Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Tested Through Fire... But Not Burnt

As you can imagine since the my last blog post a lot has happened. Last years season was nothing short of a roller coaster for me and by far was the toughest of my career. Before I explain that I want to bring you back to not last season but the the season before. In the summer of 2011 I was opening up my outdoor season in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was coming of a great showing at CIS and knew that if I stayed healthy I could not only PB that year but hopefully PB by a few seconds. In Indianapolis I opened up with 1:48 and 1:47 in the first two races. For all those runners out there, there is not greater feeling than running a PB. The feeling of knowing that you have never ran that fast before and knowing that all the hard work you put in in has paid off. But that feeling only last a short moment as the next feeling you get is that of wanting more, the thought of going faster. Moving on from that week I was thinking that if I could open up with a 1:47, how fast can I run in the peak of my season? But the peak did not come. Unfortunately I got hurt right after nationals a few weeks later. Litte did I know that injury would affect my next year. The injury was a partial torn calf muscle in my right leg. Instead of taking off the rest of the season and getting healthy, I decided to run through it as best as I could because I made the world university games (FISU) in China. Even though the experience I had was priceless the result of running on an injury was not.

The partial tear was now worse than before. This made my training going into the next season very inconsistant. In the fall my training consisted of time off, rehab and pool running. I did not touch the track until after Christmas. When I  did come back on the track, I came back a bit too hard and ended up pulling my right hamstring coming around the last corner on an indoor track while doing 200m workout. That injury again set me back. Now i was dealing with two injuries, my calf was better but not 100% but now I also had to  deal with a hamstring pull. By the time I put together four somewhat consistent weeks of training it was already closing in on April and I was scheduled to open up in the middle of April at Mt Sac. Right before I was about to leave for LA I ended up having some problem with my sinuses. Little did I know at the time but what I came down with was a sinus infection due to bad allergies that would hinder me for the next month. Over the next month I did not race well. I struggled to break 1:50. I would run well one race and be close to breaking 1:49 and think I was ready to break something big but then the next race I would be back to struggling to break 1:50. Due to the stresses of being injured, getting sick and then not performing well early in the season it really played a toll on me mentally for the rest of the season. This was right about the time where I stopped blogging. In June, I had a disappointing result at Canadian Nationals and decided that after Alberta Provincials I was shutting it down. I looked at myself as a person that was mentally strong, had a ton of confidence but honestly last season proved how vulnerable I was. When people say sport is 80% mental they are right. The interesting thing was even through all the injuries and the sinus infection I had I was still able to put up the fastest training times I have ever ran. I remember running 1:16.17 in a 600m rep and feeling good, constant 16's in repeat 150m's. Fitness was there but to me this just shows how when the mental/confidence is not there how it can inhibit performance. (I find this amusing how I am pretty much calling myself a head case.) I thought that the hard times where over when I pulled the string on the season but they were not.

What followed in the end of the summer was by far the toughest thing I have ever gone through. Throughout the whole season I could tell I needed change and this led me to make a coaching change at the end of the summer. I am not going to go in too much detail but to make a long story short it was nothing my last coach did.  I have tremendous respect for him and would have not accomplished nearly the accolades I accomplished without his expertise, knowledge and commitment. Sometimes you just gotta move on, I just needed a change. Only a few days later I got news that my training parter but most of all good friend tragically passed away. Things are put into perspective real quick when a loved one is gone. Again I am not going to go to much into this but all I will say is Isaak was by far one of the best human beings you could ever meet and he is and will forever be dearly missed. Love ya man.

So what about now? Well through the end of the summer I was still feeling some effects of my previous injuries and my coach and I thought it would be best to ease into things slowly. We did just that. In January I had the opportunity to go to Phoenix and get some quality training/rehab in. It was there that I realized, through the help of my coach, that I just need to take time and get healthy. I have been dealing with this calf issue for way to long and just adding more miles on something not fixed is not the recipe for running fast and just leads to more injuries. So currently I am just doing the things that you need to do to get healthy and regardless of how long that takes I am willing to do that. Whether thats a year or 6 months, I know that when I come back on a healthy body I will be able to run way faster than I previously imagined! (The bright side is I will have more time to work on my favorite golf shot, the snap hook. See ya in the rough.)

Through all of these circumstances over the past year it got me thinking. If someone were to say to me, Jaden do you wish last season never happened?  How would I respond? Well at first I would relish in the thought of everything going well, running fast, hitting my goals and that would be incredible (and one day I do hope that happens). But then I think of all the things I learned through being tried and tested and honestly I would not want it changed. Why? Well, because I learnt a ton about what it takes to be a top level athlete, I learned how easily I associated myself with being a runner and it was not until I did not have running have I realized I am so much more than a "good" runner, I learned that true character is not shown when things are good but shown in how you respond to trials and tribulations, and mostly I learned that the outcome is never as rewarding as the journey. I would be willing to bet that Olympians would say what they remember most about making the Olympics is not necessary the Olympics itself but the journey they had to embark on to make the Olympics.
All in all, even when tough times come one thing remains the same and that is God is still good. I have never been more excited to work hard or motivated to keep on pressing on in this journey!


ps. ill try not to take 6-8 months between blog posts.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Oxy Race Recap

Here is a race recap for Oxy High Performance race. 

My legs/body felt really good going into the race and mentally was ready to run.  My energy levels were improving each day, along with my allergies. I still had a bit of congestion but it was much better. I got out well in the first 100m but going into 200m I didn't maintain my position and I got pushed back to the back of the pack. Through 400m I was 52 and felt good, through 600m i was 1:20 and felt good as well. In the last 100m I started to make a move but my body just did not let me go and I ended up running 1:49. I did not go lactic and at the end of the race and felt fine afterwards.  I definitely had some race rust as I did not position myself well or commit to the kick. If I just fix those two things I think i easily could have been in the 1:47 range. Overall i am okay with it. If I fix those two things I feel like I can run a pb. The race did make me more motivated to race again, feels good to get the race rust off. I realize now that I could have kicked in harder.I have to teach my body to get into race shape again. The body will reward you if you push it to a certain level. I didnt push to that level, I went there and backed off. If i where to commit to the kick I think that 1:49 could have been a 1:47 high even though I put myself in bad position for the kick. 

Lots of good things I learnt and good things to come. Overall not a great time but a great building block to build on and for that I am thankful!

Quick turnaround as I am in Phoenix and racing tomorrow night! Hopefully I can learn from my mistakes and run blazing tomorrow!

Night y'all and God bless!


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Upward and Onward


It has been awhile since my last post. As most of you know already, I decided to stay home from going to Payton Jordan at Stanford University. My coach and I decided to stay home to rest and recover from the sinus infection/allergy hiccup I have had the past previous weeks. These current two weeks have been great! I am finally healthy and have done some great 800m specific workouts! I am finally feeling healthy, energetic and mentally ready to go! Seems like it has been forever since I have had no physical aliments and for that I feel very blessed. I am heading to LA on the 16th of May and racing at Oxy High Performance on the 18th. Then I am off to Phoenix on the 19th and racing there on the 21st. Hopefully I can get some good times out there and move forward with my progression and this years season! Ill keep y'all posted..

God bless!


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Race recap

Well the result in California was definitely not what I was looking for.  I did not realize how much toll my allergies where taking on my body. As I mentioned in my previous post, I was trying to tell myself I was healthy and ready to go but in reality I was not. For the two days before my race I was stuck in my hotel room trying to sleep off my head congestion/pressure/allergies. My symptoms for the last 2 weeks are ear pressure, stuffy nose, red eyes, sore throat and headaches. I thought by going to California my allergies would slowly go away but that was not the case. So when I took the line on Saturday I felt like I was running on 5%  body energy and that definitely showed. I got to 600m and just felt dead. I could not get in oxygen and therefore my body went into oxygen debt way earlier than I should. But all in all there are still some positives to take out of this weekend:
1. First race jitters are out of the way.
2. Mentally Im still confident as my workout results have been the best ever.
3. I can cross off "getting last in a race" of my bucket list.
4. Worst is out of the way after the first race.
5. The Canucks are eliminated.

So even though, right after the race, I wanted to be frustrated I realized that it would only lead to negative feelings when in reality I ran as fast as my body could let me go on that day so I need to be content with that. It is a quick turnaround as this Sunday I am at Stanford to race again. I am doing my best to reboots my immune system and get healthy. Hopefully I'll be healthy to finally get a productive time out!

Over and out,

Thursday, 19 April 2012

California State of Mind

On Tuesday night I arrived in LA and on Saturday I will be opening up my season at Mt Sac relays. I spent the last few days getting accustomed to the weather (and the beach) and to get some much needed track work in on a full size 400m track. Obviously due to the snow I was still training on the indoor 200m track in Edmonton.  The race can be seen on at 12:30 pacific time.

 The last few weeks of training has been good. I finally feel that I am on the upswing of my injuries. I was able to do some much needed over distance work with little to no pain. Some people have asked what does my average week of training looks like so I will give you a brief rundown. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I do a morning run (which ranges from 15-30 mins) and then a track session at night.  Tuesday and Thursday consist of a weight session and long run (40-60 min) and then Sat or Sun I do a long run of 60-90 min. Obviously my weeks do not always look like this but it stays close to this format throughout the months of training.

Currently I am struggling with some allergy problems but I am excited for what this season to start on Saturday! I have not raced since August and I am excited to get this race rust off! My strategy going into races is too just go out and have fun. I found that it does no good to stress/worry/doubt as that does nothing but hinder your performance. I can only control what I do and the biggest thing is to run free and to run because you love it!

Oh also a big shout out to Dr. Rick Rana (Chiropractor, acupuncturist and IMS practitioner) and Janice Kalyta  (massage therapist) and to all those who have helped support me! I would not be here if it were not for  y'alls help.

Ill post this weekend on the race. God bless!

Stay classy.


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Welcome to the Madness

So these last two weeks have been quite a roller coaster. Literally, well almost.

I went from training the best I have all year, as we finally started some 800 specific workouts, to then tweaking my hamstring the next practice. This injury served as a blessing in disguise as I finally got to give my body a break for a few days.  So it was back in the water (water running) for my workouts and long runs. For all those who have never water ran, it just consist of running in the water. For me water running consist of two choices: turn over as fast as you can an stay afloat or drown. (Its quite the motivation to keep going.)  I came back on this Monday feeling recovered and ready to rock a speed workout, thinking I was fully healed, but ended up re injuring my hamstring. I made the mistake of being over zealous and coming back when I wasn't fully healed. So now I am once again in the pool for training. 

Injury is a funny thing. It takes you on a mental roller coaster. You go from thinking your getting better to then thinking your not in a matter of moments. After finally getting over my calf injury from the summer, I was excited to finally be healthy and get in some quality training. But I guess that was not meant to be. I am firm believer of everything happens for a reason so I choose to stay positive. Maybe my body needs some more time to finally get over this injury spell, maybe not?  But its a journey and for every athlete that journey consist of obstacles that must be overcome. The key is too stay positive and focused on the goals ahead. 

So whats next for me? Well I am getting therapy everyday for the next week and continuing to do my workouts and runs in the pool. Hopefully in two, plus or minus a week, I will be back on the track. I know some people have been asking when I my first meet will be?  I was planning on opening up in early April but with this injury that may or may not be pushed back a bit. 

On the positive side, I am currently 13/14 in my March Madness bracket. I love the madness. 

One love. 

God bless!

Saturday, 25 February 2012

2011 Review

Hello blogging world, friends, supporters, and family!

With this being my first blog post ever, I will give you a short update on how last season turned out.

Last winter I ran for the University of Alberta and had a great indoor season. I won the 1000m at CIS and was excited for what outdoors was going to bring. I started outdoors well, opening up with a 1:48 and 1:47 in my first two races of the year and then finished 4th again at the Canadian Nationals. After just three events of the year and having good results I was excited to head to the West Coast to hopefully build on my previous success. Unfortunately though at Harry Jerome I got tangled up with a pack of runners and injured  the lateral head of my right gastrocnemius.  At the time I did not think it was that bad but I soon realized that I had torn part of the muscle. After this I came back to Edmonton to try and recover as much as possible as I had qualified from my previous performances to represent Canada at the FISU (World University Games) in Shenzhen, China. Going into FISU I was feeling a lot better but not 100%. I had my best day of training two days prior to my qualifying heat but the day before my race I aggravated my calf again and thus had to run injured. Coming home from China I committed to completely healing my injury and therefore decided to forego the upcoming CIS season. I took two full months which consisted of just rest and therapy. My third month consisted of water running, cross training and weights before finally running again in late November. From then on I have been slowly increasing my mileage and training intensity each week. Lately training has been going well and my calf is 90% healed. I look forward to what this outdoor season has in store as I feel motivated and more fit each week!

Stay tuned for more posts!

One love,