The level I have been falling well short of lately.
Yep my feelings towards September are that of excitement, eagerness and intrigue. I am super keen to take part in a snow race and it being at Falls Creek in the Aussie Alps is freaking rad. But I am also keen if not keener to put to bed the endless flow of ups and downs I have been suffering since 2014.
I won't go back too far, looking more at the last little while but I figure if I'm going to run well again and get that buzz, we all know that feeling of a PB or a solid race, then I have to be completely frank and honest with myself, holding nothing back in review.
1) I took things for granted: my commitment hasn't been perfect. Don't get me wrong I train hard, sacrifice and so on but excellence requires total commitment, it requires total belief and it requires immersing yourself in the moment to achieve what is desired.
2) I became too focused on the events rather than the training required to do them: in short I wanted the cake without baking it first. Yes events are fun, the expo's, friends, celebrations, etc. but it's in the preparation where the real character is developed. I have the mind for this now and while my results are a ways off what I'd like I have also eliminated the DNF from my results sheet of late. I have been working on the mental aspect of my training and with more time and energy expended in preparation before the event the I would hope finishes will turn into solid results.
3) The fundamentals were being glossed over: I need to get back to basics. My running is getting back towards the simple philosophy of developing overall efficiency. Nothing beats time on feet and I probably spent a little too much time worrying about strength work, sacrificing running. I am still including strength in my program but my focus is improving my running for now and the max deadlift is being benched for the time being.
4) My schedule was a mess: routine is key to success. Due to circumstances in work and life in general that were not always within my control, I too easily adjusted things here and there, doing this run today not tomorrow or shaving 10min so I could squeeze it in after lunch. This approach to training will get me through races, but it won't give me the competitive edge on race day. I always tell my athletes to believe in the process, it's time for me to have patience and faith that the consistency of sticking with a training program will return results. I have seen this with my clients and now its my turn to put this into practice to get back to my best.
My year so far has been a great learning curve and I feel that looking towards the back end of 2016 I can implement the required changes to be running more consistently. I don't want a good performance followed by a bad one, I want a steady flow of solid running and from that I will move into races performing well, knowing what to expect of my body. I have been very unpredictable in my big events thus far in 2016, both Buffalo and UTA had good moments that were derailed by clear conditioning issues leading to substandard performances. I expect better of myself than this but I got what I deserved and now it's time to act rather than let things continue to flow along.
I need to be more hungry, motivated, determined, focused and competitive with my myself. It's time to have a break from racing, focus on quality training and get things right, not for anyone else but for myself. I need to be true to myself and with a winter of training ahead it is time to get excited about just running again.
Below is a photo journey of my last few months.
|Buffalo Stampede 2016 - The Skymarathon money shot by Steve Harris. |
I'd love to feel great racing up the big walk one day.
|STS Manly Dam - things were looking far better....|
|than at Knapsack a few weeks later!|
|Orange Volcanic Mtn Challenge 2016 - another performance well off my best |
but it's always good to get on the trails around Mt Canobolas again and
as usual I wasn't disappointed.
|Bathurst Half Marathon 2016 - my slowest half since Mudgee in 2012 but a rad shot |
showing the joy of getting a high five from dad. I was just as happy post high five too.
|Buffalo Stampede - finishing on Mt Buffalo was made a bit sweeter by having my family there |
to share the moment. I struggled getting up the mountain but the gallery loop was a race highlight.
|Ultra Trail Australia 2016 - another not so good result but|
a finish and rad weekend away in the mountains.
Photo Bomb Credit - Kerry Suter.
|Lithgow King of the Mountain 2016 - 3 wins on the trot, although a win my performance was sub-standard after|
coming back from injury just 9 days earlier. As you can see the Force is Strong in my Boys.