Rebeka Stowe (Away) Blog - 11/2/14

Twitter & Instagram: @rebekastowe

My name is Rebeka Stowe. I am a sunflower state native, daughter, dreamer, music lover, and runner among other things; who is currently on an adventure filled journey to become the best I can be, in every area of life.

I grew up in Olathe, KS and attended Olathe Northwest High School, where I competed in multiple sports as well as participated in both Jazz and Concert band. After graduating in 2008 I was provided the opportunity to continue my running career in Lawrence, KS at the University of Kansas. My time at Kansas, as a student athlete was full of new friendships, experiences, challenges and a lot of fun. I completed my athletic career as a Jayhawk at the 2012 Olympic Trials. This experience paired with a lifelong dream of becoming a professional athlete and Olympian spurred me on and landed me in New Jersey. Which is where I currently reside and train with the New Jersey New York Track Club ( @njnytc).


Post Race Rituals

The time after a race can be an interesting one. You typically go through a wide range of emotion and feeling, from elation to frustration, regret to apathy. I definitely have felt these and more post race. I had a coach once tell me to always take 24 hours to process how I am feeling and then rehash from there. You have a great race, take 24 hours and be completely jacked. You run horribly, be upset and frustrated, but after 24 hours, drop it.  Letting either one carry on too long can be detrimental. I personally have found that working on emotion alone can be a very dangerous thing.

I just finished my first race of the Fall season at the 2014 Dash to the Finish Line. I finished 7th in 16:46 for 5k and was hoping for much better. Road racing in New York and finishing in Central Park was such fun experience, especially because this specific race covers the last mile or so of the iconic New York marathon course. I had a great time, as the New York Road Runners put on magical events, but I finished my race quite frustrated. I competed well over the last mile, but there were so many things that I did early on that had I pushed past, would have set me up for a better finish.  I was kicking myself the whole cool down plus some.

Anyway, I chose this topic because I believe it is important to develop post race rituals. Every racing experience and season is a learning opportunity. You have to develop a plan as to how your are going to learn, just like you might develop a plan for how you might study for an exam. It is easy to look back on an experience and only see a missed opportunity, then proceed to beat yourself up about it. It is also easy to have a great race or season and become over confident and lazy, forgetting all of the work and little things you did that helped get you to that success (I did this my sophomore year in HS after a successful freshman season, 4th to 15th isn’t the direction you want to go). The great thing about our sport is that every race provides the opportunity to learn and there is almost always another race to take your newfound knowledge to and test it out.

So what I have started doing is this. I feel how I feel. This is important; I don’t force myself away from the emotion. I have found this as part of the process as I work into thinking more rationally. Then. I write down 2 things that I did well. (Do the good first!) I follow this with 2 things that I want/need to improve on. Then, I brainstorm and talk with a coach or friend/teammate about what I can do on a daily/weekly basis to get better at those things.  As well as finding a quote or saying to meditate on during runs/workouts that applies to my area that needs work.

Here is my example from this past week:

+ (pro) I ran my own race.

+ (pro) I competed very well in the last 800

+/- (pro/work) stayed mentally connected to the front pack throughout the race, but never took real action to get to them

-        (work) I ran in fear of blowing up for the first half of the race


I will take more risks within practice, pushing a little more earlier on in the workout to test limits of mind and body.

***”Behold the turtle. He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.” –James Bryant Conant***

Goals and dreams can be a driving factor in all of life. It is important to have the bit and the little. Resilience is a character trait that is often underrated. When you learn how to learn from the tough times ad persevere through, your building character that will ultimately lead you to some pretty great things.

I kept up to date on that State meets this past weekend and I am excited for you all! I found myself reminiscing. Congratulations on your 2014 Cross Country Season! I want to challenge whoever reads this to look back on the season and your finals few meets. Identify your strengths and weaknesses, and then get to dreaming for your future =)

 @rebekastowe @njnytc POST RACE RITUALS