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Training

A Little Bit Closer: Carlsbad 5000 Recap

Early Saturday morning, the day before the Carlsbad 5000, I drifted in and out of sleep. I dreamt I was crossing the finish line over and over again and the giant digital clock would read 18:29, 18:30, 18:31. Each time I woke up I thought, phew, it was just a dream. See, I flew down to Carlsbad, California this weekend with a big goal of finishing under the 18 minute mark. Anything higher was quite literally my personal nightmare.

That day I visited the race expo with my friends Shasta and Alex to pick up our bib numbers and enjoy the city. The nerves I had felt the night before started to fade as we took pictures, lazed in the sun drinking smoothies, ran a course preview, took a dip in the hot tub back home, and later that night made a family dinner of spaghetti with red sauce and garlic bread.

Sunday morning, the day of the race, I had a very similar reoccurring dream, but that time the clock read 17:56, 17:57, 17:58 and I would squeak by the finish line just in time. Each time I would wake up and think, omg yes, I did it! then seconds later have the realization that I hadn’t actually accomplished anything and the task was still ahead.

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Training

Let the Dream Chase You

What if?

It’s the little question that has tugged at many minds including my own. What if I could be… a runner? What if I could be a good runner? What if I could be great? What if I could hold this pace for 26.2 miles? That sure is what I was asking myself last month, on what started as a not particularly special 16 mile training run. In the beginning I felt sluggish and apathetic, wanting to get it over with, until finding my groove about six miles in and finishing feeling like I had the world at my fingertips. Since when did I feel at ease running 6:30 miles over and over again?

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Training

Little Miss Careful

I don’t put a ton of stock in astrology, but the traits that describe my zodiac sign, a Virgo, are pretty spot on: practical, methodical, hardworking, careful, overly critical, and constantly worried about missing a detail that will be impossible to fix. I’d much rather do something simple and have it turn out perfectly than take a big risk and fall flat on my face. I think there’s something to be said about that approach- learning to do something correctly and well lays a foundation on which you can build greater strength/speed or learn a more complex and intricate skill. It’s why I like running so much, and classical piano and ballet.

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Training

Where Dreams are Made Of

New York City has always been a magical place to me. It all started in 1996 on a Sunday morning. My dad and eleven-year-old-me were getting ready to start our 45 minute drive into Philadelphia for church as usual, when he asked me, “Why don’t we go to New York City instead?”

We drove northeast as the sun and mist rose, the iconic skyline and Statue of Liberty popping into view, and the funneled chaos of taxi cabs, buses, commuters, and tourists swept us into the Big Apple. We made our way to Times Square, shivering in the cold as we braved the “TKTS” line for half price seats to the musical Grease!. The entire experience blew my mind, and from then on I was positive that there was no greater aspiration than being a Broadway star and no greater place in the world than New York.

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Life Race Reports Training

Seeing the Light

It’s been a year. Eight months in, and I’m in a wildly different place than where I thought I’d be. I just looked back on my first post of the year, when I written about my goal or theme for 2017, which was to dig deep and let racing hurt a little. To go beyond my comfort zone. I accomplished that exactly one time, at the Bloomsday 12K in May. My fitness wasn’t where it had been the year before, but I boarded the pain train and managed a new personal best by several seconds. It was the week after that race that things went south. Rather than taking some time to recover and have a “down” week, I plugged away and trained harder, and pretty much immediately strained my hamstring. I should have known better. Hindsight is everything! I got greedy. When things started to go my way, I wanted even more. For the next ten or so weeks after that, I couldn’t run at all without my leg hurting. I had to cancel my trip to Duluth, Minnesota, where I had planned to run Grandma’s Marathon in June. I spent a lot of time worrying about my future goals and how I’d ever accomplish them. I was adamant about maintaining my fitness by cross training, until even pool running aggravated my leg. Right around that time, I listened to an interview with Olympian Kate Grace where she spoke on her experience with injury- that there are only so many hours of pool running you can do before you drive yourself crazy. At some point you just have to let yourself heal. It was like Kate was speaking right to me! I had to let go.

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