Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The 2010 Sporting Year in Review - Part 1 - Running

Well earlier this year I laid out my goals for the year, at least as far as my sporting life is concerned. I thought by doing so it would help me to plan the year better and also force me not to be too lazy. Well, this didn't go exactly as I planned.

My biggest issue was an unplanned injury. Of course no injuries are planned, but I really didn't see this one coming at all. One day fine, the next down for the count. My left leg went and let me down. My IT Band was tight, my knee was sore and my ankle seized. All the muscles in the leg were working against me, preventing any running from happening. This I already wrote about. Anyway, I stopped running and pretty much stopped cycling for awhile. I swam a bit, but even kicking my leg for the breast stroke hurt.

My first planned race was the 5K Lung Run. Instead I watched it as my wife ran. I was glad to see her do so well. My next was to be the Bluenose. This race I had paid for well in advance and I just decided to run the blasted thing anyway, taking it easy and enjoying it as best I could. I ran slowly and managed to pull off a time a minute faster than the year before. Not the 42 minute time i hoped for but still, an improvement.

Some more rest, some stretching and the Duathlon season was upon me. I'll cover it that in another post, but needless to say I ran through that.

It seems running fast kept the pain at bay. The only time the pain came in was near the end of the runs as I slowed due to fatigue and my form started to fail. Eventually I got a new pair of shoes (thanks Aerobics First for all the help) and some great medical help (thanks Dr Jason Gray) and my leg found some strength.

My next race was the Bedford 5K. Same result as last year, 7th place, with a slightly slower time. But the run felt good. It was really humid day and all the times were slower. So I didn't feel so bad. Finally I was able to run again and train again.

At this point I didn't really have a specific race to look forward to but continued to train for further duathlons. I had hoped (as I mentioned in my goals) to do 3 stand alone running events this year. The opportunity did arise as it turns out.

I was lucky to be invited to join a Rum Runners team, Runningmania.com. My leg was to be Leg 7, a 10.7K hilly route from Hubbards to East Chester. It was my first foray into the world of relay running. And I had a blast. Not only did I have a fun day spent with great friends, but I blazed through my route to a 7th place finish, in a time that would shame my best 10K run but almost a minute. For me this showed that I was back, I could run again. My disappointments from earlier in the year were erased.

What have I learned from 2010? Don't fret when an injury happens. Find a solution to the problem and get it fixed. I learned that proper running footwear is essential and having a knowledgeable person help you get that information is key. A proper strength training and stretching regime is essential, especially as we get older, to help prevent and eliminate injuries.  Oh and have fun, enjoy the run.

I have already started to up my training for next year. It is time to get those base miles in (kilometers I guess). Though I never fancied myself a distance runner, I do plan on training for the Bluenose Half Marathon next year. I figure this will be a great source of run training for my attempt at improving my duathlon and triathlon run times. Some endurance never hurt. I am sure I will talk more about this as the next season starts.
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