Yesterday was the ultimate recovery day, time in NormaTec MVP recovery boots, massage, ice bath, extra sleep, and a nap. These days after a race are filled with some idle tasks, laundry, grocery shopping, unpacking/packing bags, and catching up on mail. This is the time you tend to reflect on your races when you have that idle time to look back at the last 24-48 hours…specifically on the one hour twenty minutes and seventeen seconds I ran during the US 25k Championships.
After an easy morning run and strides, a quick drive to the airport, a direct flight from DEN > GRR, and a quick ride from the airport I was at the host hotel. Checking in at the Elite Athlete hospitality suite I received my hotel cards, bib #, and a nice little interview with runnerspace. After an hour relaxing in the hotel room, all the athletes headed over to the race expo for some introductions, followed by the Mizuno athletes stopping in at the booth at the expo.
Next up, the usual dinner stop with the Mizuno athletes. This time food was served at Vitale’s restaurant. A relaxing dinner and good Italian pizza and back to the hotel to relax until race morning.
As I said in the interview, I thought I was capable of running 5:00-5:05 pace. That was my plan for the race, but I wanted to be conservative early and let go of any fast pace. I assumed that a hot early pace would lead people to be coming back to me in the later miles. After a 4:53 opening mile, I let the pack go and worked with a few other guys until mile 4. Unfortunately from mile 4 until the finish I ran completely alone. It was literally a long and lonely road the last 11.5 miles to the finish. Nobody passed me and I passed three people, but they were all Kenyans who were walking on the side of the road as I passed them. My splits were pretty even though as I went through halfway in 40:00 and ran the second half in 40:17. The first half is nearly perfectly flat, with rolling hills between miles 8 and 12, so my effort was very even. I couldn’t go any faster though and was left in 13th place at the finish, a slight disappointment from my goal of finishing in the top ten.
Using McMillian’s running calculator, this time would be equivalent to approximately 1:06:50 for the half-marathon. Although the course is mostly flat, it’s not as screaming fast as my 1:04:59 PR from the Rock N Roll Philadelphia course. That being said, I’m probably a good 90 seconds off of being in PR shape. Although this isn’t great, I have to keep my chin up and take it as a positive experience. Two months ago I had to pull the plug on attempting to race the USA 15k Championships due to over-training syndrome. Since then I’ve been patiently getting back into challenging workouts and specifically not doing the glycogen depleting workouts (with the exception of the St. Luke’s Half-Marathon). I have been sleeping better and feeling overall an improvement in energy, so in addition to running progressively better I’m improving. My concentration is much better too. I have a seemingly long way to go – specially about 90s over 13.1 miles – to be back at my best, but I’m making progress and that IS a positive thing.
Thank you family, friends, and sponsors for believing in me. Great job to all of the competitors this past weekend. It was a blast going bowling and sharing a few pitchers with some new friends and fast people. I look forward to seeing the majority of them at the USA Half-Marathon Championships in June. Until then, it’s time to rest up for the Zazzle Bay To Breakers 12k this weekend where I’ll be on the LinkedIn centipede team going for a new world record in the 12k with 13 guys tied together! Here is a non-updated list of who is running..Should be a fun time!