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Clues & Lessons (race recap)
by on Sunday, April 28, 2013  (4 comments)

Yesterday, I donned my BTC racing kit for the first time -- first race this year and first race since October '12 -- for the Boulder Distance Classic 5K. Overall, training had seemed to be going well, though it had admittedly been diminished the past few weeks. Regardless, I was excited to finally get to race and the weather was getting really nice. My race execution was what I had planned: get out to an aggressive start and cruise through the first mile, pick it up for the second mile, and then push hard in the third mile. However, that plan left me with a finish that was not at all satisfactory, even given the slow nature of the race course: 35th overall in 18:57. I laid it all out there, showed up and ran the best I could on the day. I make no excuses, yet I am wondering about what reasons might be holding me back from racing faster. First would be the aforementioned flimsiness of my recent training. The structure itself is sound, it could just use more volume, which I will be correcting. I am also reminded of the ancillary strength training I have not yet implemented. Aside from those details, I have been feeling significantly low in energy lately (including the morning of the race) and in reading a NYT article today that mentioned symptoms of sleep disorder it occurred to me to start being more disciplined in getting sleep. The other possibility (which lack of sleep would lead to) is adrenal fatigue, so I will also be cutting out coffee and alcohol for the next few weeks to see how that helps. The good news is that I am confident in both pinpointing clear issues and knowing steps to take to work on eradicating them. It was also good to be around the team at a race, there was a really good group energy there to keep my mind off my disappointment. The great news is that two guys I coach had really good races, plus I now have photos of me racing in my new club uni!

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Even though you did not get the result you wanted I am sure that you are glad to get the first rust buster of the season out of the way. I find that to race my best 5k I have to race them often or else it is hard for me to race at that level of discomfort. I usually notice a huge improvement after the 1st or 2nd.

I hope your low energy problems are just a temporary low spot in training. Most likely it is due to lack of sleep as you suspect.

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Andrew, it sounds like you gave a solid effort at least. I find that half the battle with the first race of a season is running it adequately hard. I lock into workout mode and find I have too much left at the end. I hope you figure out the fatigue issues soon and, with another tune-up race or two, can be running up to your expectations.

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If you honestly gave it your all - you should be proud of that. Just don't be satisfied. You are very intelligent when it comes to training and racing. It sounds like you have some solid ideas of what will help you. Get that fatigue beat then build your volume and soon you will be more satisfying results.

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Andrew A.

For whatever it may be worth, I did bounce back to have a couple of satisfying workouts this week, and my energy was not great going into either.

Some minor notes about the race: The R.D. had Uta Pippig (in the race field, jogging in t-shirt and pants) address us prior to the start. I get it, she is a former Boston winner. Yet why people in the running community around here continue to uphold a PED cheat (and so far as I know, an unrepentant one) is beyond me, it is just lame. If she wants to enter and run races, fine, I am not suggesting we tar-and-feather her yet on the same token how about we not give her any spotlight? In the first mile, I spotted a runner I had been coaching earlier this year though had not seen her prior and did not know she would be there. I cruised up to her and then shot by as we hit the one-mile mark - I know that she has a lot of talent yet did not know how fit she might be. She did not put up a fight. I also spotted another athlete up ahead whom I coached and trained with a couple summers ago but was not able to work my way up to her.

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