Saturday, March 21, 2009

Decisions, Decisions...

The start of the season is just around the corner. I know that technically I’ve already competed in Australia, but that was so early I like to consider it an exhibition of sorts. The real fun for me is getting started in about a month or so and right now I’m busy figuring out the ins and outs of it all. This involves a multitude of decisions that will hopefully all work in harmony to produce peak performances at the right time. The right time should be at Nationals at the end of June and at World Championships in the middle of August. The way we plan our season and what meets we compete in, is by looking at when we want to be at our best and then working backwards from there to create the best possible opportunity for that. Some people like to compete very little and keep themselves extremely fresh, and some need many competitions to fine tune everything and get them ready.

Of course it isn’t as simple as just deciding what you want to do and having it happen exactly that way. I suppose for some it is, the Usain Bolt’s of the world have no problem getting into exactly the meets they want, with the specifications that are ideal for them. But for the rest of us it ain’t that easy. I look at the calendar and decide what meets I would want to do. After that, I have my manager try and work his magic. It’s not always as simple as who has the best time or mark. It can be subjective. Your personal and seasonal best, what country you’re from, how many people from your country are already competing, who your agent is, if the meet director likes your agent, if the meet director owes favors to anybody, if he thinks your attractive…the list goes on and on.

I usually start my season with some early meets that don’t really count for anything and allow me to get the jitters out without anything on the line. (money, points, etc.) For the past umpteen years my first meet has usually been in southern California at Mt. Sac Relays. I’ve been competing at this meet ever since I’ve been running track; that’s 15 years! It’s been the biggest meet of my season (high school), homecoming (college), and the site of a few personal bests (professional). Beyond that, now that I travel the world to compete it usually is the only place my friends and family see me compete and the fact that it usually lands on my birthday weekend is a chance for me to add a little celebration into the mix.

So the plan was to be the same this year. Go to Mt. Sac, compete on my birthday, celebrate with friends and family afterwards. But then I was given another choice to compete somewhere else instead, for points AND money. It involves getting on a plane though…to AFRICA. Not quite the low key meet up the road like I was expecting. Although the decision might be cut and dry for some, I’ve been struggling a bit. Not only do I feel comfortable starting my season off at Mt. Sac which is right up the road and involves no traveling, it gives my coach a chance to see me in competition and it’s low pressure. But…this is my job. And when you have a job I suppose a key component to that should be to make money so if I’m given that opportunity, especially with the state of my finances, I really need to consider it. I just have to make sure I don’t overdo myself. That will make three long trips already this year, with more to follow come May. And like I said before, my goal is to peak in June. Now that you’ve heard my pros and cons, what are your thoughts? (keeping in mind of course that I won’t really take them into consideration all that much unless they end up agreeing with mine.)

14 comments:

ivar said...

Congratulations on having been in the game for 15 years. That sounds like quite an accomplishment in itself. As for the question you raise. If you feel traveling to Africa now might prevent you from reaching the June peak you are aiming for, then, it simply becomes a question of whether the opportunity to compete in Africa and make money is more important that doing everything you can to be at your best in June. I've been accused of being anti social, but I wouldn't worry about your friends and relatives not getting to see you compete locally.

Erin Michell said...

At the end of the day you have to do what is best for you, your training, and your goal to peak in June. If you think going to Africa would affect your training goals then don't go, but don't stay to compete at Mt. Sac because it is what you have always done. Starting the outdoor season with a different meet might be a good thing. Yes, its not all about the money and points but at the end of the day running and jumping is your job . . .it's your main source of income. . .you can celebrate with your friends and fam when you get back from winning in africa and collecting those chips.....

brit_brat said...

well my opinion might be some what bias so I'll just keep it to myself :)

Jon Lustig said...

I'm recommending Mt. Sac. It's comfortable, it's a meet that's been good to you, you'll have a cheering section, it won't disrupt your training, all the things you mentioned. The primary reason to go to Africa is obviously that being financially secure will make you happier in general, which is super-important for keeping a positive state of mind. But another reason to do it would be to really convince yourself that things are going to work out differently for you this year. Going to Africa would certainly be a great way to reenforce that notion if you think you need to do that.

Shavon Renee said...

Go to Mt. Sac. You'll be comfortable and be able to prepare for other money making meets. Sounds like coming to Sac will put you in a better position to make money later rather than rushing into the season tryna pop off without seeing where you're at without the pressure. Also, isn't the Mt Sac schedule a little different this year. Won't you compete on Sat instead of Sun? Not that it really matters but it just came to mind lol But of course, do what's best for you. God will make sure the money comes when it's supposed to.

Anonymous said...

Easy choice! You, Erin and Brit Brat pack a bathing suit, a sexy little strappy dress, some comfortable heels, and fly down in my private jet to Cabo for the weekend! I will have the tequila, ice cream, baby oil & trash bags all ready! Woo-Hoo! Party! Just bring your hot little hinies down and I will take care of the rest! After a day or two, instead of a finish line a 100 meters away, you will be dashing to see newborns from nesting sea turtles a 100 meters away!

Herman M

Anonymous said...

I say go with what you know. Besides a long trip could possibly effect your performance in Africa. Not only will that effect your earnings but it could cost you come June. It's a recession. Enjoy your birthday with people who love you and get your confidence up in Cali!

Uw is still better than UofA even though the huskies lost today. I guess I'll cheer on the cats to rep the PAC!

Daniel said...

Ms. Glenn,
You must be speaking of a chance to race/jump at the IAAF GP in Senegal, at Dakar. That’s quite the opportunity. Yes, points and money. And a more international exposure than MT. SAC. Tough choice. Glad my opinion doesn’t matter, lol (as it shouldn’t; it’s your career, for goodness sakes).

Hey Shavon Renee! Wow! Girl, you, like KNOW your track? I’m not so pleased about the shift to Saturday as the prime day vs. the usual Sunday. See, the Distance events are on Thursday evening/night that way (ya know Ms. Glenn, when the real runners work hard. I just couldn’t resist. Please forgive). That means I have to fly in on Wednesday, hang around in Compton/South Central on Friday (Mt. SAC’s runnin’ High School stuff on Friday), and the same again on Sunday (though I must say, I love the day’s run up the small hills from Crenshaw to Western going north). And it means I gotta arrange more care for my kids, being gone weekdays, since I’m doin’ that alone. So, while I love the first big Outdoor meet of the season there (Ms. Felix will run! Yeah!), I don’t like the time shift.

Jon L. Since Ms. Glenn mentioned Africa, what do you think of young Ben Spies takin’ it to them first rounds of the World Superbike series? Yeah, I know Qatar isn’t exactly Africa, but, hey, close enough to talk about it here. I mean, wow, first races on the new Yamaha and he beats the established stars! Suzuki were stupid to let that talent walk.

Jon Lustig said...

For the record, some of us picked the Wildcats to make the sweet 16 and be the last men standing from the PAC-10 when we thought they would have to go through Wake Forest to do it.

@Daniel, Not this time, I've learned my lesson. That's not even a Bri-related tangent.

Cormac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cormac said...

Very enjoyable read. It's nice to get an insight into the planning that goes on in the life of a professional athlete. Keep 'em comin'!

My advice, for what little it's worth, is to go with Mt. Sac for reasons mentioned by other posters. Dakar is a whole lot of travelling to be doing at this early stage of the season, especially when you'll probably hit Europe this Summer as well. You don't want to wear yourself out come Nationals. Mt. Sac will allow you to concentrate on your technique you've been developing all winter, without having to worry about the added stress of airports, delayed flights, jet lag, etc prior to the Grand Prix, and then having to do it all again for the return journey which could affect your performance in following meets.

Bianca said...

I'm selfish and want to spend your birthday with you, so you know my vote.

HOWEVER, I would be so proud for you to compete in Africa. We can celebrate upon your return with a special dinner and belated birthday cake.

I'm SO incredibly proud of you and blessed to call you my best friend. I've got you covered in prayer!

Anonymous said...

career or friends? if your friends are your friends they will support what you decide to do. Where do you think you will thrive the most what will be the conditions in Senegal(by the way my dad is from there and its gorgeous! my brother and sister in law live there now)
In short ms. b whats important is the the long view point of positioning yourself properly--whats the fatigue factor-whats the recovery time gonna be like--whats your 90 day goal and your 3 year goal how does Senegal and mt. sac play against each other--sorry to be rude but your friends and family at this point are the last people i'd worry about--what is your ultimate goal? once that question is answerd then you must have vision like a laser!--eliminate all the distractions including this blog--i asked you last year what are you willing to sacrifice to get what you want? Once that goal is achieved think of the gifts (your success) that you will be able to give all your friends and family that so have unconditionally have given love and support over the years! This part of your career is all mental--your the best bri because you already have been the best--think of 10 things that you are willing to give up for for 90 days and see what happens--1. men/relationships or the thoughts of. 2. shopping. 3. blogging 4. self loathing. 5.material things. 6. your time-i mean give more time to that one thing--7. sell your car--your blackberry-point is i think your distracted i have lived with an olympic gold medalist 2 of them in fact-what they gave up to be on that podium was incredible--how much more are you willing to give up--i say all this brianna cause i care and i sincerly have bought into your aspirations and i can say only meeting you once i large heart you! Your the answer bri please pick up the call. joe p. vegas/dc--forgive the spelling errors-

ivar said...

After looking over the commentary I like to make one more comment with regards to friends being supportive. My best friends are the ones who don't offer unconditional support and are very vocal about what I could do different or better.