Monday, December 27, 2010

Getting Back Into It

After about 7 weeks with an injured knee, I am feeling better and ready to start training hard. Well, not hard right away, but a slow and smart approach into getting in shape and racing well this spring. Last week was my first "real" week of running after those dreadful 7 weeks, and it was a miniscule 37 miles. But it was 37 miles of no pain.

I shall be in ready for the 10,000m at Outdoor Nationals in June.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rest and Recovery

After a week of not running and trying to relax, I've made a few evaluations. It was interesting to look back on my training and realize that I was not in top shape to run a great time in Chicago. My training was inconstant and the volume wasn't as high as it should have been. I had a week at 27 miles (yes, 27 miles) and then jumped back to 100 plus miles. Also, after I took a much needed break in July, I only had 13 weeks to get ready for Chicago and out of those 13 weeks, I had 6 over 100. Very poor training...

Now that it is all done, I have refocused on a possible Spring marathon. My base building should be huge and I will set a point about 12 weeks before the marathon to start marathon specific training. I'm looking forward to this next marathon cycle and all that it entails.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10-10-10 Chicago Marathon

This was an epic fail for marathon number 3. After the fact I felt like the race itself was horrible. Everything leading up to this race seemed to go wrong, but I didn't notice it until it was too late. I did way to much walking around before my race, the weather wasn't in our favor, and I wasn't eating as regularly or as often as I should have.

The temperature was warmer than expected, but I ignored that by not hydrating or staying relaxed on friday and saturday. And once race day came along, I knew I was in trouble when it was already in the upper 60's at 6:30 am. But, again, I didn't take notice and had high hopes for a sub 2:19 as everyone else was excited to run a fast one that day. Once the gun went off at 7:30 a pack of about 30 guys formed and we were on 2:19 pace from mile 1 till everyone fell apart. I missed my first bottle at the aid station, but just stayed focused and attempted to get in more water and gatorade from the side aid stations. At 10k someone took my bottle again, so I just grabbed whatever bottle I could get a hold of. It was better than nothing.

At that point in the race, the group of 30 was still intact and everyone looked comfortable. I was sitting on some Brooks Hanson guys and whoever else wanted to be in the lead. The crowds were going ballistic as we sailed away at 5:19 pace through downtown Chicago. I've never heard such a loud crowd before, so that was exciting and motivating. I kept looking for Laura on the course; as she said she was going to be at certain locations, but I never heard or saw her among the mayhem. At half-way we hit 1:09:37 and I felt pretty good. We started dropping a few seconds off out pace and I figured we were going to hold this till the end and I was going to hit the standard. As the group started to lose a few guys here and there, I still kept my composer and was keeping an even effort.

Everything felt great till about mile 17 when I hit a slow 5:27 mile. It didn't really bother me, and I figured I was going to hold 5:30's to the end and finish with a nice PR. But mile after mile I was adding one 10-20 seconds and feeling worse and worse. I kept thinking to myself that I'll just hold that pace and still get a PR, but I kept falling off the pervious pace. By mile 23, I knew I'd just have to finish and take whatever it is. Which was a 2:26:16. My worst time yet out of the three marathons.

As I look back on it and notice all the other American's that dropped out, I thought to myself that I should have dropped out. But I wanted a PR and by the time I knew it was over it wasn't worth it to drop out.

On the plus side, the course and crowds were amazing! I'd love to run this race again with cold temperatures, instead of 80 degree weather.

Right now and on the plane home, I figure I am going to stick with what I'm good at and attempt to qualify in the half marathon at Houston for the USA Half Marathon Championships in January. That way I'll have more chances in the half and can run USA Track & Field Championships if I get in.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Last Marathon Workout - 5 days left

This morning was my last workout before I head to Chicago to qualify for the Trials! We just did a nice and easy track workout, which was just some pace work for the marathon. 3x 1000m at marathon pace, which was 3:20ish for the k's. It seemed easy, as it should be and felt good. I wore my goofy looking arm warmers, so that I could get a feel for them if I need to wear them in Chicago, since it's going to be pretty cool out there. I still need to figure out my fueling situation when I get out there...

So at this point, things seem to be great leading up to the race. Everything is aligned, and I feel great, despite one horrible workout on saturday. Either way, I'm excited to get out there and race one of the most stacked marathon's of the year, and definitely, the fastest race in North America.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2 Weeks Left

Last week was a decent, but lower mileage week as The Chicago Marathon is on the horizon. Only two main workouts last week. One was a track workout in that miserable monsoon, and the other was a hard long run which consisted of a 2.5 mile warm up from my house to the river and to the first mile mark by Central Ave. We would start at about 6:00 minute pace and work down towards 5:40 or so in the next 16 miles and cool down about 2.5 miles back to the house, finishing off the day with 21 miles. Well, the first mile of this hard effort was 6:00 minutes, the next few were around 5:50 ish, then we started dropping down towards 5:30 and a few 5:24's here and there. With three miles to go, I backed off from the burning pace and came in at a comfortable 5:30 pace for the last 3 miles.

The overall run was great and the effort really shows how good of a shape we are in. Also, Kris and Jae Young were among the culprits of the quick pace, as Ben Fletcher and I backed off. I also decided to run the workout in my Brooks T6 racers, so I could get use to the pounding of the pavement with little foam, since these racers are all but finished as they've held together for a marathon, a half marathon, a full season of track workouts and a couple of longer tempo runs and finally this harder long run.

Chicago here I come.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chips and Salsa Half Marathon to Chicago Marathon

Another thing to add from last week was the Chips and Salsa Half marathon we have here in Albuquerque. This was last sunday, and the point of it was to run about marathon pace or faster up here at altitude. The course is flat with a bunch of turns, but it actually is a nice course. There were two Moroccans being paced on a bike, me, Kris and John. My lovely girlfriend; Laura, was going to pace us on a bike as well. So after blitzing the first mile in 5:02, I make a wrong turn and have to turn around. Once back on track, everyone in the top five makes another wrong turn which ends up being a 210 meter diversion. After that little mishap, everyone is back on course and back on pace. I clicked off a few solid miles, while staying as comfortable as possible and taking in water and gatorade along the way. At this point I am in 3rd place and am not able to gain much ground on the two Moroccans. I ended up finishing in 3rd place with a time of 1:09:34 with the 210 meter diversion.

After that effort, I feel pretty good about going into Chicago. That effort, with some rest before the marathon should prove to be a great day in a few weeks. I'm also excited to be in a huge group of guys going for that Olympic Trials time, as well as being in a big city marathon with a ton of spectators. Basically, this marathon is going to be like the Olympic Trials, since there are going to be a bunch of Americans in that field. And finally, this will be my first Major Marathon.

Rain Workout

Last night at 6:30pm on one of the local high schools tracks (La Cueva H.S.) A group of us met there to do our track workout instead of in the morning, due to schedule complications. It seemed fine at the time, but being the first day of fall, mother nature decided to remind us that summer was officially over with a constant cool downpour. During the warm up for our 6x 2000m, I thought the rain would subside, and all we'd have to deal with would be the lack of sunlight. In reality, we just dealt with the combination of the two. Once we hit our splits and switched off leads every kilometer between the four of us, it wasn't so bad. I felt like I was in a time warp, as nothing around me seemed to be moving. The lakes that formed on the track made each step filled with extra cushion, but of course, no traction as we hydroplaned with each landing.

It was a great experience and I'm glad we completed the entire workout in those conditions. As the quote states, "whatever doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger.". With that said, the 2k's with 200m jog went well as we planned on hitting marathon pace or close to marathon pace. My Brooks T6 racers felt great out there, and I got them cleaned in the process.

[6:34, 6:32, 6:32, 6:33, 6:35, 6:28]

Monday, September 20, 2010

High Mileage

Last week was an all time high for mileage. I hit 141 miles for the week with two solid workouts and a long 40k run to finish out the week. This was planned of course, and was the peak mileage for this marathon cycle. The following week (this past), was a race week with little tapering and resting. I ran a half marathon here in Albuquerque at altitude and ran it as a marathon specific workout. It went really well and I hit my splits dead on. I fell off a little bit at the end, but that could have been because of the fast miles at the beginning, and a slight deviation that occurred in the race.

Getting lost in an Albuquerque road race is quite common since many races aren't that marked or marshaled correctly. But, either way it was a great effort and I was pleased with the outcome. We basically made a 210 meter detour which costed about 40 seconds in the race, with a steeple barrier. The 2010 Chips and Salsa half marathon, was still a great event and I was pleased to push hard in those conditions. My splits are: [5:02, 5:15, ???, ???, 5:11, 5:10, 5:20, 5:08, 5:10, 5:21, 5:23, 5:26, 5:17, ???]. So I was pleased. Chicago is looking good at this point.

Mileage break down:

9/6 - 9/12
Mon - 10 easy
Tue - am track workout 12x 1000m. 14 miles
pm easy 8 miles.
Wed - am easy 10 miles
pm easy 12 miles
Thur - am easy 14 miles
pm easy 6 miles
Fri - am 10 mile tempo. 14 miles total
pm easy 8 miles
Sat - am easy 12 miles
pm easy 8 miles
Sun - 25 mile long run
Total: 141

9/13 - 9/19
Mon - Off, no running
Tue - am easy 8 miles
pm easy 10 miles
Wed - am 18 miles w/6 miles @ marathon pace (5:31, 5:23, 5:15, 5:19, 5:18, 5:14)
pm easy 6 miles
Thur - pm 12 miles
Fri - am easy 4 miles
pm easy 12 miles
Sat - am easy 7 miles
pm easy 4 miles
Sun - am 1/2 marathon 1:08:54. total 17 miles
pm easy 4 miles
Total: 102

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Mayhem

So after USA outdoor's and the 10k Road Championships, I've had a hiatus from gathering my thoughts on this thing. Basically, I've been running and training for Chicago Marathon, which was decided in July, and will be executed on October 10th. I've always loved the marathon since last years debut at Twin Cities, and even after the struggle at Nashville. It is one heck of a race that needs precise planning, and if one thing goes wrong, the whole shebang goes south.

So with training being very inconsistent but also purposeful, I feel like its going to be a great marathon. A few thoughts I've are: 1) My training has not been as high of mileage as I'd like. 2) I've done more marathon pace work and longer marathon specific workouts than any other cycle, which is a huge importance when trying to run 5:18 pace if you've never practiced it (especially at altitude). 3) My weeks have been all over the place with mileage (i.e. 27 one week, 110 another week...). This may not be as bad as I'm thinking it could be, especially if I'm getting in the big miles now, as well as long runs in. 4) We're getting some advise from a Korean 2:10 marathoner who has run 39 marathons all in the 2:10 - 2:20 range. His training is helping and is simple. 5) Chicago Marathon is Flat and Fast!!!

With these few hiccups in training; its still going to be another great learning experience.

This past week was 126 miles with two long runs:

M- 10 easy
T- am 9 miles easy
pm 4 miles easy
W- am 18 miles (9 easy, 4 miles in: 5:20, 5:18, 5:10, 5:18, 5 miles easy)
pm 4 miles easy
R- am 12 easy
pm 8 easy
F- am 11 miles easy
pm 12x 400m on the grass
S- am 12.5 easy/hilly
pm 6 miles easy
S- am 22.5 miles with fartlek 1200m-1600m-1200m

Total: 126

Monday, June 21, 2010

USA outdoor Championships

Well, it is official... they let me into the race this coming week! The 10,000m is going to be a stacked field, and possibly the most prestigious field that I've ever been in that requires a qualifying time. So, this news is very exciting to me. The race is a championships race, so it's going to be very tactical, and I'm just going to hold on to whoever so that I can finish as high as possible. More updates should follow, or info can be found at:

And television times are:

On TV:
ESPN, June 25 8:00-10:00 pm
ESPN, June 26 1:00-2:30 pm
NBC, June 26 3:00-4:00 pm
ESPN, June 27 1:00-2:30 pm
NBC, June 27 3:00-4:00 pm

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Recovery, Race and Relax

Things are starting to feel good again.  The mileage is getting back up there (100+), so I just need to hold it there for, oh, about 4 more years and I should be good for some fast times.  Right now, I'm just running mileage, without any major workouts.  I may start doing a few quicker stuff as well as some long tempo stuff before USA Outdoors in June.  Which I am desperately hoping to get into since I only have the "B" standard for the 10,000m.  After that race I shall race another 10k, but this time on the roads at the USA road 10k championships in Hotlanta.... Peachtree 10k in Atlanta.  Then its off to Chicago for a half marathon.  More to come...

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Eh, the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee.  I thought this was going to be a nice little break though in the marathon, but instead I bit it hard at this one.  This being my second marathon I've ever done, and the goal of qualifying for the US Olympic trials in the marathon with a time of 2:19 or better was the plan.  But, as we all know, things don't always go according to plan.

The weather seemed to be a bit of a hamper with rain and wind, but I wasn't thinking too much about that.  The course was also a little more difficult that I was expecting too.  I knew there were going to be some hills involved, but once I got to the course, I noticed a lot more hills than I expected.  When the race transpired, I didn't noticed the hills and just raced.  There was a good pack of 10 runners, two Americans only with me being the other one.  So, we were cruising along at about 5:18 average for the first half of the race with all the wonderful hills here and there.  But, once we passed through half way, we dropped a 4:57 mile uphill.  It didn't seem to bad at the moment, but I faded back with another runner to our more rhythmic 5:18's for the next 3 miles.  The pack left us, and then I suddenly fell behind the lone runner as we climbed another hill at mile 17.

My pace started to fall apart at that point, and I could no longer manage my 2:18 marathon pace.  At this point of the race I was trying to be optimistic.  I was thinking that I could fall back a bit and maintain a slower, or more "easier" pace and still run faster than my previous marathon time of 2:24.  Also at this point, Laura, who we managed to get on the lead vehicle and watch the race from a nice position was completely gone with the leaders.  I was so far behind anyone, I felt like I was crawling.  My pace was falling apart as the course kept climbing through the city. 

By the time there was 3 miles to go, I felt like I was on a death march, just trying to get to the finish line.  There was no more desire to race, as I knew I was dead.  Inch by inch, I crawled to the finish with a time of 2:25:36 for 10th place and of course 2nd American.  It was nice to be done with another marathon, and very disappointing not to have run a PR.  I thought deep down, that no matter the course or condition, I was going to crush my previous time.  Now, that I look back on it, I must have mentally given up at around 20 miles.  Nevertheless, it was nice to get another marathon in, and look forward to my next one in the fall.  Just as my first marathon finish, I was, and still am eager to race another one.  Its a great distance and I love punishing myself through a city.  

Now, its back to the drawing board.....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stanford 10k - New PR

Well, last weekend was the Stanford Invite, and there were a lot of great performances there.  I was grateful to travel out there with Laura and stay with her at a hotel that was only 1/2 a mile away.  My parents were also there and they picked us up from the airport the day before our races, which was on friday.  Friday morning came very quick, as suppose to the duration of the entire day.  Laura woke up fairly early for her shake out run before her 11:18am 5000m race.  We headed over to the track accompanied by Laura's parents, who were also out there to watch both our races.  As Laura mingled with her team, I left to the stands and to find both my parents and Laura's parents.  Once I saw my mom emerge from the bathroom, and my father not far behind, I saw Laura's parents and had everyone meet.  Luck for Laura, she was not there to witness the parents finally meeting.  Once that quick tear of a bandage occurred, I said my farewell to everyone as I told them I was going to position myself along the backstretch for Laura's race.  I saw the two couples wander off to the stands as I couldn't help but laugh on the inside as I kept thinking about how goofy parents can be.  

I saw Laura right before her race, wished her luck and found a nice spot on the 100m turn to take splits as she came across the finishing line.  Her race was perfect for her, and she went out
 at an ok pace.  A couple of her laps were slow, and fast, but with 200m to go it looked as if she
 hit a wall, and then a limp was noticeable.  I figured it was her knee, since it was bugging her
 for a couple of weeks, but once she crossed the line, met with her coach and walked over to me, I found out it was her fascia on her foot.  She could barely walk, let alone cool down, which I was going to accompany her in for my shake out run before tonight's race.  It was a definitely a terrible to thing for her, and as I write this she is well on her way to recovery and cross training.

So, after the morning incident and watching a few 1500m races, Laura and I meet up with our parents and head out to get lunch with her parents as mine head to their hotel for lunch.  
We get sandwiches from a nice deli and head back to our hotel, where Laura and her parents eat, and I leave for a short run to get the blood flowing.  I find a nice neighborhood to run through and a nice gradual hill to do some hill strides on.  This is a must for me, since Henry Rono always emphasized some light speed work on a hill the day or so before your race.  
After a few of those, I head back to the hotel, stretch out and have lunch with Laura in the courtyard of our hotel.  Tuna Salad sandwich, some chips and a couple of cookies are all I desire before a nice little nap and off to the track.  

At this point, it is about 7:15ish, and Laura and I get there in time to watch some of the 5k's.  We just hang around till about 8:30 or so, when I start freaking out about warming up, and who to warm up with, since I was going to jog around with one of the UNM guys who was in my heat.  I watch a few more laps of Section 1 of the 5000m and find Keith (UNM 10k guy).  We head out for our warm up and talk all about how amazing this track is and how we plan to race. 
 With all the emotions stirring up in my stomach, I can only respond with a few short phrases as we come back to the check-in area.  I keep running/trotting along for a few more minutes, till my watch hits 17 something total minutes for my warm up.  A few stretches and drills and all the 10000m guys are called to the check-in section for our final check-in an lane assignments.  I get lane/number 13 and rush back to my seat where my stuff is located and change out of my warm-ups.  Many of the other runners are already out on the track doing strides and drills, so I figured I should get out there asap.  In most cases, I am more worried about the preparation of getting to the start line, than the race itself.  Once I can get to the line and the gun goes off, I feel much better.  But, that won't occur for another 10 minutes or so.

Last call had been announced, and I throw my last few layers of clothes to Laura as she wishes me luck with a beautiful smile.  One last stride on the back stretch towards the start and all the runners timidly place themselves in numerical order based on lane assignments.  I find myself with my highlighter yellow singlet squished between two Brooks-Hanson runners. 
I wish whoever can hear me, let alone make eye contact with me a "good luck" before the race and tuck in when the starter sets us off.  The gun goes off and I just stay relaxed and aim for the rail as quick as possible.  It becomes a mess to get over, but with a few elbows here and there, I find my way to the rail.  Once there, I start thinking about pace, and how this is an ok pace.  Mile 1 was hit in around 4:41.  I keep hearing other coaches shout out splits of 69 or 70 to our chase group.  After a quick evaluation, I figure this is a good place to be.  9:20 or so for 2 Miles.  
To me, this is perfect, and I plan on being here through 5k and move up if I can.  To this point, I have never covered a 5k faster than 14:35, and as we approach the 5k mark, that familiar number is still there.  But this time I feel pretty good and have another 5k to go.  I leave our pack and start working on the next pack in front of me.  

No one from that pack is fall off yet, but i keep on pressing and since I'm pretty much alone, I don't hear any splits.  From the starting line on, I have the jumbo-tron to look at and the famous Drums being beaten from the Stanford team.  The back stretch has the UNM's assistant coach Erin Howarth cheering me on till I get to the 200m mark were out of a million voices, I hear Laura's soft but annunciated voice cheer me on, along with a few more UNM athletes' voices and the head coach on the 250m mark.  In the stands on the 300m mark I hear another buddy's voice cheering me on and both my parents and Laura's parents on the home stretch.  So with all those lovely voices to carry me around the track, I couldn't see how I could fade.  Instead I just kept pressing on lap after lap.  The times on the clock didn't make sense to me, so I was not going to add or subtract times to estimate a final time.  All I wanted to see was the lap counter flip closer and closer to 1 Lap to Go!  Once that number came up I glanced over at the time and saw 27:57.  With one lap to go I figured I could run about a 63 or so to break 29.  And breaking that barrier would be amazing.  I knew I didn't want to regret coming this close and missing that mark by a few seconds, so I thought I could do it since I had run a 63 in practice before.  While I'm thinking about all of this and pressing hard for the finish, I reach the 200m mark and the clock over here reads 28:30!  Now I quickly think to myself in about 2 seconds, 2 thoughts.  I just ran a 33 second 200 which is a 66 quarter, and that is not enough to break 29 minutes.  I need a 28!  And I'VE run that in practice too!  So I start kicking with everything I got and start catching some random guys.  I have no idea who they are, but that they are in front of me and if I can catch them or gain on them, then I'm going to get a good time.  I sprint in all the way through the line as I look over at the clock.  It still reads 28:59 as I narrowly miss stepping on a guy who was pasted out on the track.  I stumble to a stop and I only know that I ran the "B" Standard for the USA Outdoor Championships!  If I ran under 29, that would be icing on the cake.  The scoreboard didn't go that far down the list to my 16th place finish to reveal my time.  But I didn't care too much, I had a feeling I did it.  I saw one of the Flotrack guys, Ryan Fenton and talked to him for a bit as I staggered over to where my stuff was at, and where Laura would be.  

I reach her with a smile and a congratulatory hug.  I grab my warm-ups and leave for a short cool down on my own with a smile from ear to ear.  I later find Keith cooling down and we chat for a bit as we come around to the results list.  I look down the list and see my name next to a time of 28:59.96!  .96!!!  I didn't care what the milliseconds were, as long as the minutes were in the 28's.  I was stocked and stoked out of my mind!  I ran another loop around the track facility with an even bigger smile on my face.  I finished up and saw Laura again, as she was telling me I broke 29:00!

After that performance, we walked back to our hotel, both limping since Laura's foot was damaged and I just had a few blisters.  We get back to the hotel, drop off our stuff at around 11:30pm and head down the street to the only restaurant open, Jack-in-the-Box.  

All in all, I was too excited to fall asleep that night and couldn't believe I ran under 29:00.  After dinner, an ice bath, a shower and just laying there till about 1:30am I fell asleep with a well satisfied performance.                 




Monday, March 22, 2010

Stanford and Training

So another few weeks have past by and the preparation for performing well is on the horizon.  This coming week will be a chance for a new pr in the 10,000m at Stanford.  And after that another four weeks till the marathon.  I am very pleased with the training and the higher mileage that I've been doing.  The support I've been receiving from friends and family is great, so the only enemy will be myself, and the fear of not performing well.  At this point, I have no one to fall back on or to blame if my performances aren't what I expected.  In most races, I am very pleased with my performance as I reflect back on them.  But, with these races ahead, I know I will perform well and be satisfied with the outcome.  

Thursday, March 4, 2010


This past weekend was an exciting weekend with many running related events going on.  First off, the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships were in town, so all the local runners were at the Indoor facility along with the sold out crowd to watch all the distance events.  Saturday started off with the Mountain West Conference Championships, were plenty of UNM athletes got to compete and rock the Mountain West Conference.  Unfortunately, I was not able to attend this meet, which I was very upset about.  But, I was able to attend the US Indoor Championships that evening following the Mountain West Championships.

The highlights of the evening in my opinion were the the mens and womens 3000m final.  The men's race went out at a pedestrian pace with Lagat controlling the jog for about a kilometer.  After that a few other guys slightly took the lead, but still remained at a meandering pace of 4:40 for the mile.  It was a hard race to watch among the fans who wanted to see a "race" transpire, but with about 400 meters to go, Lagat started his kick and took the field with ease.  Rupp was second in this race, so both of them get to go to the World Championships in Qartar.  
After watching that race, I regret not trying to qualify for it and have the privilege to race against some of the best mid-distance runners in the country.  When I saw the leaders coming through at 4:40, and some guys falling off from that pace, it only inspired me to enter in this race next year and race to the best of my potential, and hopefully other guys will do the same.  Instead, this race was more of a sit and kick race, with only a few of those guys able to sit and kick without much contention.  

Anyways, training now is focused on the spring marathon and a 10k on the track about a month before the marathon.  Speaking of which, I need to buy my ticket.  Hopefully a special someone will be there and I can watch her (Laura) run the 5000m to a new PB.  So, training is more strength oriented with longer and more constant tempo runs and only one track workout a week, which was done this past tuesday (16 x 400m - avg. 66).  Hopefully things turn out for the best.    

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

USA Cross Country Championships

This past weekend was the US cross country championships in Spokane, Washington.  It was a great race to be in and I have been gearing towards this race since last year.  So, for 365 days, I've been dreaming of racing well here and making a US team.  And by the feel of my workouts leading up to this race, I felt as if it were possible.  

The trip to Spokane was great, and I was accompanied with some great people.  So, when race day came it was going to be a familiar feeling.  That morning, the weather was "perfect".  I was and hoping for rain and cold miserable weather, but that wasn't the case.  A nice 50 degrees and sunny skies would pave way for a great race.  The gun goes off at 2pm and I had a feeling that 20 guys or so would be capable of making the two US teams.  One being the World Cross Country team (6 guys) and the other being the NACAC team (5 guys).  So, ideally, you want to be at least top 11 in order to be on one of those teams if no one declines.  And that was the goal...

By the first kilometer I was in great position in around 9th or 10th place.  We hit that kilometer in about 2:47, which was pretty quick, but I felt alright.  I just wanted to stay there and hopefully other guys would fall apart and I would maintain a good position.  The first loop was pretty quick and I was still in that lead pack.  At that point I felt good but everyone else were feeling better.  The pack starts to drift apart over the next few kilometers and I start fading and getting passed.  The 5k came up in about 14:40 something and I was feeling it.  As each guy came up on me I tried to go with them and surge just to hold on.  But, that would not help as I still faded.  I finally held on to 16th place as the finish was coming up.  So I finished in 36:36 in 16th place.  It was faster than last year and a better placing than last year, but not exactly what I wanted.  

I kept thinking that I needed to be stronger so that I could hold on to the position I started off at, but ultimately that performance was the best I could do.  It was a great race and I am now happy with the way it turned out.  I originally wanted more from that race, but I can only take what happened and use that for next year and other racing in the future.  

Next on the schedule is Stanford 10k and then the Country Music Marathon in April. 



Friday, February 5, 2010

On the Horizon, the USA Cross Country Championships

So the USA Cross Country Championships is just about a week away and the entry list is looking pretty good!  There are only 6 spots to make the USA World Cross team and 5 spots to make the NACAC team.  Both of them are US teams, and I would be honored to make either of them.  So the goal is to be top 10 and secure a spot on either team.  I know its going to take a lot of grit and grind to make anyone of those teams, but I've been thinking about this race for a year.  Since last year, this has been all I've been thinking about and all I want, among a few other achievements in running.  The obvious would be to: make a US team, make the Olympic Trials, run sub 14 in the 5k, or make a US National Championships race.  Anyone of those things and I may feel content with all the years of running I've done.   

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

UNM Lobo Indoor 3k

Running a PR is always something to be happy with, which is what occurred this past weekend.  It was another UNM indoor race, with loads of runners in all sorts of events.  Allyson Felix was at the meet and she ran a Stadium record in the 400m in 52.05!  So that was sweet to see.  Then it was nice to see some of the UNM guys and girls run well leading up to the mens 3k.  I knew in the weeks leading up to this race, that it was going to be stacked with a grip load of studs and NCAA All-Americans.  So, it was nice to see that I made it into that heat, as there were two heats of this race.  

To name a few guys, we had: Rory Fraser (13:39 5k), Patrick Smyth (1:02 half-marathon among other top 5 performances at USA Championships), Ben Bruce (8:26 sc), Jason Lehmekule (5th at the US Marathon Trials, 2:14) and a couple of other sub 14:00 5k guys.

So, with all this talent in the field and a rabbit to pace the leaders through at 8:05 pace for 3k, it was going to be exciting.  There was a waterfall start, and since I was seeded second to last in this heat I was on the waterfall on the outside lanes, which was fine.  Once the gun went off, everyone took off like a bat out of hell.  Our little group didn't cut in, until the 100m mark and I positioned myself around 6th or 7th place through the first 400m.  After that point, I was still running in lane 2 so I decided to move up and sit on the inside lane, but there was no way to get in unless I moved up to 4th place behind Rory and Smyth.  So, like an impatient runner I did exactly that.  I was nice and secure in 4th place through the 800m mark in about 2:13.  The pace started to heat up and I was holding on while a few guys passed me as we hit the mile in about 4:24.  I was in about 7th place at this time and Jason Lehmekule started to move and pass a bunch of us on the outside.  At that point I decided I could go with him and position myself back in 4th place, since at this point the rabbit dropped off and the leaders were now: Smyth, Fraser and Lehmekule.  I was in 4th again for a short amount of time as Ben Bruce passed  me and then Aucencio Martinetz passed me as well.  Naturally, I tried to stick on them but could only hold their pace for a few hundred meters and would fade off of each of them.  I could hear the announcer and the crowds going nuts, since it was a great battle between UNM's Rory Fraser and Team USA Minnesota's Patrick Smyth at the bell lap.  I could see them killing each other as I was trying to close the gap on Lehmekule, since Bruce and Martinetz passed him, but that didn't happen in the finally 200 meters.  The crowd roared to Fraser's win of 8:08 and a wake of runners that still bettered the Stadium record of 8:10.  Four guys went under the old record and Lehmekule finished in 8:13 as I was kicking in just under 8:20 with a new PR of 8:19.99.  

It has a catchy ring to say 8:19, instead of 8:20... So I was full of smiles and happy to run that fast before the US Cross Championships.  I know two of those guys in my race are racing Cross, so its going to be a great race out there in Spokane.  I am getting excited and wonder how fast I could run a 5k at sea level...?  Sub 14:00?  And I don't know if I'll get the chance to do that this year.  It would be nice, but it also would be nice to make a US Team.  I think I'll go for the US team and see what happens.



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Indoors... among other things

This week shall be another attempt at an indoor race.  I will be racing the 3k here in ABQ and hope to run a PB, which was set here last year at the same meet.  It should be a good one.  Besides that, I feel that training is going well.  I had a few hiccups in the past 2 weeks which were minor sicknesses that hampered training to a minimum.  When sickness occur they always tend to mentally bring you down more that physically; from a runners standpoint that is.  I felt that my fitness and consistency were compromised, which has a huge effect on me when training was going so well.  And after looking back at my log and the trend of sicknesses that I've had, its clear that it was contributed to lack of sleep.  A funny hypothesis I made was that I always get sick after a wedding; which happened over the summer as well.  Nevertheless, its over and training is going well again.  This weekend shall be a testament to that thought.

Also, with so many great things happening in the marathon these past couple of weeks I "consulted" with my roommate (Allen Wagner) about doing a marathon this spring.  After Twin Cities I was eager to run another marathon.  The only thing holding me back in my mind was the idea of developing and working on my speed over the spring.  And when "working" on speed, it meant racing shorter distances on and off the track.  But, the more I think about it, I can always work on speed during marathon training.  The only thing that I can't attain from working on speed, is actually going to a bunch of track races and racing a PB.  But, at this point its out weighed by the fact that I haven't qualified for the US Olympic Trials and want to!  So, that's why I will be racing one this April.  I know its going to go well!       

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lobo Mile

Well, this past weekend I ran the mile here in Albuquerque and it went well.  The UNM indoor track is an amazing facility and I always enjoy racing on it.  Although, this was only my second time racing on it, it was still a great experience.  There were about seven guys in our race, of which two of them are sub 4 minute milers at sea level.  Kris and I knew we had no business racing those guys, so we decided to trail them and close fast.  We went out somewhat conservative and then I started to press the pace in attempts to close the second half of the race faster than the first half.  One of the UNM guys (Matt Everett) was with me when we separated from the chase pack and then with about 400 to go I started to push even harder with the intent to "kick".  The winner of the race ran 4:08, second was 4:10 and I was third in 4:14.  Matt ran 4:18 and Kris ran 4:24.  All in all it was great to get on the track and move that fast.  It is something well needed before US Cross.

Race Video:


Friday, January 15, 2010

UNM Lobo Opener

Tomorrow is the first indoor race of the year, and I shall be racing the mile.  Its more of a workout than a race, but its going to be a great performance and effort.  A couple of OTC guys should be in the race, so I won't be anywhere near them.  Updates of the race should be posted.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2010 Training

2010 is going to be a great year, I can already tell.  Training is going to be great and the friends and family that encompass this new year are going to be great companies for these wonderful experiences.  However, I have one minor set back, and that is while I write this I am a bit under the weather.  Yet, it's nothing too serious and as I watch my other training partners get healthy and logging in the miles, I can only hope that we will be running new pr's and competing against some good guys.

The most immediate goal that has been on my mind since last year is focused towards the USA Cross Country Championships next month in Spokane, Washington.  This 12k cross country race is something that I cannot wait to race and do well in.  I hope to make a US National Team and represent my country in running.  It would be such an honor and dream come true to achieve.  There will be a few of us out there, and a buddy of mine lives in Spokane, so the experience is going to be great.  The weather; God willing, should be miserable!  Snow, windy and mud should prove to be a great cross country experience.  And the training leading up to this race has been great!  Mileage has been relatively high, but could be higher and the quality of the workouts has been great.  Yet, my biggest problem has been rest.  My recovery runs have been great, but the amount of sleep has been awful.  I have about 5 weeks till the race and I need to incorporate more sleep into my training in order to make that team.