I am one with the levee and the levee with me

NCAA D2 West Region Championships

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Location:

New Orleans,LA,

Member Since:

Dec 12, 2007

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Running Accomplishments:

800m - 2:02.4h (2014)

1500m - 3:59.9h (2014)

3k (indoor) - 8:45.79 (2009)

5k - 14:53.45 (Portland Track Festival 2014)

8k XC - 25:09.86 (Sundodger 2011)

10k XC - 31:31 (WWU Invite 2011)

HM - 1:10:19 (Houston 2018)

Marathon - 2:29:15 (Kentucky Derby 2018)

Short-Term Running Goals:

1) sub-2:25 at Houston Marathon 2019

2) 1:08 half

Long-Term Running Goals:

Olympic Trials Qualifier

Personal:

Married, working, training. While my wife has nixed all future attempts to grow glorious mustaches, she has been supportive of my crazy running dreams. Life is good.

Favorite Blogs:

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 170.00 Year: 2163.66
Mizuno Ekiden Lifetime Miles: 202.70
Lunaracer 3 Lifetime Miles: 506.80
Triumph 3 Lifetime Miles: 798.30
Streak 6 Lifetime Miles: 329.50
Saucony Zealot Lifetime Miles: 298.00
Boston 6 Lifetime Miles: 36.40
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
161.000.002.6018.00181.60
Vapor (Red) Miles: 61.00Vapor (Black) Miles: 92.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.000.000.0011.00

Easy run in Hawaii!!!! The D2 West Regional is being held on Oahu -- we flew in this morning and ran down around Diamond Head and back up Waikiki. Gorgeous. Added a 10 minute tempo just to loosen up the legs. 

Vapor (Red) Miles: 11.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.000.000.009.00

9 miles on the XC course. We arrived at 8am to get a feel for what conditions will be like tomorrow. It was already very warm and humid. We're racing on a golf course along the beach, the grass is next to nothing and the ground is firm besides a couple of sandy spots. No major hills, but the south and north ends have some decent rollers that we run over 4 times a piece. I expect the second half of the race will get tough.

Vapor (Red) Miles: 9.00
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Race: NCAA D2 West Region Championships (6.2 Miles) 00:32:54, Place overall: 15
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.000.006.2013.20

Finally the training is coming together! I ran one of the best races of my life today (disregard time, it was meaningless in this race). I woke up this morning with a sore throat and was a little worried about sickness, but it hasn't set in fully yet.

We raced at 8 am, but it was still brutally hot and humid. My race strategy was to just go out conservative and then keep moving up after the mile. I think this race was deceptively tough, and lots of runners got sucked into feeling secure in good footing and a lack of big hills. But the 8 hills added up, especially in the heat, and people dropped like flies.

At the gun, I ignored the all-out sprint and went out at race pace, which put me towards the back. It was a little nerve-wracking to watch everybody running away from me, but I stuck to it. I was convinced the heat would kill everybody, and I reached the first mile in 5:06 and was in maybe 50th or 60th place. 

From there I just focused on keeping my pace as well as I could and moving up. I passed a bunch in the second mile, reaching it in 10:13, so 5:07 for that one. 

I moved into the top 25 somewhere in here and reached 3 miles in 15:23 for a 5:10. Around here the heat really hit me and I had to just focus on one mile at a time. I reached the front of the chase pack and entered no-man's land, and kept my eyes on the lead pack, slowly reeling them in.

The 4th mile came and went in 20:38, 5:15 and some of the lead pack was already falling off and coming back. Up the hills, down the back side, just focusing on ignoring the heat and keeping up the pace.

I reached 5 miles in 25:55ish, somewhere around 5:17 for that one. Even though my pace was slowing, runners were still coming back quickly. A lot of the guys who went out in sub-5 were really paying for it. 

I didn't catch my 6 mile split, but I'm doubting the 5-mile-to-finish measurement since I would have had to run 5:50 pace from 5 miles to the finish to reach my final time, and I know I was running around 5:10 pace that last mile. Anyway, I caught a pack of 3 runners, including one of my teammates, in the 6th mile. The Kangogo kid I couldn't outsprint was part of that pack, and I knew I was once again too late to beat him. As we rounded the final turn to the finish, I went after him and pulled ahead of my teammate, but Kangogo managed to put about 2 seconds on me in the last 200m.

As I approached the finish line my stomach began to reject my treatment of my body, and I immediately began to hurl the instant I crossed the line. I hurled, and puked, and spewed some more in utter agony while I got to deal with the affects of the heat on my body. It's a beautiful thing to puke post-race, and this is only the second time I've had the honor of doing it. 

I'm happy with today, especially because I know that, despite the puking, I was holding back a gear or two in the second half of the race. I was able to push it harder but was content to hold my pace so long as people were coming back. And there was another gear available in the finish, but I decided to save it for nationals.

The team ran great. We went 5, 15, 16, 24, and 26, putting 4 and almost a 5th in All-Region honors. We placed 3rd behind 2 very good teams, and are looking forward to going after another top-10 spot at nationals.

Afterwards, we spent the day on the north shore, eating at fruit stands and hole-in-the-wall food stands. We spent a few hours swimming and getting pounded by the surf and enjoying the warmth at Sunset Beach. This will always be one of my favorite experiences. Especially since the relaxation on the beach was just capping off the satisfaction of a good race. It was beautiful.

Vapor (Red) Miles: 7.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.000.000.007.00

7 miles up to Diamond Head crater and then back around to Waikiki. We played in the surf and watched the sun rise over Diamond Head.

Spent the rest of our time on the beach and snorkeling. Hawaii will be missed. 

Vapor (Red) Miles: 7.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

10 easy out to Padden plus 8 x strides. The cold has taken complete hold and I feel like poo. Legs are fine, but my throat and head hurt.

Vapor (Black) Miles: 10.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

10 easy on the Urb. My throat hurts so much.... I want to just sleep forever.

Vapor (Black) Miles: 10.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.000.003.1010.10

10x500m on the track, 200 jog rests (1:10-1:15).

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good. I was worried I would struggle in the workout because of being sick, but I actually felt really good.

Started at 1:36, 1:34, 1:33, 1:33, 1:30, 1:29, 1:30, 1:29, 1:26, 1:25. 

Vapor (Black) Miles: 7.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.000.000.009.00

9 miles easy. Went to Civic Field to cheer on a few of the younger guys in their 5k time trial.

Vapor (Black) Miles: 9.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.500.002.600.0010.10

1 loop around Lake Padden today at a gentle tempo pace. 15:12 total time, works out to 5:50 pace.

I went to the health center to get a strep screen and it was negative. I'll just have to wait this one out. 

Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.006.00

6 miles easy, still recovering from cold.

Vapor (Red) Miles: 6.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.500.000.002.509.00

10x400m at Broadway Park. Final workout before nationals. The loop was muddy and sloppy, rests were about 90 sec. Started at 77, ran 73s for #3-8, then finished in 72 and 71. I felt very good. Slight cough still lingering as well as the sore throat, but my legs and breathing felt really good.

Vapor (Black) Miles: 6.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

10 easy on the Urb.

Vapor (Black) Miles: 10.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.500.000.000.007.50

Easy run in Oklahoma. We flew into Tulsa this afternoon and stopped by a park near the airport for our run. We ran on some kind of a nature preserve in a place called Mohawk, I think? Anyway, it was surprisingly pleasant -- temperature and scenery were both nice. Tacked on about 8 minutes of light tempo on the end just to keep the legs fresh. I feel good.

Vapor (Red) Miles: 7.50
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.500.000.000.006.50

Ran at the course today with my team to check things out. A few things to note:

1) The course is short.

2) This course is full of twists and turns. Lots of hard 90 degree turns and U-turns and other stuff. Very few long straights.

3) Very little flat terrain. Lots of up and down, but no big hills.

4) The footing is good, so the pace should be hard.

The twistiness of the course is going to hurt me a little, but I think I'm going to stick to my race plan. The D2 field expanded to 32 teams to match the D1 race, which I think is dumb since the way they did it has brought in several teams that aren't even ranked in the top 35. It means there will be more people going out hard and clogging up the lanes in the first half of the race. Oh well, I just have to deal with that.

My plan is to go out at my pace and let everyone else do their thing. I really don't want to get caught up in a blazing start and then suck wind the entire back half. The twists and turns aren't going to help me -- I tend to run better on straights and such, but it just means I'll have to stay focused on my pace. No easing up around turns or falling off my pace, which is easy to do on those 90 degree turns.

I think it's going to be really clogged in the first half of the race. With the quality of this field, I don't think people are really going to start coming back till the second half. To me this means really opening up after halfway. I think I'm going to need a really strong 4th and 5th mile in order to get up to where I want to be. Oh, and the weather is perfect, so I don't think people are going to crash as hard as they did in Hawaii. Means I'll just have to run that much tougher.

I'm still sick. How on earth does this sickness last this long? I don't know. But I stocked up on cold medication today to try to keep my airways clear. Dayquil, Breath-rights, anything I need to make sure my breathing feels good tomorrow. Right now I feel pretty good, but I was coughing up junk this morning.

Regardless, I'm ready for this. I expect my body to respond well, it's just a matter of saving myself for the second half, when the real racing gets underway. 

Vapor (Red) Miles: 6.50
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Race: NCAA DII XC Nationals (6.2 Miles) 00:31:46, Place overall: 126
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.000.006.2013.20

This is not the race report I wanted to write, but for my own sanity I have to record it and learn from it, otherwise today's misery will be for nothing.

There's no doubt in my mind that my race strategy was a complete and utter failure for this particular race. I felt physically fit and capable of running fast, but the crowded course and twists and turns proved to be more than I was able to force myself through. 

As I expected, the race went out at a dead sprint from the start. I started at the pace I wanted to run and still got sucked into a quick first quarter (68) and was still nearly dead last. I made sure to get around people as things started to calm down, which meant running slightly off the course in the high grass (technically a violation, but I figured nobody would care since it was hurting me rather than helping). I hit the mile in 4:54 and was still in the back half, probably higher than 150th. This was the only split I heard.

The field was packed. The course is fairly narrow, and runners were stacked all the way across. I stuck to the edge, but this meant getting pinched off every time I hit a curve. Lots of hard 90 degree turns and even some U-turns. I continued to move up through 2 miles, and was told sometime around here that I was in 125th.

And then I stopped moving up. I tried not to panic as I realized I had stopped passing people. I kept trying to pick it up, and I would move past a few guys and then have to slow down for a turn and get past up again. Then I would surge and pick up a few guys and then have to slow down again for a turn. I could never get my positioning right for the turns, either. As things started to open up, I started running tangents, but there was always somebody who would cut me off into a turn and I'd end up slowing down again.

All the starting and stopping wore me out really fast, and pretty soon, I was just matching the pace of the guys around me. And then I started to cave in on myself mentally. Aerobically, I felt fine. It felt like a tempo run. But somehow I felt exhausted. I think it just took so much energy to pass people that I realized I had screwed up in a big way.

We moved into the second half and I was still in the 120s and I felt no motivation. I knew my personal race was over, that picking up 80 guys was not going to happen. I figured that if I gave a herculean effort I might get 40 guys from there to the finish, but I don't feel any more satisfaction in finishing 80th than I do 126th. I tried to find motivation in the team score, but all my teammates were in the same situation as me. We race conservative, and other runner always come back to us and we always finish where we want to. But today was different. Other runners didn't come back. I was in the 120s and only one of my teammates was ahead of me. We came into this race ranked 10th, and we knew a top-6 finish was possible, and felt top-10 was a certainty. But not with our 2-7 in the back half of the race. I knew our team race was over just as much as my personal race was, and I could not find motivation to run harder. We would be as equally disappointed with 15th as we are with 21st. 

I did finally outkick the Kangogo kid from Alaska Anchorage who has outsprinted me every race. The only silver lining I can find in this. 

I am utterly shocked at how today went. I have never run a race that favored an absolutely reckless start. And I'm not sure I ever will again. Looking over the results, very few people moved up or fell back more than 40 spots from halfway to the finish, and most hardly moved at all. I would have had a much better shot at running a 4:45 opening mile, then hanging on for dear life. I guess that's how you have to run a narrow, twisty course with this many people, because the conservative approach was certainly a failure.

However, I don't think I would have changed my race strategy. My reasoning was sound. I think that, in general, it is not a good idea to drastically change your racing style, especially on the national stage. Like I wrote yesterday, I thought the course might give me problems, but I think that 99 times out of 100 racing conservative works, even in big races. Physically, I was as ready as I could be today, and I do not think any herculean effort in the second half would have changed my happiness in today's result.

I chalk this up to a strategical failure, and have to move on from there.

Vapor (Red) Miles: 7.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
Comments(3)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

10 easy on the Urb. 

I've spent the last week stewing over nationals and enjoying a great Thanksgiving, and it's time to get back to the grind. 

My lungs felt awful today as I seem to have caught another cold and have been coughing all week. I'm just about through it, but I felt like I was breathing with a gorilla sitting on my chest.  

One of my teammates through together a quick video of our season:

http://vimeo.com/54069334

He's working on a feature length documentary about XC, and it looks like he's got some talent at what he's doing.  

Vapor (Black) Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

10 easy out to Padden. I have some pain on the outside of my ankle/Achilles that's popped up. I think all the times rolling my ankle on the nationals course took its toll. Time to scrape and ice!

Vapor (Black) Miles: 10.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

10 miles easy. I took the butter knife to my ankle and it felt a little better on today's run. A few more days of it and I should be good to go.

Vapor (Black) Miles: 10.00
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

10 easy

Vapor (Black) Miles: 10.00
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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
161.000.002.6018.00181.60
Vapor (Red) Miles: 61.00Vapor (Black) Miles: 92.50
Night Sleep Time: 0.00Nap Time: 0.00Total Sleep Time: 0.00
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