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.