Mile warmup then started. Workout was originally going to be 8x400s on the track, Coach switched it over to the grass cause it was measured out and lowered it to 6 reps. I had a bad mentality going into it, I recognized that and tried to stay positive but man I was moody today. I never get angry but wow I was genuinely upset that we were doing it on the grass and not the track, and it was so windy and hot and I don’t know what was wrong with me today usually I don’t get that frustrated. Hormones probably. Just have to remind myself it was a bad day and move on and try to be more positive in the future.
First 3 were good, then started to drop, and then dropped real bad. This is becoming a pattern. Coach wanted us to hit 90 then get faster. Didn’t read out our times so that was strange but I had it on my watch. Times went 89, 88, 86, 91, 94, 99. It’s because I get stressed about being off and then just stress and stress and die.
Cooled down a mile. Talked to Paul afterwards for a long time because I felt like I needed to. Paul is amazing, he’s such a great coach. There were a lot of takeaways from it.
He told me that I seem like I’m always super stressed. He’s noticed in workouts that I physically start to show signs of stress, I hunch over, put my hands on my knees after reps, I have a look of distress on my face when I’m starting to fall off and then it’s exponentially worse because I keep stressing about it. And yeah, I do. I’ve realized that I take things almost too far. Like today, hit that 91 and thought well great, now I’m sucking and it hurts and this is hard and I wish we were on the track and I just couldn’t get out of my negative mentality. I told Paul he’s right, I need to just be reminded that it’s okay, that one bad workout or rep or anything isn't going to make or break anything.
Honestly, I think that’s the difference from high school to now. In high school I wasn’t stressed about running. I did it for fun, out of enjoyment. Now I’m expected to run fast and stress out about it when I don’t. Paul said that I need to be more in the moment, stop stressing about the future and do what I can with what I’ve got right now. He reminded me that I am fast, that both he and Coach believe that I can break 5:00 in the mile. I think I’d given up hope of that. Paul said that I have shown, in some workouts, that I have that potential and that’s why I still have a scholarship. They believe that I can improve, they’re just trying to figure out what it is that’s holding me back. It might actually be just me stressing out about everything. Paul said, too, that I took a year off, that I dipped down and now I’m trying to climb. I gained weight on my mission, now I’m back to a healthy race weight. It’s been a process.
I think for the first time, I’m starting to actually believe in myself again. I really had given up that hope, I became so stressed about being fast and being with the top girls that I’d forgotten it takes time. Even though I knew Coach had split us up into two groups to allow those of us at the back to have more attention, to get the coaching we needed as well, I never actually believed that. Part of me thought that coach just wanted to keep us separate because we weren’t fast enough or didn’t meet his expectations, and Paul’s insight about his side of coaching and everything was really valuable. He’d said that now that we’re in two groups, he’s able to be more positive and pay more attention to us in workouts, where before he was more stressed about taking down times, directing the 3 different groups at track practice and there were just too many people to coach at once that he couldn’t pay attention to those who needed help. And being in a smaller group allows for that. It’s more individualized, Paul is able to monitor us and help us in the best way he can.
So now I feel a lot better. We talked about nutrition, getting enough sleep, and all that Jazz. And this time around, it’s not stressful. Paul said I need to just relax. So I need to stop looking at things as expectations and more as ways to improve. I’d kind of forgotten the whole “what you do today affects how you do tomorrow” sort of idea. I need to take each workout as more of an opportunity to practice working hard, to practice pushing through the pain and gritting it out, so that when the opportunity to race does arise I’m ready for it. It’s been hard for me to remember that practices are practice, they’re not races. Yes coach is evaluating us, but it’s to help us not to keep some standard. I really do need to just relax, have some fun, focus on working hard when I need to and not stress about position on the team or how coach views me or any of that. I just need to find joy in what I’m doing, work hard each day and whatever happens, happens. If I work hard now to fix the small things I can, I can start improving.
STOP STRESSING SARAH
Later went out for an easy 3.25. It felt so much better than earlier.
Another point Paul made was that this is a fun time of life. He said I’ll look back on it with mostly fond memories, sure some bad but mostly good. He said that life is always going to be stressful, that I should take it one day at a time. That you carry with you extra weight when you worry and stress. I just need to let it go, relax, breathe, and I’ll be fine. I’m getting my school paid for, I’m getting a degree, I shouldn’t stress so much. I really do think I just overthink things, take the worst case scenario and worry and worry about that, then eventually wind up there because I keep stressing out about it.
Running has taught me so much. Paul and Coach have taught me so much. I love my sport