racing · running · Uncategorized

New Race Strategy Pays Off

forest city road race 2014.1On Sunday morning I ran the 10K in the Forest City Road Races. What a great event!  The weather gods cooperated with a sunny morning and moderate temperatures. The usual race-day buzz filled the air. And I loved the route–familiar roads well-supported with police at intersections, guides to point us in the right direction, and cheering squads along the way.

I went in with a modest goal: to beat my last 10K time enough to take me in under 70 minutes.  To know just how modest that actually is: the top finishers get to the end of the race in less than half that time!

I have a watch-style GPS that tells me my pace.  I knew going in that if I could maintain an under 7 minutes a kilometre pace, I should be able to beat my previous time. I met up with Sam’s friend Helen at the starting line. She said she planned to run at her usual pace, which typically brings her in at around 66 minutes.  The only difference is that her race plan doesn’t include walk-breaks. Mine so far is all about the 10-1 run/walk system I learned at my 10K clinic.

I also had a new strategy on the table on Sunday.  Are you ready?  Here it is: push myself!  Sam laughs when I tell her that I don’t like feeling uncomfortable. But it’s true. Most of all, I get a bit panicky when I feel out of breath.  This makes her laugh even harder.  “How can someone who races etc. not want to be out of breath or uncomfortable?”

True, pushing ourselves to discomfort seems to be what racing is all about. That’s why race day is not the day for the slow, easy run.  No.  Race pace is another thing entirely. In my case, I just haven’t done enough races to know what my race pace is.  But I set out on Sunday prepared to push beyond my usual running comfort zone.

This strategy started to materialize during the Run for Retina. During that race, I engaged in quite a bit of reassuring self-talk along the lines of “it’s okay to be out of breath. Push yourself a bit harder. The end isn’t all that far away.”  That sort of thing.

In the two weeks between these races, I consciously adopted it as my race strategy. I would ignore that voice that wants to stop at the first sign of discomfort and push harder instead.

Running alongside Helen during the first ten minutes I felt strong and energetic.  When my timer told me it was time to walk, I ignored it and committed to running through to the next walk break, 11 minutes from then.  By the time that one came around, I felt as if I could probably run through it too. But we weren’t even half way yet. I didn’t want to sabotage my goal by hitting a wall from pushing myself too hard too early in the race.

I watched Helen trot away from me.  Her neon pink top kept me on pace when I resumed my run less than a minute later.  I amended the 10-1 plan a bit, never taking the full minute for walking. I just walked enough to take a few sips of water.

That was the other element in my race strategy on Sunday: bring my own water and drink when I felt like it, out of bottles that were easy to sip from.  That paper cup thing at the water stations just doesn’t work for me.

At the halfway point, I could still see Helen. My pace stayed in the range it needed to be for me to hit my goal.  I hauled out some of the focusing techniques I read about when I was studying up on chi running.  One is to keep your eyes fixed on a high point way in the distance — the top of a tree works best for me.  Another that I like is to think of your feet coming off the ground the way self-sticking postage stamps peel up off of their backing. When I do that, my ankles always loosen and relax.  Finally, I remembered that the chi running folks say to tilt the whole body slightly forward, sharpening the tilt when you want to pick up speed.

All this kept me much more focused and present than music ever has. I am pleased at my decision to leave the music at home on race day.

So all that, as well as regular glances at the pace on my watch, kept me focused on what I was doing. Meanwhile, each kilometre was well-marked.  So I knew as I came up to the 8K mark that if I could maintain my pace and not take up the next walk, I’d make my goal.

When I came into the home stretch, with less than a kilometer to go, the route took us past the Symposium Cafe on Central Ave. Renald and my mother-in-law and our friend, Peter, were standing outside to cheer me on.  Renald, who had been planning to meet me at the finish line at 11:10 (because I told him that’s about when I’d be crossing, and I had admitted to him the day before that it would mean a lot to me to have him there), yelled out, “You’re early!”

I picked up my pace for the final two blocks.  I felt a bit tired, but coming into the home stretch of the race, running on Wellington down the long side of Victoria Park, I let my strategy kick in.  I no longer had to worry that I would hit a wall before the finish line.  The line was just around the corner.

I approached the arch and heard “Hey Honey!” in what sounded like Renald’s voice. But he’d just been at the Symposium, so how could it be him? When I crossed, the clock said 1:08:08!  Yay for me! It’s times like that that you really do wish to have someone you know there to share the moment with you.

As I stopped down to get my medal, Renald shouted out again from the sidelines.  He’d run down from the restaurant to meet me and take pictures.

All in all, it was a really fabulous morning. I implemented the things I’d learned from the last race:  bring my own water and leave the music behind.  And best of all, I embraced the idea of discomfort on race day.

Next time, I’m going to get even more uncomfortable. I’m feeling hungry for an even faster time.  New goal: sub-65 minute 10K.

 

 

 

racing · running

First 10K Race

Tracy after crossing the finish line at the 10K Run for Retina.  Big smile, medal, happy runner.
Tracy after crossing the finish line at the 10K Run for Retina. Big smile, medal, happy runner.

On the weekend I ran my first 10K race in London Ontario’s annual Run for Retina Research (which also has a 5K and a half marathon) and what a great time I had.  I’ve been working up to this race for months, sticking it out through the polar vortex of a winter we had.

But I hadn’t done much very recent training. Since the 13K long run more than a month ago when my left knee started giving me grief, I’ve taken it easy. I managed two slow 8Ks with the run club (hanging happily at the back with my running friend, Fatima) for the two Sundays before the race, but not without knee pain and not with a lot of other mileage each week. So I had reason to be uncertain (not exactly nervous) about how the race would go.

The weather cooperated, with some cloud cover and a warm-ish morning. It was mild enough for shorts and a light long sleeved T that I could wrap around my waist if I needed to go down to the tank top underneath. It was the first morning this season I could leave the house for a run without gloves.

The race started down in Harris Park at the Forks of the Thames (yes, our little London has a Thames, even a Covent Garden Market!). Sam was running the 5K at 9:45 and I ran into her about 10 minutes before my race began at 9:30. She too had concerns about her left knee.

Pre-race is such an exciting time. There’s always a palpable anticipation in the air and everyone is in a good mood. The half marathoners headed out at 8:30 and I would see some of them run past me a but later when they came back from the other direction and overlapped the 10K route.

I had a simple strategy and goal. Stick to the 10-1 run-walk system I’d learned and practiced in the 10K training clinic I did with the Running Room through the winter. My goal was a modest 70 minute 10K. If you’re not a runner, you can get an idea of just how modest by this: the announcer asked the people who were going to finish in 30-35 minutes to go to the front of the pack at the starting line!

I tuned to Fatima, ‘People actually finish in 30-35 minutes?!’ Seriously, that’s a good 5K time for me. These folks are twice as fast as I am. But they weren’t my competition.

I have a specific goal, which is to be able to do the 10K run of my Olympic distance triathlon in August in under 70 minutes. If I’m going to do that after swimming 1.5K and biking for 40K, I need to be able to do it by itself. Actually, the coach says I should be able to do 15K if I want to do a comfortable 10 in the triathlon.

At least 200 people crowded at the starting line, maybe more. I stayed near the back.  My timing chip would only start timing me once I crossed the inflated red arch over the start/finish line. Just seconds before the race began, I took off the long sleeved T-shirt and tied it around my waist. Good call — it got hot quickly.

After a slow start as everyone jostled for a position and before we all spread out, I found my rhythm.  I wanted to maintain a 6 minute 30-45 second/km pace for my 10s, and I didn’t pay much attention to the pace on my 1-minute walks (probably a mistake, in hindsight).

I ran with music this time, which turned out to be my undoing in the end. It kept me company, but the playlist needs refreshing. I skipped through too many songs and the music stopped just when I needed it most — in the last kilometre!

Overall, I had an energetic run at a comfortable pace.  I engaged in quite a bit of self talk to try pushing myself at times. I hate being out of breath, but I kept reminding myself that it’s not like it would kill me. And, as cliche as it is, learning to be uncomfortable will make me stronger.

The spring in my step gave way to a more labored and ambling effort at the turnaround.  Not once did I think I wouldn’t do it, I just questioned whether I would do it in under 70 minutes. My Garmin Forerunner told me that my pace had slowed in the second half. Everything I’ve ever learned about the benefits of negative splits came back to me, and I tried to pick up the pace.

The water stations didn’t help much.  I mean, I felt grateful to have the water, but I can’t run and drink. So every time I hit a water station and wanted to drink I had to walk through. I wasn’t with a crowd of people most of the time so I have no clue whether this is the same for everyone.  I found it awkward.

I have been experimenting with gels. After 20 minutes I popped a Vega sport endurance gel. I should have done the other one 20 minutes later but I opted against.

A little before the turnaround the half marathoners started to pass us. Every time one of them did, I thanked the Universe that I’d only signed up for 10K.

My legs began feeling heavy with about 2K to go (it was hard to tell because–and this is the one criticism I have this otherwise excellent race–all the markers after the turnaround gave the half marathon distances, not the 10K distances).  My mind started telling me the time didn’t matter that much.  I recalled a study that said the mind bails out long before the body needs to.  That helped me push a bit harder.

If I really pushed the last 1.5K, my watch said, I would make it in about 70 minutes.  But that would mean going all out for longer than I ever had before.  Then the music stopped.  It was a toss up. I could forget the music but I worried that it would slow my pace.  So I slowed to a walk, fiddled with the iPhone to get the music going again, and hoofed it as fast as I could through the final stretch.

Time: 70 minutes and 40 seconds. The 40 seconds longer than my goal was just about the time I spent messing around with my music. Silly, silly.  Next time I’ll be better prepared. Ideally, I should probably just leave the music alone altogether. I train without it most of the time anyway.

I met Sam at the finish line. She made her 5K but her knee had a rough time.  The sun came out. Fatima finished not far behind me despite her back pain. Our friend, Azar, who’d done the 5K, found us. We took a few photos.  Everyone felt good about their race.

What I’ll do differently next time:

1. Take my water belt. The bottles are easier to drink from than paper cups, and I can time my own water to coincide with my walk breaks rather than having to slow down at the water stations.

2. Run without music or have an extra long playlist with very zippy music the entire time. No ballads.

3. If I’m running with music and the playlist ends, keep going without it!

4. Do some hill training and more interval training to build speed and stamina (as well as comfort instead of dread on hills).

5.  Run the 10K in under 70 minutes. I know I can.

Next up: the Cambridge Triathlon (750m swim, 30km bike, 6km run), Sunday, June 15th.

P.S. No knee pain!

 

 

 

competition · racing · running · training

“Too Slow” for What?

slowisthenewfastLast night I was at a party and got to talking about running with a former runner. He said that he used to do 10K in about 30 minutes.  30 MINUTES!? My mind did the quick math — at his prime, he was more than twice as fast as I am.  If I can achieve my goal of a sub-65 minute 10K in 2014, I’ll be pretty darn thrilled.  Once again, the refrain ran in my head: “I’m so slow.” Nevermind that according to Wikipedia that fastest recorded times by elite women are between 30-32 minutes.

Sam always bugs me (or rather, interrogates me–in a friendly way, not with spotlights or anything like that) about my self-image as a “slow runner.” I’ve often cited this as my reason for hesitating to join a running group.

So it was kind of gratifying to read this article by running coach, Jeff Gaudette, who says I’m not alone:

When I first started working with age group and recreational runners in 2006, one of the biggest surprises to me was the amount of negative thinking and lack of self-confidence many runners exhibited. Almost every runner that joined the group introduced themselves to me by stating “I’m probably the slowest person you’ve ever coached” or “you probably don’t work with runners as slow as I am.”

It didn’t matter what their personal bests actually were, almost all conversations started in a similar manner.

Unfortunately, I’ve found that not much has changed in the last seven years. Many runners, both new and experienced, hesitate to join local running groups or participate in online communities. When asked why, most respond that they are embarrassed by how slow they are.

That’s strong–to feel embarrassed by how slow we are.  But it’s exactly how it feels. There is something like a feeling of shame that comes up when I think about being a slow poke.  I felt it when I was riding my bike with Sam and her friends–they were always waiting for me.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, of course–they’re seasoned riders. I was out on my second long-ish ride ever.  [ride report here in this post about suffering]

I think this is an important topic because it comes up in all sorts of areas where we track speed.  I felt the same thing when I started swimming with a group.  The feeling that I am slow — or too slow, to be precise — was so strong that the first time the coach suggested I train in the next fastest lane to the one I’d been training in I refused.

Gaudette makes a number of good points about the “I’m so slow” mindset. First off, it’s quite negative to the people who have it.  Very few people embrace it. Rather, they (like me) lament it and feel badly about it.  In some cases, it’s enough to dissuade them entirely.

Responding to this, I’ve seen a host of t-shirts and mugs and so on that say things like “No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everyone on the couch” and “There is no such thing as a slow runner. There are just runners and everyone else.”  I’m not totally convinced. It’s just a fact that some people are faster than others.

The question is: does this matter?

Having established that I’m not trying out for the Canadian Olympic team or anything like that, why should I care about how fast I am in comparison to other people?  So the idea of being “too slow” makes me wonder, “too slow for what?” I’ve written about participating even if you know you’re not going to win here.  And Sam has posted about age group medals here.

Of course, there are those naysayers who complain about the way age-group categories and more diverse participation has taken the mystique out of marathons. A New York Times headline asks: “Plodders have a place, but is it in a marathon?” The article reports that there is indeed a lot of judgment out there about slower runners. And that’s because there are lots of them:

Trends show that marathon finishers are getting slower and slower — and more prevalent — according to Running USA, a nonprofit organization that tracks trends in distance running. From 1980 to 2008, the number of marathon finishers in the United States increased to 425,000 from 143,000.

In 1980, the median finishing time for male runners in United States marathons was 3 hours 32 minutes 17 seconds, a pace of about eight minutes per mile. In 2008, the median finishing time was 4:16, a pace of 9:46. For women, that time in 1980 was 4:03:39. Last year, it was 4:43:32.

But back to Gaudette, who says that this fear of being slow plagues even faster runners:

Former professional runner Ryan Warrenburg recently discussed how he’s hesitant to call himself an “elite” runner. Ryan has run 13:43 for a 5k — I’d call that fast and worthy of elite status. Do you know where his time ranks him in the world? I don’t because it’s way outside the top 500 (sorry, Ryan).

One way around it is to do as, according to this article about “The Slowest Generation,” the younger generation does: thumb your nose at the whole idea that speed matters.

But instead of fighting back, the young increasingly are thumbing their nose at the very concept of racing. Among some, it simply isn’t cool, an idea hilariously illustrated in a 2007 YouTube Video called the Hipster Olympics. In those Games, contestants do anything to avoid crossing the finish line—drink beer, lounge in the grass, surf the Web.

Yet something remotely akin to that is happening. Perhaps the fastest-growing endurance event in the country, the Color Run, doesn’t time participants or post results. “Less about your 10-minute mile and more about having the time of your life, The Color Run is a five-kilometer, un-timed race,” says its website.

I think there is a happy medium between not caring about speed at all, and thinking that being among the average or slower runners is something to feel embarrassed about.  When I first started running, I really didn’t care about getting faster at all.  But now, I like to see increases in my average times as signs of progress.  I’m balancing increases in distance with increases in my various paces.  My slower runs aren’t quite as slow as they used to be. My faster intervals are stepping up compared to where they were a year ago.

In my swim training, over the 3 months of group training with a coach, I shaved 10 seconds from my 200 metre time. To me, that felt pretty good.  In fact, I felt great about it. Then one day we did a relay and I had other team members who are considerably faster.  For a moment, I allowed that to discount my accomplishment. But then one of them complained about her leg of the relay.  So yes, as Gaudette says, it’s all about your point of reference.

I like to keep my point of reference focused on me. I’m not too slow to do what I enjoy doing. And in fact, despite that I’m getting older, there’s still room for me to get faster and achieve new personal bests.

And as I said in my “Never Say Never” post, maybe I can lose the “I’m so slow” identity.  The best way for me to do that is to press myself on the question, “too slow for what?”  I remember last summer when I began running with a group. I thought for sure I would be the slowest in the pack.  I was shocked to discover I wasn’t. And did I judge anyone slower than me negatively for being slower?  Of course not.

If the worry that you’re “too slow” is holding you back from running with a group (or running at all), I recommend that you give it a try. Chances are very good that you won’t be alone at your pace.  And if you have any aspirations for running faster, training with a group is a good way to go.

Good luck meeting your 2014 goals!

competition · racing · running · swimming · training · triathalon

Why Participate If I’m Not Going to Win?

Finish-LineThere better be reasons to participate if I’m not going to win, or I’d never have a reason to participate (given that my chances of winning are slim!).  I just finished reading a fascinating book called Iron War: Dave Scott, Mark Allen, and the Greatest Race Ever Run, by Matt Fitzgerald.  It’s about the Ironman rivalry between Dave Scott, the first athlete to really dominate the Ironman triathlon (with six first place finishes), and Mark Allen, the one who (after several tries and much effort), eventually dethroned Dave Scott and went on to garner six titles himself.

The Ironman is that endurance race that originated in Hawaii, in the late seventies, with twelve participants in the first year. It’s a 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride, and then a full marathon.  At its inception, it was just about completing the thing.  But when Dave Scott first took on the challenge in 1980, he wanted to turn it into a race.

Where finishing times in the first two years were over the eleven hour mark, Dave blasted the field, spending the entire race alone and taking first place in 9 hours, 24 minutes, and 33 seconds. The day he finished second to Mark Allen in 1989, he did the course in 8 hours, 10 minutes, and 13 seconds, just 58 seconds behind Allen.

Reading this book, you get into the mindset that winning is everything.  It’s not enough to complete the gruelling race. It’s not enough even to complete it well. It’s all about winning, breaking records, pushing as hard as you can so you can beat the other guy.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved the book and I got caught up in the drama.  I felt badly for those poor dudes who, behind these two, had to settle for battling it out for third or fourth place in the Iron Man race in Hawaii.  It was all very macho.

Not that women can’t or shouldn’t compete, of course. I’ve blogged about the competitive feminist here.  But, as I mentioned earlier this summer in this post, I’m a big fan of medals for everyone.

One topic that came up in Fitzgerald’s book and that I’ve heard in other circles as well (such as marathons), is whether the people who are aiming just to finish cheapen the race.  It is, after all, a race. The rules of the game say that if you’re racing you’re supposed to be trying to finish as fast as you can and, while you’re at it, trying to beat the other competitors.

Sam pointed out quite some time ago that she thinks of her earlier self as her only real competition. See her post about that.

She also shared how she felt when a very competitive team trounced her team in the recreational soccer league she plays for in her post “It’s Just a Game.”  The issue was that the team also played in a competitive league. They used the recreational league as practice.

Is there something wrong, unsportsmanlike (is there a gender neutral word for that?), with a team that is high-fiving, going for every goal they can, in a recreational league where they are clearly out-classing the other team?  Should a competitive team even be allowed to play in a rec league? Sam thinks yes to the first, no to the second question.

In events like triathlons and marathons and so forth there are often two classes of competitors — the professionals or elite athletes and the “age group” competitors.  But regardless of whether you’re pro or amateur, surely there is a place for people in the race who are not the ones who are going to win? Even Mark Allen didn’t win until his sixth attempt, for goodness sake!

So it doesn’t seem fair to say that the mere presence of those who don’t place cheapens an event.  What people claim, rather, is that people who are not even trying to win but are just trying to finish somehow take away from the overall achievement of those who finish well.

In the early days of the Ironman, it was routine to spend a fair bit of time walking through the marathon.  Remember, it began as a challenge to see if it could even be done, not to see how fast it could be done.  In the first Ironman competition in 1978, only one person finished the marathon in under 4 hours. The rest who finished took between 4 and 8.5 hours.

One of Dave Scott’s reasons for not retiring earlier and for continuing to go back to the Ironman was that he didn’t want his legacy to be of the man who dominated “back in the day” when it wasn’t competitive. As an aside, his second place finishing time of 8:10:13 against Mark Allen in 1989 has only ever been beaten five times since.

Since marathons have attracted wide participation, the average finishing time is longer than it has ever been.  Is that a bad thing?  I don’t see why it should be.  At the elite level, we can still see people testing the limits of what the human body can do, breaking records, etc.  And at the level of the everyday athlete, we’ve got more people testing the limits of what their body can do, pursuing personal bests, extending their endurance from 5K to 10K to half marathon to marathon.  Sounds all good to me.

I want to be a moderate here, and say that it’s possible to be super-impressed with the winners while also appreciating the effort of the finishers.  I was totally humbled in my mid-summer triathlon that became a duathlon  because so many women in the 60-65 age group beat my time by 20 minutes.  It gives me something to aim for (if I can shave 2 minutes a year off of my time…), people to be impressed by, but didn’t in the least take away from my sense that I’d accomplished something just by completing the task set out for me that morning (especially since it wasn’t what I signed up for!).

So why participate if not to win?   I can think of a few reasons:

1. It’s tons of fun.

2. It’s a training goal for participants at all levels.  I wouldn’t make it out for runs and swims and bike rides nearly as often if I didn’t have the next triathlon on my calendar.

3. There is something about race day that brings out the best performer in people even if they aren’t going to win or place. I know that I’ve amazed myself each time I’ve raced.

4. It’s empowering.

5. Lots of events raise money for worthy charities. So you can pursue your fitness goals and support good causes at the same time.  And there are lots to choose from. The Run for the Cure is not the only charity race even if they’re one of the loudest!

6. Finishing is something to feel good about. Look, when I started running, I couldn’t keep going for 2 minutes without needing a walk break. Now I can sustain over 20 minutes of running and I need just a minute or two of recovery walking before I can start up again.  On race day, I can even do better than that.

7.  It’s exciting to try new things. I never thought I’d get excited about triathlon. I just signed up on a lark at Sam’s urging.  But now I love it!  I love training for it and I am over-the-moon excited for September 15. Fingers crossed that the swim won’t get cancelled.

fitness · racing · running · training · triathalon · weight loss

Fittest by Fifty? Who’s the Competition? She is!

If it’s my goal to be my personal fittest by fifty, then I need to know where the bar is set. Who do I have to beat?

As Tracy and I have mentioned neither of us had particularly athletic childhoods. We have no sports trophies gathering dust or teenage personal bests to conquer. Thank God.

For me, there are two possible candidates for my competition.

Here’s contender number 1. Meet the me that resulted from my last fitness run-up to a significant decade. It’s me at 40. Say hello to Sam, circa 2004, photos below.  She’s in the yellow tank, wearing a number on her chest, no shoulder tattoo yet. She’s thinner and fitter than I am now, if we use running as a measure of fitness. I think she’s probably slower on the bike. She’s certainly not as strong nor as muscular. Shhh. But either way she’s not as fit as I will be at 50.

No thinness goals this time round. From 2002 to 2004,  I went from 230 to 160 lbs but while I stayed reasonably fit I didn’t manage the keep all the weight off. This time my focus is fitness. Though like Tracy, I’d also like to have a better fat-muscle ratio. (Read why here.)

I love these photos because it was such a happy day. I came 14th out of the 40 women in my age group at the Waterloo duathlon. What a terrific race. 5 km run, 40 km bike, 3 km run. Much better than the one I’d done before which ended with a 5 km run. Like all duathletes who turn out to be really be cyclists, I loathe the 2nd run.

A few other things about that day stand out.

I competed with my good friend Martin with whom I’d trained for the race. We actually sort of cheated, just a little bit. He was in the wave ahead of me and so when he’d finished he came back and ran the last run again, with me, for moral support.

You are not supposed to do that, no outside help allowed, and it’s true his nagging– “See that girl ahead in the blue shorts, you can pass her”–helped. If it makes you doubt my ethics, and I’m an ethics professor (geesh), it might help to know that I had no idea this was breaking a rule at the time. It was my second duathlon and it was all new to me.

The hills were also my kind of hills, rolling, steep and short. I could power up and over them without much need to change gears and I’m happy to aggressively pedal down them.

But I’m not sure running is a good way for to measure fitness now, two stress fractures later. That said, in a combined run/bike/run event, I think I could take her by 2014.

Contender number 2 is cycling me, me after 10 months of training with the Vikings Cycling Club in Canberra, Australia and a lot of racing: road races, time trials, and criteriums. She’s below in the blue and white bike jersey, looking very happy just having finished a race. I use a photo from that era as main image on this sight for inspiration. Those were very happy, and very fit, times. I miss the Stromlo Crit course and the weekly club level racing. Miss all the women cyclists and all of my friends on bikes, both there in New Zealand. Need to get more women riding here and I wish we had more recreational racing but that’s a  problem and a post for another time. I was very bike fit by July 2008 when I came home from Australia and I’ve got loads of good data to use in a comparison.

Maybe I’ll need to beat them both but we’ll see how my running holds out. This project would be seriously setback by another stress fracture.