Well, it’s Cinco de Mayo and you know what that means? No, I won’t be crawling into the bottom of a tequila bottle and forgetting where I left my pants. Instead, I want to take some time to summarize and reflect on my first spring racing season.
Let’s start back on January 19th with the Chevron Houston Marathon. I start here because the marathon represents a certain period of training that involves a large amount of strength training and not a lot of speed training. I ran 2:55:59 for my first race at the distance, and came away with such a profound high that I found myself ready to tackle the next goal, whatever it may be. I only took a couple days off after that race because I didn’t feel broken down and tired like many do after peaking at the marathon.
January mileage: 253
On February 15th, I switched gears and ran a 1600m race on the track in 5:09. This race wasn’t exactly ideally timed for a fast race given almost no speed training, but it was faster than I had ever completed that distance by 42 seconds. It was in February that I was blessed to be chosen as a Brand Ambassador for Skechers Performance division. I also started doing ancillary training twice a week, which included form drills, hurdle exercises, and core strengthening.
February mileage: 302
On March 15th, I ran my first 5k since July in 17:49. This was over 1:20 off of my previous PR. The following Sunday, March 23, I completed the Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon in 1:22:06. This was my first half marathon, and a it was a hard fought battle on a tough course with windy conditions. Although the time didn’t reflect what I wanted, it was a confidence boost for following through on a race even when I wasn’t feeling good.
March mileage: 316
On April 6th, I ran the Statesman Capitol 10,000 in 36:26, a 2.5 minute PR. I followed this up with 3 5k races in 3 weeks – Vern’s No Frills 5k: 17:39, Sunshine Run 5k: 17:33, Chuy’s 5k (May 3rd): 17:38. I had hoped to break 17:30 (and perhaps even 17) this spring, but some nagging issues and an exhausting schedule left nothing in the tank for this breakout. I have to remember that milestones such as these are purely arbitrary and mean very little beyond giving me a launch pad for further training.
April mileage: 268
Needless to say, I’m exhausted. I’ve raced A LOT, especially considering my lack of racing background. The high intensity running has taken a toll on my body and I’ve started noticing more nagging injuries, particularly in my right hamstring, calves, and knee. So, finally, I’m going to take a short break from training. I imagine that this time will amount to about 7-10 days, but I’m keeping an open mind to make sure I’m both mentally and physically ready to get back to work. Although it pains me to not strike while the iron is hot, I know that these breaks are necessary to keep the body and mind from burning out and preventing a long, competitive career. After this break, I plan to begin building my base over the summer to setup some fast cross country races during the fall season.
I’ve been fortunate to work with some very talented people who have helped me stay healthy and race ready. Thank you to Doug Consiglio for your masterful massages and Olympic stories. Also, thank you to Dr. Wilder and Advanced Rehab for the ART work and physical therapy. I will continue to work with these people to ensure I’m firing on all cylinders.