After a pretty busy few months and as I fly home from Zegama it time to reflect, analyse, reconsider, recover and then look to rebuild….its also nearly my birthday so a nice time to look forward after learning from looking back.
The year started in Dubai with a Marathon which for 25kms showed my potential to run a sub 2.36 is certainly there, I then turned to the trails with wins in the In2adventure 50k, the sixfoot track 45km marathon, the buffalo 20k and 40km sky-running races, a random trip to Redbull sponsored Wings for Life world run in Melbourne were I managed 43.5km (3rd female) and then 2nd in the UTA 50k before flying a week later to Zegama and racing the 1st race of the salomon run series finishing 22nd in a stacked field in technical terrain!
A pretty stacked and successful start!
But now to get better to identify my weakness, strengthen my strengths and just be a better steph.
HEALTH: Something I didn’t disclose before the last 2 events except to those very close to me….just signs I have been stretching myself a bit thinly and what effect it has been having on my performance was my recent blood results and DEXA scan. A DEXA scan is a measure of your bone density- its taken in your hip and lumber spine- I was unfortunately in the osteopenia range in both with it particularly bad in my Lumber spine. As a female and a physio I know the importance of bone health (we see many fractures in the hospital from little old ladies who fall over!) and had prided myself on my history of no fractures (except my little finger when I was 12 which barely counts!), I also eat yogurt and cheese daily, have milk in my coffee and try run in the sun when I can…So this result was disappointing but made me determined to try and change it and get back in the healthy range.
And my blood tests…. so I have a deranged LFT, impired immunity, (Lymphopenia) and my HB and iron was the worst it had ever been- despite the fact I take a strong iron supplement and eat red meat (maybe x 2 a week) and green leafy vegies etc…
My iron was off the scale low (and its sort of important as it carried oxygen to your muscles!) and I’m at a stage where I need a transfusion but that would be classified as blood doping…which I am obviously not going to do!
Looking at these results and my difficulty with concentration at work at times I have decided that after Zegama things are going to change … imagine how fast I will be when I get these sorted!
WORK: I have identified that if I want to run at a high level I cant work full time- the recovery isn’t there and its affecting my performance-i work 2 jobs over 40hrs a week and run 160+k…its a lot!!! So after some discussions I am decreasing my work hours (down to 30hrs and just at the hospital) over 5 days to decrease the strain on the body and promote better recovery.
I feel really happy with this decision and am excited to do more rehab and exercise therapy at the hospital…i have some big plans in the 2nd half of the year and am excited to give it everything I got!.
GYM- Something I have neglected in the past few years mainly due to time and fatigue- my goal is 2 quality lower limb gym sessions a week, 4 core sessions integrating upper limb work, 2 swims for recovery
GOALS around RACES/PBs:
Glow worm Trail marathon weekend
PB at Parkrun- sub 1730
OCC in France
KMS- 160kms a week is quite standard for me with my biggest week no more than 180kms
Elevation: Aim 2000 > 3000m
GYM- x 2 a week leg focus, x 2 a week light upper body
Legs elevated- 1hr/day
Meditate- 10minutes a day