MY HEADS IN THE GAME (& Old Pro's Race Recap!)

Geez this blog post is overdue. I'm embarrassed. (Just kidding- not that embarrassed - but I do feel bad that I have neglected my blog for so long. ;-)

So what's been the latest & greatest?? Here's your quick narrative of what's been going on since my last blog post:

1. My running lately has been SUPER positive (especially compared to my running of the last two years. eesh). And I have been EXCITED about it lately. Like genuinely excited to be running, to tackle the workouts, to accomplish what I set out to do- and in some cases to beat the goals I had previously set for the workout. What a great place to be in after just some toughhhh running for the last year or so. My body feels strong and I'm never fresh for workouts - but I don't feel the heavy fatigue that I once did and I can handle the workouts I'm given. I've seen a steadyyyy progress EVERY SINGLE WEEK in my speed & my tempo workouts. Gosh. That's nice.

2. I may or may not (emphasis on MAY) have had a mini -meltdown in Cuba about my running. So our trip to Cuba was around 3 months after Tokyo & 13 months after Boston. i.e. I have done a LOT of running and training and seen ZEROOOOOO reward/positive results. Trying to sustain the workload which comes with training hard with no results is like running on (emotional) fumes. Feels thankless & exhausting. I hit an emotional low in Cuba and just was like- WHY AM I DOING THIS?! There were tears. A lot of them. And a lot of feeling bad for myself.  Luckily Tyler was there to really just keep reminding me of the facts- my workouts have been way more positive and it just takes TIME to dig myself out of the overtraining (hell) hole that I was in. Sometimes you need a moment to just really unleash all the emotions (good or bad) that you may be feeling- and sometimes it's exhausting being so positive all the time. Especially on back to back to back to back BADDD marathons (that was FOUR in case you weren't counting). Haha. It's not just a bad race. A marathon is just soooo long so the training is even longer and it just feels like you're dragged through it more when a marathon goes sour. Anyways- just wanted to highlight this mini meltdown because sometimes, right before things turn around, you feel like giving up. 

Varadero, Cuba. Don't worry. I wasn't crying here on the beach. ;-) Well that view is pretty enough to cry over. HA.

3. So I came back from my trip- and I kept at it with the workouts. I had wanted to do a 5k and was wanting that to be my first race back but when Bonita 5k decided to offroad it- I decided to pass. First race back after so many awful ones needed to be a win! (Gosh- I'm not a masochist!)

I've been keeping at my workouts- includinggggg Kayla. Went with my cuzins up to the Rose Bowl for Kayla HERSELF to do a boot camp with us!

4. When Old Pro's was looking like my first race back, I was feeling pretty confident that I could pull off SOME kind of PR. Honestly at this point, a 1 second PR would have been a win. Not even kidding.

I was getting EXCITED for Old Pro's 10k. Which is a good thing. When I was in the throes of overtraining, I didn't get excited for races. There was no nervous energy in my body over them. I literally just was fatigued all the time. So I definitely felt like that was a good sign. Tyler and I went over a race day plan and knowing that my previous PR was 7:15 pace for the 6.2 miles, I wanted to aim for a sub 7 minute pace - I said ideally A goal would be to do 6:50 pace. (Pretty lofty considering my 10k from Cardiff Kook this year was a 7:20 pace.)

The night before the race I spent SOOOO much time finding great new songs for my ipod. I live & die by my race music mix. Right before I was heading to bed, I went to power up my old computer that synced to my iPod- and what do you know. After 7 years of faithful service, the dumb thing wouldn't turn on- WHEN I NEEDED IT MOST. Haha. I only obsessed over it for half an hour (googling everything online to try and resuscitate the beast of a Macbook) before I was like- sleep is more important, you gotta stop this nonsense and finally went to bed.

Morning of the race I was definitely excited to get there and just see what my lil bod could do. I was SO happy that it was at Lake Miramar where I do my tempo runs EVERY SINGLE WEEK. Can someone say home court advantage? (A welcome relief after Tokyo, Berlin, & Boston ;-)

I warmed up for a mile and a half and then got to the start line towards the front. My PR from this race before was legit from having to weave for a full mile behind women in strollers walking and talking with their walk-besties. That was a lot of unneeded physical & emotional energy that I wasted that race. So this race, Tyler made sure to tell me I needed to make my way towards the front. Good call.

We started and I found myself at 6:50 pace feeling comfortable and calm. It felt super natural and I was like ok let's stay here. The miles ticked by pretty easily.

6:51, 6:48, 6:53

I passed through the 5k and he read the split at 21:07 and I was just elated knowing that I broke my 21:14 2014 5k PR. Tyler talks about how at NYC Marathon he ran a great first half and he turned and looked at the guy next to him and said- I'm going to do that again (and he did within seconds). And I thought about that right when I passed and got that 5k PR and said- you know what- let's go for it- I'm gonna do that again.

Then things started to feel a little tougher. As they did I focused on just keeping my cadence high and taking quick steps. I tried to refresh myself and recover as I was running.

6:57

Then we came to the hard part of the loop and mile 5. And gosh. It was rough. This part always gets me and I always work harder than any other part but with much slower times. I kinda thought- well worse comes to worse you're gonna PR anyways.

7:01

THAT FACE. hahahahahha.

Then I saw Terri as I was crossing the dam and I was so relieved to see her and just waved and instead of just waving back- she jumped on the course and paced me the rest of the way. I saw my watch jump down into the 6:30s & 6:40s and was re-energized. Then it started to feel hard again and she was looking behind her to make sure I was still there- all the while encouraging me. I tried to yell up to her that I was there with her (not sure what that probably sounded like while dying-in-motion). She got me through a TOUGHHHH 6th mile.

6:43

I saw Tyler at the bottom of the hill and was just so happy. He probably knew at this point that I was going to PR. And then the finish came and I had all of this new energy all of a sudden, I saw the finish line and then remembered that we actually finished in the dirt. I started almost slowing down on the way in and Terri was like C'MON. Like duh- don't slow down when you're almost there. I pushed as hard as I could.

6:12 for the last .2

Crossing the finish line in 42:31 was so gratifying. I instantly went looking for Tyler to celebrate with him. It didn't feel like just my victory. It felt like ours. It has been such a long, emotional, and draining road from Boston to this 10k. I know it's just a 10k. I mean, who cares about 10k's right? It's not a marathon or a half marathon- but to me- this race is the start of the turnaround. This was just like the olive branch that God sent Noah and the ark to give them hope again. Boston completely decimated me- physically and emotionally. And I was left in its wake - working hard and seeing nothing for my hours on hours of work. Finally, I got something for it- a 2:15 PR over my last 10k. And the promise that things are different. That this is a tangible win that WILL BE a string of wins. This has been such a long emotional journey- but I have believed God everyday that things would turn around. My stickers at my desk at work say "God is faithful," "I'm Getting STRONG. I'm getting FAST, " "1:29", "Sub-3." I believed that the stickers would all come true even on the days where my current fitness seemed in contradiction to it. I'm still a longgg ways away from hitting some of my goals- but I am even more excited for them and resolute in my desire to pursue them. Things are just getting interesting ;-)