Thursday, January 28, 2016

Slam Dunks and 8 Lappers

January goes down in history as the month I stepped out of my comfort zone.  If you recall I had this crazy idea to train and race an indoor mile. After the Ultramarathon last year and 6 years of racing Ironman I was craving some FAST!  Now, don't get me wrong, even my Ironman training is sprinkled with some high intensity run and bike workouts but I wanted something different. I wanted to challenge my mind, muscle fibers and lungs.

As it turns out, training and racing the mile came second on the 'Tackling a New Skill' list. My good friend Jeremy Woodward went on a mission to raise money for Tedy's Team which is the team he will race for during this year's Boston Marathon.  Jeremy is a ROCKSTAR and always seems to brew up fantastic ideas.  He set up a fundraiser event that involved 15 mortals from the Concord community teaming up against the star-studded Harlem Wizards.

I was CLEARLY the the ringer of the team standing only 5 feet tall. What I lacked on the vertical side of things I made up for 2-fold in feisty-ness.  I was so confident of my ball handling skills and lateral movements that during warm-ups when a Wizard slam dunked I purposely threw up a brick. When a Wizard spun the ball on their finger tip and dribbled it through their legs I proceeded to dribble the ball off of my foot.

Those poor Wizards had no idea they were getting bamboozled by a honey badger...

The pictures are slightly blurry - but you get the idea. And if you are indeed seeing through my BS you know the only thing I demonstrated was that 7 years of linear training does NOTHING for your basketball game.

On to the next 'Get Out of Your Comfort Zone' task: THE MILE.

 From Left: Kelsie, Dash, Kanoa, Amber, RY, Dad, Rachel.
Editors note: My friend Kanoa is indeed 7 feet tall. He is presently applying for a spot on the Harlem Wizards.

The training leading up to this 8-lapper was FUN! A few days before the race when I was feeling sorry for myself for contracting bronchitis, pneumonia and a super bug I realized that the 9 weeks of  specific speed training had been the real treat.  And not all was lost because I was healthy enough to race and I really believed I deposited a large amount of run efficiency in the bank after the short quick track workouts I added to my routine over the past 2 months.

I also peer pressured my friends, Kanoa, Ry, Rachel, Kelsie and my Dad into racing so it was going to be a wild and crazy time no matter I only had partial lung function.

I'm participating in the USATF All Terrain Runner series this year so BEFORE I raced the mile with bronchitis and pneumonia I chose to race the 3K.  I never said I was smart.

The gun went off for the 3K and I was surprised at how quick my turnover felt.  I had spring in my legs and I felt good!  I jumped right to the front and went through the mile in 5:19.  But as it turns out, one does require oxygen to keep the leg speed going and that my friends was the kicker.  Legs felt great and lungs felt like I was trying to suck through a small inefficient straw.

When I hurt and times get tough I make practice of repeating how much I love the pain of racing and that even though I *think* I'm suffering I can always push a little more. It was also so nostalgic to be back racing on the indoor track again as I spent 5 years at Northeastern making left hand turns.

As we speak I am currently scouring the internet for another 3K/mile challenge when I have full lung function.

However, I am 100% shamelessly retired from my short-lived basketball career...

And as always, a HUGE thanks to my sponsors and partners who let me WAVE MY CRAZY FLAG!!!