Saturday, September 3, 2011
World Championship Inspiration and the Laying Out of Plans
With the beginning of school, I wasn’t able to tune into the IAAF World Track and Field Championships as much as I would’ve liked. Then again, given the massive amount of reading I did this week (ranging from the Scientific Revolution, to the plague, to miracles and wonder (yes, again, more wonder), it was probably a good thing I stayed focused.
Nonetheless, I was absolutely thrilled to learn that Jenny Barringer Simpson won the gold medal in the 1500m. First time an American woman has done that at IAAF since the early 80s. I watched her post-race interview, and she was just absolutely filled with joy – and pure excitement. And then, Lauren Fleshman, who overcame so much this year to make the American team, was just so pleased with herself for making it to the 5000m final. Tera Moody came in 17th in the marathon and was the top American woman (and ran a very respectable 2:32 in the heat – not far off from her 2:30 PR). All radiated such happiness and relief in their performances. Not everyone won a gold medal, but all competed at a world class meet. Brava! So inspirational!
It was a nice dose of inspiration. I have now completed 3 4-week cycles of 5k to half marathon training. With a couple of small exceptions, it has been very successful. I have varied my cross training, added some drills and form work to my routine, and am a week away from my rust-buster 5k – the Pentagon Memorial 5k. A little bit downhill, and supposed to be a fast course. I’m really excited – it’ll be the first time I use my flats in a race. I’ll be lighting it up! Today’s workout included a 6:15 mile and 9 x 300m all under 6:00/mile pace – it felt good to get some turnover and to know that hopefully a 6:35 or so pace for the 5k will feel not too horrible. It was also about 74 outside, so I finally feel like I am re-acclimating to non-Northern California temperatures and not wilting at all!
And with just under 2 months to go until comps, I need to lay out my plan. I was talking with a new professor in our department today, and he asked how comps studying was going. He said that when he did it, it was very hard preparing for it, but on the day itself, the exam was actually a lot of fun – a culmination of all of the hard work. And then he said, “and the preparation is a marathon, not a sprint.” And I replied, “And as a marathon runner, I understand that.” I’m sure he wasn’t expecting that, but then he said, “Well, I am sure your endurance will pay off in this.” And really, I am treating this like training. I met with my advisor this past week, and I told her of my plan: to finish all of the reading by October 7th, to start reviewing other books (not on the lists but books that I read in previous semesters) September 1st, and to have 3 full weeks of studying in October. She said it was a great plan, added one little tweak to it, and gave me her blessing.
So, the plans have been laid out, and the wheels (my legs and the ones in my head) are turning. Time to keep pushing on!