one stretch of 200 meters marked out, so this one wouldn’t have worked out well.  There were some other athletes there and coaches there and after some discussion I decided to try their workout, 6 x 300m.  I didn’t get any of my times, but the 400 meter coach said they looked good, I’ll just assume he knows what he’s talking about.  He went to the Olympics for the 400 so he might know a thing or two.

I got my workouts for the week and they are looking pretty good.  I’m going to take them to the coach down here and see what he says, maybe he’ll be able to make some adjustments to help me get faster.

Other then workout out today, I didn’t really do too much. My uncle is slowly recovering from his chicken pocks, but now my aunt has them :-s  luckily for me I had them when I was younger, hooray grade 1!  So I helped a bit around the house, cuz I’m SUPER handy! I fixed a drawer with a screw and everything :-)  If you need a carpenter, look me up!

Tomorrow I have weights and a workout, gotta work on my beach muscles for all the cute boys!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Fear the Night For That’s When the Mosquitoes Bite

Last time I was in Tobago I was eaten alive by mosquitoes the first night I was here.  This time wasn’t as bad, but I still felt their wrath.  Half way through the night I woke up to intense itching sensations on both my legs.  No less then 10 bites on each and that number grew by the time I woke up in the morning.  I thought I had put on repellent but it was obviously not enough. Mosquitoes 1 – Ese 0, I’ll come better prepared the next round!

As far as training goes, today was another day off.  It seems like I’ve had a fair share of those lately.  Hopefully by tomorrow I can get on the track.  I’m still in the organizing stage for Tobago.  I tried to get a hold of the coach down here, but I was unsuccessful. I’ll try again tomorrow, and if anything I’ll just go to the track and hopefully be able to catch him at some point. 

I did make it to the beach today though, and it was beautiful.  Nice clear waters and flashes of warm water, like nothing I’d ever experienced at Regina Beach that’s for sure.  The water was nice and calm and I was able to swim about 100 meters out before I got scared.  Opposed to my weak attempt earlier in the week to swim away with haste, this time I able to do so without being laughed at.  

I finished off the day with diner, a movie and a little mental preparation for tomorrow. 

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Early Morning Boat Ride

3:32, 3:48, 4:23, 4:45…I really didn’t want to miss my boat today! Departure at 6:30am means at the dock at 5:30am the latest.  After missing a flight once in 2007 I’ve really never been able to sleep well the night before travelling and this was no exception.  I had to leave a bit of stuff back in Trinidad to make my bags a bit easier to carry.  Once I got to the port though I realized I probably didn’t have to because I checked my bags as soon as I got there.  My uncle will just bring what was left behind when he goes to Trinidad next week.

The long boat ride was anything but comfortable.  I had gotten use to being way too hot no matter where I went , so I wore just a tank top and shorts to travel to Tobago.  Unfortunately for me they pumped up the A.C. and I froze my buns off the whole way.  The only good part of the trip was the series of late 80s and early 90s hits that they played for half the trip.  Tracey Chaplain, Bryan Adams and a whole lot of hair! What more could I ask for!

Now that I’m in Tobago I’ll need to organize once again where and when I’ll be training.  I had talked with a coach down here before I came, so now I must touch base to get going. Weekends are usually off and I haven’t received anything from my coach yet, so tomorrow I’ll relax once again and hopefully get going on Monday.

It rained for a bit today, but I missed most of it.  Once I got in I slept from 10:30 until around 6:30.  After a couple calls back home and a movie, time to hit the sack.  Organizing tomorrow then training on Monday!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Rainy Day

Today started off once again at 10 am.  I felt very rested and recovered and ready for the days workout.  I looked outside the window and there were a couple clouds and as soon as I got down stairs I was notified that it was gonna rain today. Now in Regina a rainy day means several layers including a rain jacket and possibly an umbrella and very dark gloomy skies.  Well I’m in a totally different world down here.  The prediction was right, and the rain came, but the sun stayed out and it was still warm.  Within half an hour of it raining, everything was dry, still humid, but the ground was dry and you would never know that it had rained earlier.

I worked out a little later today, yesterday it was still pretty hot throughout the workout and it seemed like all the other people waited till 430 to start their workouts.  I followed their lead for today’s workout and it definitely paid off.  It was a bit easier workout, but the coolness of the night made it a bit easier as well.  There weren’t as many other athletes training tonight because of a development meet tomorrow.  I wish I had know about it, I could have at least watched.  There were about 5 other people at the track, including a very curious 10 year old boy. Apparently I looked like a foreigner to all the other athletes and they sent the boy to find out what I was all about. I told him I was 12, but I don’t think he bought it.

Today’s workout was pretty basic, 6 x 60m with some extra exercises at the end.  Good way to end the week, next week will be a little better with an actual full week of workouts.   

I leave for Tobago in the morning, where I will finally set in.  Most of my time will be spent in Tobago and training with the group there.  Once there I can finally unpack all my bags and really settle in.  Then the real workouts can start and I can get down to business.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Well today I finally got to get onto the track. Carla gave me the number of a guy here and he was able to get me in.

I guess going about it the correct way by going through Sport-TT wasn't the right way to get into the track.  So now I'm officially an honorary member of Memphis Pioneers track club in Trinidad.

The workout went well, it was a simple one. 8 x 200m with a 200m walk...times were as follows:









Carla only asked for 35s, so I think I did alright.

I actually slept in till 10 today and for most of the day I just chilled. I think I`m slowly getting the hang of things like not having a job and not really having a schedule, and I think I like it :-)

I watched a movie, Extract, and read for most of the day then headed to practice.

It was still hot as hell, but i can’t complain too much because its minus 31 in Regina and I got to run on an outdoor track.

Today I realized that I only understand like half of what people say to me down here. At some point while at the track I think someone tried to say something to me, but I had no idea what. I just smiled and nodded and continued on my way.

So I wondered, do they understand what I’m say? I’m thinking I'll just start talking slower and louder, I heard that always helps.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fun in the Sun

Well another day has come and gone without a workout! Its taking longer then I thought it would to set something up, but thanks to my coach I’ve got something figured out.  Tomorrow I will finally hit the track and on route to why I came here.  Today wasn’t a complete waste though.  I woke up early, for no real reason, and just enjoyed the beautiful view of being on this island.  I looked out the window of my bedroom for at least an hour before I went down for breakfast. 

My aunt was  very active in helping me to find a place to train for today, and when we both came up with nothing, she took me to the beach to make me feel a bit better.  The water was amazing! I walked out for at least 100 meters and the water was only up to my bellybutton.  I got scared though when I saw some fins in the water and I immediately ‘swam’ back with all my might.  Lets just say I’m a better runner then swimmer and after an embarrassing attempt to escape the sharks, I was only 10 meters away from where I started.  To make matters worse, the 12 year old boy beside me was laughing and pointing at the fish that ‘scared d funny lady’.  I spent the rest of the time on the beach letting the waves hit me. 

On the way to the beach there was a police car parked up just down the beach and what I thought was a dead body floating in the water.  Well I thought correctly, because when we were heading back from the beach the coroner had showed up and the body was on the beach with a white blanket over it.  Nothing says ‘welcome!’ like a dead body on the beach.

With the adventures behind me I’m now ready to finally get onto the track.  I’m pretty excited for tomorrow, and even more so for Saturday when I’ll finally be in Tobago and the training gets real!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Getting Organized

Today was an organizing day.
Within the last couple months the management for the stadiums in Trinidad and Tobago has changed, so I had to organize how I would be able to get access. Unfortunately it wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be. After a couple stops I found out I would need to get permission to get in and train. SO now I wait and see. I've sent a couple emails, so hopefully by tomorrow I will have access to something. Luckily its hot enough here that the lack of training won't make me fat. Today at around 11am it was 33 degrees and it only got hotter! I can only image how hot I will be when I finally start training.

I also spent today getting my boat rides to Tobago set. With Carnival in February I decided that I would take a break from training for a week and come back to Trinidad and take in the festival and have a little fun....but don't tell my coach :-p

Too Tired To Train...

January 4, 2010

Today was traveling day. Woke up at 430 to get Egiroh to the airport. Last night I was up till 1130 trying to repack everything, I'm not really sure how I got all my stuff down to Miami in the first place. I unloaded at least 20 pounds on Egiroh to take back to Canada for me. Turns out the extra clothes put his bag over weight and he had to pay a little fee....ooops :-)
He can't really complain too much though, both of my bags were over weight too, 60 and 63 pounds. A man at the airport tried to help me lift one and almost threw out his back!
So a hundred dollars and an hour later I'm finally at my gate. I'm surronded by at least 50 people that sound like my mom, I know this plane is going to Trinidad. Since Egiroh's flight was two hours before mine, I still have lots of time to kill. Sleep is the perfect time killer, so I close my eye's for what I think is 5 minutes and wake up to an almost empty gate. Close call but I still made it on. The flight is just under 4 hours and I tried to sleep for most of it, but sleeping in a plane isn't the easiest thing.
When I finally land in Trinidad I can't believe it, it beautiful and HOT. I'm way over dressed with two long sleeve pull overs on. As I stand in line at immigration, I'm sweating like I did something wrong! The officer asks me a million question that I don't know the answer too, and this is the point in which I lose my foam roller. Overwhelmed with the 21 question period, and the heat from the layers of sweaters, I leave my foam roller and don't even notice.
My aunt comes to pick me and I'll be staying with her until the weekend, then I'll take the boat over to Tobago to stay with my uncle and finally get settled in.
After some running around and visiting some other family its 6pm and I'm way too tired to train. I'll just mark today up as a rest day, and start off fresh tomorrow.

Workout number two

January 3, 2010

The second workout was a little easier then the first. A nice brisk 25 minute run followed by some plyo to wake my muscles back up. My run was suppose to be done on the beach, but since I was still on the base, I did it there. I found another track that was rubber so it was a bit easier on my body. Miami was a little chillier then I thought it was gonna be though, only 17 degrees out. Can't wait to get to Trinidad and be in the sun!

Away from the track. This is my last day in Miami. Tonight I will be dropping off my Mom, Maria, and older brother, Onome, off at the airport. They will be beginning their own journey to Nigeria to visit my dad's side of the family. Egiroh and myself will be leaving in the morning, Egiroh back to Saskatoon to continue to school. Overall Miami was an awesome trip. Lots of little adventures with my family, but now I'm ready to get down to business. Trinidad in the morning :-)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Starting off 2010 with a little pain

Well today was the first workout of 2010. It was the same one that we started last year with. It was suggested to do it 2-3 times, so naturally I went with 2 :-) This was the first time I ran since the 26th and I could definitely feel it. The workout asked for 150m runs, but I just did turns around on the 100 meter stretch. The track at the base is asphalt, so later in the day I could feel some soreness in my lower back. I'm hoping this will pass on a good nights rest on the floor.

I haven't received my workouts yet for tomorrow, so hopefully its not anything hard.

I called my uncle today in Tobago and it looks like I'll be staying in Trinidad until the weekend. Still can't believe I'm going, I'm getting really excited....only 2 days to go!!