Last year, the USATF Colorado division created state championship events promoting increased competition and prize money. I was able to finish 2nd in two of these events (with first place going to Mizuno teammate Patrick Rizzo) – the 10k and the half-marathon.
In 2012, the USATF Colorado Championships included a 5 Mile event. The Boulder Half-Marathon included this 5 Mile race out at the Boulder Reservoir. After four weeks of running only 72-78 miles per week, this week was my first week at nearly 85 miles. After averaging nearly 100 miles per week for 2011 and culminating that year and beginning this year by over-training, I needed to back off the mileage for a bit. I started to notice my legs were coming back around and feeling fitter, stronger, and more energized each and every day. In addition, Trent Briney and I have been enjoying more of the trails in the area (as I mentioned in my last post) which has made running considerably more enjoyable!
The race was really to test my fitness and ability to run tough. In my case of over-training, basically my body would shut down when I tried running hard…as it did almost exactly at 19.5 miles in the Olympic Trials Marathon…as well as on my 2nd attempt at a 3 minute hill repeat a little over a month ago. I simply wanted to compete and be tough. Goal: accomplished! The field was very deep and talented as evidence by this RunColo.com write-up! I finished 3rd overall in about 25:25 (there were some wrong turns by the top guys which made the finish a little confusing). My splits were very even – 4:58, 5:04, 5:12 (with a u-turn), 5:02, 5;07ish.
Thank you to Bret Stevens for the picture, USATF Colorado for putting on the championships, and the Boulder Spring Half-Marathon for including a 5 mile race in your event this year! Thanks to Eberly, Levassiur, and Adam Rich for a pleasant 30 minute cool-down jog chatting about running, racing, and Colorado. I really appreciate everyone who has reached out in the last few weeks. Having to pull out of the Gate River Run and Boston Marathon were difficult decisions, but having good friends made it much easier. Relaxing in the hot sun with Dave Lehn after the race and celebrating the fact he broke 1:15 (running 1:13:25) and I coming back to form, made the difficulties absolutely worth it. Lesson learned: don’t be afraid to hit the reset button in regards to your training!
I also want to point out some lessons I learned from some athletes I coached who had PRs and great runs all across the country. Three in particular I would like to point out. I’ve been coaching Seth Hasty for over a year now and he’s PR’d in everything from the marathon to the 5k…and now the mile! I had him do a mile time trial and 6x400m. He broke 5 minutes for the first time and ran 4:55! He lives in Maine and simply when to the track and soloed a 4:55. That takes heart and goes to the BASICS of running: trying to reach the best you can be and break mental/physical barriors. Great job Seth! Another person I coach, Michelle, did a half-marathon this weekend. Michelle has struggled with some issues like low iron caused by unknown food allergies and then as soon as she was feeling better she came down with an awful sickness last week. Yet, nothing prevented her from doing a half-marathon this weekend. She was even on PR pace through 11.15 miles before – no joke – a train stopped the runners for 5 minutes!! She then was able to cross the railroad tracks and finish. Although she may have been upset, she never showed it and remained positive about the experience. If running teaches you anything, it teaches you to always remain positive. It’s also a test of character for who you really are. Very proud of you Michelle! Finally I want to point out two other really outstanding performances. Adam ran in a half-marathon and PR’d by thirty seconds! Adam went out way too fast the first mile, which coming from altitude to sea level is a common mistake. We had discussed this and I said it’s OK as long as you get back on pace. What did Adam do? Exactly that! He could have really blown up, but instead, he was a master of composure and ran a well executed 12.1 following miles. Guy in Virginia ran the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler. After struggling with some races this fall he put together really consistent training for weeks and months. What happened? He ran his fastest Cherry Blossom since 1997! This concludes my absolute #1 lesson in running, which I had previously learned from my college coach Beth Sullivan at Penn State: consistency is key!
With that, I’ll leave you with my last weeks training as I will do every Monday from now on!
Monday: AM: 3 PM: 10 + core + massage
Tuesday: AM: 12 miles with Trent Briney on Switzerland Trail (8500-9100ft), PM: 6 miles + 6 Short Hill Sprints
Wednesday: AM 11 Mile progression run, last 7miles average pace 5:28 on dirt roads PM: bike ride + 2 mile each jog/circuit on turf with core mixed in
Thursday: AM 6.7 miles with Dave Lehn
Friday: AM Track workout (light) 2x1k in 3;09, 3:10, 10x200m in 33 avg PM: easy 3 miles barefoot on turf
Saturday: AM 6.5 miles total with 8 strides in spikes
Sunday: 3 miles warm-up, 5 mile race effort in 25:25, 4 mile cool-down