Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cross Country Season - Part 2

Trying to get back fit in a race against time may be one of the hardest things to do. On one hand you want to do as much as possible to try and speed up the process but on the other hand you know that by doing too much it will have the opposite affect and have other knock on effects. I knew all season that I could not let my body get too tired as I didn't the time to recover again. For the majority of the season I was riding that fine line between training hard enough and not training too much. Or in much simpler terms, having a cross country season and not having a cross country season!

The next two weeks between the Chile Pepper and Big12s things started to click. I could sense that my sessions were getting better, sill not great but a definite improvement from the previous ones. Plus like I previously mentioned,  I started to feel a lot better on my daily runs. The point at which I finally realized that I was feeling much better and ready to race was the day before Big12s when I spiked up and ran a couple of strides. It was then when I said to Dave and Teran that I felt amazing, and believe me, there wouldn't have been a point so far into the season that I would have described myself to be feeling amazing. Luckily everything seemed to fall into place just in time for Big12s and the following day cemented my beliefs that I was feeling much better by equalling my best conference cross country result. The day could not have been topped off any better than with a dominating team performance, putting five guys in the top 8, consequently we beat the field and also took home our 5th consecutive Big12 title.

My girlfriend, Teran, can testify more than anyone that I was a different person after Big12s. I felt great on every run and my sessions were better than ever. Obviously it was quite hard for her to be around me as I must have been slightly stressed before conference. I will take the opportunity now to thank her for putting up with me! If you are asking why I was stressed; it was because this team means the world to me and I wanted to help them win another conference title and another national title. I didn't want to let my teammates down who had all worked so hard all summer and were in the best shape of their lives. I didn't want to miss out on the possibility of a history making season for the team, I wanted to show my orange pride by representing Oklahoma State, and to prove to everyone that we are a group of blue collar hard working guys who were not going to give up and throw the towel in after losing three multiple All-American's from the previous year. Thats the attitude of champions and what has been created by Dave Smith here at Oklahoma State.

From that point on the rest is history, it felt just like another cross country season for me. Helping the team win a conference title and do our job by qualifying for nationals (even if it was a close call!). Having such a bad injury this summer and a stressful start to the season, it really made me appreciate running every day and enjoying races more than ever. "Enjoy it" one of the last things I say to the guys as we are standing on the start line for each race. I think sometimes people lose sight of the reason why we beat our bodies up on a daily basis, it is because we love the sport. Therefore with this more prominent in my thoughts, I think it helped me stay a lot more relaxed going into nationals and consequently helped me execute the best cross country race of my career to date.

To top off a great individual performance at nationals for me was that once again like at Big12s we executed a great team race and won by 63points. Winning a team title is something I have experienced three times now (ran on two teams 10&12) here at Oklahoma State and each time it feels different, it doesn't feel the same as the others. The feeling is indescribable.

I have put links below to some articles/interviews after nationals and also some photos taken by Clay Billman.
Flotrack interview - Champions - Coach of the Year - Q&A

Pre-race huddle. Final Instructions
Shadrack (575) and I early in the race.

Let the celebrations begin! O....S....U!
The 7 who raced.
(L-R: Fabian, Joe, Shadrack, myself, Kirubel, Shane, Girma)
First time seeing Dave after the win!
Teran and I

Most of us have the "S" the right way round.... 

Both men's and women's teams. Go Pokes. 

Myself, Clay, and Kirubel.
(our professor/photographer)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cross Country Season 2012 - Part 1

After numerous requests for a new blog post after this season, I have decided to grant some peoples wishes. There is certainly a lot to talk about. I will try my best to keep it relatively short.

I said in my Flotrack post race interview that season had been a whirlwind, it certainly was a roller coaster of emotions for me. Going back to the stress fracture that ended my summer campaign on Saturday 9th June, an awful day that I will never forget, after taking 6weeks off I began back running on the ground with 10mins on a golf course near my house on Sunday 22nd July. At that point in time I thought that I had plenty of time to get some good miles in and be ready for another solid cross country season. The next few weeks definitely did not go to plan. I flew back over here with the ambition of jumping straight into sessions with the team and building from there, but a couple of days before I arrived I had something flare up in my heel which was bothering me and stressing me out too. Thankfully the resources here at OSU are of the highest quality and I was able to jump on the Alter-G for about a week until whatever was going on in my heel subsided. I think at this point I do need to give a shout out to Joel and Lindsey, our athletic trainers. They got me back running as soon as possible and were able to put up with one of the most impatient athletes!

After getting off the Alter-G and back onto "earth" I then felt it was a race against time for me to get fit for Nationals. I knew that if needed I didn't necessarily have to have a great race until November. With our team being so deep we would have been able to get the job done without me until I was ready to go. Credit to Dave (coach) in that at all times when I was stressing he assured me that I would be ready for nationals and was never worried about me (well, he never showed me that he was worried!!). As I jumped back into sessions with the boys I was running them with no huge problems, they weren't as easy as they should have been but its obvious the reason behind that. I could feel on my runs that the cogs were not falling into place, when Im running well, my daily runs are fast but easy. I don't mean to run quick but I do. This wasn't happening, this wasn't the old Tom. This is what initially began to stress me out. Dave and I decided that I should open up at the Chile Pepper Invitational (10km) to use it as a barometer to see where I was.

It did give me an indication of where I was fitness wise and I was able to take away some information from the race and work on it. The main thing I took away was that I wasn't fit and I had some work to do! Over the next two weeks I began to see improvements in sessions and there was a few "fast easy" runs being written down in the log. This was the point at which I knew I was coming round but there was one question that kept getting thrown around in my head. Would I be ready in time?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

#600farrellfilmed @farrell_osu

Thanks for coming back again to read.

The week after landing back home is very important, not just home, it's anywhere where you are arriving for your next big block of training. Adjusting to the time change, climate and settling back in at home was something that concerned me. No, not because I have to spend 3months at home with father but mainly because the last time I trained here during a big phase was three years ago. It wasn't because I was worried about Carlisle as a place to train, Carlisle is a great place to train it was because everything has gone so smoothly in Stillwater over the past 3 years and my routine there is great, I didn't want to come back home and struggle to get into a good routine.
Well, as it turns out there was nothing to be concerned about as the transition has been great and my first two sessions could not have gone better. I have been running with the boys I used to train with; Milly, Kev, Matty, Harry, Pete and the old man has been tagging along where he can. I know I mentioned it in a previous blog but it is great to be able to be back training with these boys. They have even been kind enough to help me out in my sessions on the track which is one of the reasons why they have gone so well. Im not trying to do all my sessions solo, and it makes them so much better with others there. So all is good on this end!

I must give a shout out to Athleticos ( the people behind this website, and I will not try to name them all because I am sure I will leave someone out. They put an awful lot of time and effort into the running of this website and it is going from strength to strength each weekend, the coverage of Sport City and the Loughborough International was outstanding. A big thank you to all of those individuals, this is what is needed in our sport, more coverage to try and bring it to the fore front. It is a start for track and field and hopefully a step in the right direction.

On the topic of Athleticos, we agreed on a deal about half a week ago. The deal was, if they helped me get to 600 followers on twitter then I would allow them to film one of my sessions in the next few weeks. Therefore, go to @farrell_osu and follow me if you want to see one of my sessions!

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Well the last couple of weeks since the Payton Jordan 5km have been good. The week directly after the race I took it easy to give my body plenty of recovery time. This did include a couple of runs with Teran, these are great,because although she hates me saying it, I'm forced to run slow and I love it!
Recovery is extremely important, it's not just recovering from the race but it's everything from the long travel time out there to the mental pressure you put on yourself before the race. I found that recovery this time was quite good, I did feel a little flat for a couple of days but after some good runs I started back up with a couple of light workouts.
As I am flying home (currently sat on a plane) we didn't want to make this week extremely taxing for me as trying to adjust to the time change and get settled back in to routine is more important than a hard workout to add to the complications!

I am looking forward to being home, being able to run my old routes again and train as much as I can withy my old group will be fun. Having such a great group around me will help me prepare for my summer race schedule. I'm not trying anything new or drastically changing anything as everything has worked pretty well to date!

I will add another page to my blog (up the top) where I will put my race schedule for the summer, and the race website for any information on the meet. Obviously things are subject to change therefore I will only put up the races I know that I am certainly doing. I don't even know what my plans are for the whole summer so telling you all would be quite the task!

I have linked a couple of press articles below, I will try to upload the links as soon as I get them, so if you check back on a regular basis you will be able to keep up with them. I think I will put a media page (up the top again) where I can leave all the links. They will be in date order from the most recent working back.

Thanks for reading