These past two weeks have flown by. Between competing in Miami, putting together last-minute travel plans, and dealing with my (hopefully temporary) loss of hearing, I’ve basically been waiting for a weekend to take a breather and get my sh*t together.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the week for that. I’m heading back to Florida next week for two more meets, which I’m pretty excited about. Until then, I’ve got a ton of errands to take care of (and a movie to watch), but more on all that in a later post.
Last week I officially started my training for the year, and I was surprisingly happy with how it turned out. I came down with a cold on Monday, and I’m just now getting over it today (Sunday). So, my week definitely started a little rocky. On Tuesday I had a hard tempo workout, but I was still able to hit the times I was supposed to. Wednesday was interesting as I got back into the sprint mentality and sped through a few sets of 60m runs. By Friday I was feeling pretty good about myself. Friday is our hard workout day, and I went into it feeling both anxious about how it would go, and excited to see just where my body was really at. My running partner that day was my friend, Maya, and she was pretty anxious, too, but we pumped ourselves up and got after it.
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Because of how hectic September was for me I couldn’t put together a good post on my goals for the month. Now that I’m back in Boston, and getting back into a stable routine, I’m jumping back into my monthly goals to keep track of what I want to get out of each month.
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My last week at the All-African Games sped by much faster than the first one. Once Sunday hit, I barely had time to look for WiFi or watch any other event that wasn’t happening at the track.
The 100 preliminaries and semi-finals were scheduled to be on the first day – the first round early in the morning and the second later in the evening. This was the first day that the temperature outside actually reached a point where I could positively say it was hot. Even the ever-present fog lifted that day, and left the sun beating down on us during warm-ups…
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It’s only been three days since I’ve returned from the Congo, but it still feels like a lifetime ago. There are things I miss when I get back from bigger meets like this one – the teammates I rarely get to see, meeting so many new people, the feeling of pride that comes with competing for Ghana on an international level – just to name a few. Overall, my time Brazzaville, Congo was OK at best. A lot of things didn’t go as expected, but I’ve learned over time to just roll with the punches and make the best of every opportunity I’m given…
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If I’m being honest, I’ve probably gone through this in my head too many times to count, but have never had the courage to actually sit and write everything down. The only reason you’re actually reading this now is because my friend, Brandi, encouraged me to share my story. This was and will probably be the hardest thing I’ve ever sat down to write. Here’s your warning: this post is extremely long. It’s definitely more of an essay than one of my typical blog posts, but I knew that if I was going to write about this, then I wanted to write about it, including all the gory details that I’ve always been too embarrassed to share with anybody.
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a closer look at my week can be found on activelygemma.com
This week was testing week for my teammates and I! Testing week is essentially an athlete’s progress report that is done now and then to see how they are responding to training, and to highlight things they might need to work on as they continue with training.
I think testing is particularly helpful for athletes who have long training cycles. For track, the season doesn’t really get going for a few more months so testing breaks up training cycles and helps both you and your coach see how you’re responding to training. It’s also good motivation for the team and promotes bonding as you’re able cheer each other on and even compete against each other. Personally, I like testing because I can get bogged down and drained by continuous, drawn out training, and for me it really makes the next training cycle feel like a clean slate to work on.
One word to describe my first week back is: satisfying. Another word would be: sore.
Last week was my first full week back training with the team, and I was ecstatic about it. Our usual training schedule was a little off because of the long Columbus Day weekend, so everything was basically delayed a day – speed on Tuesday, tempo on Wednesday, etc., etc.
The other day, as I was rolling out after lifting, I couldn’t help but feel great about myself. I was sore and exhausted, but that feeling of being back at work on the track and in the gym made all that fade into the background.
When someone asks me why I love to run, I usually reply with “I do and I don’t”. Which is true, in a sense. I don’t particularly love running in and of itself. But, I do love the feeling of crossing the finish line and seeing a new PR, of crushing a hard workout and knowing that most people would have given up, of feeling fit and healthy and motivated to keep pushing. I love everything that running gives me, but just so you know, I am slowly learning to like running. I’m sure the love will come later.