Monday, October 25, 2010

Where Does The Day Go

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is day 1, only 4 more to go…

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Feelin Good'

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

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

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Up and Running

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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