Friday, April 23, 2010

Racing on my Mind

I am a sucker for my training log. Probably no surprise to most who know me as I've kept a detailed training log since I first started running year round in 1982, and have documented every run that I've done. I love going back through it and reviewing it from time to time. The training log doesn't lie and you can quickly tell if you are ready to start thinking about specific goals for a race.

Looking back to this past January, I was in the worst shape of my life due to the knee injury that had hampered me since October. I was still running 20mins very easy each day, but this was certainly not training and things were not looking optimistic. I had gained weight, lost all fitness and was not in a good place. I was even at the point where I was thinking that I might have to take a day (something I hadn't done in over 20years), or extended period of time off of running to get healthy. Looking back on it, I probably should have put a little more emphasis on doing some cross training to maintain cardio fitness, but I really don't enjoy it. For me, it's all about the run. That's what I love. Getting out on the trails daily, exploring nature and feeling alive.

Fortunately, things finally started to turn around in late January with a renewed focus on doing everything possible to get better and I began to see some improvement. Through a combination of laser treatment, Active Release Therapy, acupuncture, foam rolling, Stick Massage, strength training/rehab exercises, Tanda SLD light therapy and even diet changes, things started improving.

February was a bit of a transition month, then I finally began to feel like I was actually training again in early March. March and April have been great months with the past 7 weeks all being over 11 hours of running each week with a high week so far of just under 17 hours. My long run is now up to 4:30 and I feel like I can further increase this as well as I felt really strong on this one.

The one thing that I am a little surprised with is that some of the times that I'm running on my standard routes have gotten faster than I remember ever doing them before in past years. I am at a bit of a loss on this with all of the time that I had to cut back. As much as I don't want to admit it and don't want to go there again, maybe some downtime is what my body needed to recharge itself a bit.

With the way that I'm feeling right now I am anxious to do a race sometime soon. I haven't decided what yet, but whatever I do I want it to be a very low key event and just get the time in as more of a training effort and not think about racing it. I had thought about Pick Your Poison 50km next weekend, but am probably leaning more towards waiting until the end of the month. Sulphur Springs 50km and 50mile is about the right timing, but I'm not sure I want to run that course (jinxed as I am there).

There are a few races in the US that have peaked my interest in May and June, with the Laurel Highlands Ultra being one of them. Any suggestions of other races are certainly welcome.


  1. As much as I don't want to admit it and don't want to go there again, maybe some downtime as what my body needed to recharge itself a bit.

    I just fell off my chair! :)

  2. Glad to hear your back in fine running form Derrick. I totally understand what your saying, for the first time since I started running I'm realizing that I'm not superwoman...ole school isn't going to work for me anymore. For me cross training meant walking the dogs then running but ever since I got this hamstring/leg injury or whatever it was or stil kinda is I've finally seen the light. The prospect of not ever running again is not in the cards for this girl so I'm now doing everything under the sun to keep the machine going. I love Sara's comment!

  3. Thanks Sue. Hope your ham is improving.

    The whole thing with my knee kind of started from coming back too soon after Haliburton, while neglecting to continue doing the rehab stuff that had kept my knee happy for so long. I've since re-committed to doing rehab after each and every run to avoid the same thing from happening again.

    Good luck in France!

    And, yes....funny comment by Sara. The tone sounds somewhat familiar.