In August, which is actually probably the last time I wrote, I was in such a bad place mentally with my running. Probably at an all time low since I started running competitvely. My times were declining. I was on the cusp of injury at every turn. I continually felt like I needed a mental rest. I never wanted to lace up the sneakers, let alone walk out the door for even a short run. I was dealing with a serious case of burnout.
Enter CPTC - (or Central Park Track Club for those of you who are unfamiliar with the acronym). I went back and forth several times with myself whether or not I wanted to join. I was dealing with burnout..why on earth would I amp up my situation by joining one of THE best running clubs in NYC? Our club has runners who compete in the Olympics, Olympic trials, World Championships, and on a national level on the track as well as on the roads. You need to submit times to this club and the board reviews whether or not you make the team. It has turned into the best decision I have made in quite some time about my development as a runner. I have a group of runners who are around the same times (some better, some the same) and we all push each other every week. I am one of the relatively weaker runners in the club but that's why I joined. It's pretty awesome. The club has two coaches. Devon works with the elite track and xc runners and Tony works with the road and distance people. Tony is my coach. And Tony is one amazing guy. I hired Tony to coach me on a consistent basis...not just with the CPTC club workouts. And again, it has been amazing. He has cut my workouts and mileage in half. He has brought life back into my legs and confidence into my soul. He believes in me. He has taught me the art of execution in workouts and in racing. It hasn't all been easy...in the early going I had some workouts that were just plain awful. But I never lost faith. Something about Tony and the success that he has had with runners of all abilities and situations has allowed me to feel confident and I have stayed the course. Right now I am really starting to run well. In fact tonight we had our track workout (CPTC does track work on Tuesday's and tempo's on Thursday's). I laughed to myself when Tony made the announcement that tonight's workout was "very basic". We had to run
12 x 400's. I don't know about you, but to this newbie that is not basic. He told me to keep the pace around 90-92 seconds. I was actually the pacer for our group (which is amazing in and of itself because it was only my fourth or fifth ever team workout on a track). I killed it! I kept our group consistently at 86-88 seconds every lap. The guys LOVED the consistent pace. People were impressed with my pacing and thanked me. That was cool. We even busted out an 84 second last lap. Granted we were a tad faster than I had intended but we were all consistent and where we wanted to be. It was an awesome feeling. Just to give you an idea of how fast my club is...we have four groups (A, B, C, and D group). I am in the C group. Ha. I love it though. And in my mind we are all pretty darn good runners!! The women in the A and B groups are sick. It's amazing. We had a woman win the last team points 5-miler in 22:20. She set a course record! Go Jane Go!
|Coach Tony is the man...he's really hilarious too.|
I still don't have a marathon goal for NYC and I am so ok with that. I love our "stress free" approach in which we take it week by week and see how critical runs go before we even think about setting a goal.
There is a possibility that this could be my last marathon for another year or so. Tony has suggested that I give it up for a while to get some life and health back in my legs and to work on development in other areas of my running. He thinks running cross country and doing some shorter speed stuff (5k's and such) could really benefit me as a marathoner. When you are constantly training for a marathon you are doing alot of stuff at marathon pace so you never get to develop some of the other systems and muscles in your body and may not reach your full potential. If I do run Boston, it will definitely be the last marathon for a year. I won't do a fall marathon for certain and will likely do some XC stuff and short races. I have registered and have been accepted for Boston 2014. I will see though.
My softball world has been a whirlwind. I don't feel like I have ever worked this hard before. Something about this year feels different. We have a really good team in place and my staff and I are just trying to get it all right. Working hard on changing the culture...I am really excited to see how it all shapes up. But like my running life, I am ok with remaining patient and not throwing down any goals until I see how it all plays out. But also like my running life, I have ideas of where I'd like things to go.
|Nigel, the twins and I at Penrose after a Tuesday night workout a few weeks ago. Go CPTC!|