Project Get Strong

As long as I can remember I’ve always been small. To my defense, it’s just my physical makeup. Weight gain is close to impossible for me and I’ve learned to just deal with that. This past summer my coach and I swore that we would make sure that a strengthening program was in my weekly training cycles. My #ProjectGetStrong isn’t about gaining weight though, it’s about developing strength and power that will help me on the track.

#ProjectGetStrong

We both agreed that strength and power were elements missing from my training. If I wanted to do what I’ve done in the past I have to add those elements back into training. So for the last 4 months I’ve dedicated my time to being very disciplined in the weight room.  My coach has stayed on me, and I’ve slowly started to see a difference in my training.

My routine includes Olympic lifts and body weight/lighter weight exercises. I can admit I don’t like a ton of Olympic lifting exercises, but with the inclusion of plyometric drills It’s not so bad, and I’m starting to finally reap the benefits of all my hard work. For the first time, in a LONG time, I felt powerful and fluid in a workout this past Thursday. My coach commented, “that’s the best I’ve EVER seen you at that intensity/pace. It might be the weights? I don’t know, but you looked great.”

So im glad to say my #ProjectGetStrong is going in the right direction and I’m excited to see where the rest of this journey will take me.

Embracing the Long Run

Back in high school I used to dread long run day. The thought of running anything longer then 6 miles made me want to cry. In high school it was more me running 9 mile runs just so I didn’t have to hear my coach fuss at me. In college long runs were few and far. I don’t really remember running over 8 miles. When I decided to move back home to be coached by my high school coach, I had to get back into the routine of long runs. This time it wasn’t 9 mile long runs but 10 to 12 miles.

Embracing the Long Run | Dominique JacksonSince then I’ve learned to love my long runs, my double days, and all the fitness gains that come from them. As of this past Saturday I’ve put in a consistent 11 weeks of long runs. They all haven’t felt great, they all haven’t been fast, but they have all contributed to the way I felt on Saturday. I felt in control of my body, the pace, and I fell into a groove that just felt right. When things start to click and I start to feel as though my long run is just another day I get excited, and I know greatness is own its way. I can tell that my fitness is about to step into a new zone. This zone is what I live for; it’s my chance to fall in love with running again at any given moment in my training.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get out the door and have open arms to 11 miles of pavement. I’m thankful that my coach knows this and changes up how I do my long runs week to week. Progressions, pick ups, steady states, easy and relaxed, are all the types of long runs that I get to do. And I’m excited about the next half of my fall. It will be filled with fun, fast, and grueling work, but this time I have open arms to everything. Yes, I might wake up one morning and want to punch my coach for putting a 12 mile progression run on the schedule when it’s raining, but I’m going to get up, lace up my shoes, throw on a hat and welcome each puddle I come across.

 

 

Camp Richardson

Lake Tahoe, Camp RichardsonFor a week in July I got to spend my time in beautiful Lake Tahoe. Every summer the HS team I volunteer at, goes to Camp Richardson in Lake Tahoe. It’s a time to get in some great training, a ton of team bonding and to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

For me, I get to experience a different side of coaching, as I get to know the kids better and get more one on one coaching talks with my coach. This past camp trip was eventful. Thirty-Three athletes embarked on the trip this year and to my surprise there were no problems (minus the day we got rained on and had to spend two hours at a laundry mat). The kids were well behaved, the parent volunteers were super helpful, and the coaching staff, we had a ton of fun.

Camp these last two years has been a turning point for me in my training. This year I have learned that fitness will come when the time right and my confidence will come with it. Camp brings back a connection to running that I lost during the spring season. Falling back in love with running at this point in my season is my main goal. My track season is long, stressful and I tend to lose sight in my love for running.

I’m excited to go back next year and see what’s in store. If you ever get a chance to visit Lake Tahoe, be sure to grab your tents and get a site down at Camp Richardson.