Recognizing Women of Color on the Track
This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the 2019 NCAA Track and Field meet in Austin, TX, thanks to my daughter who qualified in the 800 meter run. The best of the best, division 1 athletes, competed for a NCAA title. The men competed on days 1 and day 3, while the women competed on days 2 and 4.
On Saturday night, the meet couldn’t be anymore perfect. The heat from earlier in the day slowly cooled down and the competition heated up. As a former collegiate runner, it was really nice to be in the stands and not on the field. While waiting for the 800 meters to start, I was watching the triple jumpers. I was amazed at their strength, focus and drive. These young ladies were confident and jumping their hearts out! Let me tell you, the strength of a woman is an amazing thing to watch.
It wasn’t until the final few jumps and the women’s 100 meter dash that I started to focus on the spectrum of black women participating in every event. It sent chills, good chills, up and down my spine. So many different hairstyles, complexions, heights, shapes and everything in between, we were there…breaking records and making track and field history! Yes, I had a #blackgirlmagic spiritual moment and it was amazing! I was so proud.
I honestly can not think of any other sport that creates that kind of emotion in me. Yes, there is Serena Williams, Dominique Dawes and Ginger Howard and so many others, but there is something about having an arena filled with black, smart, athletic and dominating young women. Track and field embodies all of that.
I love being a woman and I am extremely proud to be a black woman, a black mother. There are definitely frustrations that come along with it but you learn, “teach”, re-adjust and move on.
My daughter? She made it to the finals and came in second overall. She got her NCAA trophy and represented women and women of color, along with her competitors extremely well. I couldn’t ask for a better day! If you are a woman of color in sports or any profession, I applaud you and I will be in the stands cheering for you. There’s a lot to be done, so keep moving forward, ladies!
“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” Malcolm X 1962
I started my 4 mile Fridays a few months ago while training for my last couple of duathlons. Something I needed to do to stay motivated and get out of bed (really to get out of bed). I started posting my runs every Friday on my Instagram story for my own personal accountability. The more I posted the more people supported my craziness! So, now I feel like I have to get my 4 mile Fridays in…YASSS!
Check out 10 more reasons why I love my 4 mile Fridays
1. Gets me out of bed.
2. Makes me feel like I have accomplished something other than the “norm”.
3. Fights off all the negative thoughts that swim in my head.
4. Controls my anxiety.
5. Puts steps on my watch so I can brag about it at work with co-workers I compete with (I usually win-HA!).
6. Brings incredible happiness & excitement to my soul for the entire day.
7. Reminds me of how blessed I am to get up on any given day and get those miles in and I’m STILL able to walk (not necessarily straight but I’m walking)!
8. Reminds me of how strong I am.
9. Shows my girls that daily physical activity is a MUST.
10. Gets me excited for an incredibly long HOT shower after my run (the best on a cold Friday morning)! ❤️
What a surprise tonight! I was named the “Most Inspirational Athlete of 2018” by Koz Events and San Diego Triathlon Series. I am in shock and honored.
If you know me, you know I had a rough couple of years_personally. At the beginning of this year I decided I needed a good distraction, so I committed myself to train for AT LEAST 3 duathlons and couple of running events. I surrounded myself with other multi-sport athletes ended up doing 7 duathlons, 3 5K runs and 2 half marathons this year!
Yep, I desperately needed strength and positivity in my life and I got it. As each month flew by this year, I was getting stronger mentally and physically. I was not going to be stopped.
I want to thank all my parents, daughters and close friends for their support and motivation to keep going this year. Thank you KOZ events and the San Diego Tri Series from the bottom of my heart and "sole" for pushing this old-girl forward and making 2018 a fantastic year! So grateful.
My legs are so skinny, I had to make sure both were in the photo so you can actually read what these old socks have to say!
I feel like I am coming back. Now that there is less stress on my body (really in my head), I can push through and get back to training.
If you know me, I train like I am heading to the Olympics in 2020. I love running and staying active. It's like breathing_literally for me! I must have it to SuRvIVe! LOL!
Now that I am healthier and have officially fought off that nasty cold/flu monster, I am ready to get back out there and compete. The journey back has been challenging but I am happy that I am moving and grooving again.
My goals are to increase my upper body strength, endurance and running performance. I would love to go for Team USA in my age division for duathlons but I still have a lot to learn when it comes to road cycling. So, time will tell.
Whatever your goals are this year, I hope you are taking significant steps (big or small) to get yourself closer to your goals. There will be setbacks but that doesn't mean you are set...back! It's just a little bump in the road, a lesson to be learned or simply a time to completely rest your body. Keep your eyes on the prize, don't look back and keep your goals close to your heart. You will get there!
This week's workout included the following:
- Monday: 2 mile run and upper body workout with 8 flights of stairs.
- Wednesday: 30 minute run 60 push-ups
- Friday: 3 mile run 60 push-ups and upper body workout
- Saturday: Goal 20 mile bike ride. Accomplished 14 mile bike ride 60 push-ups and upper body workout
- Sunday: Easy long run. Goal 6 miles. Accomplished 4.35 miles
After running a nice 5K this weekend...
...the one thing that truly surprised me was the feeling I had AFTER the run OR should I say the "not feeling anything" feeling after the run was over. I was a little winded and extremely tired because I could not sleep the night before, but there were not aches or pains! HALLELUJAH! Usually my feet, back and/or hips are on FIRE and it takes 2 or 3 days to recover but not this time!
That night, I slept well, got up the next day ready to do SOMETHING active! I missed the window of opportunity to get on my road bike but I did get in a good 3 mile walk with my MOMZ instead. I wanted to do more but I had to stay focused on my training schedule and RECOVER properly even though I felt NOTHING.
If you read my blog from time to time, I sometimes whine about being over 40 but my running partner put things in SERIOUS perspective this weekend. He has had a rough couple of months with work and health yet, he is still smiling. Someone had asked him, why he wasn't losing his mind over all that he had been through in the past few week? He was telling me that when he checked himself into the hospital a few weeks ago, another guy who checked in around the same time did not able to check out...because he had..."checked out". Yeah, so what we whine about is n o t h i n g and it beats the alternative.
Look, I don't feel 40+ AND people tell me I don't look 40+ SO I am going to roll with NOT BEING 40+ and enjoy life, right where I am. This weekend I ran a 6:48 min/mile pace and what I do know...not very many women my age can say that! Soooo, I will keep reminding myself of all the good things I can accomplish and not dwell on the bad.
STAY STRONG. BE STRONG and DON'T LIMIT YOURSELF anymore!
I am blessed to have everything I have, yet, there are so many women who need more. They need jobs, equality and affordable health insurance. They are not only working hard to take care of themselves but for those around them. Not many of us run a country but we do run our environment; we are needed. Women need to be heard so that we can create a better world for everyone. #ADayWithoutAWoman will call attention to economic injustices women face such as lower wages, gender discrimination, sexual harassment and job insecurities. The day is also intended to push for gender justice, recognizing that trans and gender non-conforming people face equally compelling issues of discrimination and marginalization.