Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pre-Race Ramble

For those who don't know, Sulphur Springs Trail Run will always have my heart. Sure, there are other events that I do enjoy being at more; mostly because they are smaller events. But Sulphur was my very first running race and trail race - 10km that I will never forget and I never even got a finisher's medal! This Saturday will be my third race at Sulphur Springs and I can't wait to get there!!

This year of racing hasn't been the kind I wanted so far. I wasn't trained for the ICY-8 in February and didn't go. Then about three days before what would have been my first 24-hour race last month, I ended up with a stomach bug that wiped me out and I couldn't recover in time. Sulphur Springs was supposed to be my first crack at the 50M barrier and I've downgraded to 25KM. Part of the reason is because I still don't feel like I've trained enough for 50M. The other part of the reason is that I feel as though I'm pushing myself too fast to get through these "mileage" zones. I would have downgraded to the 50K but they were already sold out.

In many respects the old adage that you need to crawl before you can walk really applies here. I still need to lay down a strong foundation of training and figure out what really does work for me and what doesn't. My IT band has been niggling at me for the past few weeks and I know it's because I haven't been working on my glutes and core training. I need to learn to train properly and I don't mean just packing on total miles during the week. The more I read about and listen to my running "mentors", the more I realize that yes, they have lots of good advice about mileage training plans but they also cross-train. Even if it's mountain biking, yoga, quasi-crossfit, swimming, or hiking, they do cross-train and they all seem to agree that it helps.

Considering my running goals for this year are shelved anyway, I figure that I'll use this summer and the races I have left as a "training" year. I'm going to work hard and pay attention to my body and to my abilities. I want to figure out what mileage increases are good for me and will produce results. I want to work on endurance and speed (although endurance is more important to me right now). I know I need to work on hill-training and I'm absolutely aware I need to work on my mental focus and try to wipe out the negative thoughts that currently plague me during a race.

My goals have definitely changed this year but the more I really think about it, I believe I'm doing the right thing for me. Those mileage barriers aren't going to change but my performance can. So instead of focusing on just getting past those mileage markers, I'm going to focus on becoming a better runner. Now that seems like a reasonable goal!


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