There may be a reason that I'm so indecisive about making major decisions: when I do make plans and set firm dates, events conspire against me and my plans inevitably fall apart, leaving me to undo all of the preparations made by myself and others around my original schedule. Perhaps it is best to remain secretive and fluid; although then one gets appears to be unorganized and last-minute.
Such is the case with the 2011 summer track season. I had a very nice season of racing planned out in the USA, Canada and Europe, as you will have read in my previous post. Yet the legacy of my injuries throughout the fall and winter season, a fresh achilles injury, and a dose of anemia, all combined to frustrate my efforts to return to (and better) my 2010 form. My knee injury in the fall, and hamstring issues in the winter, although now resolved, prevented me from putting in consecutive weeks of solid miles and as a result, I lack the base fitness to be able to chase fast times. Possibly, (and I'm speculating here because causation is often difficult to ascertain) in straining to get back to fitness in time for the summer season, I may have hurt the achilles. Throw in an iron deficiency (and who knows when that developed!) and all of a sudden we have a recipe for slow times!
Indeed, I went down to London two weekends past, and ran 4:00.00 in the 1500m. It's remarkable that I hit such a nice round number, but precision carries little comfort. I went through 800m in 2:04 feeling fairly comfortable (although shocked because 2:09 in practice a few days either had been a struggle), and then 3:09 through 1200m again feeling comfortable. Yet that was the problem: I couldn't make myself work, hurt, or shift out of 3rd gear into a final kick. That's not the Matt Hulse we know and love!
So, Kev and I have revised our previous plans and decided upon another. This one has few dates and only a rudimentary timeline. Yet, if we do it properly, it could well be the start of something that helps me to run long, and run strong, as well as avoid the chances of straining to push the body into a race schedule it's not ready for. The following points are the major elements of the plan:
1) Get healthy. That involves consulting a doctor about my iron levels (done) and resting the achilles (in progress). To that end, Kev brought his old road bike out of hibernation and we got it fitted to my lanky frame today. This blue and chrome steed is a stallion among ponies and I have named it Dupree.....see the movie You, Me and Dupree for reference. I still need to master the art of pedal clips, although I'm sure that my slow motion, sideways tumble at the stoplight today provided a laugh for many a motorist.
2) Run big miles. We're talking over 60 miles per week here. Maybe even into triple digits. Now, it will take a while for me to get there and it won't be easy; I will have to learn patience and slow down on my runs but this is what is necessary to make the transition from a boy to a man. Thus, I will have the base required to run fast, and the strength to handle a greater workload without injury.
Anyway, that's about it really. Sounds simple, and it is, but it is also quite difficult and will demand constant attention to the small details. However, many have done such mileage before me and will do it after me, so I have faith that I'll get it done.
And on the topic of faith...I'll do my best to be more faithful with my blogging. Thanks for sticking with me! Catch you on the flip side!