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Posted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:33 am
by Tinman
To those of you who were following the conversation on our website about Josette, the talentef and highly motivated female runner from upstate New Jersey. She placed 2nd in the state cross country meet (final), but during the race she ruptured (injured) a plantar fascia (in her foot). She was leading and then lost power in the middle of the race and was limping. She did her best, but she had no ability to pick up the pace and handle the talented runner who was her main rival.

A Lesson to Learn and Remember:

I suspect she was injured after the week that she ran extra hard in the middle of the season (this was before I was offering specific workouts). Do you remember when we (several runners/coaches on this forum) asked Dave why he was giving Josette hard/faster workouts that one week before a big cross-country meet? He qualified the increased intensity of training by saying that Josette wanted to set a record on the course, so he gave her some faster/harder workouts to sharpen her up for the race. She did sharpen up and run very fast on that course, but it probably was the the straw that broke the camel's back, as many of us predicted. According to the orthopedist doctor, Josette was probably running on an injured plantar fascia for a few weeks and it finally gave-way in the state meet race. I don't know for sure if that "hard" week of training was the turning point, but I know for sure that week probably put Josette over the edge. This was her first injury, and so of course makes it challenging to manage the situation well. Rather than make the situation worse, I have scheduled water running workouts for Josette. Dave and I have talked at-length about how to do it properly and effectively, which is very important. She's been in the pool a week, and she has enjoyed the challenge of it. We'll keep her in the pool for all of December, since she's in a "boot" that protects her injured foot. She'll have a follow-up appointment with the orthopedist and we won't put her on land until the doctor says it's okay to do so. We'll introduce land running gradually, however.

Okay, now you guys are up-to-date. I had to write this email because more and more people have asked me about Josette, and I thought I'd just cover all of the information her in one post rather than reply to several emails, one-by-one.

Addendum: I am not trying to pick on Dave. I've made my share of coaching mistakes. In October, Kevin Miller ran a race in New York. Originally I scheduled 3 rest days after that big race. I did so because Kevin has a history of getting injured after running races. (He pushes himself to the limit in races more than anyone I know!) Anyway, he asked me after the race if he could run easy the next 3 days rather than rest. He had his sights set on a big 15km road race in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was the USATF National 15km road-race championships, and he wanted to have enough endurance to run it fast. That's why he didn't want to rest. I accepted Kevin's offer and let him run. Big mistake on my part! What happened? He became injured! I should have held fir on my position about resting. So, Dave is not the only one that has allowed a talented/highly motivated athlete to talk him into doing more training. I am just as guilty as Dave! I'll learn, and I know Dave will too.

Hopefully, by sharing this story you coaches or athletes out there will learn from our mistakes. This community is all about sharing good ideas, and we learn sometimes (a lot) from our mistakes, too.

Have a great day!

Re: Josette

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:26 pm
by BURN7
It is unfortunate but I trust that Tom's experience with pool work will set her up very nicely for a remarkable comeback.  The High School coaches on this forum understand the struggles distance runners face when trying to manage local meets, state meets and national meets.  Eveyone expects them to show up and put there best effort forward at every meet and unfortunately events like the 5k just do not work that way.  Locally she has a great following and everyone pulls for her...I suppose we both got caught up in the moment and tried to appeal the local followers and of course ourselves by breaking that record.  Positives will come from this, Josette will be hungry to comepte once healed and I will have better perspective when assigning races and expectations.  The primary long-term expectation/goal is now the only focus and this has taught us to follow a plan that will put her in the best position to reach those goals.It's cliche I know but this may end up being a blessing in disguise.  She has an outstanding Doctor working with her and the support of people like Tinman helping us get past this.  As usual I will keep you all posted!