Last Saturday I participated in my first road race of the season. Running races are getting back in full swing around the area now and I was eager to see how my winter training has been doing.
First some things that are different from last year. Probably the thing that will have the most impact for me this year is that I am not taking any medication. This has been a world of relief for me its one less thing to remember in the morning and worry about missing a morning dosage. I have a hard enough time managing my multivitamins, omega 3 and vitamin D every day. My energy and personal drive have returned, in a nut shell the period of 2014-2016 I was hindered not only physically but mentally from beta blockers. Not a big deal for someone who just casually partakes in exercise but for me competing at a much higher level it was just hell. The thing beta blockers do is strop the body from producing adrenaline. No matter if I was running or racing my heart rate was always limited and it was all I could do to be excited about the event I was in. This translated right into my personal life and I was a zombie for those two years most of the time. Clear headed and calm but even at people’s birthday parties or social events it was hard to even smile and seem interested. All this now behind me my body is producing adrenaline just as it once was all this years ago.
The other part that is different is I have gone through the hardest time in my life to date. Many of you know but for those who don’t I lost my mother in January of this year. She lost her short and aggressive battle with lung cancer after only a few short months of her sudden and shocking diagnosis. This is a double edge sword for me because while I still grieve heavily for her loss I have also tried to use this to push harder and push through physical and mental pain. I constantly try to use my emotions to better my performances but sometime if I am not careful I go overboard and mentally check out. A perfect example of this would be when I am riding my computrainer and suffering a lot physically. I tell myself that she went through agonizing bone pain and I am just riding a bike. Pain is all relative but if I lose focus or get lost in the sadness of her loss I am completely crippled physically and emotionally and my bike session can come to an abrupt halt. Managing the emotional side of things is a struggle I am just starting to get used to an I know that time heals all wounds so I focus on the positives as much as I can.
Saturday the 1st of April I put all my physical and emotional training to the test and have discovered a few things I want to touch on. During the entire 5k I managed to be in control of the emotion part of my brain and well rested my muscles were also in a good spot. Throughout the entire race I was in control of my pacing and the feeling of the runners high form the adrenaline was welcome. The only downside to the day was I awoke morning of and had a sore throat, stuffy nose and the feeling that I was about to get a head cold. This year I have had more colds that in the previous 29 years of my life. Chalk it up to a newborn in the house or the first time I got the flu shot ever…. either way I was not feeling 100%. My adjusted goal as a result of feeling crappy was to be in the 18:00’s. Previous to the head cold I was hoping to go 17:00’s for the first time ever. The run was fast and I was out front int the top 10 the entire time. Pacing with a group of strong runners from Runners Choice London I settled in and ran hard. Every road race i have entered in the past the races all started out the same I would go out strong and fade watching the Runners Choice guys and galls pull away. Saturday was different though, I went out strong and kept the pace. This is a true testament to the training I have been doing all winter. It has confirmed in me that it has been worth all the suffering and hard work. Adrenaline flowing and with a strong pace I was on target to actually break into the 17’s but as we returned towards the finish I was hindered by my throat which had decided to close up and restrict my breathing. I sounded like a wheezing horse who just ran around the track… not good. That being said it is not an excuse and I finished strong with a time of 18:25. Happy with the result given the obstacles I now know I will go sub 18 this year for the first time since I started running in 2013.
This being me to the third difference for this year and that is that my weight. This is a topic that I will be diving into this year “weight” “body image””body fat %” etc. I have come to the conclusion that weight like age is just a number. Being a slender guy I have been working to eat more and more. I have discovered that my body is happiest at 147-148lbs.
Why does this matter you ask well here is a look back at my weight over the years and the time I have run for the 5k distance.
- 2012 – 20:25 (170 lbs)
- 2013 – 20:20 (165 lbs)
- 2014 – 18:33 (135 lbs)
- 2015 – 18:10 (138 lbs) *PB
- 2016 – 19:09 (143 lbs)
- 2017 – 18:25 (147 lbs)
As you can see my largest weight drop from 2013-2014 of 30 lbs. That is a lot to carry around but despite the fact it helped me achieve my PB of 18:10 It was the start of a slippery slope of anemia, beta blockers and hormone problems and constantly struggling to keep weight on.
This year as you can see I am back on track to achieve great results just seconds off a personal best time and around 10 lbs heavier I would say things look great. I eat and eat a lot for me keeping my body fuelled is no easy task and the grocery bill reflects it, metabolism is back up, medication gone, emotions… well trying to keep them balanced I am very pleased with where I am currently in my training and fitness. If I could only kick the man flu that keeps creeping in my life things would be amazing.
For me a 5k is a true test of fitness I will be running and racing long distances this year with my first ever half marathon 21k debut just weeks away so I am pleased to think that this year is going to be super positive.
I will end for now but people have asked me how the weekend went to I wanted to let you know and give you a heads up that my race schedule is finalized and I will be posting it later in the month. More to come in the following months and I will talk more in-depth about weight, body fat etc.