Sun-Day-Dream

This morning was my best friends birthday and I was unsettled when I woke up in a lull. After a full week and busy yesterday, all I craved was a lazy Sunday, a steady run, and a phone chat to catch up and share her special day. The day started with an uplifting chat and pleasant start, but I caught myself procrastinating- still hoping in a few hours the wind would go away for my run. Realizing lunch had rolled by I finally accepted I wanted more than my short-term comfortable Sunday. it was time to be brave, go into the 70km/h wind, and remind myself despite everything I was procrastinating, it was all going to be okay.

The sun was shining, the wind still roaring. 

I arrived at the empty t(rail) road start-line. My breath was immediately taken away. My lips cracked and my mouth dried out. I started my run, wondering how I was going to get the prescribed work done. Left foot. Right foot. Unrelenting resistance, I was aimed straight into the wind. 

After dodging my seventh tumbleweed five minutes in, I asked the wind head on, Why are you so angry? 

Clearly not interested in conversation, the wind blasted more sharp air onto my face. 

Hmm. I thought to myself, I guess not ready to say.

I carried on running and a few moments later wondered again to the wind, 

Why are you so strong? 

This time the wind answered,

Because I lead by example.

This answer struck a chord of understanding and I unintentionally let out an audible, ahh. I see.  

As I let this answer seep deep into my core the wind continued to test and push my body backward, as if to see if I shared the same resilience, by asking, are you like me

I let out another audible, I guess we’ll see.

Somehow I accepted my fate and found a slow rhythm in my steps to lead me into a runner’s stream of conscious, wondering, how crazy does this make me? Talking to the wind? Maybe I should finally watch Gone with the Wind? Maybe this is the feeling? Ask and you shall receive? Is this the Kumbaya moment coaches send us to the woods for? 

At some point my thoughts were interrupted as I finally arrived at my new workout training grounds: a flat stretch of barren gravel road. I did my drills and workout still into the wind. In case you were wondering, the wind didn’t give up. Neither did I. 

The last part of my run I was instructed to run with the wind at my back. After an afternoon of resistance, tumbleweeds, and eating dirt, it felt good to run fast, with the wind no longer testing me, rather carrying me into a smooth turnover I haven’t felt since being away from the track. I could feel the strength of the wind at my back, and the strength of my own legs as they worked together. Although no other people were in sight, I was no longer alone on the gravel road. Instead I felt the strength of the wind, a new comrade, guiding me home. Despite a ridiculous hairstyle and lull of a start, today ended up being a blessing, and a good lesson learned. In my opinion, I had just had an afternoon to fully embrace what it means to run with the wind. 

Happy Sunday everyone.

Agenda Adjusted

After we emerge from COVID-19 with the common goal of Global Health, I am hopeful for what comes next. Both in my personal capacity as a person and an athlete, but also on the grander scale of our values as a society. 

It’s been an ever-changing last few weeks, and upon reflection, I’m choosing to see a lot of good has come from this new normal, including:

  • A greater appreciation for bringing communities together, especially through the global and local community of sport
  • For the opportunity I have had (and hope to return to) competing as an elite athlete
  • Being in a sport I am still able to competitively train in despite the pandemic
  • In-person time spent with my family
  • Slowing down and listening to music
  • Creating art – innovating in general
  • Time spent to recharge
  • Having quality time going back to my roots
  • Embracing the importance of hope

For anyone who knows me, knows I still carry a paper-copy agenda and write all of my must-dos in here. As discouraging as it was to erase some important dates, I am excited and pleased to rewrite in some big 2021 events. The big ones including July “202(0NE)” Tokyo Olympics, with qualifying race dates reopening Dec. 1, 2020. In addition, Athletics Canada announced Olympic Trials are planned to be back in one of my favourite cities, Montreal next summer. Of course I know these could still change, but for now I find comfort in these plans. 

Since I’ve last checked in: yes, my training facilities are still closed and like everyone else, I train at home or outside on the empty gravel roads/ trails. I can’t wait to get back on the track, but I know that is coming, hopefully in time for some warmer weather too. In the meantime, I’ve stepped up my mental training, and am pleased with the works in progress.

The New Normal: There have been a lot of phone + video calls to catch up with my regulars, but I am so happy to be home-based in Regina. Although a good handful of people still cringe at the thought of me choosing Regina before the chaos, there’s no place I’d rather be. After having so much of what I want over the last few years, it feels good to feel grounded and finally have what I need.

My focus remains steady, and the agenda has officially been adjusted- (for those that don’t know, this mean business)! Now back to washing my hands, running the grids, cleaning my cell phone, and building my empire.

#ReginaAthlete #RunRegina #TeamAlger #WashYourHands

News: The Move

Victoria to Regina.

The Details:

(1)  I autonomously made the decision: 2019 Outdoor season would be my final track season as a member of Vic City Elite in Victoria, BC.

(2) Fall 2019 I am continuing my post-collegiate training, which includes a move back to my hometown roots in Regina, SK.

* For those who don’t know: Yes, I am back living and training in Regina.

The typical response:

–>Most people cringe and respond, Why?

Short Answer:

  • Big Decision to be brave and follow my heart
  • Secondly, because of the SK people
  • I have the privilege to continue training as a high performance athlete in my sport, with my family network, in my hometown

The bigger picture:

Not quite Netflix-level, but below is a brief Season-by-Season Recap of my time in Victoria:

Athletics Canada Western Hub

Year ONE: PC: Arthur Images, PISE Trails – Fall 2015

Athletics Canada Western Hub

Year ONE: PC: Arthur Images – Pre -Vic City Elite practice at Centennial Stadium Fall 2015

Season ONE: 2015- 2016: I graduated from U. Regina, had an awesome year athletically, and was recruited with an offer to come and train post-collegiately, full-time, under Coach Heather Hennigar, in Victoria. With the summer to contemplate, I took the offer and Fall 2015, I made the move to train full-time. Plot twist, not as a sprinter/hurdler, but as a middle distance 800m athlete. Most people were genuinely floored when I said this was what I was doing when I graduated. This year was full of struggle and success, which through perseverance took my 800m from a 2:10 to a 2:06. I was hooked to keep rolling, and people were starting to see why I made this choice to pursue being an Amateur Athlete.

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Year TWO: PC: Arthur Images: Whistler Retreat. October 2016

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Year TWO: PC: Arthur Images, Early Morning Shoot with Sarah. October. 2016

NextGen group feb 2017

Year Two: PC: Arthur Images – Some of our Next Gen Teammates// Post- Long Run at Elk Lake. Feb. 2017

 

San Diego Camp Group

Year TWO: Chula Vista Olympic Training Centre – Warm Weather Camp San Diego. Feb. 2017

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Year TWO: Summer pre-Nationals Prep @ PISE. June 2017

Season TWO: 2016-2017: NextGen Team. A few more members joined our training group, we now had a surfaced track to train on, AC WestHub was booming. This year I really clicked with my training partner Casey, and credit her to holding me accountable for many of my everyday successes , including our first Summer Circuit in Europe. Again my 800m went from 2:06 down to 2:04, I became the SK Outdoor Record Holder. I felt like I had finally received (and earned) some validation, I was on the right path, and training for the Olympics seemed like more of a realistic goal.

 

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Year THREE: Grand Canyon – April 2018 AC Altitude Camp

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Year THREE: Training in Sedona, AZ. April 2018

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Year THREE: TLC Fam taking a dance party break at work. June 2018

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Year THREE: Harry Jerome International 800m Race. June 2018

Season THREE: 2017-2018: Vic City Elite is officially named and I had the keys to my first, completely on my own place. My “Treetop Home.” I was starting to settle in Victoria, had a social network within the Victoria track community, and also where I worked, with my London Chef Family. My neighbors in this area were also incredible; Victoria was finally starting to feel like home. I could barely believe I was already on year #3 and was relieved to feel like I had some sense of routine. Then came heartbreak, then healing, missed the national final with 9th place, a summer of travel, my best friend’s wedding, and I took my 800m from a 2:04 down to a 2:03. It was an emotional year, but a big learning year for me on and off the track. Financially I was feeling the pressure this year. Yes, I was improving. Yes, I earned a bit more funding each year, and made time to work with training, but it was never enough to cover cost of living and cost of training. I was putting myself into debt for sport, but everything I needed was in Victoria. I was nervous, but went into year #4 with a big piece of humble pie.

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Year FOUR: Fast and Female Event at PISE. October 2018

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Year FOUR: Phoenix Training Camp. January 2019

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Year FOUR: Post-Long Run in Scottsdale, AZ January 2019.

Season FOUR: 2018-2019: In my annual reflection, I summarized this Season as my year of the Grinch. Not because I wanted to steal Christmas, but because my heart felt like it was two sizes too small. I went into the year extremely motivated and had a strong, fall base season. Then Christmas rolled around, (I didn’t know it then), but once I left home after the holidays, I was about to become the Grinch.

In January I became an auntie while I was home in Sask for the holidays, and when I came back to Victoria, something was off. (Grinch formation phase one). I disregarded it, kept training, working, and taking action to make my athletic and personal goals reality. There were some glaring setbacks, but as the Grinch in denial, I ignored them… For months… I went to altitude training, and when I came down, something was terribly wrong. I slept 13 hours, had sharp pains, and voiced my concerns of feeling hollow and empty. I proceeded to run my slowest 800m race to date, and knew it was time to figure out what was wrong. I felt isolated, alone, and wasn’t able to get out of bed. After a full week of complete isolation, cancelled races, and time to myself, I braved a letter and realized despite the community I had, Victoria was no longer home, nor where I needed to be.

In May, I made the decision I would move to Regina. I would stay with the VCE Team through to the end of the outdoor season, tell everyone in person of my decision, pack my little car up with four years worth of memories and lessons, and would start a new chapter in Regina Fall 2019. There were many hard goodbye’s in Victoria which made me grateful for the last four years and gave me a knowing I’ll be back to visit. But as soon as I confirmed this move, everything clicked for me. It was right and I felt it through to my core. I won my next race. I ran PB times both in practice and in races consistently. I felt like me again. Once I drove all of my things home to Regina, and spent the next two months living out of a suitcase, I was able to travel and enjoy running again.

Those two months gave me the chance to reflect and enjoy my time as a VCE athlete, and to some extent feel a bit like I was on a final farewell tour now that the move was done. This was an interesting limbo where I did not quite feel like a Victoria athlete nor a Regina Athlete. I was just Adrea, a Canadian, and that was enough. At Nationals this year, I had my Grinch aha! moment, my heart exploded into at least two sizes more while I competed in the National Final. As cliché as it sounds, I made the decision to follow my heart and it was 100% what I needed to do. This summer I took that 2:03 800m down to a 2:02 and cracked top 100 in the IAAF world rankings.

The cherry on the cake to my last few weeks with VCE was the chance to hop in some races in Europe. Teammate Sarah and I were on our own, (until we linked up and made some Canadian and American Oiselle friends) and it turned out great!

 

London

Year FOUR: Sarah and Adrea in London, UK. August 2019

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Year FOUR: London, UK Skyline. August 2019

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Year FOUR: Pacing the 1500m in Roveretto, Italy. August 2019

 


Season FIVE: 2019-2020

Curious to know what’s next?

Stay Tuned.

BRussels - Adrea

Season FIVE: Homecoming. Fall 2019