Saturday, February 20, 2010

A forced few days off

I had planned on writing my blog entry today about the race I was planning on racing this morning. I was hoping my entry would have gone something like this... "I ran my first race in about 6 months today and it went fantastic. I started out conservatively and picked it up with each mile. It was only a 5K, but a step in the right direction."
Instead of running that race I was forced to take a few rest days. I woke up Thursday morning with some symptoms resembling a cold, but they were still a little vague and not quite sticking. I still did my workout (just a little fartlek), and while I felt decent the last couple of pickups felt a little hard. I felt a little worse throughout the day and ended up calling in sick to work on Friday and did not run because I wasn't feeling good. Last night I wasn't able to fall asleep until after 1:30 because I was having weird joint and muscle pain (elbows, calves, hamstrings, hands) and the only reason I fell asleep is because I took some pain reliever. So, that led me to the decision of no run today. We will see what happens for tomorrow. The most I will do is a short run and then maybe try to throw a long run in a different day next week.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Husky Invite/U.S.A Indoor Championships

Hey everyone, I tried all day to load a video of my blog for this weekend. So after a long time of attempting, I just did it differently. I post my video blog on myspace. so you can click the link to see my video of whats going on as of late with me.

I don't do grass

My last few weeks of training have been pretty decent. Three weeks ago, I ran my highest mileage week since before the Olympic Trails in 2007 (139 miles). Two weeks ago, while feeling the burn of the previous week's volume I ploughed through 117 miles. Last week I mustered 114 miles while traveling to the US XC Champs with Morgan (my daughter) in tow. Alone in an airport with a 17 month old the night before a national champs race was a new experience for me. I was exhausted by the time I got to my hotel in Spokane and turned her over to Grandma and Grandpa. Needless to say, I didn't expect great things at the XC champs given the mileage I'd been running and only 2.5 weeks of workouts under my belt. And sure enough, I didn't do anything special. Frankly I really struggle racing on grass surfaces but probably felt the best I've felt in the past three months during the race (which isn't saying much). I was thrilled to find myself picking several guys off the last lap despite having gone out too hard. I can feel the strength of marathon training starting to kick in. Now I just need some speed.

I love racing XC, I just wish I didn't suck at running on grass and mud. Put me on a firm dirt trail, roads, or a track and there's no way that field of runners would put 44 dudes in front of me, but something about soft wet grass or mud seems to suck the efficiency out of my stride more than others. I'm still waiting for the day that USATF picks a XC course that is on nice firm footing with some real hills in it.

I've backed off a bit this week. But big miles planned again for next week!

What a weekend.

Well I figured that I would give the folks a few days to put up their own results from the weekend performances but as the days past I realized that either they are too shy to put down what they ran this weekend or they forgot their passwords. So here are some of the results that were thrown down by the BRC/adidas team this weekend.

Husky Invite:

Aucencio "my legs felt terrible" Martinez: ran a PR in the 3000m of 7:59 getting the auto for US Indoor championships in a few weeks in Albq, NM. Now I'm sure he will blog a bit more about his race.

Alisha "I like to run at the back" Williams: Ran a PR in the 3000m of 9:18 also getting an auto for the US Indoor championships where I'm sure she will not go to the back of the pack straight off and remember all the valuble lessons coach Vandenbusche taught her.

Grand Valley:

Scott Dahlberg: Ran a PR in the 3000m of 8:03 just missing the auto time by .45 sec. We are waiting to see what is ran this weekend with the hopes that his time will get him in.

Paul Michel: With the pressure of "the big bet" firmly on his shoulders Paul showed his true game face and ran a PR in the 3000m of 8:04 also just missing the auto time to run in NM.

Greg Reindl: The captain of "team Golden" had a huge breakout and ran yet another PR in the 3000m of 8:10.

Art Siemers: I know he didnt win the bet with Paul (age handicap) but seriously this cat can run some darn fast times on a track for being 37! An 8:23 at any age is a great time, just ask the college guys he smoked.

US XC Championship:

Shannon Payne: In a very stacked field "Payne Train" ran to an impressive 19th place. In a few years a top 10 will happen for this girl.

Nicole Feest: The "little Sparkplug" was right on Shannons tail in 20th place showing the depth that our ladies team has and the great results that she will post this spring.

Tommy Neal: Taking his current training into consideration (marathon prep) T-Bone ran to a solid 40th but knows that with a little fresher legs a top 20 was possible.

Jason Delaney: Also getting ready to tear up a spring marathon a 44th place is a good sign that "Heartbreak Hill" will be a minor bump in Jasons Boston Marathon.

Nice job to everyone.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Post-U.S.A. XC

I'm still trying to figure out what I think about the outcome of last Saturday's race. I mean, obviously it's a moot point by now, but still. Personally, I kind of think that there were way more positives than negatives. For one thing, I would not have changed anything leading up to the race preparations-wise, conditions were awesome (I was hoping for more mud though), the head was screwed on straight, and there wasn't anything left in the tank after I crossed the line. All you can do is the best you can do, right? Given those things, there are no regrets, at least none that I can think of. Furthermore, I felt better in that race than I've felt in I don't remember how long--I felt like I ran fast, but didn't feel like I got run over by a train, it is hard to explain, but I don't know when I last felt like that. I would actually say that I was most happy/thankful for that fact above anything else. It feels like I kind of got off to a fresh start and there is a lot further to go, and plenty more to come, and a lot left to help get there, I think that sort of thing gets taken for granted sometimes. So in that regard, I was actually pretty thrilled about it all. Hopefully this will act as a springboard into 2010.

On the other side of the coin, the goal/expectation leading into the race was to finish top-10 and/or make a World's team. Neither of which was accomplished. I actually barely scraped top-20 (19th). And World's? Forget about it. Looking over the results post-race made me grasp just how high caliber the top-15 or so were, and had I finished top-10 that would've been an enormous breakthrough to say the least. As in, I probably would be packing my bags now to go to Oregon and run for the Swoosh or something. I knew that the field would be good, but to be honest I did not look too much at the entry list prior to the race because that stuff wigs me out and I don't like going into a race with pre-determined ideas of where I stand in a field based on anyone's reputation. To give an idea of the caliber of the field, the woman who took first last year (Emily Brown) finished 7th this year, and none of those top-6 women even ran the race last year. So needless to say there was a tremendous amount of depth in the top-30 relative to last year. Still, thinking of that stuff still makes it seem like more of an excuse on my part as to why I wasn't up there. So it's hard to not look at it as a failure of sorts. But it's also weird viewing something as a failure but not being in the least bit disappointed with yourself. That makes me wonder if I am getting lazy or complacent. I don't think so....I hope not.....but this is all more motivation to stoke the fire.

The trip itself was pretty cool, and I got to meet some people that I have only formerly seen in running magazines. Walking around the host hotel was like being in Runner Hollywood or something. Dathan Ritzenhein asked me what's up. Al Sal said hi to me in passing (I wanted to ask him if he had any extra of those inhaler things that his runners are always huffing on pre-race, but I didn't). Shalane Flanagan told me good job post-race (even though I told her good job first, and I'm pretty sure she had no idea who I was or if I was even in the race considering she finished 3 minutes ahead of me). I hung out a lot with Hey There Delilah (no I didn't sing the song once the entire trip, but I really wanted to) and Kristen Anderson (a former multi-time D2 national champ). And Billy Mills gave me a hug, he's a pretty cool dude.

With all that stuff aside I decided to jump in the 15k in Jacksonville in a little less than a month, it was a last minute decision and I've never raced over 10k before, so we'll see how it goes. It'll be a PR by default though. I'm way excited.

I hope everyone had a swell Valentines Day.