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.
We left washington at 6pm and 7 hours later after a plane ride where I didn't really catch much sleep, I was in Belgium, only it was 7am now.
We all made our way to the place we are staying (you can get an idea if you watch the flotrack video welcome to leuven as they are basically next door). The individual rooms are pretty small but no biggie.
Mo and I wanted to crash so bad but knew that the best way to adjust was to stay up all day and get adjusted as quickly as possible. But man we were tired! So we made a compromise and took a nap for about an hour on our mattresses w/ no sheets.
After the nap we've basically been keeping ourselves busy so that we don't get tempted to fall asleep.
We took a walk into the town and its what u would imagine a european town to be like. Lots and lots of little cafes and the like, plus lots of little stores. After a bit of confusion on what were actually sheets we bought some bedding, then ate at a little local place and made our way to the grocery store where we ran into david krummenacker.
The grocery shopping was another mini adventure as u have no idea what the brands are and what is good or not. Choosing which Non refigerated milk to get was kind of weird. I mean whens the last time you've seen milk that wasn't refigerated in the US.
So that's it for now. We are about to go for a nice little run.
My Canadian race series didn't go too well. I had some allergy/asthma trouble in Vancouver/Victoria so those were pretty much useless. Although going through 1200 in 3:01-2 and then running like 53-4 for my last 300 was pretty impressive... I don't think I've ever fallen apart so bad. On the bright side, I did come through 12 in 3:01 feeling pretty good.
The other race was a road mile that went okay. It was a lot of fun and a well put on race, just the course was a little crazy. It made for an interesting and entertaining race at least. There were a lot of sharp/tight turns, so lots of momentum killers, which for a rhythm runner like me isn't the best, but it was a lot of fun racing there. So, if you want an interesting race that's pretty fun, check out the Northlands Edmonton road mile next year. The race director, Matt Norminton, does an excellent job, especially for a first year event.
After Canada I've been back in Houston, with the exception of a couple day trip to Cancun, Mexico to see my friend Paulo get married. The wedding was a lot of fun and it was good to catch up with old friends.
The Houston heat and humidity has been killing me. You forget how bad it is until you come back and experience it. It made the first weeks worth of runs pretty rough, but I've been bale to string together a series of very good workouts, especially considering they are done at 7:30-8am in the morning when it is "Only" in the upper 80's with about 1000000% humidity.
On the Fourth of July I'm headed back to D.C., and then a couple days later I'm headed over to Europe to race. I'll try and update this blog frequently while I'm over there so come back often.
As I get everything sorted out, I'll post my race schedule too.
Lastly, as I promised earlier, I'll post the training of the HS kids track season for whoever wants it. Feel free to ask questions, critique it, or whatever. I'm always trying to learn and adjust. I don't believe there are any secrets in training. In addition, I'm a huge believer in individualization, which is why I have no problem posting the following training. It was designed for a certain number of athletes with unique physiological characteristics. Someone more talented than these kids could do the exact same schedule and fall flat on their face. Why? Because there makeup might be different, or there previous training might be different.
Remember that the training below is the results of basically a 3yr progression so far. So that each season, each training period, each year, builds on the other. So, keep that in mind when looking at the workouts.