Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013 Recap

 I’m excited to start the New Year with some changes.  I don't think there is ever one single path to staying 100% healthy and fresh as a long distance runner, but I do recommend changing things up every once in awhile for runners of any ability. So I have been very proactive in analyzing the things that I can change, with the biggest one being going back to my old Coach Pete Rea from Zap Fitness.  

Working with Pete over the last couple months has really given me a renewed sense of energy. Seeing he had already known me so well, and is the reason I started the sport of Elite running, it had always been my hope that I could have the chance to work with him again someday. Training a few days a week like I did back in 2006 on the beautiful trails and roads near Zap Fitness in Boone, NC has REALLY been refreshing. Incorporating different types of workouts into the schedule including A LOT more hill work, has already made me feel stronger and balanced. 
Also,  I have been adamant about figuring out what had recently been going on in my running gait to make my glute/hip lock up in a few races and workouts. I think taking some time off, attaining professional opinions from Charlotte’s best, and going through a 3D running gait analysis, have all been good solutions to minimize the imbalances that come from running hard with a dysfunctional ankle and old soccer injuries.  And with other changes like taking iron consistently, staying hydrated better and being religious about doing certain activation exercises, I think I can call these last couple months after the Chicago Marathon nothing more than a total rebuilding phase!! 

On an emotional and spiritual side, there’s not much more to say except that I’m Thankful.  I'm thankful that the Newton Running Elite team has been a fantastic company to be a part of and that Newton Running itself, has come so far in such a small amount of time.  I am thankful that somehow as painful as finishing my second marathon attempt in Chicago was, that I still qualified for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials with a 2:38. I know I will have the chance to attack the distance again sometime, but for now, I am thankful that I can still take some positive things out of a race that did not go ideal for me.  More importantly, I'm Thankful for my friends and Charlotte "families” who continue to support and care even though I am not blood.  I’m thankful for my family in RI who I love dearly.  And I am thankful that there always seems to be certain people who come out of nowhere to give me the encouragement and hope I need to keep putting one foot in front of the other. (And I don’t just mean in running!) 
Lastly, I am thankful that I am in a better position now to do the same for other people and encourage them with my own experiences. 

And so to everyone who asks, No, I don't know exactly what my future holds as far as living conditions, running, sponsorship, career paths, relationships and MANY more things. But I do know that every day we are given 24 hours and that within each day, all you can do is your best with the tasks at hand.  I may not be doing things that many other people my age have done and I may not yet have accomplished what society sees as the "normal life".  But as one of my favorite preachers who has had a very similar background to mine always likes to say, "I may not be where I want to be, but THANK GOD, I am not where I used to be. I'm ok and I'm on my way!" Thanks for the encouragement Joyce Meyers.  I hope that all my friends can take this advice to heart as they move forward into 2014!!

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