I found myself smiling the entire time. It was my second night running with GVH on the track. I felt more comfortable in lane 1. I remembered how far it was around the track, and I even printed out my prescribed paces for each distances, laminated them (yeah, nerd) and pinned them to the inside of my shorts.
I felt a step closer to being a runner.
I am loving the track for so many reasons. Mostly because of the amazing athletes on the GVH team. All ages, all abilities. Amazing biomechanics. There were a group of sprinters (two of them over the age of 50, and hitting national podiums) who ran by me so fast I almost stopped just to watch. It was the fastest I have ever seen anyone run in person! Incredible.
Jumping onto the track 7 weeks prior to an Ironman isn’t something I’d recommend to my athletes. For me however some sharpening of my running and work on mechanics can only help. It’s brought some new interest to my running, it’s brought a lot of interest to it in fact.
Coach Reif worked with me a lot on mechanics. I can’t tell you how helpful that is to have that live coach to really watch you. He’s got that eye. There’s no video, no measuring of angles. There’s…. good do it again…. lean more, pick up your feet….. and that’s what I respond to best. I have this opportunity to work with one of the best running coaches in the country…. I am listening. I love being the athlete, I love being the student. Being a newbie feels awesome. Coach assured me…. he can help me become a faster runner. My last coach pretty much gave up on my running (and me for that matter), it feels good to have someone see potential in me again. I never stopped believing. Ever. I know in my heart that my best days are ahead of me as an athlete.
It’s given me good reason to truly feel that this is my last Ironman. I can churn out 140.6 all day long, but there are new challenges for me to meet. Honing in on the 70.3 and shorter distances for one. Hitting the cross country races this August and this fall to really have some fun. Time to do things I haven’t done before.
Everything old feels so new again.
This last Ironman feels so good in so many ways. Mostly because I have done it….. my way. My biggest goal during all of this was to arrive at this starting line happy and healthy. Normally I arrive so ready to be done with my bike for a while, and I am not going there again. I have worked hard on this comeback but I have worked carefully. A year ago I wouldn’t have had the strength to run around the track much less the desire to.
Know this and know it always: it’s never gone. Sometimes you just need a break, a step back and to take the reins of what it is you love to do. Sometimes you just need to be open to new experiences, and get out from under the gun of how things are supposed to be.
Jumping in with GVH and onto the track during these last 6 weeks until Ironman was perfect timing for me. It gives me something to reach for, dream about, hope for. And it sure as hell will keep me out of the 2014 Ironman registration line.