Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wake up call

A "wake up call" is what I decided to call my Gate River race. Although the weekend was a blast, and I had a great time getting to know some of the guys, the race itself wasn't what I was hoping for. I began contemplating what exactly I had done wrong in the preparation for this last race. It soon became quite clear, lack of preparation was exactly the problem.

Ever since I started grad school in 2007 I became accustomed to relying on the running talent I had, and a couple good runs a weeks, to help me win local road races. Most of these were 5k or mile races and usually took about a 14:30 (no altitude) to win. This type of racing and training was easy to maintain and worked well for the schedule I had at the time. Upon graduation I swore to myself that I would try to take running seriously again, at least for a couple years before responsibilities(i.e. kids) took precedence. After graduation last November, I really pursued my dream and trained upwards of 110 to 120 miles a week with good solid workouts. However, this was easier to maintain as I wasn't working, just studying to take my boards. Come January, I posted what I felt was a good race at Houston and everything was right in the world.

After Houston, I started working 4 to 5 days a week, and my training started taking a back seat, much as it did in grad school. My mileage dropped to around 80 to 90 mpw, and even though I was putting in solid workouts, I didn't have the cumulative fatigue effect you need for running at a high level in races longer then 5k's. Hence, the sub-par performance at Gate River. It was however awesome to end up getting second as a team, and I'm proud of my teammates for helping to make the trip much more worthwhile.

So now, after this realization, I am back to training 120 miles a week, with solid workouts and no excuses. And even if I don't achieve the goals I have in mind over the next couple of months, at least I will be able to look at myself in the mirror and say I did the work and went for it!

Best of luck out there everyone!

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