TRACK : Healthy Medrano aims to bounce back from poor indoor season this spring

first_img Comments The first race of Tito Medrano’s indoor track season ended miserably. The senior hit a wall halfway through his 3,000-meter race, finishing in a time comparable to those he ran as a freshman.As the season progressed, Medrano continued to struggle. He followed the first performance with a personal worst in the 3,000-meter race. Medrano and his coaches realized a serious issue existed, but they couldn’t identify it.‘The coaches and I were confused as to what was wrong with me,’ Medrano said. ‘They thought it was a mental thing, but I thought it was completely physical.’Medrano’s lackluster finish in the Big East championships prompted a blood test that revealed an iron deficiency. Since then, Medrano has taken the necessary steps to maintain proper iron levels in his blood. With a refocused attention on his health, Medrano – the reigning Big East champion and Second-Team All American in the 10,000-meter run – worked his body back into championship form for this weekend’s outdoor season opener at the Stanford Invitational.Getting through the indoor season, though, was a constant battle.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHead coach Chris Fox compared Medrano’s iron deficiency to the fatigue of mononucleosis. He said the iron deficiency results from a combination of intense workouts and an improper diet.‘Sometimes when you train really hard and you don’t eat enough red meat or get enough iron supplementation somehow out of your diet, you can start to feel fatigued,’ Fox said.That depletion of energy set in early in the indoor season and pestered Medrano through the Big East championships. Medrano labored through workouts and failed to reach any of his personal expectations in meets.The senior quickly became frustrated.Junior distance runner Sean Keefe said when Medrano’s running at his peak, he gives younger runners a great example to look up to.And Keefe appreciates the opportunity to run alongside him during practices.‘Tito is the best training partner to have,’ Keefe said. ‘Any workout I can do, he can do and more.’But because of his inability to compete at his highest potential during the indoor season, Medrano feels he let down his teammates as a veteran leader.‘Coach has high expectations for me as a leader,’ Medrano said. ‘And I couldn’t show it this year.’Medrano remained stubborn all indoor season, believing he didn’t need a blood test for a diagnosis. After the indoor season concluded, though, he budged and learned of the iron deficiency.The diagnosis explained why he struggled during the winter, but questions of how he would rebound sprang up.Medrano made significant changes in his recovery and took dietary supplements for a time. He now incorporates spinach and steak into his diet. He even cooks on an iron skillet to boost his iron levels.Slowly, Medrano began to regain his comfort in workouts. And now, Medrano feels he has returned to form. He starts the outdoor season Saturday rejuvenated in the hopes of topping last year’s 12th-place finish at the NCAA Championships.‘I think I’m coming back to my old self,’ Medrano said. ‘Workouts have shown I’m in pretty good shape. I think the best is yet to come.’[email protected] Published on April 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Jacob: [email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img