(The blog is written in a letter form, because this was originally an email, I sent to my coach)
Sorry I am just writing an in depth note about my journey from 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea to Zurich Diamond League that took place just 3 days later. First off, I am really happy that I went to the meet, even happier that we made the decision to stay calm after we missed the flight from Los Angeles to Europe because there would have been no point to continue on with the travel if I was not composed, so I got to work on the mental…
From the moment we spoke about laughing about this later I began to have a great time and was enjoying the ridiculous process of getting to Zurich! Once I arrived to Canada I went and bought two turkey sandwiches for Louis and myself. I did this to limit any worry as to if the food would be enough on the plane, or if it would even be edible. Also once I got on the plane I wanted to go to sleep once we got in the air, this way I was as rested as possible since I was arriving into Zurich the morning of the race! Oops!
So the seat I was originally getting would have been in a cramped space that had two seats side by side, I looked on the screen as one of the receptionist was helping me find another seat and decided I would just sit in one of the empty seats that had another empty seat right next to it. I scanned my neighbors and assessed their demeanor to see if they would be the type that would oppose me lying on both seats. The woman next to me noted that she was hoping there would be an empty seat between her and I so she could sleep and I was like “Crap! I suck because this seat was empty” then I was like I am just going to tell her flat out what I am trying to do…. So I did and she was all for allowing me to lie down on the seat beside her. About an hour into the flight I was super uncomfortable trying to lie down on the seats, so much so, I made my legs numb. I had to come up with another plan. So I crawled into my sleeping bag, yes I brought a sleeping bag… (sometimes havin to sleep in an airport happens.) … And I asked the gentleman to my right and the woman to my left if they minded if I slept on the floor in the foot space, neither opposed. So I grabbed my pillow I brought from home, layed a blanket underneath the pillow to protect it from foot grime and I went to sleep for the duration of the flight, well just after I ate half of my sandwich.
7hours later we landed in Zurich, it was 11am, I went straight to the hotel via hotel shuttle. It took us only 5 minutes to arrive, I checked into my room and slept until lunch time ( 2:30pm), grabbed lunch and then went right back to bed before waking up at about 3:45pm for my 3:50pm shakeout run/ activation (5hours before my 8:50 pm race). By the time I finished the whole thing I had to shower and get ready for a 45 minute tram ride that was leaving at 6pm… no time for another nap or visualization so I improvised, I got dressed and headed to the tram meeting spot and decided I would take a mini snooze and visualize on the 45 minute tram ride, I figured that was plenty of time…
I arrived to the stadium very well centered with the attitude of “Well I made it, I traveled all the way out here from Los Angeles laying over everywhere, I had several doubters as to whether I would perform well with the circumstances of my hectic travel. At one point one of those doubters was me, but when I decided to go forward, I made the decision to go forward , I made the decision to go forward with authority, I even had the meet director try and take my lane! (I don’t really blame him, he was probably like “Ok well if she is not here now, she can’t possibly still be trying to come, let alone thinking about racing”) WRONG!!! I fought to be here so I began fighting to make a statement… I did everything in my power to remain even keel… If I am going to do this, I thought, I want to do it well. 8:50pm the race goes off and I had every intention of winning and running very fast… I didn’t win, just got caught at the line by the World Champion, but I beat everyone else in the field that pretty much made up our World Championship Final plus a few and I managed to run a 1:58.4 and grabbed my 6th time running under 2:00 minutes this year (pat on the back). Although on paper it doesn’t look like I won, I in my heart, know I had won the most tremendous battles and am so delighted that I fought it out. I made it to the line and competed for me. I was able to learn a lot about my mental strength as well as my physical. I learned to be able to find the victories in what feels like defeat. I learned to take hold of the positives and let go of the negatives… I learned to let go of rocks and NEVER EVER give into limited thinking.
Special thanks to Tony for helping me keep my head on, my awesome mother for getting me to the airport and helping fix our travel errors, my loving husband for dealing with me and loving me the whole way, David The Peruvian Punisher for the pump up talk about going forward and just crushing, my cousin, Mikhaile and Samara for allowing me to stay with them on our long long long lay over in Newark and also for ordering us a box of Papa Johns Pepperoni pizza to devour upon our arrival.