Monday, December 14, 2009

Thinking About The Future

“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.”

-Abraham Lincoln

As I end my second to last semester of undergrad, I can't help but think ... "what next?" I mean, of course I want to go to Grad school but I'm not sure if I really want to work in Politics. I want to attain an M.P.A. (Masters of Public Administration), maybe get my J.D. (Law Degree) when I'm 30. I really want to go to Georgia State for Grad School. Or at least somewhere in Georgia because they have really good Political Science programs. Eh, still not 100 percent sure I want to work in government.

Of course, I'm going to attempt to go pro in Track and Field but even with that comes a lot of uncertainty. Like, what event will I run? Will I get an endorsement? And if not, how will I pay for my expenses? Ahh, life is coming really fast at me now. The only thing I know for sure is that I don't want to go to back to school until January. I NEED a break.

I do want to coach though. Being an assistant coach at a major university would be extra tight. I would only want to coach hurdles though. I'm selfish that way. And maybe motivational speaking too. Ugh, but I would only do that if I did great things in Track! Like get an Olympic Gold medal!!!!! I have no idea what life has in store. Guess I'm just going to take it one day at a time and follow God's plan.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Trials and Tribulations/ A Role Model

"Champions are made when no one is watching"


I know I've stated previously that I tend not to work hard, but I've failed to mention a lot of things. Knowing your potential and living up to it is two very different things. I personally don't believe I work hard because I know I can work harder. So, it isn't that I don't work hard it's I'm not working the hardest I can. Every time I get on the track to run, I put my all into it. Whether it be at a track meet or practice, I never half do it. But I thought it would be good if I gave a little Landria History lesson. Man, I've put in some HOURS on the track. Natural talent only gets someone so far and without effort it will get you no where. I've always been a runner but I haven't always been a hurdler.

All throughout high school, I kind of got individual training. I've kind always been around people who run track and aren't necessarily track runners, there is a difference. So, I was always kind of ... alone, when it came to girls at least. So, I kind of had personal workouts from Coach Cook (my high school coach), especially after most people's seasons were over and I was training for States. When I was in 11th grade, however, all that personal attention wasn't really needed anymore because we actually had a good track team! But 11th grade I wasn't just a runner anymore, I was a hurdler now, a new born hurdler, who needed a lot of attention to get the hang of things. I will say hurdles came naturally, even though I was the most clumsy girl anyone had probably ever met. So, once again I was smothered with attention. Hurdles was soo exciting, so new to me I kind of became obsessed. I would practiced for hours. Practiced started at 3, I would stay until it would start to get dark trying to perfect the race. I would practice hurdles every single day, from about 3 to 7, my coach would literally make me leave practice! He would say stuff like "Look, I'm not about to be out here with you all night, I have a wife and a life." lol... And I would beg for just five more minutes. Lol.

Fast forward to college. Freshman year, I worked hard... but there was a point in the season where I was really determined to run really fast and I went back into OCD mode. Man, I was doin a lot lol Working extra hard, and it paid off... I pr'd, then I went back into chill mode lol. I remember going to Regionals and choking, basically. I didn't make it to the finals =( I remember sitting in the stands as the ran the 100 meter hurdle finals and thinking I should be down there. Then I looked at all the times and realized my times were no where near those. It kind of hit me, "I'm not really all that fast" I was determined to be in the finals the next year. I remember thinking "Next time, that's gonna be me" Sure enough it was! Sophomore year, I worked hard came to practice did what I was suppose to do but I never really went above and beyond, just did the basics. That's why I don't think I work hard, because I just did the basics, nothing spectacular on the side, just what everyone else was doing. I made it pretty far though, all the way to the Olympic Trials! Junior year wasn't so great, but I learned a valuable lesson from Junior year. Track is 90% mental.

Now, people say "Landria is just a freak of nature, she can not practice and still be great" but how do we know this? Not because Landria just doesn't practice, it's because Landria was forced not to for a whole season. It wasn't like I was just sitting around doing nothing for a whole season lol. I strained my hamstring. I was advised not to run at all but I'm wayy to stubborn for all that lol I was gonna run, injured or not. It was just making it through that got me. I was banned from practicing by the head athletic trainer and forced to go to rehab everyday. And I was in there everyday, only missing a few here and there. I was really working hard to try and come back from my injury. I wore tape on my leg the entire season, from January until May I hadn't raced one time without tape, not until Regionals. I didn't start back practicing until the week before MEACS (Conference). It's really something to be injured. It's the worst feeling ever, knowing you aren't performing to your potential and there is nothing you can do about it. I regained myself though.

Every time I stepped on the track I gave it my all, pushed as hard as I could in that moment and I ran decent times. And that's how I learned that track is a mental game. You can literally do anything you put your mind to, even if your body isn't feeling up to par, even if the odds are against you, if you want it bad enough, if you're really hungry for it, you can't fail. I'm a hungry individual. I hate to lose, and I'm not just about to sit there and let someone beat me, I'm going to fight for it! I don't care who they are, in my mind, I'm going to win this race and if I don't I'm going to give you a run for it. That's the kind of mentality I've always had, thanks to my father. Whether, I lose by a lot or a little or if I even win, my mentality stays the same. I'm hungry. Sometimes, being so hungry you forget food is on your plate lol if that makes any sense. I always think of myself as the underdog, the one no one expects anything out of, it keeps me humble. So, I tend to be hard on myself, and sometimes others around me, but it's all love. Maybe because I expect a lot from myself and others and I don't like to settle for mediocrity. I personally believe track is about 1. mentality, 2. timing and then 3. training or becoming technically efficient , if one can perfect those, then they will be a beast.

Sometimes, by thinking of myself as an underdog I forget that people look up to me, especially from back home, a lot of people are glad I'm out here doing well in sports and a lot of girls want to develop into a track athlete like myself. I guess because I really don't have a role model and I never really had one, I forget that I am one, at least to somebody (especially my little niece). I've realized this more and more this year (2009) and I've started giving back and doing more as a person. I realize sometimes people think I advertise not working hard or slacking, mainly because they don't know my background or what is going on when they aren't looking, hence the quote. I do a lot of things that people don't know about. Like for example, doing the season, I eat really healthy, I shop at whole foods and buy only healthy things, bet you didn't know that did you lol ;o). But I can't let all my secrets out. Lol. Anyways, that's all I have to say, thanks for reading and remember mentality is everything, in whatever you do... ttyl =)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Off To A Great Start

"Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should accomplish with your ability."

-John Wooden

I love this quote! It's exactly how I feel about myself when it comes to track! Our first meet was yesterday! It was at Bucknell University. Even though everyone hates on this meet, I love it! It gives me a sneak peak of what's to come for the season and I liked what I saw! Take away all the track team drama and it was a pretty good meet. We did alright as a team, I was a little disappointed in the overall performance though. I expected more, but that's only because I have high hopes for everyone this year. I tend to look at performances on another level though; I set the bar pretty high, lol.

Anyways, I was feeling great on Friday when we went to the track to practice. Everything is so different when you're not injured. I only experienced two injury free meets last season (Regionals and Nationals) and it was different because I was coming off of injury and I wasn't completely sure if I would pull something or not. So, Friday when we went to the track to warm up I was feeling extra great and excited for the meet.

Saturday, omgosh I was sooo freaking tired!!!! I was up talking to my teammate Brittany (we have been roommates since Sophomore year!!) and Saturday was her birthday. I didn't go to sleep until 1am ish and woke up at 7:30. Not the best idea. But I believe that your best times happen when you didn't get much sleep the night before lol. Almost all my pr's happened when I stayed up, so it works. So, before I was nervous and excited before I ran the prelims for the 60 hurdles. The warm up was pretty good and I was feeling alright. My Coach (Coach Grigsby) was impressed with my warm up, which never happens lol. She said my blocks were actually good and everything was looking pretty tight. =) It was funny because I went to look at the schedule to see who ran first and I was like since I'm looking what's the record so I can try to beat it. Turns out I have the stadium or meet record (I can't remember which one) I got it last year lol. So, I ran the prelims. I ran a wack ass 8.70 ... I mean it could've at least be a 8.69. I was feeling great and I was sure it was under 8.5 but nope... wack ass 8.70. I mean I had the fastest time going into the finals but like I said ... I have high standards. lol. I was extra disappointed but I talked to Coach and she told me to get my lead leg down and start forcing it before I got over the hurdle. In my warm up for finals I worked on and fixed the problem (as best I could) and when I was working on it I banged the mess outta my knee... but that comes with the territory lol

So, the finals roll around. I'm feeling good! I have a nice rhythm I'm just hoping I get out the blocks like I did in the prelims. My start is clearly the weakest part of my race so I try to really focus on it. I was proud that all the female hurdlers made it to the finals!! The boys did good too. =) Anyways, I get out and I'm feeling great... then I hit a hurdle and fall! Jk. haha. Nah I finished and won the race. I was feeling really good, really pushing and getting my lead leg down and keeping my arms tight, even though I was basically running by myself. I got the feeling I get when I run fast in the short hurdles when everything becomes slightly blurry and I kind of lose control of my body... it's like an out of body experience... it's really kool lol. Anyways, I finished with a 8.42 much better than the prelims. I was extra geeked! I did a happy dance lol. Not only did I run my p.r. (personal record) the first meet! I qualified provisionally for Nationals. Last year I was off by .01!! And my teammate Alex ran a 8.74!!! I was extra geeked for her because that's a great start! Normally, she doesn't break 9.0 until mid season and she smashed it at the first meet! Our Freshman Keisha did well also =)

I'm never satisfied for long though. Gotta get down to 8.18 so I can be an A standard athlete... or at least 8.25 so I can get on the World List!! =) I also ran the 200. I HATE the 200. I would have been sooooo upset if I would have ran 25 seconds like I always do the first meet but I ran 24.89 and that was good, I was satisfied. I won that event too. I also ran 3rd leg on the 4x4. My leg was 56 seconds, I wasn't really trying though, I was actually surprised it was that fast... We were really far behind and I wasn't about to waste energy because by this time I was sooo tired and I hadn't eaten all day! Our relay ran 3:59 which is not good but whatever lol it wasn't the A team anyway. I'm kind of excited about the 4x4 A team, we are going to be good this year, I can tell. I miss Lauren, much! I wish she was still here! She was our lead leg last year.

So, I'm very hopeful of this season and our first meet went great! Once again Good Luck with finals and all your endeavors, thanks for reading ... Ttyl =)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Surprise, Surprise!

"There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved: It is God's finger on man's shoulder."

- Charles Morgan

Hey Everybody!!! Much has been going on since we last spoke but I can't cover everything because I don't feel like writing that much. Lol. Let's start with me going home for Thanksgiving.

I surprised my family by going home, no one knew! When I got there it was around 1am and everyone was asleep, my mom heard me after a while and came out to see who it was. She thought I was a robber lol. I said "Rahhhh" and she jumped back screaming LMAO!!!! I told her NOT to tell anyone I was home... she told everybody! Lol I met my nephew/God Son, he's 2 months old, and the cutest thing I've ever seen!!!! I love him sooo much, he's funny too =) My grandma cooked some great food and all was well. My mom told me to get what I wanted from Christmas on Black Friday, so I got a printer and Blue Ray DVD player... I also got myself an ipod and wii. I brought my dog with me to leave him there, my little sister is taking him because I'm going to be gone every weekend for track meets. It was sad leaving Prince... sometimes I forget he's gone... I miss him a little...

It's the last week of school, today was the last day!!!!! I'm soooo happy! I still have finals though. Dang, one more semester and I'm done. Wow, time flies. I've been so stressed and swomped with projects and papers and things. This week has been crazy.

We have a track meet this weekend!!!! I'm excited! I'm like the only person who actually likes this meet. Most people don't see the point of having a meet in december right before Christmas break. I think it's good because it makes me feel better about practicing since the end of September until now. And it gives me a chance to see where I'm at and what I need to work on or at least be aware of before the season gets rolling. It also gives everyone (especially the freshmen) to get the first meet jetters out. I can't wait to see what happens.

Well I can't think of anything else to write but I'll keep you posted about the track meet. =) Good luck on your finals!!!! Ttyl

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Decisions, Memories, Life

"Time may pass, things may change, but I'll always be a Carver Queen"
- Landria

This week has been a very interesting week for me. Where do I begin...

Well I guess I should start with Track. I've started doing ab workouts, I try to do them daily but I've been slacking a little bit. My core is getting stronger though, it's getting easier to do planks and sit ups and stuff. Low-key I like the feel of the burn! Lol. My leg is completely better now! =) As far as this weeks workouts. Ugh. I'm sad to say I only practiced on Monday. =( But I have a good reason for it!

Tuesday, I went to this program trying to get an internship at either the RNC because I was just trying to get something on my resume! I felt bad because I had to miss my reading buddy program. =( Anyways, the lady at the RNC invited everyone to this intern seminar on Thursday. I talked to her for a little bit after the program and she really liked me a lot and basically said I was in and to give me the application on Thursday at the program.

Wednesday, I was running around trying to get everything together for the seminar. I had to get business cards, my hair done (because it was a straight mess!) and a suit. Sad to say I didn't have a suit... smh... I had tons of business casual stuff but no suits. I def need to step my professional game up! Mom sent money so I could get my hair done because she didn't want me up in there looking a hot mess.

Thursday, rolls around and I'm extra nervous and excited. The seminar was cool and informative. So, after she takes me and a few other students on a tour of the RNC. It was nice in all and everyone there was extra nice and sweet and they even gave us gifts. I gave her the application at the end and she seemed really excited. I mean technically I'm a independent voter. I'm conservative when it comes to money but very very liberal with my social views; gay marriage, abortion, against the death penalty, all that! I'm a strong believer and letting people "live their lives." I mean all I would do is plan parties and meetings and stuff like that. So, that's why I wasn't at practice this week. I was trying to get my post-grad life together.

Now, in regards to the quote. I use to be a Carver Queen <3!> At Howard we have different dorms and one of them is a male's dorm called Carver. I really only knew Carver boys so they called the girls Carver Queens. As time passed and we became Sophomores I went off and started focusing on Track, while they started a G-DUB movement. They had their annual Thanksgiving dinner this past Saturday. I went and it was nice reconnecting with old friends and talking about yesteryear. Freshman year was crazy! It was even better to see friendships mended. I always hated being the friend in the middle! Man, I'm really about to graduate. I adore some of the freshmen trying to get on, some of them are extra sweet. It was slightly awkward being surrounded by strangers... but it was kool. Even though I'm not in G-DUB, I'll always consider myself a Carver Queen... Lol... Extra Throw back. =)

Well, that's what I've been up to. I look forward to practice and Thanksgiving =). Ttyl.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Taking Steps

"A Journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step."
- Confucius

Yesterday was a good day. I attempted to go to the weight room but it was closed because of the men's and women's basketball games. I was kind of bummed but it was probably for the better because applying pressure to my leg may not be the best of all looks. I did manage to get a workout in the pool! It felt nice to be in the water, after my workout I felt relaxed and my leg felt a little better. It's still a little sore (not hurt!) but it's improving. Pool workouts are so refreshing to the body! I've decided I'm going to try and get in at least once a week. Next semester I'm taking beginning swim, so I'll be in at least twice every week.

After my workout I went straight to the dark room. I'm taking a Basic Black and White Photography class. I developed so awesome pics! I'm going to scan them and put them up soon! I have some great track pics too! =)

So, here's the track schedule for 2009-2010... if you can come, check us out! =)

Indoor Track
Dec. 5 Bucknell University Lewisburg, PA
Jan 9 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
Jan 16 University of Maryland College Park, MD
Jan 22-23 VT Hokie Invitation Blacksburg, VA
Jan 29-30 Penn State Open Invitation Unversity Park, PA
Feb 6 Vince Brown Invitation Newport News, VA
Feb 12-13 MEAC Championships Landover, MD
Mar 5-6 NCAA Championships College Station, TX
Outdoor Track
Mar 19-20 Wake Forest Unversity Winston-Salem, NC
Mar 26-27 Raleigh Relays Raleigh, NC
Apr 2-3 Colonial Relays Williamburg, VA
Apr 10 Hampton University Hampton, VA
Apr 17 Mount Saint Mary's University Baltimore, MD
Apr 24-26 Penn Relays Philadelphia, PA
May 6-8 MEAC Track Championships Greensboro, NC
May 27-29 NCAA Regional Championships Greensboro, NC
June 9-12 NCAA National Championships Eugene, OR

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Little Somethin Somethin

I said this blog wouldn't just be about track. So, I write Spoken words and poems from time to time. Here's one I wrote about running.


She said it feels like breathing for the first time.

Every time she feels the wind kiss her face,
The music in her ear, keeping her on pace.

She takes long strides and clears the thoughts from her mind.

She doesn’t even like to run and hates to sweat,
But everyday she gets up, and takes her first breath.

Like the commercials say, Running knows,
Running knows her troubles and eases her stress.

She runs hard and long,
No destination is set.
Just the pace,
And that changes to the music.

She isn’t running to anything,
But she is running away,
Away from the doubts and fears,
Away from the lies and tears.

She runs until she can’t run anymore,
Til her lungs burn and her legs are numb,
Til her body aches,
And she doesn’t know how much more she can take.

She runs away from her regrets,
From her past, and her future,
From her worries, and the pressure,

From the world.

She runs from tears not cried,
decisions not made,
And paths not chosen.

She runs until she can’t feel the pain anymore.

There’s no job,
No schedules, No demands,
No pressure, No lectures.
Just the ground and her steps.

There are no crowds,
No voices to cheer her on,
No cheerleaders to give her water.
There is no one.

Just her.
The music.
Her sweat.
Her heartbeat.

And her first breath.

If it's Not One Thing... It's Another

"The difference between men who succeed or fail is their ability to handle pressure."

-Edwin Louis Cole

I decided I'm going to start every blog with a quote! This quote by Edwin Louis Cole is so true. In the world of Track and Field (or any other sport lol) if you can't handle pressure, you will never be great. Imagine, standing at the line with the fastest runners in the Country, at one of the biggest meets in the Nation, on National television, with hundreds of people in the stands, and all you're trying to do is qualify to the next round. Well I've experienced it... 7 times. It's one of the most nerve racking experiences, but the most thrilling at the same time! Had I let the pressure get to me... I don't know what would've happened. Lol.

Anyways, a few days ago at practice I was running late to my reading buddy volunteer program and I had decided to bring my dog to practice that day. I was suppose to be at the program at 5:30 and when I finished practice my coach said it was 5:20. The gate to the parking lot was locked and I knew it was going to take me at least ten minutes to walk all the way around. So, what do I do??? I decide to hop the gate... smh. Bad Idea! Very Bad Idea! So, my first attempt is a no go. I get all the way to the top and as I'm trying to figure out how I should go about getting down, I lose my balance. I start falling backwards and my leg gets caught in between the two bars. The second attempt goes perfectly! But after I'm over the gate and heading to the car my right leg is just not feeling right. I decide to keep it moving and worry about it later. It's still hurting =( Hopefully it's just sore and not an injury... If it still hurts on Monday I'll go to the trainers.

On another note, practice today was cool. I really need to work on my core and hit the weights. I decided I won't be going to the athlete weight room this year because the times don't fit in my schedule. I'm going to the other one... but I've yet to do so. I think I'm going to start tomorrow because I really can't just be skipping out this year. Not only am I going to go to the weight room I'm going to hit the pool too. My body has been aching something serious! It hurts just to touch my back, and my quads are screaming for attention. If I still feel some kind of way after the pool I'll ask DeAnna (Trainer) to give me a deep tissue. I like her, she's really nice! It's not a hassle to get any work done from her, you don't have to beg and plead or whine, like you have to do with some of the other trainers.

I might O.D. on the blog right now but I can bet you the days between me blogging will grow farther and farther apart but I'm going to try and stay up on it. Ttyl =)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A New Start

"Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them."
-William Shakespeare

Thought I'd start it off with a quote =). So, it's a new season! My last one as a collegiate athlete! I can't say it isn't a bittersweet moment, time does fly. Anyways, my last 3 seasons weren't the best. Sure, I've had great moments, experienced things people dream of, some only experience once in a lifetime, and others never experience but... I think they could've been better lol. Here's a brief summary of my past seasons.

Freshman year- I ran the 100 meter hurdles. I made it to regionals and had a p.r. (personal record) of 13.55. I placed 2nd in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC)

Sophomore year- I ran the 100 meter hurdles and the 400 meter hurdles. I placed 2nd in the 100 meter hurdles and 1st in the 400 meter hurdles in MEAC. I qualified for Regionals for both events. I became All-Region in the 100 hurdles and qualified for Nationals. I placed 9th at Nationals became All-American. Qualified for the Olympic Trials!! Placed 26th at the Olympic Trials. Had a P.R. of 13.24 in the 100 hurdles. I made the World List for the 100 hurdles.

Junior year- I ran the 100 meter hurdles and the 400 meter hurdles. I was injured all season. I wore tape on my leg from January until Regionals and didn't practice in between. I placed 3rd in the 100 meter hurdles and 1st in the 400 meter hurdles in MEAC. Qualified for Regionals in both events and became All-Region in both. I qualified for Nationals in both. I placed 10th in the 100 hurdles and 12th in the 400 hurdles. P.r.'d in the 400 hurdles with a time of 57.88! I qualified for USA's in the 400 hurdles but due to a retard head coach I was unable to compete. I also made the World List for Both events!

And now that leaves us here... Senior Year! Hopefully, I'll be able to sign a deal and get to become a professional Track and Field athlete and travel the world! But before we can get to that, I have to start with... Practice!

I don't have the best record of actually working hard. I don't like to practice unless we are practicing hurdles and I don't even know what a w-e-i-g-h-t-r-o-o-m is??? Lmao! But this year I'm going to try and get everything together because I have BIG GOALS!!!

True Life: I'm a * TrackStar *

P.S. It's not going to be JUST about track... but mostly