A New Season.. A New Attitude

The 2014-2015 season officially starts next week with the Lake Placid World Cup. After a stressful, intense and challenging team trials I was named to the World Cup Circuit this season. We had four total races before the team was named, I had a very hard time relaxing during the races and put a little too much pressure on myself. Although I didn’t have the results I wanted in each race, I accomplished what I needed in order to make the team.

With that behind me, it is now time to focus on the International races. I had a very late start to training this off season, after letting my ankle heal from injuring it in the first race of the previous season (I had bruised my talus bone in my ankle and never took time off to heal). This late start has worked out great, World Cup racing is starting later than I can ever remember and it has given me the extra time I needed to be through my training cycles and preparing for competition.

I spent a good amount of the summer at home on Long Island, with tons of beach days family and friends. I got some really great training in, and was able to see the best Chiropractor around. I haven’t felt as good as I currently do in over two years (before my knee surgery in August 2012).

This year my goal is to find the positives instead of the negatives. Use every bit of information I can to race at my full potential, and to have the best season I have had yet. There is a great team atmosphere and it is exciting to get started in North America.

It’s a brutally cold winter wonderland currently in Lake Placid, but you never know what the weather will bring next week.

Park City Team Trials at the start.
Park City Team Trials at the start.
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Love, family

Strawberry picking with Kaitlin.
Strawberry picking with Kaitlin.

May God give you…

For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile,

for every care a promise, and a blessing in each trial.

For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share,

for every sigh a sweet song, and an answer for each prayer.

Ziplining in NH with Mom and Erin
Zip lining in NH with Mom and Erin

 

Winter is Coming…

“Winter is Coming”… is by far not my favorite statement to make, but at the same time it is exciting because it means the season will be starting before we know it. Not before I take a short but very needed mini vacation to FL with my mom. Just a 4 day getaway, a little beach, some sand and some sun. Nothing is better before we hit the ice and the season hits head on! (no pun intended!) Especially because it has been getting down into the 30 degree tempuratures at night in Lake Placid

Summer training has gone very well. August 13th was exactly one year post knee surgery and I decided to take the yearly combine test on that day. In a way I wanted to prove to myself and the coaches that I was back to 100%.

The combine consists of

45m sprint with a timed 15m, 30m, 45m, and 30mfly.

Standing Broad Jump

Underhand shotput toss (granny Style)

1 rep Clean max

3 rep Back Squat max

In a way I wanted to prove to myself and the coaches that I was back to 100%. My Dr. said it takes about a year to really feel like your old self again, I fully agree with that statement. Some days my knee bothers me while other I feel awesome. I had a great combine, a personal best in my 15m sprint. No other bests but I will take 1 after last year.

I am getting ready for push championships this Saturday the 21st. I have not been able to compete in them since September of 2011. I am excited to have a competition before team trials. I think it helps get you in the mindset that it is time to start racing soon! We have a new push track that was built at the end of last summer, it is not like the old one at all. It is very long and flat which is normally how I love to push, but this sled is very heavy and it makes pushing more awkward than it should be.

“The pain you feel today is the strength you feel tomorrow. For every challenge encountered there is an opportunity for growth.” -Unkown

Long Time no Blog Post

What can I say, I’m not the best when it comes to keeping up my promises to blog on a regular basis. Even when I tell myself I am going to start again, its hard to get back into the swing of blogging. 

So, I’ll start with a quote from the book I am currently reading. My mom gave it to me for Christmas of 2009, yes forever ago it seems and it took me this long to start to read it. Maybe it was meant to be that I waited this long, who really knows. I am enjoying it now and that is all that matters really. 

It is called Fit Soul Fit Body, the story of how Brant Secuda (Huichol Shaman and Healer) helped Mark Allen (a six time Ironman and triathlon champion) achieve his ultimate potential. I figured it couldn’t hurt to start reading it and see what I thought. 

My favorite part so far is just from chapter 1, why not get back into blogging with a paragraph from the book.

“Your soul is the sum of all you have experienced in life as well as your perception of those experiences, both good and bad. It’s the joy and the sadness, the happiness and the pain. It’s the place of peace that can experience the world as a wonder and your life as a magical event going on in it. Your soul is the resolve that gets you through tough times and forgives you when you cannot.”

 

This too shall pass…

Seeing as the first half of the season is over tomorrow, I felt that I could finally accept what my summer has brought me and spend the time really filling everyone in. It has been a rough 6 months to say the least.

So, why not start somewhat from the beginning. I spent the beginning of my offseason with nagging left knee pain. It was the strangest pain that not only baffled me but also the athletic training staff at the Olympic Training Center. I would describe my pain exactly the same every time I complained about it; I would tell them that my bones hurt and this made no sense to anyone. We changed my workouts took this out tried this instead and nothing ever felt better. Nothing worked. I finally saw our team Doctor; orthopedic surgeon Dr. Byrne we decided to get an MRI, which of course came back with nothing conclusive. Just that my medial meniscus looked worn, but nothing too horrible. So I sucked it up and against my normal fear of pain and better judgement I got a cortisone shot. Spent a few days resting and tried to workout again. Well it didn’t work at all.

Before I lost my mind, I did what any homesick girl missing her mom would do; spent a week at home on the beach with my family. It was just what I needed no work, no workouts, no stress, and no knee pain? Yes to all but the last one.

I got back to Lake Placid after a refreshing week off on Monday August 6th. I told myself alright if you can get through your entire workout then your knee is fine and you will be great this season. That didn’t happen, I got through one sprint and was in excruciating pain I just sat down and cried. The next day I told myself alright if you can push on the treadmill skeleton style then thats all I need this year and I will be fine. I thought it was going well, got through the pushes I set as my goal and didn’t have any pain. Until I got 30 feet from the treadmill and my knee got “stuck”. So I lost it again, and saw Dr. Byrne that afternoon. I think my exact words to him were “I can’t take this anymore you have to go in and see what is wrong.”

That was Tuesday, August 7th and I had surgery Monday August 13th. Needless to say I told almost no one that I was having surgery or what I had done for a good amount of time. I didn’t know what he was going to find in my knee but we talked before I went in and said fix whatever you see. Come to find out when I woke up that I had a brace on my leg and got a stitch in my lateral meniscus because I had a tear at the deepest layer possible.

I didn’t really comprehend how long my recovery would be and how hard it would be to come back to sliding and working out. I tried to race team trials, and it was so hard to get back on my sled. I was uncomfortable, in pain and tentative all at the same time. Being a stubborn athlete I did it anyway and even came to Park City. It was too much too fast and my knee got really swollen and I couldn’t finish. I got put onto the Intercontinental Cup Circuit for this season.

I’m amazed everyday how difficult it is when I go to warm up and push my sled. Even being on my sled isn’t easy or comfortable. I still don’t feel like myself sliding and its really disappointing. I know it will get better but its hard to deal with and as positive as you can try to be it doesn’t always work out.

I’m ready for a break and to work on getting stronger and faster again. There is one final race tomorrow before the first half of the season officially is over. I’m going to focus on relaxing and feeling more comfortable and hopefully end on a good note.

New post soon.. For Real!

I think some motivation is in order before I catch everyone up on the past few months. Everything has been a little harder than normal, but I think it makes you want it more…and you end up more grateful when it all works out because you’ve worked your hardest!

          “Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength.”

 

As Kaitlin said… “Holding it together”

That’s right Kate, I’m stealing your blog title from yesterday. Mainly because that is how I feel at the moment just holding it all together while the summer goes by way too fast, I work too much for my training to be as good as it needs to be, and for my knee to continue giving me problems.

This is what I need, back to our family Disney trip in 2007. Dad is taking the picture.

On a positive side, the weather in Lake Placid really has been great despite one humid hot day I thought I was going to have an asthma attack (which I will sit here and tell you I don’t even have asthma, but who knows). It has been a while since I have posted yet again, my days with free time I think are mainly spent napping or in a stare at the t.v. or Justin’s computer screen (not even my own)!

I’m pretty sure I know the remedy for my feeling of being tired of working and hurting from training; this picture is just what I need. Kaitlin’s post with the picture from Point Lookout inspired me (our favorite beach right at Grandma’s house, what a perfect place)! I need a family vacation, Disney would be ideal but even the beach or just home is calling my name!

Training is going well, been doing a lot of modifying to accommodate my knee pain, mainly changing up my running for the time being. Still feeling super strong so thats all that matters. I can’t believe it is already the end of July, the summer goes by way too fast.

Just sent in my Devry University application to start a masters program in the fall so I have something other than just sliding to occupy my time.

Its not even late but I am getting so tired I can’t even think about the many things I should write about. So for now I am thinking of calling it a night; ice my knee and head to bed. Come back tomorrow for a better try on updating training and everything like that.

“Never give up, never give in, and when the upper hand is ours, may we have the ability to handle the win with the dignity that we absorbed the loss.”

Woahhh got busy

Well, I guess training got a little overwhelming along with work and pure exhaustion really! So a huge catch up here:

My weekend of nannying was exhausting it took me until the last day to realize that I needed to tell the girls to play by themselves so I could sit or eat. I’m not sure if I ate all that often. But they are both so cute and fun, made me miss my cousins and being with them all in Texas though.

As of last week I am on a 3 week training block, back to 3×10’s, the main reason why I was so exhausted last week and with work I barely had time for anything. Last Monday’s squat workout was so tough I had tunnel vision developing for my last 3 exercises and by the time I finished it was full on. I had no peripheral vision, was so confused and just had a headache. So glad I didn’t have to go into work because I had to take a 2 hr nap to feel normal! The rest of the week was difficult but not that bad. I have been having a hard time with my allergies and being able to breathe while training. It is the most humid it has been up here in so long I almost feel like I have asthma during some of the workouts.

I had a great Saturday morning at the track by myself to do strides and abs. It was a great day, put on my new Brooks running

Relaxing during sets of strides. A little kinesio tape on my knee because its been nagging a bunch!

shoes and felt super springy! Such a great feeling I just wanted to fly over the high jump bar. Made me miss a teammate Sam Culiver, we spent a lot of time at the track together last summer, but this year she is training at home in Arizona with my other teammate Rachelle.

Work was busy of course and it makes the weekend go by too fast most times. I already feel like the summer is going to fast and I just seem to always be busy. With what else? I’m not really that sure !

Today was the start of week 2 of this 3 week block, the weights and intensity were heavier than last week but I’m not as tired today. Might have helped that I switched my allergy medicine from Zyrtec to Claritin and I think that helped! That is all I have time for at the moment, running downstairs to get a massage and then dinner time. Hopefully there is something good in the cafeteria I am starving tonight!

Sunshine..

It has been a great week of training in Lake Placid, with some wonderful weather. It was almost 80 degrees again today, super sunny and almost hot for doing tempo.

As for this week of training sprinting on Wednesday was awesome because we weren’t on the gravel hill in the woods we were on a street right around the corner. Although, I wonder if we will be able to keep running there. An elderly man who lives on the block came out today and was annoyed that we were creating a “circus” as he put it I suppose. I’m not sure why people are so possessive of their street, mainly because they don’t own it, it’s not a private street! Just let us train!

Non training; my biggest accomplishment might be that I set up a twitter account finally, but since I waited so long my name has been taken. So, I decided to just be backwards and make it @OSheaAnnie why not, I wanted my entire name and nothing else! I’m not so great at it yet, but follow me I’m sure I will catch on soon!

I spent my time after workouts doing my recovery; stretching and icing in “the tub” as I call it and get Morgan to laugh every time! The cold tub is about 50 degrees and is the easiest way to ice everything that is sore after a tough workout. Wednesday after the tub, Morgan and I got a coffee and sat on main street in the Adirondack chairs just relaxing in the beautiful sunshine!

Justin tried really hard to teach me a proper golf swing today. You might think all athletes should be good at everything but this is not the case. Golf is tough! He sure was patient though, I think it helped that he laughed at me a whole lot! I practiced my swing at the track while he was doing his running workout, and we hit golf balls in the field outside after dinner. I think he was afraid I was going to hit a car and break a window. I am slowly catching on, but I have a hard time not breaking at the wrist and remembering to bend my knees. Practice, practice for me because it felt so great the one effortless nice shot I had!

For the holiday weekend I will be watching the girls I babysit for often. Friday through Sunday, wish me luck I might be so exhausted after that I can’t get up Monday morning. Or I am expecting to be so hopped up on coffee to get through! We will see. I have some things planned but I know it is never that simple! As long as the weather stays nice it will be better, it is much easier to entertain outdoors!

Normally, holiday weekends don’t exist for athletes, training continues on its normal schedule. Which means the majority of the employees have to follow that as well. It’s a lot of hard work for everyone not just the athletes at the training centers sometimes!

That is pretty much it until the weekend ends! Good luck to Vinny  (Kate’s husband for those who don’t know) and his Vermont Marathon! Wish I could have made it watch! For the next one of course, I’ll be there!

Morgan retweeted this from @addicted2success and I liked it so much I retweeted it as well and I wanted to share:

“I am too positive to be doubtful. Too optimistic to be fearful. And too determined to be defeated.”