Monday, July 07, 2014

Winds of Change Come Again

As the 2014 season continues to roll on I have accumulated a few more races and a few more experiences.  My new job with the Army has brought me a total of five weeks of schooling away from home.  Three weeks was spent at Ft. Rucker Alabama in the Aeromedical Psychology training program, which means I am now officially a flight psychologist.  That school was very cool but I'm not going to go into detail here.  The other school was Captains Career Course; two weeks in my "home town" of San Antonio Texas.  Another great school but this time focused on military officer stuff.  The only problem with the schools is they put somewhat of a crimp in my training.  Not so much the first school but definitely the second.  However, they were well worth it.

As far as races go I did the Albuquerque Half-Marathon on April 19th pleasantly surprising myself with a 1:45:31.  While not my fastest half it is one of my faster ones and I think my fastest at altitude.  While I was at Ft. Rucker I also got up near Birmingham to do the Run for Kids Challenge 50K.  This was a trail run consisting of 10 loops of single track trail through the Oak Mountain State Park.  It was a great little low-key race but one in which I had some troubles.  I have a hard time running on wooded courses because I'm not used to the roots or the dappled sunlight and so I end up tripping and falling a lot.

The trails aren't technical by any means but there was just enough to where I tripped and fell hard once per lap for the first four laps and then I just had to slow down because the falls were starting to take their toll.  I finished the race in 5:39 and then headed back to Ft. Rucker for two more weeks of Army Training Sir!

Finally, on a whim, Misty and I traveled to South Bend Indiana to run the Sunburst Marathon.  We had been apart for three weeks and i thought this would be a nice reunion and a way to pick up Indiana.  The race was very well done and it was a nice urban course.  My only problem with the course itself was that it had too much concrete.  I think there were several opportunities where there could have been less.  It was also pretty hot out but that's not something a race director really has control over.  As I said, it was a good race.  It started in the downtown area and finish at the Notre Dame football stadium.  Normally the race finishes on the field but that was being refurbished zoo we finished up at the foot of "Touchdown Jesus."

After that race I haven't done any others and training has been very difficult because I have suddenly developed chronic left knee pain.  I took a full week off and it has gotten significantly better but not completely better.  So far I have seen a family doc, a physical therapist and a chiropractor.  I have gotten that I have osteoarthritis, tight IT band and hip flexors and basically "what those guys said."  However, I've also been told by the same three people that I don't have any internal damage and that my knees are strong so we are collectively hoping that better hydration and some glucosamine will clear it up.

In the mean time I'm feeling a bit like the writing is on the wall for the demise of at least some aspects of my running.  I think that in order to preserve as much as possible as long as possible I'm going to try and stick exclusively to trails, limit myself to 50Ks and shorter and not worry as much about my time so I can do my races on lower weekly miles.  However, I think I'm going to invest the extra time into some serious weight training and dieting under the supervision of a professional bodybuilder who lives here in Albuquerque.  I know a body building approach isn't exactly compatible with distance running but it is more compatible with my body type and it won't prevent me from running, it will just slow me down, which I am cool with.

So, I still have lots of running left to do this season as well as another three week Army school (hopefully) but its also on to new and different things and hopefully a new and different body.

My new coach Korbie Ntiforo

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