New Year, Same Season

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! It's been an exciting two months so far in 2013. A lot has happened in that short period of time and I'm so excited to share it with you all. Even though it may be a new year, to me it still is the same season. Track season.

I've had 4 meets so for, with two being indoor meets and two being all-comers meets. UC Davis was the 1st all-comers meet, and the first meet I've run since March of 2012. Yes I had some butterflies, and it was just supposed to be a workout type of race. The butterflies are normal I expect, since I hadn't raced in 10 months. It was a solid day and great preparation for my first indoor meet in Washington at the University of Washington. Boy was I a nervous wreck for that race. Pretty sure 20 minutes before my race I was texting my coach in a frantic state because I felt like I didn't know what I was doing.

I didn't expect to be that nervous, but with my last indoor race being in February of 2011 now I look back and think, well maybe that's why I was going a little cray cray. I walked away with a solid race and a new personal best for an opener of 2:11.71. But I wasn't too happy, I felt like I had so much strength over the last 400 but no type of speed to turn over when I wanted to. The next two weeks were about getting some turn over in my legs and just feeling confident again about running fast. The next all-comers meet I ran a 550 meter race. YEAH, weird race to run, I know. There really isn't a race strategy to have when racing something longer than the 400m and shorter than the 800m. I went out and got 2nd but my overall race splits were pretty impressive. We took that as an indicator, along with workouts from that week as well, that I was ready to run fast.

On February 9th I was back up at the University of Washington ready to run fast and compete hard. Surprisingly I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. I have the silliest habit before races, that at times I feel like it is a contributor to me running fast, when in fact it really isn't, but I like to pretend that it has some type of affect. Before races I HAVE to get my neck to crack. Hey, maybe it releases some tension or endorphin that sends fast fibers to my legs (yes I just made that up). But back to the story.

I got on the line ready to compete and lay it all out there. I knew the field was going to go out fast and I was ready to follow my race plan to the tea. The thing is, they didn't go out at fast as I would have hoped, but I went through the 400m in the back of the pack right at the time coach wanted for me. Trying to move up through the pack I found myself stuck behind someone. It's a lot harder to move in an indoor race than it is outdoors, but I feel I'm pretty experienced at racing, so the key was to be patient and calm. I made my move up with about 200m to go and from there I felt strong. "Hey keep moving! You got this," I can remember this going through my head as I took the lead and powered down the home stretch to my 1st win as a post collegiate.

I honestly didn't feel like I had ran that fast due to the fact that I have never felt that strong at the end of a race, but I sure was mistaken. As the announcer's voice bellowed over the speakers, " Dominique Jackson with the win. Unofficially 2:05.94." WHAT?! My eyes got big and I walked off the track a little stunned and overly happy at the same time. Two of my old coaches were at the meet, so I found my way to both of them and was welcomed with the biggest hugs I could ask for at that moment. The announcer finally said I had run 2:06.00 officially, but a that point it really didn't matter, I was already on cloud 16.

I'm excited to compete at the USA Indoor Nationals next weekend. This will be my first time competing at the USA Senior Indoor Championships and I'm glad I have the chance to finish out my indoor season. They will be held in Albuquerque, NM on Friday March 2nd and 3rd. Please feel free to watch them live. Friday it will be televised on Universal Sports from 6 - 8pm ET and Saturday on NBC Sports Network from 4 - 6pm ET.

Good luck to all completing their indoor seasons soon and to all starting their outdoor seasons! 2013 is in full swing.