Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Patternized Variation

All runners form into some form of pattern with their running.  It is inevitable.  Whether we are a college student or older with a career and family, we set time aside for running and when we are at our highest level of fitness we are following that schedule consistently.

For me, I have always tried to get off of a set pattern and add variety into my running.  It can be something like wearing a variety of different shoes to running on different surfaces.  Having variety in my running has always given my mental state something different to look forward to when I wake up in the morning.  Often, I do not know how much I am going to run, where I am going to run, or how fast I am going to run until I am a mile into the actual run.  This simplicity has taken some of the pressure off of myself and has allowed me to relax and to continue to enjoy running to its fullest.

With that said, I know that I am at the highest level of my running when I am on some sort of set schedule.  I can't help to think back to my fall training and look at how consistent my weeks were.  Mondays were the same every week, so were Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and so on.  The only variation in training were the weeks we had a race, which turned into a pattern all by itself since we mostly raced every other Saturday.  Even the variations I had in my training surfaces began to follow some sort of pattern as the year went on and one could easily predict what I was going to do on a given day.

Everyone knows that I thoroughly keep track of my mileage through various logs, and that has kept me very in tune to what I am doing and I usually repeat the things that work for me and try to correct the things that do not work for me.  So, with all the variations that I try to implement into my running, it is often the routine of being a runner that keeps me running week after week.

This also has me thinking about other types of variety as in activities.  Ultra runners often enjoy many other activities other than running; skiing, biking, hiking, climbing, back country camping.....  I remember talking with someone a few weeks ago, both of us were aspiring ultra runners.  He asked me what else I did.  I was alarmed at the question and began thinking of what I do, and my answer was simply, "I just like to run."

For being an up-and-coming ultra runner, I guess with maybe the way I dress or the way I act, people would look at me and say I must do other things besides run like all the other ultra-people.  I have tried to enjoy cycling, I probably would like climbing but I was never introduced to it and don't know how, I am from Southern Ohio and have never been skiing, and camping takes a lot of time and money.

All running takes is shoes (if that) and a pair of shorts (more than that during this winter) and you can do it as long as you like.  You don't have to worry about a tire popping 10 miles into the woods or spending $1,000 on a nice tent.  All that controls you when running is yourself, that level of self-sufficiency is what I love about it.

Someday, I might be climbing mountains or skiing down snowy slopes, but for now, I will be running and only running.  I can continue to be surrounded by nature by running on trails and as long as I get the thrill that I am getting, this is how I will be enjoying my days.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2010 North Face Endurance Challenge Race Report

Going into my first ultra, and first real race over 6.2 miles, I really had no idea what to expect.  When I signed up for The North Face Endurance Challenge in the first week of September, I was in the middle of my senior year of cross country and I wondered if I would be able to have the training necessary to do well in a 50 mile race.  Up to that point, I was in the middle of my ninth week of 100+ miles, doing interval workouts such as 3 x 2 miles at sub 10:10 for each.  I knew that the next two months would include faster and shorter interval workouts to begin the final tune-up for nationals on November 20th.  It would only be two weeks after my final collegiate race before I would toe the line at what was being called "the world’s most competitive trail 50 miler."  With all of that on my mind, my final words in my blog announcing that I had registered for the ultra (Sept. 2) read, "first its time to run fast for 5 miles!"

From September until the end of cross country season, training wasn't lacking.  I continued to log 100+ mile weeks, topping out at 128 in the middle of October, the month that produced my two fastest 8k times ever, 24:42 and 24:47.  As the season came to a close and I began my small taper, I was still above 100 miles the week of Nationals; I ended my year shoeless, in 46th place, standing on the stage with a fourth place team trophy for the second year in a row.  After a few days of tantalized sulking, my attention was directed to TNF EC that was weighing in the back of my mind for a long time.

I didn't know what to do for the two weeks between nationals and the ultra, so I did what I like doing most, which is to simply log miles.  Back in May, I ran my longest run up to before the race, 40 miles that took over 10 leisurely hours with two of my good friends.  It was by no means hard-pressed, but the time on my feet was a valuable experience.  Another stint of long running was in early July, when I did back to back marathons in about a 20 hour span.  This was done in the Jefferson National Forest with Eric Grossman and the pace was very similar to the pace I ended up running in the 50, plus I was able to soak up information from a more experienced ultra runner.  The week after nationals, I did a 4hr+ run.

So, I at least knew I could run 50 miles.  Plus, I kept telling myself, "I have to be the fastest person in this race, right?"  I might not of had the most natural leg speed of the competitors (ex. Uli Stiedl). I am certain with an entire four years of college 8k and 5k training, mine was the most developed going into the race.  All of this talk about training and the proper way to train for an ultra is being played out over on Geoff Roes' recent blog.  Although I will side more with Geoff and Tony in the debate, ultra running is such a new idea and proper training is still being experimented with by the current elite ultra runners.  I ran 24:42 in an 8k off of doing 120 mile weeks, yet my friend Keegan ran 24:37 by doing 60-65 mile weeks.  Although that example is at a much shorter distance, it is case and point that every runner can get to the end by different means.  For my future training in ultra-running, I will do what makes me most happy, which is to log a lot of miles and probably very little speed workouts.  Plus, confidence and mental fortitude is sure to play a bigger role in ultra racing compared to others.

Onto the actual race now.....

Standing on the start line, I browsed around the competitors that were up front; seeing runners that I have only read about made me realize how awesome ultra running is, that I was able to compete with the top guys in the sport, in my first ultra ever.  It was a very surreal experience there.

The start was semi-casual on a paved road until we turned left up the Rodeo Valley Trail.  There seemed to be about 30 guys in that front pack and I was just sitting around 10th place getting a feel for what kind of pace we would be starting at.  I didn't stop at the first aid station at mile 5.8 because no one else did.  I figured they would not.  I had enough water to get me to the next one anyways.

Going up the Miwok Trail, I glanced back and saw the line of bobbing headlamps that followed behind me.  It was just one of the beautiful images I was able to see throughout the day.  Prancing down the hill before the horse stables and into the Tennessee Valley aid station at mile 8.9 I was still in that front pack.  My time there was 1:05:33, that is 7:22 per mile.  My crew, my family, was there and my brother handed me a full bottle as I tossed him my empty one.  After that, the group of 30+ guys seemed to thin a little.

Going down into Muir Beach, I was running beside Geoff Roes and Dakota Jones, a 19-year-old at the time (turned 20 the day after).  These guys were for sure contenders.  I once again skipped filling my bottle there.  After Muir Beach, the biggest single climb of the day (but not the steepest) was to come.  The few guys what were up on us soon came back and it was line of 7 or 8 guys in the lead going up the Coastal Trail.

This is where one of my only misfortunes happened during the race.  I had to use the bathroom since about mile 10 and I knew I had to stop and go.  This is just one of the things that could happen in long race.  Going past the Pantoll Ranger Station I ran into the bathroom, did my business, and started back up.  I lost anywhere from three to four minutes for that break and was no longer with the leaders.  I never saw them again either.  I would have liked to see what would of happened if I was able to stay with the leaders.  I could have at least stayed with them longer than the 18 miles that I did.   

I exchanged gels and water at the Bootjack aid station and settled behind a runner with a blue shirt who I ended talking with after the race; his name is Jason Schlarb, from Boulder and that was also his first ultra, after being mainly a road racer and I think he said he has run some marathons.  We quickly caught up to Erick Skaggs and Chris Lundstrom and followed them into the McKennon Gulch turn around.  Approaching the station, we passed the lead pack of about seven runners coming the opposite direction, including Dave Mackey, Geoff, Dakota, Miquel Heras (the eventual winner), the guys I should have been with.  This aid station was mile 23.6 and I came through at 3:01:39, about 7:42 pace.

Jason and I passed Skaggs and Lundstrom and continued back the way we came until turning right to go down the Matt Davis trail into Stinson Beach.  This was a fairly technical section and we were killing the downhills.  Going into the aid station at Stinson Beach, we had passed one runner from the lead pack.  I refilled my bottle and took off.  Mile 28.3 at 3:40:17.

This next section proved to be my low moment.  Jason began to leave me going up toward Bootjack for the second time and I had nothing to respond, he ended up getting 5th place.  I walked for the first time in the race....

Although no one passed me going up the Steep Ravine Trail, I knew I was certainly not getting closer to anyone either.  After leaving Bootjack at mile 31.7, I was treated with being able to run with runners from the 50k.  This was not so good though.  I sometimes fell into the temptation of walking when they did and even though I was not getting passed by them, I was still not able to get out of the funk that I was in.  I think I was still in 8th place coming into the Old Inn aid station at 37.3 and I resolved to eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a chocolate muffin.  It was not immediate, but it helped.

Shortly after that, Lundstrom and Zach Miller, who finished fifth at this years Western States 100, passed me.  Once again, I was not able to respond to either of them.  I began to think I was never going to be able to pull it together.  I had been running/walking no faster then 10:30 pace for almost 12 miles.  Coming into Muir Beach aid station for the second time at mile 40.6, my overall time was 5:53:37, making my overall pace 8:43.

The hill right after Muir Beach was treacherous.  It was so muddy that I decided walking was faster then running and power-hiked as fast as I could up the entire thing.  A lady told me I was in 10th place and that sounded about accurate.  At the top of the hill that I walked, I slowly began to get out of my low funk that slowed me for a long time.

At this point in the race, it was all be on fire trails to the finish.  Going down into the Tennessee Valley aid station for the second time, I realized I wasn't as far back on everyone as I thought I was.  I saw a Solomon runner ahead in his all white race kit and was gaining on him, it Thomas Lorblanchet. I passed him going into the aid station and at mile 45.4 I was at 6:33:07.

The hard decent down to Tennessee Valley took a quick toll on my legs and Thomas passed me going up the next hill.  We stayed fairly close for the next couple miles but he ended up leaving me for good and finished 8th place.  Even though he left me, I was still running fairly strong.  I wanted to make my last five miles good so I pushed a little.  Coming into the Alta aid station at mile 48.5, I was at 7:00:36.  I knew I only had 2.7 miles left (the real distance of the course was not 50 miles but 51.2 according to the race guide) and they were all downhill.

As I was running down the Rodeo Valley and Coastal trails, I was looking forward to see if I saw anyone that I could possibly pass.  I saw a guy in a white shirt and debated whether he was in the 50 mile or was finishing another race.  Regardless, I was gaining on him. Even though he was probably 2 minutes down the hill, I decided to go after him and when I go closer I realized it was Zach Miller, who passed me some 13 miles ago.  Once we got onto the road to the finish I was able to pass him with relative ease and push hard as I finished at 7 hr. 17 min. 47 sec. and was officially 9th place.

The last 2.7 miles coming downhill from Alta was 17:11 which is 6:22 pace.  My overall pace for the 51.2 miles was 8:33 per mile.


So, that was my long-winded race report.  Now I suppose I'll say what it all means.

First, I had a blast.  Through it all, the lows and highs.  Since I was expecting new feelings physically and new thoughts mentally, I had no expectations as to what place I would get and I projected myself at 7 hours flat when I registered.  Since I didn't know the course was two miles longer than last year, that was a fairly accurate guess.  For my first 50 mile race, I am happy with it but I know I can improve a good bit.

One thing that I was most worried about coming into the race were logistical things such as calorie and water intake.  I seemed to manage it well though.  I carried a 20 oz. water bottle with me the entire time.  There was only one section where I was dry for about 10 minutes.  The rest of the time I was able to get a refill or a new bottle by the time I drank it all.  I only took 5 GU packs but I ate a ton of PowerBar Gel Chews and GU Chomps.  The GU Chomps were what helped me the most it seemed.  I also took 3 or 4 S!Caps when I felt like I needed it.  I wore a bike shirt with three pockets in the back to carry most of it.  To improve on all of this, I probably should have took more gels in the beginning and maybe that would have lessened the low moment for me.

As far as the bathroom break at mile 18, I really don't know what to do about that, but it was certainly a influential moment for my race.  I really would of liked to see how far I could have gone with the leaders.  But, who knows, maybe I would of just fell back even harder.

My crew was great.  They are just as new at this as I was and the all day adventure Friday before the race proved to help out on directional logistics for them.  My brother, his girlfriend, my mom and dad, and my sister and her husband were my excellent crew.  Also, everyone back home that contacted me after the race someway or another were very supportive.

I had a great time after the race and met a lot of people.  I talked a good bit with Dakota Jones and learned how he got into ultra running and onto Team Montrail.  Meeting people like Hal Koerner, Geoff Roes, Chris Lundstrom, and Zach Miller were all great.  They were all so supportive and friendly.  That is one thing that has always lured me toward ultra running.  The scene, yet competitive, is always humble and generous and overall in a happy state.  It was also cool meeting Bryon Powell of irunfar.com.  He did an awesome job with interviewing people and the race preview.  I feel honored just to get a mention in that article.  Once again, a great guy.

From here, I don't know exactly where to go.  I am sure I want to keep running ultras.  That was never a question.  Now, I just need to figure out what I want to do for the spring as far as racing goes.  I still have not ruled out the possibility of racing a couple track meets.  It would be nice to actually break 15 since I am only .21 seconds away.  I could get a good 10k in as well.  Through it all, my mileage will be high enough to where I could be in good ultra shape.

For the immediate time being, I am taking it a lot easier than I am used to.  I ran three miles the day after the race and four the day after that.  It looked as if I could hardly walk the night after the race, but I was able to run the next day so I am not that bad off.  The main reason I ran the days after is because I think it helps recovery for me.  I felt better after each of the runs than I did before.  Plus, I am in the middle of about 370 days since my last day off and I take some pride in that streak.

Sorry for the ultra-lengthy write-up.  I can get carried away when talking about such a good time.  I might get some pictures up as soon as I find them.  For more coverage check out irunfar.com. 


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Nov. 29 - Dec. 5

This is just for record keeping purposes and my more extensive North Face Endurance Challenge race recap will come in the following days.

Monday 11/29
AM:  8 miles (1:00:02).  Fire Tower + trails
PM:  5 miles (38:00).  Portsmouth
Ran to the car shop, picked up my car, drove back to the school and continued on the flood wall and turf barefoot.

Tuesday 11/30
PM:  12 miles  (1:29:51).  Silver Arrow BT from Camp Oyo
Parked at Camp OYO and went South on Silver Arrow.  Went out 47 minutes and came back a little over 4 minutes faster.

AM:  12 miles (1:29:15).  Trails from the house
Just did the main loop and up to the fire tower a couple of times.  It snowed.

Thursday 12/2
AM:  8 miles (1:01:40).  San Francisco, CA
Ran along the bay toward the Golden Gate Bridge and turned around when I got to the bottom of it. 

Friday 12/3
AM:  3.5 miles (28:00).  Marin Headlands
After a day of driving around the course seeing the different aid stations, I ran a little to get a good feel of how these trails are.  Ran from the Bootjack aid station parking lot.

Saturday 12/4
PM:  52 miles (7:17:47).  The North Face Endurance Challenge, 50 Mile Trail Championship
There will be an entire write-up of this to come in the near future.  Here are the results though.   

Sunday 12/5
PM:   3 miles (24:00).  San Francisco, CA
To gain the full experience of the ultra, I ran a little around town in the morning.  

Total Miles:  103.5
Total Time:  13:55:05

The week of my first ultra.... Dropped my miles a good bit.  One cool thing about this week is that it has now been an entire year since I have taken a day off.  My last day off was December 4th of 2009.  I suppose that streak will be longer unless I just feel I can't run sometime in the next couple of days.

Like I said, check back soon for a full post about the race.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

November in Review

Here is just a quick tally of my training from November and the year: 

Month of November Miles:  484
Month of November Time:  60:10:54 (2 Days, 12 Hrs., 10 Min., 54 Sec.)

Fairly good month of running for me.  For the beginning of the month,  I was in such a rhythm and just going through the motions.  Wake up, run, go to school, go to practice and run more, home, sleep.  That was my daily life for a good amount of the fall.  I started lowering my mileage a bit for nationals and then back up in mileage the final week of November, only to begin lowering again for TNF EC 50 (a good article by Bryon Powell) in a few days.  After the season was over and the team stopped meeting at four, I was able to get back to having a little spontaneity in my running.  This is something I have enjoyed a lot.

Total Miles of Year:  4,823


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nov. 22 - Nov. 28

Monday 11/22
PM:  8.5 miles (1:01:44).  Portsmouth, Morning Run + Bear Run
Ran with Alumni All-American Corey Culbertson when I got back into town after the flight back into Ohio.  Glad I got this run in, being cooped up on a plane all day isn't very fun.

Tuesday 11/23
PM:  16 miles  (2:00:33).  Shawnee State Forest
Parked at Camp Oyo and started on the North side of the Main Trail and turned left onto Silver Arrow. Got onto Forney Ridge and ran on road #6 until Silver Arrow again. Cut off onto the Day hike trail and added a small loop when I got back to Oyo.

Tried to go hard in some sections, up hills mostly. Felt decent. My quads have been so sore lately but it feels good. Cramming in mileage in the next few days because it makes me feel good... and I want to feel good.

PM:  5 miles (36:30).  Crabtree-Cemetery

Wednesday 11/24
AM:  28 miles (4:17:52).  Shawnee State Forest South Loop
Cramming some miles to "train" for the 50. Did the South Side of the Main Loop (said to be 27.5 miles but since I parked a little ways from the trail head, its about 28), connecting it with the Day Hike Trail at the start.

Car to Camp 3 (5.3 mi.): 46:56 (8:51)
Camp 3 to Camp 4 (5.2 mi.): 44:30 (8:33)
Camp 4 to Camp 5 (4.6 mi.): 44:21 (9:38)
Camp 5 to Camp 6 (3.0 mi.): 26:55 (8:58)
Camp 6 to Camp 7 (5.0 mi.): 58:53 (11:47)
Camp 7 to Car (4.5 mi.): 36:15 (8:12)
*The splits really show which sections of the trail were harder and hillier. That section from Camp 6 to Camp 7 was treacherous.

Felt really good most of this run. I didn't really know what to expect. The only section I felt down on was from Camp 6 to Camp 7. There were so many trees down over the trail and briers everywhere. I was getting frustrated at having to stop and climb over trees every couple of minutes.

I carried only 2 packs of PB Gel Blasts and only ate about a pack and a third. That's about 250 calories. Carried one bottle with me, was able to fill it up 3 times. So, about 60 ounces of water during this. I was dry at the end.

I stopped quickly 3 times to fill my bottle, twice to pee, and once to tie my shoes, besides that I was running the entire time (although I probably could have walked faster up some of the hills.)

As for technical running, I felt smooth, the rocks were floating beneath my feet. I always get pretty good at this with a couple of days on the trail. If I take a few weeks off from running trails, then my first run back on them I am a little clumsy.

As far as time goes, it says I was 9:13 pace. Its probably accurate but with how rugged and hilly these trails are, its going to be that way. There is no way the trails in San Fran are this hard. I pushed really hard the last 4 miles.

It rained from about 13 miles to the end. I wore gloves, and after almost being mad about wearing them, I was glad I did because it got cold. Getting home and taking off my shoes and getting a shower was so good.

Longest solo run ever.

Thursday 11/25
AM:  12.5 miles (1:35:12).  Meigs County Gravel Roads
Ran before the family met for Thanksgiving Dinner.  Was going to run a bit more but I lost track of time and ended up leaving the McClure house later than expected.  Probably good to have a down day.

Friday 11/26
AM:  10 miles (1:13:52).  Meigs County Gravel Roads

PM:  6 miles (44:55).  Meigs County Gravel Roads
It is getting colder at night.  I probably saw 50 deer tonight.

Saturday 11/27
PM:  17 miles (2:07:30).  Strouds Run:  Thunderbunny and Sundown Trails
The trails around Strouds Run are spectacular around this time of year.  It seems as if there has been a lot of maintenance on them since the last time I ran there in the summer.  There are more signage and even a new trail I think.   

PM:  6 miles (43:20).  Crabtree-Cemetery
Peculiar quick run under the stars.    

Sunday 11/28
PM:   15 miles (1:55:39).  Brush Creek Trails from House
Legs felt a bit fatigued on this run.  I had a big week of mileage so I decided not to run a second run for the day.  I can use the time for writing papers anyways.  

Total Miles:  124 
Total Time:  16:17:17

This week was my first week ever of not being considered a college athlete.  I suppose I might run some track meets in the spring, but as far as being at SSU for a varsity sport, it is over.  The good thing about this week was not doing a workout.  Week after week of hard, grueling workouts under Eric Putnam really get to you after a while and the first week of not doing one feels good on the body.  Even though I am not taking any time off from running like the majority of people will do, the time off from workouts will take the place of 0 mile days.  Plus, I have something else to train for, as a lot of you may know....

The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Miler is in just 6 days.  I did not exactly know what to do for the two weeks in between Nationals and the 50 miler, but I like what I did in this week.  I will more than likely cut back the miles in this upcoming week.  I have a good plan for the race and I am anxious to see what happens.  I know what I want to do about fuel intake and water intake and now I just have to execute it and see if it will be productive.  None the less, this will be a huge learning experience for me.  Here is a simplified preview of my goal:  stay with the leaders for as long as possible. 


Monday, November 22, 2010

Nov. 15 - Nov. 21 : Week of 2010 NAIA Nationals

Monday 11/8
AM: 9 miles (1:09:41).  Fire Tower + Trails 
PM: 10 miles (1:10:34). 2 x 1 mile at the course.
6 mile w/u: 45:33
1 mile: 4:52 - 1 min. jog/2 min rest
1 mile: 4:52 - ...
2 mile c/d: 15:10

Felt solid on the two miles. On the second one coming back through the finishing field, I dug pretty deep and found an extra gear. Felt really strong and in control.

Air was a lot colder today, so the lungs were working harder than they have had to do. Breathing was deep but my heart rate was back down to 80 after about 4 minutes of resting after the second mile hard.

Tuesday 11/9
AM:  8 miles  (59:10).  Flood wall
PM:  12 miles (1:25:49).  Portsmouth + Barefoot

Wednesday 11/10
AM: 12 miles (1:25:00).  2 x 1k at Race Pace.
The team met at 7:30 and ran before we headed to Columbus for the flight to Washington.

Thursday 11/11
AM: 9 miles (1:04:00) Fort Vancouver, WA
Ran the course in the morning with the guys.  There were minor alterations on the course that eliminated the sharp turn after 800 meters.  Wet and muddy.

PM: 3 miles (23:00).  Night Run in Fort Vancouver, WA
Snuck out on the course with my headlamp to keep my jittery legs from being uncontrollable.  Rained.

Friday 11/12
AM: 5 miles (37:00).  Fort Vancouver, WA
Ran the to the course from the hotel, did three laps, barefoot sprint drill, and ran back to the hotel and stretched.  This suspense of this run was nearly unbearable. 

Saturday 11/13
AM: 14 miles (1:33:00).  2010 NAIA Nationals Championship

Sunday 11/14
PM:  23 miles (2:46:00).  Forest Park Trails, Portland, Oregon
Drove to Forest Park in Portland Oregon with Paul, Schroeder, and Wysocki and met up with Mueller, from Paul and Adams area.
After running with them for 12 miles Keegan and Erock met up there and I ran another 1:18 with them.
The trails were simply amazing and so well maintained. The foliage and greenery were breathtaking and so much different than Ohio. I had a great time on the run and it was just want I wanted after yesterday.
I only took about 5 gels and no water on the entire run. I felt good still, and the pace was actually fairly quick.

Total Miles: 105
Total Time:  12:33:08

Natural low week of mileage because of Nationals.  I like the approach I did up to the race.  But still, I didn't race the way I wanted to.  I won't go far into the race on here, I already wrote about it once.  I am at ease in my mind now.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Where Few Lonely Feet Made Paths

As I was running around the park in Fort Vancouver, I gazed over the open field.  It was only about an hour after the final person crossed the line.  Even then, that field that hosted Nationals was empty... still... free from people.  Likely how it likes to be.  The course, which is a 2k loop ran four times by the guys, was non existent.  The flags that lined the course were not there, cones were no longer present, and officials were not telling me which way to go.  But yet, I could still follow its path, blackened with the cold, gritty mud that we all tilled with our 3/8 inch spikes.  It was still there, at least for now.

It was then that I realized that it is not merely the sport that I liked.  Not... the game.  It was all just a game after all.  In and out, out and in.  People going every which way, not truly knowing which way to actually go.  Everything happened so quick.  It was there, but so quickly.... it was gone.

I came into my freshman year not nearly knowing what to expect.  I did not expect to run the fastest time as a freshman at Shawnee State (at the time).  I didn't even know what a decent 8k time was at the time.  Then, later in the season, I did not expect to lose to Cedarville by one point at conference and not receive a bid to go to Nationals.  After that, I did not know that it would take such a toll on me.

I did not know my sophomore year would not show any progression, but yet, somehow have a good year as a team.  My junior year, I did not expect to improve so rapidly, only to finish 156th at Nationals, but 4th as a team.  I did not expect to pound out 100+ mile weeks.  I did not expect as a senior to.......

I stood on the line at 11:40 a.m. at Fort Vancouver.  The crowd was deafening.  I was ready, we were ready.  But once again, I didn't know the race would be over just like that.  It was only 26 minutes long to be exact.  To long for my liking actually.  But I wish it could go on and on.  I would have liked to not lose my shoe 2k into the race.  I would have liked to be an All-American at least, even top 10.  I would have liked for us to win.  But instead, I ran 6k of the race with one foot bare, I got 46th, and my team got fourth.

What am I feeling now?  Disgust... sadness... loneliness... emptiness... freedom...

But Michael, isn't it all a game?  Once the game is over, isn't it just over?  Well, yes.  But what is left empty will never be over.  I have accepted it, but it will never be over.  You see, the game we are playing goes on and on and on.  The paths we leave will forever be enduring.  No one can just erase them.  They are memories burned in our minds.

I would like for it to be over.  For me, to never have to think of what I never did, what I did to well of, or what I wish I could have done... that would not be everlasting.  But now, it is everlasting.

As the course disassembled, so did my thoughts.  I casually jogged through what used to be the starting field of my last meet ever as a college runner.  Was I really smiling?  I was putting a final footprint on the best four years of my life.  How could I be happy?

I knew that I did everything possible to make me the runner that I wanted to be..... and still will be.....

Farewell for now.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nov. 8 - Nov. 14

Monday 11/8
AM: 6 miles (45:30).  Fire Tower
PM: 13 miles (1:37:44). Flood wall out and back

Tuesday 11/9
AM:  6 miles  (45:21).  Flood wall + 3 Barefoot
PM:  12 miles (1:20:00).  3 X 2k at Earl Thomas Conley Park 
5 Mile Warm-up: 37:00
2K: 6:05 - 1:30 jog, 1:41 rest
2K: 6:08 - 1:30 jog, 1:25 rest
2K: 6:08 - Done
3 Mile Cool-down: 22:00

Felt really good on this workout. Galen and I ran this up front the entire time. I felt relaxed, comfortable, and responsive, which are things I always have when I am running good.  

Wednesday 11/10
AM: 8 miles (1:02:44).  Fire Tower + Trails
PM: 12 miles (1:31:39).  Shawnee State Forest
Parked at camp OYO and ran the first part of this on the Day Hike trail. I turned right on what I believe is one of the many sections of the Silver Arrow BT. This ended up being new to me and a total surprise. I loved the section and found some new stuff. Wore my new 101's and liked them, could wear a 11.5 though.  

Thursday 11/11
AM: 6 miles (44:04) Fire Tower
No school for Veterans day.

PM: 9 miles (1:04:00).  Morning run + 3 miles Barefoot
Friday 11/12
AM: 3 miles (24:00).  Crabtree-Cemetery Rd.
PM: 10 miles (1:04:00).  12 x 1 minute hard at Earl Thomas Conley Park
Felt strong on all the minutes, unleashing some of my inner foot speed that people don't see much. 

Saturday 11/13
AM: 12 miles (1:31:00).  Brush Creek Main Trail + Ski Slope to Fire Tower
Casual run from the house on the trails.  Weekly mileage was pretty high so this is just a single run for the day.

Sunday 11/14
PM: 10 miles (1:14:00).  Kentucky Hills, B-Dub Trails, Flood wall + Barefoot
Ran about 40 minutes in Kentucky before I met the team at 4.  We ran an hour on the path behind b-dubs, then I added on a couple miles on the flood wall + 10 minutes barefoot.

Total Miles:  115 
Total Time:  14:04:12

This week was highlighted by the unlikely beautiful weather that came over Southern Ohio in the second week of November.  It was cool and crisp in the mornings, but by the evenings, it was time to strip the shirt off and enjoy the bright sun.  The week was just as good.  This was my first week in a while that I did not increase my mileage the week after a race.  It might not seem like tapering, but mentally I feel like I am and physically I am feeling stronger than ever.

The workout Tuesday was good.  I felt in control of my stride and very responsive.  Those are two things I like to have in my running arsenal.  On Friday, we did 12 x 1 minute hard and I was able to get the legs rolling, unleashing my ever so hidden leg speed.  Just a few short days until we fly to Washington and then another couple days after that until Nationals!         


Friday, November 12, 2010

Mid-South Conference Championship Pictures

Shawnee sent a couple of photographers to the conference meet.  They took some very nice shots from the race.  Here are a few.  Check out the facebook album for more.



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Inside the Lens

I never knew why I initially wanted to be a photographer.  When I declared photography as a major my freshman year in college, I just liked taking pictures, getting a shot that I could work with, making it look great.  Then, I became disconnected with that aspect of it.  I began spending too much time in the dark room, reprinting the same image over and over until it came out to what I thought was perfect.  After a while, I lost that desire to see inside the lens and focused too much on the art of printing and the entire process of the dark room.  Before I was able to move into digital photography, I had switched my major to Sport Management.

I liked the photography program at Shawnee State.  Allison does a great job and really teaches her students well.  The entire time under her, I knew there was something more, something I didn't quite fit with.  I never realized what it was.

I came across this website recently and all of my passion for photography become flashing back in my mind.  Check out there first, second, and fourth video on this page.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Life after Luxury

As I finish my second to last semester at Shawnee State, I am thinking more and more about what I will be doing after graduation.  I have never been content with anything I have started, so my plans have been up and down this entire year, but I think I am getting closer and closer to an actual decision on what I want to do.  This blog post is to mainly sort out the complicated thoughts that I have been scanning through my head for the past several weeks.  I don't want to go as far as saying I am nervous for "real" life, but I have been living easily my entire life.  Undergrad is easy compared to anything else I will have to do and being on the cross country team has made things even easier with more resources and instant friends.

I suppose I have two options after I graduate: 

1.  No Grad School
This option is something I was leaning toward last week and many times before.  I often start to think about what it would be like to start my career immediately with no more schooling.  This would be a huge change for sure.

But even then, what career do I want to go after?  I will have my degree in Sport Management, but I am not too fond of the current sports industry and do not see myself working in it.  Although, I am probably more qualified in this field more than any other, especially when it comes to facility and event planning.
Another option is some type of journalism field.  Newspaper reporter, editor, magazine, publisher, etc...??  I have less experience in this, as I will only be receiving a minor in Journalism and Communication, but I am more inclined to make this a career path than in the sport industry.

2.  Go to Grad School
This is the apparent option #2.  The one that I thought all along I would do since my Sophomore year of college, and what I am leaning towards currently.

I thrive on learning more.  I took and entire year of Photography courses my first year of college, learning a lot about it.  Then, I switched to Sport Management and I feel I have a good grasp on this subject.  This year, I am taking the majority of my classes dealing with Journalism.  If I could simply make a living off of going to college, I would.  I guess this is the main reason I am wanting to go to grad school.  To finally actually master a subject.....

But, what do I want to study in grad school?

It would be thought logical of me to go to get my masters degree in Sport Administration.  Like I mentioned above though, I do not see myself working in the sport industry.  I have thought about several  fields of study such as Recreation Management, Land and Resource Management, etc....  I keep coming back to Journalism though, and I am committed to making this my choice (still not sure where I would even want this to take me as a career, but I will figure it out sometime or another).

Now the entire process of Grad School

For me, I would say geographical location is one of my key categories about where I want to apply.  I know that it is not good to be picky about the school I choose, but I feel having a location is something that will make me perform to the best of my ability.  And by this, I mean, I want to be where I can run on some trail whenever I want.  When I am running happy, I am learning happy and my mind is a lot more sharp. 

With that said, I have already found schools that fit that geographical need and are know to have a good journalism school (J-School).  Some of the programs I am finding will have a graduate program in communications but will have a journalism emphasis or track, which looks to be good as well.

After compiling the list of schools, I have been finding the requirements and learning each of their application processes.  This process is strenuous and time consuming.  Luckily, I have found a good method of compiling all of the information.

GRE:  Now that I have made the decision to apply for grad school, I need to take the GRE, which most schools require.  I have never fared well on standardized tests, but I have to do what I have to do.  I will more than likely take this test the week before Christmas.

List of Schools Interested In:

1.  University of Colorado
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Newsgathering Combination Print and Broadcast - Environmental
Deadline: February 1st
-GPA:  2.75
-GRE:  Verbal - 500
-Three letters of recommendation
-500 word Statement of Purpose
-Writing samples
-$50 application fee

2.  University of Reno Nevada
Reynolds School of Journalism
M.A. in Interactive Environmental Journalism
Deadline: March 15th
-GPA:  2.75
-GRE:  Just a score
-Letter of Intent
-Three letters of recommendation
-Recent publications
-$60 application fee

3.  Boise State University
Department of Communication (Journalism Emphasis)
Deadline:  March 1st
-Letter of intent
-Two letters of recommendation
-An original, scholarly paper
-$55 application fee

4.  University of Oregon
School of Journalism and Communication
Deadline:  February 1st
-GRE:  Verbal + Quantitative = 1100
-Letter of intent
-Three letters of recommendations
-$50 application fee

5.  University of Wisconsin - Madison
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Deadline:  January 3rd
-GPA:  3.0
-GRE:  Verbal + Quantitative = 1000, Analytical Writing- 5.00
-Statement of Purpose
-Three letters of recommendation
-$56 application fee

6.  University of Montana
Environmental Science and National Resource Journalism
Deadline:  February 15th
-GRE Score
-Statement of Interest
-Five examples of professional or academic writings
-Three letter of recommendations
-$51 application fee

7.  Washington State University
College of Communication
Deadline:  January 10th
-GPA:  3.25
-GRE:  Verbal- 514, Quantitative- 643, Analytical Writing- 3.75
-Three letters of recommendations
-500 word Statement of Purpose
-$50 application fee

Those are the schools I have looked at so far.  I just need to start applying, getting my recommendation letters, compiling a portfolio, and writing all the letters each school requires.  I also need to contact the faculty at each of these schools, ask them questions and see more about their program.

This is a long process, but I am glad that I actually know what I want to do now.  Who knows though, something might come up that will make me change my mind.  But as of now, time to study for the GRE.....

As I was finishing my run today, the sun was setting below the western hills of the forest; I realized then, I am not chasing the sunset, it is chasing me.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nov. 1 - Nov. 7

Monday 11/1
AM: 6 miles (47:00).  Fire Tower
PM: 13 miles (1:29:04). 1 mile, 4 x 400, 1 mile at the course.
Warm-up: 48:41
1 Mile: 4:53 - 2:45 jog, 2:32 rest
400: 1:06 - 1:00 jog, 37 rest
400: 1:09 - 1:00 jog, 38 rest
400: 1:06 - 1:00 jog, 43 rest
400: 1:09 - 3:00 jog, 2:00 rest
1 Mile: 4:41 - Done

This was a good workout for me. I did not press real hard on the first mile. Then, on the 400's, I just kept the effort even. On the last mile, I went hard. The miles were ran out and back on the first mile of the course. It was nice to negative split those.
Tuesday 11/2
AM: 7 miles (53:57).  Flood wall + 3 Bare Foot
PM: 12 miles (1:30:30).  Shawnee State Forest
Ran from the Day Hike Trail to the Orange Trail. Did that loop and added on 10 minutes up the Main trail. Felt really good today. 

Wednesday 11/3
AM: 8 miles (1:03:18). Fire Tower + Trails
PM: 12 miles (1:24:40).  Flood wall, 2 x 1k at Race Pace  

5 miles before, 2 x 1k on the flood wall, 3:10 and 3:05, then about 6 after. 2 barefoot.

Thursday 11/4
AM: 6 miles (44:00) Flood wall
Ran in between class.
PM: 9 miles (1:04:00).  Morning run

Friday 11/5
AM: 2 miles (15:35).  Loop Behind House
PM: 5 miles (36:00).  Earl Thomas Conley Park
Saturday 11/6
AM: 2 miles (15:35).  Loop Trail + Strides
AM: 13 miles (1:25:26).  Mid-South Conference Championship : 25:26
Conference of my senior year.  We knew we weren't there to race anyone else except ourselves. The move from the AMC to the MSC was not a benefit to us. We took the top 5 of this race and 9 of the top 10.

I honestly did not feel comfortable from the start of the race. Stomach was heavy feeling and I just didn't feel relaxed like I normally have been feeling. But, none the less, it was still my 4th fastest 8k time. Keegan and Galen beat me, I never could get with them. Then, I got stuck in no mans land and lost even more distance on them. Brad and Linkous were only 5 seconds behind me.  We are looking strong.

It was really cool to have conference of my senior year at our home course.  I love running at Earl Thomas Conley Park and will truly miss it after I graduate.  There have been so many good memories on that land.  

Sunday 11/7
PM: 20 miles (2:40:00).  Hangover
Team run at Hangover. I decided to hit the trails since I had to stop early for a bathroom break and was already far behind the guys. Weston joined me until Campsite 6. I ran the Orange Trail back up to the end of Hangover and from there I ran on some deforestation trails. Ended my last 6.5 on Hangover. Felt great. I took some PowerBar Gel Blasts throughout this run, they do make a difference.

Total Miles:  115 (18th consecutive week at 100+ miles) 
Total Time:  14:08:24

Good week.  The season is starting to come down to a close.  Now that Conference is over, there is just two more weeks until Nationals.  It is crazy how fast this year has gone by.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Oct. 25 - Oct. 31

Monday 10/25
AM: 8 miles (1:01:00).  Fire Tower + Trails
PM: 11 miles (1:18:34). Flood wall
Tuesday 10/26
AM: 7 miles (52:14).  Morning run with the team
PM: 13 miles (1:37:48).  Crabtree Trails
The workout was pushed to tomorrow because a big storm was to come through at 4. It did.

I ended up going home once I heard it was tomorrow and ran on the trails. I started in the calm before the storm. Then, 30 minutes in I was hit hard by wind and rain. It was actually a little scary. But, it ended up being a great run.

Wednesday 10/27
AM: 6 miles (46:20). Fire Tower
PM: 14 miles (1:36:40).  1 mile, 12 x 400, 1 mile at the course.
Tough workout, but it was a good one. The mile was the first mile of the course. We did the 400's in the soccer fields where we did the 20x400 a couple weeks ago. Then, the last mile was the first mile of the course the opposite direction.

I felt good throughout the intervals. I definitely felt better as it went on. The last few 400's I started in the back of the group and worked my way through to the front.

The last mile was smooth. I remember my sophomore year I ran 5:25 for the last mile. It was so windy today, as it is every year this time of year at the course.

Warm-up - 34 min. (stretch, sprint drills)
1 Mile - 4:54 : 2:33 jog to 400's, 3:46 rest
400 - 1:11 : 60 jog, 33 rest
400 - 1:08 : 60 jog, 43 rest
400 - 1:10 : 60 jog, 41 rest
400 - 1:08 : 60 jog, 44 rest
400 - 1:11 : 60 jog, 38 rest
400 - 1:09 : 2:00 jog, 2:28 rest
400 - 1:09 : 60 jog, 45 rest
400 - 1:10 : 60 jog, 42 rest
400 - 1:10 : 60 jog, 36 rest
400 - 1:05 : 60 jog, 43 rest
400 - 1:07 : 60 jog, 46 rest
400 - 1:05 : 2:40 jog to mile mark, 3:10 rest
1 Mile - 4:52 : Done.....
Cool-down - 22:00

5 miles of intervals = 23:27
Jogging between reps = 17:13
Cool-down + warm-up = 56:00

Thursday 10/28
AM: 6 miles (44:00) Flood wall + 4 barefoot
Ran in between class.
PM: 10 miles (1:14:30).  Shawnee State Forest, Main Trail
After riding around the forest all day taking pictures for an article, I got this run in.  Felt really smooth.

Friday 10/29
AM: 6 miles (46:42).  Fire Tower
PM: 9 miles (1:00:00).  Two Mile Time Trial at Spartan Stadium
Two Mile Time Trial:  Ran 5 before the time trial, only 2 after.

I felt really strong in the two mile. Settled in behind some of the guys for the first mile, Eric was leading hitting 70's, went through in 4:40. I took the lead after that and dropped a couple of 68's to get rolling. Ended up getting passed by Eric and Keegan.

Finished with a 9:16, a 14 second PR. Went 4:40, 4:36.  Pleased with everything.
Saturday 10/30
AM: 10 miles (1:15:08).  Skinner Road
Went back home for the weekend and ran an easy 10 out and back my road.  I was pretty high in mileage for the week so I took this day easy.  

Sunday 10/31
PM: 20 miles (2:27:00).  Kentucky Trails + Flood wall
This was only my second long Sunday run in town all year.  The rest of them have all been at Hangover or on the trails out there.  I ran 1:20:00 by myself on the trails in Kentucky and then the rest of the run was with the team on the trail behind b-dubs.  With them, I was going around 7 flat pace.  I felt good on the run, never took any gels or water.

Total Miles:  120
Total Time:  14:39:56

Month of October Miles:  536  (most ever in a month for me)
Month of October Time:  65:07:51  (2 Days, 14 Hrs., 7 Min., 51 Sec.)

Solid week of training again.  Due to some heavy rain and even heavier winds, the workout was not ran until Wednesday, which gave us a lot of recovery.  The workout went very well.  Then, on Friday, we did our 2 mile time trial at Spartan Stadium.  I ran a 9:16, which is a 14 second PR.  I am very pleased with that.  Then, some solid weekend running.  I also packed on some more weight this week.  I had noticed I was down about 5 pounds from earlier this season and decided to consciously  eat and drink more, which has resulted in me weighing back up to normal.  That's besides the point though.

The real point is that, there is only 20 more days until Nationals and the excitement around the team is growing.  Conference is this week and it should be a fun time.  Not knowing what will happen, but I think we could seriously put 15 guys in the top 20 of the race, which should be illegal. 


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Oct. 18 - Oct. 24

Monday 10/18
AM: 6 miles (47:00).  Fire Tower.
PM: 13 miles (1:267:00).  3 x 1200/800 on flood wall.
4 mile warm-up and 5 mile cool-down + 4 miles barefoot. 
3 x 1200/800's on the flood wall. Eric said his garmin messed up when he was measuring so he guesses with the lines. So, the 400 splits were wavy, and it might of been long overall. But, we can just go off of time....

1. 1200 - 3:39 : 400 jog, 54 rest
2. 800 - 2:21 : 1:30 jog, 1:37 rest
3. 1200 - 3:36 : 400 jog, 58 rest
4. 800 - 2:21 : 1:30 jog, 1:45 rest
5. 1200 - 3:34 : 400 jog, 1:09 rest
6. 800 - 2:17 : Done.

So, a good workout. I increasingly got faster on all the intervals. I made a conscious effort to never go to the well, and I didn't. Relaxed and controlled. Keegan, Wysocki, and I pretty much went 1-3 on these.   
Tuesday 10/19
AM: 8 miles (58:38).  Morning run with the team
PM: 13 miles (1:32:30).  Flood wall
Ran up on the flood wall and behind it on the gravel road

Wednesday 10/20
AM: 8 miles (1:02:00). Fire Tower + Trails

PM: 10.5 miles (1:12:43).  2 x 1k on Flood wall
Warm-Up: 32:14 (~4.5 mi.)
Intervals: 6:09 (1.25 mi.)
Cool-Down: 34:20 (~4.75 mi.)

Did a controlled 2 x 1k up on the flood wall. Felt really relaxed and smooth on both of them. Only a 10 second jog in between them.

Got a few miles barefoot afterward on the turf. Grass on all of this except the twp mile warm-up with the guys.

Thursday 10/21
AM: 7 miles (52:20) Flood wall + 2 barefoot
Ran in between class.
PM: 8 miles (59:39).  Shawnee State Forest, Lakeside Trail
Ran on the Lakeside trail.  It was covered with leaves and it is a very rocky trail.  I rolled my ankle a million times and was getting very frustrated.  I never roll my ankles like that.

Friday 10/22
AM: 2 miles (15:00).  Sedan-Crabtree
PM: 5 miles (37:00).  Aquinas Course Preview
Saturday 10/23
AM: 15.5 miles (1:43:17).  2010 NAIA Great Lakes Challenge
Warm-up 3 and cool-down 7.5 with Ayedee.

The race went great.  We won by a good bit.  Keegan and I ran together for literally the entire race.  We were in a kicking battle and he won.  He was 24:46 and I was 24:47, 3rd and 4th place.  Galen wasn't far behind at 24:56, Brad was 25:15, Wysocki was 25:22, Linkous was 25:47, and Chuck was 26:00.  By far, this was the fastest race Shawnee State has ever had.

The course was perfect.  It did not ran the week before but rained that night and morning of the race.  There was no mud or wind though.   

Sunday 10/24
PM: 20 miles (2:40:39).  Hangover
Went out and back at Hangover.  Grabbed water and Hammer Gel at 12 miles.  Went up and around the tower and then out and back on to 3 miles on Hangover.  This entire run was with Corey Culbertson, his longest run ever by 4 miles.  He held up strong.  We were clipping off some nice splits near the end, 14:13 for the last two miles, not bad for Hangover.   

Total Miles:  116
Total Time:  13:47:47

Great week of training.  Good workout and the Aquinas race.  The race was great and it was our best team race in school history.  I ran 24:47, my second fastest time.  I am not content yet.  I have four weeks left in my college career and have 27 days until the big day.

Mr. Wysocki coming in as our solid 5


Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Things that excite me to run:

The idea of simplicity.

The idea of minimalism.

Connection between mind and body with the ground.

The past.

60 degree sunny weather.

Fresh trails.

Trails in general.

Night run with the headlamp.

Snowy night run with the headlamp.

Sharing knowledge on runs with passionate freshmen.

Finding new limits.

Discovering there are no limits.

The Future.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Tentative Running Plans

Lately, I have been thinking about what I will be doing the rest of this year running wise.  I usually do not like setting out specific weekly mileage, but I won't sit here and lie and say I do not think about it non-stop.  I like numbers, I like stats, anyone that reads this log knows that I do.  I know every mile (roughly of course) that I have ran since Jan. 1st 2007.  I keep track of it on paper, running2win.com, as well as on this blog.  I study past workouts, mileage, and everything in between.  I am becoming more and more aware of what works for me and how I run fast.

Here is a rough week to week mileage plan for the rest of this year and shortly into 2011:

Oct. 18 - Oct. 24:  113-116 (Aquinas meet, naturally low due to a race week)
Oct. 25 - Oct. 31:  120-122
Nov. 1 - Nov. 7:  115 (Conference week)
Nov. 8 - Nov. 14:  115 (Off week before Nationals)
Nov. 15 - Nov. 21:  100-110 (Nationals week, pending if I can get a long run in Sunday morning after the race)

Nov. 22 - Nov. 28:  120 (At least one 3 hour run this week)
Nov. 29 - Dec. 5:  130 (50 Mile Trail Championships)
Dec. 6 - Dec. 12:  130 (Maintain mileage the week after)
Dec. 13 - Dec. 19:  140
Dec. 20 - Dec. 26: 150 (This has to include a long Christmas day run)

Dec. 27 - Jan. 2: 150
Jan. 3 - Jan. 9:  140 (Frozen Sasquatch 50k)

After this, I am not sure what direction I will be going.  It looks like I am peaking or saving up for the Frozen Sasquatch race but I really am not.  I will be doing it for fun more or less, with intentions of winning of course. 

It might seem like I am setting myself up for failure.  Maybe so.  But, I am knowledgeable of people that do this type of mileage, the way I will be doing it.  I know what they do and what happened to them.  I know their weaknesses and I plan to avoid those things.  If I just stay in my head and really listen to myself, I will be fine.

In fact, after the 50 Miler, I might just feel like taking it easy.  But, with the way I see things currently, I will not want to do that.  My body might make me though.....

My aspirations and goals run away with themselves.  200 mile weeks are in the 6 month future. 


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oct. 11 - Oct. 17

Monday 10/11
AM: 7 miles (53:00).  Fire Tower.
PM: 13 miles (1:26:54).  20 x 400 meters at the course.
Before practice, I met coach and I marked off a 400 meter course in the soccer fields. It went out in sort of an S turn and then back the same way. This eliminated the 4 sharp turns of past years that, I particularly, did not grow fond of.

The workout went smooth and seemingly quick. It took me a few to get into a rhythm but when I did, I was hitting pretty much the same times over and over.

We increased the intensity (or tried) as the workout went on. Everyone led a separate 400, I was the only one that led more than one. It is pretty cool to have 19 guys that can take a turn to lead one, and we still had guys that didn't even get to. Everyone did great.

1. 69; 1 min. jog/39 sec. rest
2. 71; 1 min. jog/37 sec. rest
3. 71; 1 min. jog/37 sec. rest
4. 70; 1 min. jog/46 sec. rest
5. 70; 1 min. jog/37 sec. rest
6. 69; 1 min. jog/43 sec. rest
7. 68; 1 min. jog/38 sec. rest
8. 68; 1 min. jog/39 sec. rest
9. 69; 1 min. jog/40 sec. rest
10. 68
-2 min. jog/4:16 rest
11. 68; 1 min. jog/39 sec. rest
12. 69; 1 min. jog/47 sec. rest
13. 69; 1 min. jog/40 sec. rest
14. 69; 1 min. jog/50 sec. rest
15. 69; 1 min. jog/40 sec. rest
16. 69; 1 min. jog/46 sec. rest
17. 68; 1 min. jog/36 sec. rest
18. 68; 1 min. jog/39 sec. rest
19. 66; 1 min. jog/38 sec. rest
20. 66; DONE.....

1st 10: 69.3 avg.
2nd 10: 68.1 avg.
Total: 68.7 avg.   

Tuesday 10/12
AM: 8 miles (58:00).  Morning run with the team
PM: 12 miles (1:24:00).  Flood wall + 2 barefoot
Ran up on the flood wall and behind it on the gravel road.  I added 2 miles on the turf after.

Wednesday 10/13
AM: 6 miles (45:20). Fire Tower
PM: 14 miles (1:50:00).  Shawnee State Forest, Service Road #14
Wysocki and I ran together out at the forest. We rode out and parked off of road #14 and started at about 1:00.  We headed right on the Main Trail, went until we got the the Silver Arrow BT. Turned left on the gravel road and left again on the Rock Lick BT. Got a quick drink at the Campsite 1 fountain and headed down to the Hobey Hollow Bridle Trail. Left on the Silver Arrow BT and left onto the Main Trail to finish up the run.

I felt decently heavy and tired to begin the run. I was on a full stomach, so that might of caused that. I felt real good near the end. Perfect day and perfect loop. 

Thursday 10/14
PM: 15 miles (1:48:30).  Flood wall + 4 barefoot
Ran up on the flood wall and behind it on the gravel road.  Felt good to get the shoes off after that. 

Friday 10/15
AM: 3 miles (23:30).  Crabtree-Cemetery
PM: 12 miles (1:14:24).  4 x 2k at the course.
4 x 2k at the course. I like that we are doing longer stuff this late and on the course. Everyone has a big base and we don't really need to be getting much faster for conference, just nats.

1. 6:11 - 90 sec. jog/86 sec. rest
2. 6:06 - 90 sec. jog/78 sec. rest
3. 6:01 - 90 sec. jog/78 sec. rest
4. 6:08 - Done

Blake W. ran up there with me for most of these. It was nice having him up there. Linkous was also up in it along with Erock. I felt like I was able to respond to anything in this, just change gears whenever I felt like it. I love that feeling.
Saturday 10/16
AM: 10 miles (1:15:43).  Trails at the house + Fire Tower
Ran down Crabtree-Cemetery and around the main loop.  Then I went up to the Fire Tower and chilled for a while.  It was a beautiful day.  
PM: 7 miles (53:00).  Trails at the house + Fire Tower
Ran at the house again in the evening.  Soaked in the pond after.

Sunday 10/17
PM: 21 miles (2:40:39).  Hangover 
I went out to Hangover at 2 and ran about an hour twenty and then met the guys as they were running around the mile mark.  I turned around with them and went out and back some more.  Felt good most of the time.  I was getting hungry near the end.

Total Miles:  128
Total Time:  15:33:10

Obviously a good week of training.  This was my highest week ever and I feel pretty good about it, 20 x 400 was Monday and 4 x 2k Friday.  I firmly believe that running more mileage strengthens my body and the only way I can mess it up now is if I drop my mileage to soon or too much.

Run On - WMO