Work IN 28: Andie Cozzarelli
Andie Cozzarelli is a professional runner for the Oiselle Haute Volée team. She's a 2:38 marathoner, and qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon. The road hasn't been smooth on her rise to becoming one of the nation's fastest marathoners, and she's constantly tweaking her training and recovery strategies.
This year one of Andie's big goals is to use Work IN to inform her recovery and mental fitness. She's been following along with all of you on the #workIN28 plan this February, and we're excited to check in with her!
In January you shared that one of your goals is to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Trials, and a step to support that goal is to use Work IN book + meditate for 10 minutes a day. How do you see the connection between meditation, rest, and reaching your goals?
I have now had two instances where I have pushed my body too far. I have always had this mindset that more is better, with the idea of recovery being more of an afterthought. I also have a habit of trying to be superwoman, fitting as much as I can into one day, while also making time to save the world. Working IN allows me to really recover.
In the last year I have been much better about taking it easy on easy days but in reality, I haven’t truly been recovering. My life stress is a constant so learning to manage this in combination with being more aware of my body will prevent me from over-reaching. Meditation is the best way to relieve stress and Work IN is a constant reminder to schedule rest into my day and break-up my workload. My ability to rest has been my biggest obstacle so making these changes will go a long way in accomplishing my goals.
How do you succeed in accomplishing your daily Work IN with so much on your schedule?
Working IN has allowed me to plan my day better. I am more aware of how I feel and when my mind and body need a break. I am more productive when I allow myself the time to unwind at certain points throughout my day. I therefore try to Work IN as it comes to me and every day before bed. I have created a pre-bed routine, doing a Jasyoga Video and then my meditation. It only takes about 20-25 minutes, time in which I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish much else. I have a tendency to beat myself up when I don’t do something I need to do so when life happens I recognize it but don’t let myself dwell on it.
Over the years you’ve had high highs and low lows — you finally figured out that you have an autoimmune disorder (Celiac), and have been making adjustments in nearly every aspect of training. What have you learned about recovery and listening to your body through it all?
Yes! My career thus far has been roller coaster. My freshman year, prior to finding out about my celiac disease, I struggled, stooping as low as crying through NCAA regionals in cross country. However, even then I didn’t know you could push your body too hard. When I got my diet figured out I was like a new person but the increased awareness of what I was eating manifested some new found obsessive behavior. I ran well until my 5th year when I became hyper-focused on every aspect of training, that by the time I got to NCAA Track Regionals, I was toast. 2017 was all about trying to heal my body from secondary amenorrhea. Even with this year of increased awareness of recovery and healing, I still didn’t manage it correctly going into CIM. I’ve learned that I can’t force things to happen. I have to be accepting of who I am, be mindful of what my mind and body is telling me
What day of #workIN28 are you on?
I am still on day 15 of Work IN (I missed day 15 yesterday due to traveling and wine 😊 on a girls weeked with family). I am excited for this week because I have found a lot of benefit in the visualization technique! I will likely keep the mantra meditation from days 8–14 consistent through this week as well.
What have you noticed so far? Challenges? Benefits?
I have found that it is hard for me to shut out other noises when I am meditating. Until I can deepen my practice I keep it quiet during. I also need to keep working on keeping my to-do list out of mind during my meditation.
I have found that I am better able to handle stressful situations. I am more productive and I feel like I have much more clarity on my training and the way I think about it.
We want to cheer you on on the road to your second OTQ! What’s the game plan this spring? Fall?
Right now I am working on some shorter faster stuff. I have found that working on my speed on the front side has worked well for me in the past so this in combination with Steph’s healthier training regime will pay off this spring. Right now these are the races I have planned with Grandmas being my goal race and either CIM or Indy in the fall. I want some redemption from CIM but am also eying the course record at Indy — I was 13 seconds off in 2016! Right now we are building out my season slowly depending on how I am feeling so this isn’t a complete list but what I have going for now!
- Florence Fourth – USATF NC 10k Championship, March 3rd
- Cooper River Bridge 10k, April 7th
- Grandmas Marathon, June 16th
Where can we follow you?
Twitter + Instagram: @run4acozz
I am also a founding member of the Raleigh Distance Project, an elite team we are developing right now. You can also follow me and the team there and on Instagram and Twitter.