It’s ya girl hurdlesncurls here with another blog post recapping my adventures on (and sometimes off) the track. This week I ventured to Albuquerque, NM (sans coach!) for the Don Kirby Invitational.
Okay so one mistake I made was not renting a car. I didn’t realize how far away my place was from the track, so I ended up spending almost $200 in uber rides, so lesson learned there. If the place is more than 10 minutes away, rent a car. Check. But I arrived on Thursday and checked into my place and met one of my weekend-roommates (charming older English former rugby player named Roland), dropped my stuff off, and headed to the track to get in a practice. Admittedly I felt phenomenal. And Albuquerque is a FAST track. So I knew I was gonna run something hot this weekend. I come home to another roommate and two adorable dogs named Inka and Alfie and shoot the ish with them for a few hours (later than I was hoping I admit) and then off to bed I go.
Okay so let’s fast forward to Friday. When I woke up (and did NOT have to set an alarm. Strangeeeeee) I was feeling amazing. But my race wasn’t until 4:00pm and I’m not used to running so late in the day. So I make myself some breakfast and talk with Lindsay while she’s packing to take her and her adorable pups to the Grand Canyon on some strange hiatus road trip. Possibly a midlife crisis type deal. But she wishes me luck as my uber driver picks me up and I’m off to the track.
As soon as I get there and start warming up, immediately I knew I was in trouble. My energy did a complete 180 and instead of coming into the race calm and focused, I ended up with my heart damn near jumping out of my chest, psyching myself out, negative emotions stirring up inside like a volcano waiting to erupt at any moment. So the gun goes off and I end up clipping the first hurdle. I’m not sure if I wasn’t prepared or I got to it more quickly than I was anticipating. But I do know that my trail leg was lazy as hell lol but I kept my life together and still managed to win my heat and go into the finals in the top 6.
I was so distraught over prelims because that was exactly what I ran the weekend before previously in Canada (I just realized I didn’t tell y’all the time lol. 8.37). Given it was my second race of the season and I ran the same time as last weekend having a horrible race, in hindsight I shouldn’t have been so hard on myself mentally. In reality I had set myself up to run an 8.2 comfortably. I should be happy I was consistent and didn’t regress.
All that aside, the open 60 was a lost cause. Mentally I was already exhausted even though it was literally 20-30 minutes later, but I tried to just use it as a race to work on form. When I got home Friday night I was okay, but I knew my approach to semis and finals had to be different. Something had to change.
So that night I started researching mental training exercises to help with my anxiety (which stems from my days as a college athlete once I retraced my steps to find the source of my emotions). I came across two activities; mindfulness and meditation. Admittedly I had been super slacking on my meditation tip. Once you get comfortable you just stop doing it, ya know? So I vowed to do both for my next race. That night I meditated and did EFT (I’ll explain what this is later) for 15 minutes and then off to bed I went.
When I woke up Saturday morning, again I meditated for 10 minutes and did some EFT. I was shocked at how much more calm I felt that day. At breakfast I chatted with another husband and wife that were just passing through before heading to the track for my morning semifinal.
This time when I arrived at the track and all throughout my warmup, I felt a sense of peace that I had never felt before going into any of my other races. Even by the time I was finished and had stepped up to the line to start, I had absolutely NO aggression. It scared the crap out of me! So I ate a mandarin thinking maybe I just needed some quick energy, which helped, but it still wasn’t the adrenaline that I was used to. So we get into the set position and BANG! We’re off. The entire race was incredibly comfortable. I don’t even truly know how to explain what I was feeling during that race. I was in the mix with the other two fastest hurdlers, but I could tell I wasn’t pushing myself. I was simply maintaining. Playing off of them. It was the easiest race I had ever ran, an I came second in my heat. And it is not only a season best, it’s also a personal best. I’m so proud to have run 8.15! Finals in the afternoon the jitters came back a little, so I knew it wouldn’t be as good as the semis. But I still ran 8.21, and I’m still ranked in the top 15 hurdlers in the country. Not bad for my second meet of the season; you always want to be getting progressively better. So running a sub 8 wouldn’t have made sense, follow me? I’m setting myself up to peak at USAs. So we are right on track with my training.
60H Semifinals Heat #2
|8.||16.||Brabham-Lawrence, Sierra||FR-1||San Diego St.||8.81||–|
Afterwards I ran into my good friend Blessing (she always shows up literally right when her event the triple jump is about to start lol) and it was nice to be able to watch her and have a friend there to talk to and connect with a fellow trackmate. Afterwards we grabbed a little lunch and had a heart to heart before she had to head to the airport to catch her flight back to LA, literally a few hours after her event (she’s a fly by the seat of her pants kind a chick, believe me when I tell you she will be late to her own funeral). I also met a very nice chatty hep chick from UCI and even though we just met it felt like we were old friends.
Some of the best feelings and experiences are going to meets and making soul connections and just being reminded why you still compete. I’m also a big fan of Airbnb not only for the cool places I get to stay, but the interesting people I meet from all walks of life. From Ingrid with a husband delivering baby lambs in Germany in Canada, to Lindsay the energy reader/healer with her two dogs Inka and Alfie, to the English rugby player Roland whose daughter is getting married in South Africa in March, to Gladys traveling to Mexico for a quick vacation with her husband, and so many others. It’s making this journey that much more enjoyable. And I’m excited to meet more of you and hear your stories and to feel your support for me and my journey from wherever you are in the world.
I’ve got a story to tell. And you all make it that much more interesting 🙂
So you’re probably wondering where I’m trekking to next yes? Well kiddies sorry but I’ll be in Cali until USAs in March. But keep tuning in! I’ve always got a trick or two up my sleeve.
Til next time!
With Love and Curls,