Dealing With Injuries

Today was NAU’s first meet of the 2010 Indoor season. Instead of racing a mile or 3k, or both, I ran 20 minutes at about 8 minute miles an hour before the meet started. Good news is that my last three runs have been pain free and it is looking like I am finally nipping this knee problem in the butt.

When the injury first came on, I figured it was nothing and I continued to push on. I wanted to come back to Flagstaff in really great shape and ready to start doing some hard workouts. It looks like the injury was more severe than I had thought, as this was three weeks ago. It can be really difficult to discern when there is a real problem and when there is just a little bit of soreness. Honestly, if I did it over again, I probably would go about the injury in a similar fashion. Running is hard and little aches are expected, but they should still be treated. The important thing for me to learn from this is that a day or two off, especially in DECEMBER, is not going to hurt me come outdoor season.

I was perusing some of the recent videos of Flotrack and found this one by UNC’s coach Pete Watson. He suffered 11 stress fractures and 4 broken sacrums during his running career. Needless to say, he has some good insight on dealing with injuries that he shares in this video.

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

Back in Flagstaff

On Sunday I returned to Flagstaff after a great four week stay in Simi Valley. I have not been able to jump back into training with my teammates, as I am still fighting a sore knee. The good news is that I got an MRI and there is nothing serious — no tears. Basically there is some inflammation behind the patella (knee cap) that is causing the pain. When the swelling goes away, the pain should follow suit.

My last post I mentioned setting resolutions, or goals, for the new year. With this minor setback, I may have to alter a few ambitions, but hopefully the big picture remains the same.

2010 Goals

  • Continue to improve my running by logging high mileage weeks.
    • This track season I really want to improve my 5000 time of 14:50 and my steeplechase of 9:09.
    • Compete at NCAA Cross Country Championships once again and improve on my 95th place finish of 2009. The ultimate goal is to be an All-American — top 40.
  • Improve my swimming.
    • I will try to get in the pool at least once a week for the entire year. Obviously, when time and running permits, I will spend more time in the pool.
    • Seek out coaching to improve my stroke.
    • Compete in some of the Ventura Splash and Dash aquathlon series events, assuming the series continues in 2010.
  • Compete in more triathlons.
    • I had a great time competing in the Breath of Life triathlon last June, and will likely do this one again.
    • As of now, the San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island in July is on my calendar. As I understand the rules, if I am one of the top-3 amateurs I will earn my elite license.

Now for a shout out: Congratulations to my girlfriend, Tina Johnson, for her first Half Marathon last Saturday! My parents and I went down to Irvine to watch Tina compete in her first race over 5k! She did a great job and I am so very impressed and proud that she has become a runner just like me.