Thursday, May 24, 2012

No Hardrock

Thanks to everyone for the helpful and encouraging comments in response to my last post. Many of you were very dead on in your recommendations and observations. I had my Iron levels retested last week and was pleased to learn that I have been absorbing the supplements quite nicely. My ferritin levels rose from 33 to 97 (the doctor I saw in January suggested I should shoot for getting it up to 100).

I'm back in Alaska now and my plan is to begin the gradual process of getting my strength and fitness back to where I know it can be. I intend to take it fairly easy in the next couple weeks and then begin to incorporate some weight training and some intentional speed work, as my body hopefully starts to feel like it has more energy. It's been so long since I've done any consistent training below 9:00/mile (due to the altitude I've been living at), that even getting out on some mellow 7:30-8:00/mile runs will be a much needed jolt to my system.

I went ahead today and officially pulled myself out of Hardrock! I'm super bummed to have to do this, but I know that I can't be ready to run that race the way I want to run it, and I just don't want to dig myself any deeper into a hole. I think I have a plan in place that could get me back in top racing shape in a 4 or 5 months, but if I tried to run Hardrock in the middle of that it might set things back another several months, and I'm just not willing to do that right now. It's been about a year since I was last able to run fast and feel good doing so. I feel pretty good just plugging along at a mellow pace, but for now I'm not content to only plug along at a slow pace. I want to run fast sometimes too, and I'm quite excited about the challenge of teaching my body to do so again.

22 comments:

Footfeathers said...

Hey Geoff,
I was really looking forward to seeing you run at HR. I'm pretty sure you pulling your spot opened my entry. So, thanks for that and I'm looking forward to Roes on 100% power soon.
Tim

Ellie Greenwood said...

Of all your races Geoff I think the one I am almost most impressed with is your Chuckanut 2011 CR. There is some speed on those legs that is faster than a lot of road marathoners so all the best in finding that speed again because it's in there for sure!

Ian Scott said...

Bummed to hear no Hardrock but I think you are making a very wise choice. Enjoy your time Alaska and best of luck on getting back into speed shape. Get after it Geoff.

Adamo said...

Having been a victim of that leg speed, I agree with Ellie. Congrats on making this tough choice, it's an entirely professional one and I know that we all want to see you competing at your healthiest and best. Enjoy being back in your paradise.

C.J. Hitz said...

Good for you Geoff. I think that's a wise decision. Since I've moved to Colorado Springs (elev 6500) over a month ago, I've been thinking about the necessity for folks living at high altitude to do regular speedwork. And I'm specifically thinking 100m & 200m intervals at near top speed. This helps the legs build some of those fast-twitch fibers that are crucial to quicker turnover. Unfortunately, I have yet to hit my sea-level interval times for 400m, 800m, 1600m. But most of us can "cheat" the altitude with those fast, shorter bursts.

This is my theory anyway :-) I'll continue to experiment on my own body.

Hoppy said...

Geoff, probably tough to pull out of Hardrock after finally getting in ,but definitely smart if your not feeling it .It's not all bad though , You did nail the ITI350 this year , an amazing feat!. To me your most impressive to date ,thats out of a long list of events. Charge up the batteries ,renew, and back your humble force will bounce. alohas .

Gancho Slavov said...

Sounds like a sensible decision. Good luck with getting back to full strength!

Russell said...

All the best Geoff. Great to see your long term resolve. Very healthy attitude for the sport in general.

(but don't take too long... your fans miss 'ROES,GEOFF' on the top of leader boards)

eric said...

wise decision.

what i like most here is reading those epic race reports. nothing to do with whether you win or lose... just hearing what you went through, how you dealt with it and persevered... the ups and downs, the introspection, the recollection of beautiful atmospheres and scenes. running for the love of running.

hopefully, an alaskan summer will treat you right and you'll feel like you want to feel as a result.

best wishes, Geoff!

Brett said...

That was quite considerate of others to pull your name now and not wait until the last minute.

BrotherRunner said...

Geoff,
What a brave move on your part. I could not help but to think you may be suffering from burn out over the last year from reading your posts.
When you leave part of your soul on the trail as you do during races sooner or later your gonna have to regroup.
Please keep us up to date on your life change in the coming months. I look forward to reading the words "fire has returned to my belly" in one of your posts. Then you will be free to say "here comes the pain birds!"
Cheers,
Jess

Fit over 40 said...

You once responded to the question... What advice would you give newcomers to (your sport)today? "Try to enjoy every run you go out on. If you're not enjoying the running that you are doing, try some new things until you are."
I am no where near your caliber but slowing down and reevaluating is not a bad thing. You made a tough although based on your recent posts realistic decision. I suspect you will get great inspiration at your camps and be off and running.
Cheers

Olga King said...

Beating to your own drum. Must have been tough, but then again, you seem to know you'd like to just be around running longer rather. Sponsorships are like that, you feel the necessity to always be on top of the game, but at the end of the day, it's your life. Sometimes it's easier to go without. Hope Alaska heals you.

Wyatt Hornsby said...

Geoff: Wishing you nothing but the very best. Even the great ones go through tough stretches, as we're seeing with you (and Anton). You seem to have come up with a great plan of action and will surely battle through this and return stronger than ever. You ran awfully hard for a few years there, and so maybe your body just needs a little reset. Good luck and may you be faster and badder than ever in a few months.

P.S. When/if you return to Colorado, I hope you'll consider living a little lower, like maybe in Boulder.

Jan Panda said...

Wise words indeed! I am sure the decision will bear fruits and you will come back as planned and in better shape than ever. In the meantime, I wish you good time in Alaska. Btw, congrats to Iditarod once more.

Gancho Slavov said...

P.S. Incidentally, shouldn't you consider (temporarily) altering the name of this blog?

trailrutger said...

Geoff you set such an example here with such an hearth tearing decision.
We tend to keep pushing when we should take a step back and get back to health again.
I wish you health and wisdom, so you can do what you love most in no-time

runnerchick said...

Geoff- wish you all the best in getting back into full health and shape. I totally get it. 37 ferritin is in the gutter. I had mine in the toilet 5 yrs ago at 14 and my running was in a nasty hole. Rest, iron,b-12...helped me get back into things but it took a while. Good luck and hope to see you kicking tail again soon!

Tyson Fisher said...

You'll get there Geoff. I've enjoyed reading your blog over the past few months. You're an amazing athlete.

Ken Michal said...

Sorry to hear about HR, Geoff but it sounds like it's definitely the right move!!! Sometimes you have to throw a battle or two to ultimately win the war! This break should give your soul the recharge you need!! Hope your love for running and your expectations of your body reconnect very soon! I'm sure you'll be back in no time!!!

All Day!
~Ken

Speedgoat Karl said...

it's a shame you're not at least starting. For we only live once....

Speedgoat Karl said...

it's a shame you're not at least starting. For we only live once....