Saturday, June 27, 2009

Difficult Decision

It felt great to get in a workout last Saturday.  A combo of controlled speed (2 x 600m @ 1:44) and some decent repeats in spikes (2 x 300m @ 45.5) after a warm up and a solid 2 x 200m @ about 28 per.  No issues w/ the back/hip, but unfortunately the left calf and adductor that have been very tight since the back flare up felt tight the next day.  Sure enough, during the session w/ the CMT on Monday those areas weren't the greatest.  

At that point, it became pretty clear what I had ahead of me this summer.  I could scale back my workouts and up my treatments for a few weeks and then try to get in a few weeks of sharpening (albeit after some fitness loss) in an attempt to perhaps get in one or two races at the end of the summer - OR - I could make the decision to simply pull the plug here, get some rest for a couple of weeks, enjoy the summer w/ the family a bit more and then get a head start on what will be a very elaborate build for next year.

Clearly I was disappointed that it was coming to this.  But to be perfectly honest, during those few hours when the back/hip thing came out of nowhere and I was wondering when I'd even be able to walk let alone run - the thought did enter my mind that this season at best would be compromised, and at worst could be in serious jeopardy.  

After examining my goals the decision became pretty clear cut.  The original goal for this season was to gain some experience, run about six 800m races and finish up running at Nationals in early August.  No shot at placing this year, just gain the experience of running in a big meet and be as competitive as possible.  I say 'August' because Nationals have been run the first weekend in August every year for a while - however I discovered in May that this year, the Nationals meet was moved up to July 9th.  Immediately I knew I would not be in good enough shape to feel comfortable running in that meet in early July, so the goals shifted to simply gaining some racing experience and have fun running locally w/ my 'big meet' actually being the first one on May 24th.  

Longer term, the goal was unchanged - get to 2-flat or better and look to be competitive enough for a top-5 finish at Nationals.  (I never posted these goals because I wanted to get one solid race under my belt first to confirm that it was at least quasi-realistic)

Being that Nationals were already out for this year, and w/ the limited training I'd be able to do the rest of the way, the chances of going 2-flat this season dropped from slim to none.  So what it really came down to was - would I rather enjoy running a few races towards the end of the season w/o the times being what I'd like or would I rather let the body rest up a bit, continue w/ the massage treatments to finish flushing everything out, and get about a 6-week head start on my training for next season.  (the last part obviously giving me a better chance of hitting my longer term goals)

So like I said, with the longer term goals taking priority, the decision became quite clear.  

I can't say it's the greatest feeling in the world to be pulling the plug on this season already, especially after the freak fall that screwed up my hand killed the winter season - but to be honest, I'm very thankful to have been able to run what was going to be my biggest meet anyway in May.  The experience I gained in that one race will help me tremendously next time out.

In the next post I'll go over the training plan.  There will be several additions to the weekly routine . . . 


bricey said...


That's a tough call. A break may just be what you need and nothing can beat quality family time!!

The injury certainly pulled the plug on a 'competitive' season but as you said this year was about gaining race experience and validating you goals (which are certainly achievable). I'm sure that you've learnt alot even from the one race you had. It seems that there are still some residual issues with the injury so your decision is probably the right one in the long run.

But.... assuming that the injury clears up you might still consider a few races towards the back end of the season "for the experience" & without worying about times??


Ewen said...

I know how disappointing that must be Mike. One race for the season is a tough call. Still you showed heaps of promise in that one.

Good luck in the off-season - and also in keeping "she who must be obeyed" happy ;)

Mark said...

2-flat or better in the 800? Way to set the bar high and go for it-nice.