Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Taking the Good with the Bad and Then Taking Action to Improve

When I started this blog my biggest fear was the thought of blogging after a bad race. So far this year I have been lucky enough to have solid performances that I have enjoyed blogging about. My race at the Penn Relays this past weekend is the farthest thing from a solid performance. It was downright ugly.

So here I go facing my biggest fear...This is my post-race blog after my worst race of 2013.

Taking the Good with the Bad.

The Good: I saw my mom for the second time in two weeks and we had a fun bike/run in the wildlife refuge outside of Philadelphia before I flew back to Florida. Also, I was able to see my coach for the first time in months and it was great to catch up on stuff besides just training.

Despite having such a poor performance I had several solid workouts in the two weeks leading up to this race. I take confidence from those workouts especially since they were on the track and this year track workouts have been a rare occurrence with the few times I have stepped on the track resulting in some pretty rough sessions. I know the solid sessions I put in the past few weeks and the other work I have put in this spring can still help me in future training and racing.

The Bad: Every step after mile 2 in my race.

I could go into the long list of why I ran so sub par and how awful I felt, but that won't get me anywhere. Instead my course of action is identifying areas in my daily life where I could improve so that my next race will be back in tune. The first step is making more time to be able to fit in the following improvements.

Cross Training (swimming/aqua jogging & biking) I have a pool in my complex and I plan to use it. Also, I own several different bikes so I need to get out the door and hit the roads and the trails. (I've actually already started on this since I've hopped in the pool after my last 4 runs for a nice, easy 15 minutes of aqua jogging and I plan on taking one of my bikes out for a real ride before the weekend is over.)

Going to the Gym (weightlifting/general strength) During the year I have gone to weightlifting with the team, but it doesn't always fall on the best day for my training or racing schedule so I have neglected some of the exercises I used to do. In the coming week I plan to join the gym that is in walking distance from my condo so that I can get in 2-3 weight lifting sessions per week and have another space to hold myself accountable for doing my general strength work/additional forms of cross training  (such as the elliptical, yoga classes).

Injury Prevention/Maintenance (stretching more, active stretching/drills, icing, sports massage) Although I feel I have done a decent job of doing these things I still went into my race with two nagging injuries. I think part of the solution is adding in the weightlifting/general strength I have been neglecting (If I can strengthen some areas that will help prevent some of these minor nagging injuries) while simultaneously increasing the time I spend stretching/doing other injury prevention. I also plan on scheduling an appointment with a chiropractor I know that has a great reputation with athletes to check my alignment to see if something in my stride is off causing my hip pain.

With these new training goals in my mind I look forward to a solid training cycle over the month of May. My next definite race on the calendar is not until June 22nd at the Half Marathon Championships, but I will be researching to find a race for approximately a month from now. In the mean time I will be training smart and staying positive!

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