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Saturday, November 13, 2010

NCAA Regional Coaches Meeting

Last night we had a coaches meet for the Great Lakes Regional Meet.
They fed us some yummy chicken, salad, pasta, cheese, olives, and cake. I opted out of the cake and pasta, but it was plenty of food, and good conversation.
I looked around the room, and man did I feel small! The room was a host of respectable coaches and former athletes. Lee Labadie, now the coach of the Akron Zips men's team, and two of his former athletes Coach Croghan (Kent State), and Coach Gary (Ohio State), both Olympic Steeplechasers, my former Coach Scott Jones, and the Coach of the Miami Red Hawks 2 time All-American (mile, 3k), and 2 time Olympic Trials 1500m qualifier, Kelly Phillips, comprised the table I sat at alone!!
It was fun to be a part of what I always wondered the meetings Coach Jones would have to go to were about.
The meeting itself was rather boring, and aside from the stuff about working to keep our sport what it is, and how we can become/need to be involved with that pretty mundane, and obvious. But being in a room full of people I have looked up to and respected for years, we could have been talking about bowling, and I would have appreciated it!
Meeting=waste of 2 hours of my life. Being in that room=priceless!

Friday, November 12, 2010

let the countdown begin!

24 days until I get to lace up my racing flats, harness all the anxious energy, and poise myself for 26.2 miles through the streets of Sacramento. I feel like I've come a long way since the debacle in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

After 2 weeks of really just getting in some running, and trying to find a way to get my focus on the right things to feel prepared to race again. I was able to run a new PR for 10k (as i mentioned in the previous post).

I have had some very solid, long workouts and I feel like things are going in the right direction.
I did a 20 mile workout with Jason back in September, and I mentally struggled so much that it manifested as a physical struggle in the last 8 miles or so. I struggled to hit sub 6 min pace all out. I have done a 21 mile workout running the last 10 miles at 6:20 pace without feeling like it was more than a glorified easy run. 4 days later I was able to run 22 miles progressing through the run down to a fast last 2 miles. Which I was able to run faster than during my prep for Twin Cities in 2009.

I feel very confident that I will be ready come Dec. 5th.

So today I am on my way to the NCAA regional meet with the team. I am excited to see how they will race, and eager to watch a great meet.
After raking and bagging leaves for 5-6 hours yesterday my hamstrings are pretty tight, but not too bad to run with. I ran 8 this morning, and will have another down day tomorrow.
Sunday has a 15k race and then 15k running a mile marathony, a mile easy in store.
By time we get there ill have 3 weeks til race day!

I am eager to get to the start line, and very excited for the chance to race a good marathon so soon after Twin Cities. I still have a lot of work to do, and more mental prep to get to the place I want to be, but I'm getting there. One step at a time!

Friday, October 29, 2010

peace of mind

As I drove the 3.5 hour trip home, my mind was full of excitement. I would soon get to see my Mom, Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, Grandparents, Niece, and possibly my sister. I had not been home in 4 months. The longest time I can ever remember. I missed the familiarity of it all. I missed just getting to chill with them. Things have changed a lot around there in the past 5 years. Ive moved away, my sister now has a 2 year old, her own home, and 4 horses (her dream), my little brother left for college, my mom and step dad no longer live together, and my best friend/cousin has moved to Arizona. One thing that has not changed is the mindset they all have about me. My family and friends have always had faith in my ability to be the person and athlete I want to be. It is fun to go home, and be reminded of that. My Poppa, and Aunt Deb probably mentioned me winning the race I would be running on Sunday 15 times before Saturday had ever dawned.
I love their belief in me.
Saturday came and went all too quickly, and next thing I know it was time to wake up and get ready to race. I met up with Carol for warm up, and we laughed and enjoyed the easy 15 mins together before it was time to really get serious. I had run this race one other time in 2006. 36:07 was my finishing time then. With the way things have been going I would be happy to improve on that. I prayed for only one thing going into the race. That I would be mentally tough, and focused from start to finish.
As we did our final strides, and got down to our race day gear, I began to feel pretty nervous. I remember asking my mom to pray for my mental toughness too, and then it was time to lay it out there. The gun went off, and we were on our way. We came through the mile in 5:15 and I was the lead woman. Shortly there after I saw a familiar figure, and gave a hello nod. R. D. Goodwright, was a runner at Youngstown State when we met as we were both running under Matt Woods one summer. He asked what my goal was and I said anything under 35 mins would be a PR. He nodded and said "lets go".
5:21 through the 2nd mile R. D. grabbed 2 waters and handed one my way. I smiled and took a swig. "Double hills, don't be fooled" he said, and I looked up, only to see a very large hill in front of me and remember from 06 that when you got around the bend, it just went up again. So I told myself the same thing we always did in college, 'just tap it out'. Soon enough we were cresting the top of the hill and making our way back down. 5:50...slow, but still leading.
We began to hit a few small rolling stretches and the pace quickened to 5:35. Then R. D. was off to help another guy he knew. I kept trying to push the pace, and R. D. slowly came back. 5:44 through 5 miles and then she blew by me. A Kenyan woman from Kentucky. I tired to go with her, and heard R. D. from 20 meters behind remind me it was worth it. So I pressed...HARD. We hit the bridge over the river heading into downtown, and despite my best effort she started to pull away. 600 meters to go my mom was there, screaming "Becki, go you can catch her". I gave it another push, only to find myself tying up pretty badly. But only 600 meters to go, I can give in now. So I pressed as hard as I could. 34:56. A new PR, and an answered prayer. I had made it the whole way feeling like I was racing, and not giving up!
I still have a long way to go to find my confidence, but this was a good step in the right direction.
26.2 miles im coming after step at a time.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

how do i get there from here?

Or maybe better yet how did I get here from there? I used to be so confident, and I believed with ever fiber of who I am that with hard work I could be not only one of our nations best, but challenge nearly anyone in the world when it came to the marathon. Then October 3rd 2010 rolls around and I find myself in the midst of an amazing opportnity jogging. Mearly a fitter looking image of the girl I used to be. My head was somewhere else that day, and everyday I can remember in 2010. I've run PR's, had some of the best workouts of my life and have a team of people behind me like I've never had, and then hiccup...I loose the one thing that made me beat people in the past. My unwavering belief that this pitter patter of shoes on the street was my domain, the place I turned heads, and learned to dream, my ticket to remaining "peter pan", just gone? But how, where, and more importantly, how do I get it back?
As I lace up my shoes this coming week and begin the journey to sacramento where ill race the california international marathon on december 5th, I have a goal that doesn't involve numbers. I have to find the girl I lost somewhere in the fringes. I'm going to have to dig deeper than I ever have to pull her out of wherever she is burried, and remind her I need her.
Well call her confidence. I've never wanted something more. The road may be long to find her again, but ill lace up, and you better believe I won't be looking back.
The quest for the oly trials A standard starts now, confidence...I'm looking for you.