I was fortunate that my junior year I met Dr. Ed Acevedo, a physiologist who also had a masters in sports psychology. Dr. Acevedo had run in college, raced marathons, attempted the English channel swim, raced Ironmans, ran the Western States 100 and on and on. He had been a competitive athlete for a long time and understood not only the science, but the psychology of sport. Early in the 2000 cross country season, the team had participated in a study with the Human Performance Lab and we were tested for VO2 max, Lactate Threshold, Ventilatory Threshold (VT) and Max VT. I became fascinated by this science and how it related to me as an athlete so I decided to make it my major. The rest is history, right?
I took several classes from Ed and was able to spend more time with him while I worked in the Human Performance Lab. As my race results continued to be sub par, Ed began coaching me outside of the team. It was not a formal agreement but Ed was able to help me with some of the psychological aspects of training and racing; and that had a profound effect on the physiological side as well.
One on the things that I will always remember Ed telling me was, "Run like a racehorse! When the horses are in the paddock about to start a race, they're not worried about how they feel; they're excited to just race and give what they have. They don't think about the consequences of if they finish 1st, 6th, 50th or last. They're just are happy to run!"
This is something I tell myself when lining up for any type of competition. Everyday on the race course, is a celebration. This is why we train! This is the culmination of all of the sacrifices both easy and hard that I've made for this opportunity. I know that this journey will continue well beyond this one moment, this one race. So get excited! The party is about the begin! Thanks Ed.