I'm not sure where to begin, so we'll start with the racing, which pretty much went horribly. I "ran" two races and strained my hamstring in both. Looking back at the video, I was horribly flat the first race, which is to be expected since it was only a couple days after we made the long travel there. When I'm flat I tend to reach out with my lower leg which puts a lot of stress on the hamstring, especially since it's already been aggrevated during the season.
So, that first race, I strained my hamstring almost 1km into it. I took some time off, got it worked on by our awesome massage guy over there (Austin Bailley- highly recommend him). He got me back in order where I could run about 28 second pace 200s without it grabbing. So I gave it a go in another 1,500m in Ghent. It went really well for 900m... I decided to be real aggressive and went out right on the back of the rabbit, 57 through the 400m and 1:57ish through 800m. I felt the best I've felt in a looooong time, as the pace actually felt comfortable. I almost went around the rabbit twice, but told myself to be patient and hammer it once he drops. I took over after 800m, and 100m later my hamstring grabbed going into the turn...
And that was it for running. So, that pretty much sucked.
Besides the running, it was a fun trip. Everyone was really cool and it was fun just hanging out. I met some amazing people, ate lots of good food (especially waffles), and got to see some sights with a day trip to Antwerp and another trip to Paris.
It was motivating because I definately want to come back and make amends for my horrible racing. I really think I was good to go that 2nd race. It's hard to explain but I haven't felt that comfortable going out that quick since HS. In a way it's got me excited for what's to come. If I can just stay healthy, good things are to come. That race in Ghent is the closest I've felt to being able to bust one in years.
What's next? Some time off to heal everything up, then get back at it. I know I've said this for a bit, but I really want to give some longer stuff a go. Some 3ks indoors and 5ks outdoors would be nice.
I'll try and post some training stuff too, because I know a lot of the people who follow this blog do so for that. In europe we had some interesting discussions on a couple training topics, so I might use that as fuel for a couple posts.
Lastly, I'm coaching a couple more people besides the regular HS group I have the past couple years, so that should provide some interesting analysis for the blog as there racing gets going. I'm also considering branching out and making it a semi part time gig and coach more athletes, but not sure yet.