With the Jingle Bell Jog 8K a few weeks ago, the end of the 2007 running season is here and I thought I'd post my thoughts for posterity.
My 2007 was a mixed bag. Things were good in that I set a number of personal records (PR) for various distances. Bad in that I had a much more ambitious race schedule but was thwarted by a variety of injuries. Each year I think I'm running smarter than the last but I've yet to have an injury-free season ever.
Injuries are part of running, so the best thing you can do is try to prevent them through smart training and recuperation. When that fails, pay attention to your body and take preventative measures as soon as you sense something is wrong. The problem is that a lot of runners are hard-headed, and I'm no exception. When everything points to an injury and rest is the prescription, we tend to run, often harder, and that results in more trouble. That practice kept me out of the Riley's Rumble Half-Marathon, Annapolis 10-Mile Run, the Parks Half Marathon and a couple other events.
On the other side of the coin I set PRs in the Rockville 10K, World Wide Half-Marathon, Rockville Twilight 8K, Bethesda Trolley 5-Miler, plus came within about 6-seconds of setting another PR in the Chevy Chase Turkey Chase.
While the positives are well, positive, I tend to focus on the negative or what could have been. Here's what I learned over the course of the season:
- (1) Set a goal, (2) Develop a plan, (3) Stick to it. The third thing is the one that challenges me the most.
- Running more frequently during the week at shorter distances kept my body more acclimated to the pounding;
- I prepared better nutrition-wise for weekend long runs (add carbs and experimenting with race day meals);
- Adding a short run the day before a long run or race kept my body loose and made the first few miles of those events a lot easier;
- Base Training might be the key to much success. Listen to this, Base Training, to get a great education.
Given this new found knowledge I'm anxious for next season to start so I can build on these 2007 experiences. At this point I'm flirting with the idea of doing another marathon since I think I can make it through the training injury-free. More on that in a future post.