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.

Making the Best of a Bum Knee

About a week and a half ago, my left knee started bothering me. I thought it was nothing, so I continued running through it. The pain never got too bad, but it persisted, so I have decided to take some time off of running to let it heal. I have been seeing a physical therapist/chiropractor, Brett Darrington, that helped me recover from many an injury in high school. Here are some pictures my teammates and I sent to Brett for his help in high school: Thanks from Jason, 2005 Royal Cross Country team, 2004 State Champions.

While I wait for Brett’s magic to kick in and let the knee heal, I have been swimming a lot. This month I have swam almost 23 miles. I am really working on improving my stroke as opposed to increasing my swim fitness. I want to be quick and efficient through the water and swimming hard intervals with poor form won’t get me there. With this in mind, I stopped by Big 5 Sporting Goods a couple days ago to pick up a Nike pull buoy and Speedo paddles. After three days of using these new toys I am already feeling a difference. Today, I set a PR in the 50y by two seconds — 30 seconds. Now I need to focus on hitting 50y splits in 30 seconds on my way to 200, 400, 800 yards and beyond.

Getting My Head Wet

The semester cannot end soon enough. Somehow, four out of the five classes I am taking have a final project. This wouldn’t be so bad if the projects replaced final exams, but that is the case for only one of my classes. I just need to make a push these next few days and it will all be over. It can’t be as tough as training, right?

Since I am running less right now, I have found some time to get into the pool a few times and in the weight room. Each session in the pool is better than the previous, which is encouraging. I can only hope this trend continues and my progression doesn’t stagnate. I did a measly weight session with teammates Will Porter, Kam Holbrook, and Myles Kloer. Kam and Will have been encouraging me to “get my swell on” with them. Three exercises later and we were off to dinner. Sadly, I have been quite sore from benching 115 lbs and curling 25 lbs. Ouch.

In 5 days I will be done with finals/projects and preparing to hike Mt. Humphreys with my girlfriend. More on that to come…