2019: Time for a Change
I spent the better part of 2018 trying to convince myself that I was okay with being where I am. Sometimes I believed it. Sometimes I just wanted to go back in time and start over. I have found that being in the present and focusing on improving each day is where I should be but the way I frame that in my mind needs to change. There is being complacent in the present and then there’s being aware of where you are and fighting for where you want to be. I raced grandmas with the attitude of “what if I can” and going into Indy my attitude was “what if I can’t.” Thinking back on it, I raced grandmas with more heart, more love of the sport. As coach Steve Furst put it, in 2019 I need to “BYOH, bring your own heart.” For me that means changing my reference point. I’ve run 3 marathons in a little over a year. The first wasn’t great, the 2nd came after some health issues, and the 3rd was just what it was, good but not my goal. I didn’t get a lot of racing in and I felt as if I was just going through the motions expecting to be disappointed. So instead of continuing to grind through the marathon, I am starting 2019 with more racing, shorter distances, and more heart.
The marathon brings a certain kind of hurt that you don’t experience in a 5k but the 5k brings another type of hurt that you don’t get in a marathon. The marathon normally starts out comfortably and the pain builds. You have to stay focused and composed and work through periods of discomfort. Essentially the first half of the race prepares you to deal with the pain at the end. In the 5k you get thrown in and there is no easing into the pace. It is fast from start to finish. When I started to tank at Indy, I had a whole 5k to go. Mentally and physically I have reached a point where I just want to run fast. I don’t want to think about the marathon, or at least not yet.
On the racing front 2018 wasn’t all that I hoped it would be but I was fortunate enough to join Jasyoga as one of the Athletes for Yoga & InsideTracker as officially one of there athletes. Both of these things I credit in helping my body recover from the health issues I had earlier this year and the side effects I have dealt with as a result of over-training. To sum up in one word what these two companies have given me would be balance.
After Indy I took 1 week almost completely off from running & strength ( I ran 4 miles twice towards the end of the week at a very easy pace). The 2nd week I ran 4 miles every other day easy. Then I started my training back up. About a week or so in I got my 4th and final Ultimate test of the year. After 2 years of not running as well as I would like I wanted to start the new season out right. I have been feeling so much better thus far but as they say #BloodDontLie. After receiving my results I worked with one of InsideTrackers dietitians to review and address every biomarker that was in need of improvement. Working with a nutritionist that reviews this data with all kinds of athletes from professionals to weekend warriors is super valuable. They have seen trends and know what works. If you want to check out my results and the recommendations I was given click here.
Adding Jasyoga to my life this year has given me a much more mindful approach to training. From meditation to functional strength training, I am on a better path forward. I tend to be hard on myself if I am not getting to the gym or hitting my mileage but at the end of the day more is not always better and I have to be give myself more of a break. In 2019 I have goals to program more Jasyoga into my training. This past year I have been doing it as I feel things getting tight but in 2019 I want it to be more deliberate and consistent with it. Luckily they now have a fancy easy to use app!
Of course I couldn’t talk about 2018 without mentioning the incredible growth and success of the Raleigh Distance Project. I saw every one of my teammates make big leaps in their training and racing but I can tell that the trend is just getting started. We’ve connected with several local businesses and were able to support our athletes in travel to races. We made new running friends and started the first morning run club in the area. 2019 our focus is to prove that we are serious. That what we are doing is meaningful and real. That any one deserves the opportunity to go for it.
This leads me to my goals for the next year plus my preliminary race schedule. Time for some fun and time for that OTQ!
Preliminary Race Schedule:
Feb 10th - Run for the Roses 5k - Rust Buster
Mar 9th - Gate River Run - USATF 15k Championships
Mar 29th - Raleigh Relays
April 25th - Penn Relays
May 5th - Pittsburgh Half - USATF Half Marathon Championships
June 22 - Grandmas Marathon
PR at any distance
Meditate 5-10 minutes at least 5 days a week
Warm up with Jasyoga before morning runs
Incorporate a Jasyoga Strength Routine 2-3x per week
Bake at least 1x per week
Reach funding goals for travel and stipend for the Raleigh Distance Project