Feels like just yesterday I was on my way down to California, and now I'm heading home. The last 16 days have been amazing to say the least.
It is always easiest to post after good races, and to hide and disappear after not so good ones. This time around I had 5 sub par races in California, however my first instinct was not to hide, but instead share how this experience was probably the best thing to happen to me for this season.
After my first round of competitions at Mount Sac, and Azusa, I thought for sure I knew exactly what I needed to do to drop some sick times the next time around. In all actuality, mentally I knew exactly what needed to be done, physically though was another thing.
I had three amazing workouts before the meet at UC San Diego. Things were firing, and my speed was coming back, I felt like I was ready to make some big moves. The day before the meet at my pre-race workouts I felt like a bag of garbage. My glutes were exhausted, hips were tight and legs were heavy, all the things I LOVE to feel the day before my race. Some may find it strange, but I actually enjoy feeling beat up the day before my race, because in my mind, that is my day to feel like garbage instead of actually on race day. I made it through the pre-race well and was more than ready to run the next day.
Race day at UC San Diego was beautiful. The sun was out and there was a slight breeze. The forecast called for rain, but coming from Toronto I knew there wasn't anything the golden state could throw at me I couldn't handle. I no longer felt like garbage, and worked through my warm up with confidence that things were about to go down. There were slight nerves, but mostly excitement, I was amped to roll out and make my mark. My race tactics from the previous week were perfect, so I just replayed that over and over in my head. If I just raced that same way with fresh legs this week, things should come together.
I attacked the first 200m aggressively and in control, coming around the corner I just focused on staying tall and keeping my hips up. I came off the final bend feeling good, I felt like I had ran wisely and maybe, just maybe this time around that 100lbs gorilla would decided to jump on some other poor quarter milers back today. For two to three strides off the corner I felt like I was on top of the world, then perfectly, on cue, that great silver back came out. I had not escaped, he got me. But I told him 'NO!' and fought through. I pumped my arms, pumped like there was no tomorrow. I could tell it was working, I felt myself closing on the girls beside me. With 50 meters left the quarter miler rigger was kicking in with full force, but the fight was real, I was not giving up.
My time was a tad faster than the week before, but once again nothing to really feeling amazing about.
The Triton Invitation at UC San Diego was a good way to end this block of competition for the season. On and off the track California was overall a great experience.
Being new to my training group this trip gave me an opportunity to really get to know my coach, my program and the people I train with. I find myself at a new level of comfort with my new surrounding, and a better understanding of how this change is going to make me better in the long run. I was able open up and have some solid heart to hearts with my training partners. And, I was able visit some family and have the opportunity spend some good time with my best friend.
Physically I know I have a lot of work to do before nationals, but mentally I am exactly where I want to be. Determination and motivation are built through struggle, and I am more driven then ever before.
California gave me the opportunity to fail so I now know what I need to do to succeed.
“before anyone ran fast, they were slow” ~A.Henry