Where does time go?! 6 weeks ago I was in a major funk. I was struggling to get over my lingering health issues and had finally decided to take a week completely off from training and just relax. I wasn’t confident in my body and each run was a major stressor. I had another cardiologist appointment coming up and a figured I’d just hang tight until I met with him. During that meeting he had me do an Exercise Stress Test and he cleared me to keep training and to head to altitude for a planned training camp. I got back into some easy running for a few days and then headed off to Phoenix fitted with a nifty Cardiac Event Monitor. This little device was going to be my training partner and roommate for the next month. Other than a daily shower I was going to be wearing it full time to ensure than there was nothing funky going on with my heart that they couldn’t catch in short term monitoring. (I thought about wearing this thing while on the plane, but had second thoughts when I imagined what the TSA would do when they saw this “device” strapped to me! Ha!)
So there I was, In Flagstaff, Arizona at 7,000 ft and in pretty awful shape. I knew the next couple of weeks were going to be rough. And they were. Altitude has this amazing ability to make even the best athlete feel like the little fat kid in gym class. Everything is hard. So when you’re not in great shape life sucks. The first workouts were the worst! That said I just tried to keep everything in perspective. I adopted the Oregon Football motto “Win the Day”. I just took each day as it came and tried to get the most out of it as I could. With each workout I saw improvement and by the end of the 3.5 weeks at altitude I could see the light. I felt like a runner again.
Once back down at sea level I got to say goodbye to my event monitor. That little guy I will not miss. The data from the previous month was analyzed and again I was given the all clear. This was good news. It was time to start thinking about racing!
A couple of quality workouts and there I was, standing on the start line at the Payton Jordan Invitational. Nothing like one of the best meets of the year to use as a “rust buster”! My goal was to just get in the mix and feel it out. And it felt great! I lacked some confidence and my hurdling was awful, but I managed to roll an 8:37 and I felt pretty darn good doing so!
Before this past weekend I had my trepidations about racing. It had been almost 6 months and training had gone off the rails a few times. Now with one under the belt I’m pumped for the next one down in LA in a week’s time.