Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rituals of a Runner....

Three or four times a week, I wake up and do a morning run by myself.  Along with this supplementing help for waking me up for the day and adding mileage for the week, it is also one of my favorite times to be alone and think.  It is just too easy to do it when I get to run in such a beautiful land.  Now that the weather is cooling and the hills are still warm, fog blankets the valley in a special way.  This morning, I decided to bring my camera with me on my run and capture the sites I see.  I am so fortunate to have this in less than a 30 minute run.

Back to the Brown Cabin and ready to start the day.

Run Happy


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Groin Pains and Bye Bye "Real All-Ohio"

On October 15th of 2007, my freshman year, I wrote this in my training log:

My groin feels like it is going to explode!

That statement was made after the grueling 20 x 400 meter workout we do once each cross country season.  I still remember hurting my groin, not bad, but definitely some kind of pull or strain.  It was at the start of one of the 400's.  Of course, I finished the workout, finished the year, and ran through the injury just like I have always done.

Even though it has nearly been three full years, that same groin still hurts once in a while.  It seems like the initial onset of speed workouts is what triggers it.  I never feel it during base training periods or even during the first month of workouts.  After doing the 12's and 8's on Tuesday and the race at Iona I am feeling it again.

I am not worried about it.  It is not restricting me.  It actually has already gone away and I did not feel it in the Friday workout.  I am three years older and three years wiser and I know how to treat my body a lot better.

Since this upcoming week is All-Ohio week, I wanted to say my few words about this meet.  

The All-Ohio Championships has always been one of our biggest meets.  We get to see how we stack up against all the other teams in Ohio.  Although there are several teams in Ohio that do not regularly attend this meet (Kent St., Xavier, Miami, Dayton....), it always has great competition.  Due to politics, a hard course, and a worry to loose to smaller schools, these teams choose to not come.  The main reason, so I've heard, was because of the course.  The race has always been held at Ohio Wesleyans Delaware Golf Club.  Times are always slow, with a few big hills and the inevitable bad weather.  Teams get scared I guess.

This year though, the course is changing, for the first time in a long time.  It is being held at Cedarville University, a course we know really well.  It is also rumored that the teams that don't usually show up will show up this year.  

To me, it brings a little bit of the luster out of All-Ohio.  We have always prided ourselves for being true cross country runners, not afraid to run on challenging courses or in bad conditions.  Last year, we had a great race at All-Ohio, finishing 3rd, behind Ohio State and Malone.  I am not eluding that I am not as excited now, because I am really excited to race All-Ohio.  I know it will be fast and competitive and I want to see how everything shakes out.

All in all, I am sad to see All-Ohio change courses, because I had such a great experience there last year.  The history of Cedarvilles course does not compare to Ohio Wesleyans.  But, history always has to end somewhere and begin somewhere else.  It just so happens I am in the middle of it.      

My Week:        
Monday 9/20
AM: 7 miles (52:45).  Up to the Fire Tower and around the house.
PM: 11.5 miles (1:31:25).  Great trail run at the Forest with Reece and Keegan. Just like good ole times with those two in 2008. Last time it was us 3 on the trails was when we did the 40 miler in May. Climbed some good hills and found some smooth trail. So refreshing.

Tuesday 9/21
AM: 16 miles (1:45:59). 4 x 1200/800's on the flood wall.
1200 - 3:38 - 2:30 jog/39 rest
800 - 2:25 - 1:30 jog/1:42 rest
1200 - 3:36 - 2:30 jog/1:03 rest
800 - 2:27 - 1:30 jog/2:02 rest
1200 - 3:34 - 2:30 jog/1:08 rest
800 - 2:25 - 1:30 jog/1:55 rest
1200 - 3:33 - 2:30 jog/1:43 rest
800 - 2:21 - DONE

First time we got the legs rollin all year. We did these on the flood wall, flat, dry, and fast. Oh, but very windy. We ran out for the 1200's and back for the 800's. Like always, coming back for the 8's were right into the wind.

I stayed completely relaxed for the first two sets. My heart rate was only in the 140's. Started pushing harder for the last two, heart rate got up in the 170's. But who really cares about heart rate anyways? I was just checking it because it looked fun.

*The same groin that I hurt doing 20x400's my freshman year is feeling it a little again. Surprise, been running with this thing for the past 4 years.
PM: 3 miles (24:30).  Full moon night.  Headlamp down the road and back.

Wednesday 9/22
AM: 10 miles (1:10:56).  The entire team came to the morning run.  Everyone did the longer run of the two in the morning.
PM: 10 miles (1:18:00).  After class, Reece and I drove out to the forest and parked in the 125 parking lot.  We ran out and back on the main trail.  This is definitely one of my favorite sections of trail.  It has 5 very tough uphills and some very technical sections.  Plus, its simply beautiful.

Thursday 9/23
PM: 16 miles (1:55:00).  Met with Wysocki early and ran 10 miles before the team met at 4pm. Most of this was on the flood wall.  Ran 6 more with the team around town.

Friday 9/24
AM: 3.5 miles (26:00).
PM: 10.5 miles (1:09:30).  Mile + Villanova on track.
This has always been a good one for me. I will still always remember beating Erock for my first time Spring of my Sophomore year. I managed to drop a 43 last 300. That didn't quite happen today. Of course, during the spring workout of this, we do not do a mile before the Villanova.

So, a mile on the track to begin. This means a time for me to try to PR. Last year I went 4:26, getting slower each lap. This year, Reece led us out at 67, and Erock and I broke from the pack and got faster. He led the second lap, I took the 3rd lap, and we finished that last lap side by side. We ran the last 200 in 32 and finished with my new PR of 4:25. Excited, but there was still a 5k to be ran.

The Villanova was tough for me. I have my splits listed below and I never once broke 50 seconds. Last year, I started out with some 50's and ended my last 6 300's with 49's. I couldn't get going. Overall, the overall 5k was faster than it has ever been but my 100 meter jogs averaged about 4 or 5 seconds faster today. Looking back I should have been running my rests in 34-35 instead of 29-31. It's just was Erock was doing so I went along.

Happy about a PR in the mile and that after my two 55's in the 300's I was able to suck it up and run faster on the next one.

Mile - 4:25 (1st lap was 67)
600 meter jog
8 minutes of standing rest

200m - .30 : 100m jog - .30
300m - .51 : 100m jog - .29
300m - .50 : 100m jog - .30
300m - .51 : 100m jog - .31
300m - .51 : 100m jog - .29
300m - .53 : 100m jog - .31
300m - .53 : 100m jog - .30
300m - .55 : 100m jog - .30
300m - .52 : 100m jog - .29
300m - .55 : 100m jog - .30
300m - .52 : 100m jog - .29
300m - .54 : 100m jog - .29
300m - .54 : 100m jog - Done

Total time for Villanova (5k)- 17:07

Total time overall- 21:32  
Saturday 9/25
AM: 7.5 miles (56:00).  Took it easy for this day.  Two shorter runs.  This one was on the trails at the forest.  I parked off of Road #1 and went right up the Main Trail.  Went out past the Fire Tower and back.  
PM: 5 miles (36:19).  Ran up towards the Fire Tower.  I felt really good on this run.

Sunday 9/26
PM: 20 miles (2:30:05).  Long Run at Hangover.  Ran with Wysocki for the majority of this run.  Turned left past the watering hole on the Main Trail to Campsite #6.  Took the bridle trail behind the camp to Road #2.  Back up to Hangover and back to the car.  I added on 5 by myself from there.  Longest solo run this cross season.  

Total Miles:  120
Total Time:  14:36:31

Run On


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bears Gone Fishing

On the line, ready to go.

Pack attack, around the mile mark.
Getting ready to enter the woods.


Back to the hotel, Wysocki and Schroeder.
Wysocki and Me.  Big City Lights
Appalachian boys in NYC.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Busy World

In this busy world, one filled with cappuccino fixes and corporate mega-stores, we all just need to slow down!  One thing that I did discover while I was in New York City, was that it is as fast paced as it gets.  Yet, it takes five times as long to travel a mile on the road than it does, say, in Portsmouth or Pomeroy.  Some people like the hustle and bustle way of living, constantly on the run, never really sitting down to enjoy life.  Do these people really know what is surrounding them though?  Do they even look up to see the people walking the streets around them?

The people I walked by in NYC never made eye contact with me.  Not one of them.  They are too busy making there way to wherever they are going to even notice what they are doing.  They are in their routine, waking up at the same time every morning, the same coffee shop on the way to work, check-in, check-out, order out dinner, turn on the television, nighty night, wake up and do it all over.  Where is the variety!?

Scientists have performed studies and say that city life affects the brain negatively.  In an article I have recently read, scientists stated that an:
urban environment impairs our basic mental processes. After spending a few minutes on a crowded city street, the brain is less able to hold things in memory, and suffers from reduced self-control. Now scientists have begun to examine how the city affects the brain, and the results are chastening. Just being in and while it’s long been recognized that city life is exhausting – that’s why Picasso left Paris – this new research suggests that cities actually dull our thinking, sometimes dramatically so.
“The mind is a limited machine,”says Marc Berman, a psychologist at the University of Michigan and lead author of a new study that measured the cognitive deficits caused by a short urban walk. “And we’re beginning to understand the different ways that a city can exceed those limitations.”
One of the main forces at work is a stark lack of nature, which is surprisingly beneficial for the brain. Studies have demonstrated, for instance, that hospital patients recover more quickly when they can see trees from their windows, and that women living in public housing are better able to focus when their apartment overlooks a grassy courtyard. Even these fleeting glimpses of nature improve brain performance, it seems, because they provide a mental break from the urban roil.

I took this series of pictures while I was in Boston in the Spring of 2008.  Bryce and I were down at the bus station taking pictures.


This guy was on this cell phone, totally confused and lost with what he was doing, literally turning in circles as he walked and talked.

About two seconds after taking the last shot, he ran into me, but he just continued on his way

So, I will count it as a blessing that I have always been living around nature and less populated areas for my entire life.  We need our quiet time, time by ourselves.  We need to spend more time in the woods, with only the crickets chirping in the background.  No more car horns, sirens, and sounds of the city.  Slow this life down, think a little about what we want to do for the day.  Get out of our messed up rhythm.

Live free.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Iona Meet of Champions

The past weekend was not about going to New York. But, it was what it was all about. Contrarily speaking, NY was what it was all about. Get it? I don't either, don't worry. About a month before the Iona meet, I told myself, "I will not like New York City." You can say that I was setting myself into this mindset only to play the role that I have somehow created for myself. So be it, a lot of people set themselves into a certain personality or role by believing a certain idea; in fact, all of us do in one way or another. This character that I have molded, Michael Owen, does not like cities. Plain and simple.

The situation presented some upsides: 1. Raced a great course and solid competition and 2. saw a new culture. Over 30 hours on a bus is not my typical way of spending a three days. All the while, with that said, I would choose no other people to spend 30 hours on a bus with. I have some pretty cool teammates and friends that I get to chill with. The city is a jungle and in this case I am not a "jungle" man.

The Race
2010 Iona Meet of Champions

This meet brought a particular notice to our schedule. It is ran on the championship course in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx (not as bad as people claim). It always brings good competition from eastern D1 schools and some decent mid-west schools. We were the only NAIA school that competed this year.

My strategy was to go out relaxed. It was a very subjective term but I knew if I kept a conscious effort to stay relaxed I could run a solid race. I also wanted to have a few of my teammates surrounding me during the first mile. So, that is what happened. I went out relaxed and during the first mile I was right beside Keegan, Galen, Linkous, and Wysocki. The first mile was around 4:48-4:50. That entire first mile, and then some, was ran around the main field to be followed by a crushed gravel path through the woods.

(The start; we are on the far right.)

Once we got into the wooded section, I passed people. A lot of people. It felt amazing. Before I knew it I was in the top 15 of the race. I really cannot explain much further than this besides that I just kept running. There was no eureka moment in the race where I found a groove or any moment when I felt bad. I just kept running, maintaining pace, and finished hard. I ended up PR'ing at 25:32 and getting 12th place overall.

As for the course, it was fabulous. I will go ahead and say this was my favorite course I have ran on (besides Hangover and our home course). It was challenging with sections dubbed as "cemetery hill" and the "backhills."

The team ran good. Keegan, coming off a couple of weeks of sickness, ran 26:07. Linkous 26:15, Galen 26:23, Bradley 26:24, Wysocki 26:44, Schroeder 27:04, Chuck and Reece 27:15, and Jeremy Anderson to round out the top ten at 27:33. We got 9th place overall. The standings were very close from 1st to 10th!


The City

It was what it was.

My Week

Monday 9/13
AM: 6 miles (44:17). Up Fire Tower hill.
PM: 12 miles (1:18:25). 5 x 1 mile workout on the course.
1. 4:56, 90 jog, 76 rest
2. 4:58, 90 jog, 102 rest
3. 4:49, 90 jog, 105 rest
4. 4:53, 90 jog, 130 rest
5. 4:49, DONE
Felt solid on this run and consider it one of my better workouts of my career. Eased into all of these.

Tuesday 9/14
AM: 8 miles (59:00). Morning run with the team. I added on 3 miles extra on the floodwall.
PM: 11 miles (1:19:40). Ran separate with Reece and Wysocki on the flood wall and the gravel path behind it. I added on a couple barefoot miles on the turf with sprint drills and simulated starts.

Wednesday 9/15
AM: 10 miles (1:15:00). Up to the Fire Tower and around the trails out at the house.
PM: 10 miles (1:08:00). Went to the course for a 2k at race pace. Did a long cool down and got a nice day of mileage in.

Thursday 9/16
PM: 12 miles (1:28:15). Felt rough throughout this run. The previous 4 days were pretty long. Did fell a lot better to get barefoot for a couple miles.
PM: 2 miles (15:15). Ran this just because I knew it was going to be a good run. Headlamping.

Friday 9/17
PM: 6 miles (46:00). After 15 hours in the bus to New York, I was finally able to get out and run some. Ended up running more than I planned even.

Saturday 9/18
AM: 12 miles (1:17:32). Iona Meet of Champions + 7 miles wu/cd. Read above!

Sunday 9/19
AM: 14 miles (1:40:00). Woke up early and ran 4 miles, then 10 more with Erock, Paul, and Holbrook. For being sore from walking in NYC the night before, this run felt great.

Total Miles: 103
Total Time: 12:12:24

Run On


Monday, September 13, 2010

Getting High....

If there is anyway a person can get a high from running, I have achieved it. No, this is not the "runners high" that I hear people talking about. Last night, I was literally sensing things to a new level. Sometimes after a long run I feel clumsy and "not all there." But last night after my 19 mile run, I was all there. Even my driving felt better. I was driving exactly the speed limit the entire way home and I don't even have cruise control. There have been drives home from the forest where I realize I am only going 40 mph on the high way! Also, the moon and stars looked like they were a few feet from me. It was a clear night, but still, they looked better than ever.

My mileage is getting high too. Last week was my third highest week of mileage ever. There were only two times I was over 115 during the spring. That fact, plus the two hard workouts make me feel accomplished. Here is what went down:

Monday 9/6
AM: 10 miles (1:15:00). Labor day, no school. That means I was able to get a longer morning run in. Ran the loop out in Brush Creek and felt a lot of comfort on the trails.
PM: 10 miles (1:11:30). Ran in town with the entire team. Everyone was excited.

Tuesday 9/7
AM: 6 miles (44:44). Morning run with the team. Added on a grassy mile afterward.
PM: 12 miles (1:17:00). 5K hard on the track followed by 3 x 1200 on flood wall. Different people led the first 8 laps, was suppose to be around 10:10 for the two mile. I led the 8th lap and we hit 10:10 exactly. Erock took the lead after that for two laps and then I got up from only to have Brad Liston pull up on my with a lap to go. We ended up going 63 for the last lap, finishing in 15:31. Last mile was about 4:46 last mile. Reeling. 1200's went 3:41, 3:36, 3:52. Great workout.

Wednesday 9/8
PM: 15 miles (1:57:00). Mid week long run. Trails with Wysocki and Reece. We parked at the Main Trail intersection on road #14. This was a great place to park, especially when the creek has water in it. We went up the side of the trail with Big Bear Hill and turned left onto Silver Arrow BT. We got water at Camp Oyo and went back on the Main Trail. It was nice having water in a couple spots. I added on 30 more minutes by myself.

Thursday 9/9
PM: 11 miles (1:23:40). Got to run trails at the Forest for the second day in a row. This time it was Schroeder, Reece, and me, we parked at Camp Oyo. We ran to the water down by Pond Lick Pond and headed back. I came back 6 minutes faster after starting out slow.
PM: 4 miles (29:00). Headlamp down the road and back.

Friday 9/10
AM: 3 miles (23:00).
PM: 11 miles (1:14:00). 2 Mile Warm Up, 5k Time Trial, 3 x 3 minutes hard with 60 sec. jog., 1 x 2 minutes hard, 4 Mile Cool Down.

Saturday 9/11
AM: 7 miles (51:30). Ran up to the Fire Tower and some more on Crabtree-Cemetery.
PM: 7 miles (51:00). Dark

Sunday 9/12
PM: 19 miles (2:15:22). It's been a while since I have ran a long run in town and not on trails. We ran the dirt paths behind b-dubs, out 42 minutes and back. I was 1:25:00 for the 12 miles. Corey graciously ran 4 extra miles with me on the flood wall and I added a few more miles on the turf barefoot. So, only about 4 or 5 miles of this was on pavement. That was the only way I was going long in town. Felt extremely good and "floaty."

Run On my friends.


Friday, September 10, 2010

A Tribute to Hangover

I was 18 years old riding with my soon to be coach Eric Putnam on a 95 degree day to a place that people called "Hangover." The name originated years before I even ran it for the first time. Some past Shawnee XC runners had found this bridle trail in the Shawnee State Forest, up service road #5. To get to the start, you have to drive up a one mile hill. True to its name, the original finders were hungover from the night before when they ran it. It wasn't anything until John Williams and Blake Jones brought coach Putnam there for the first time. Then, it become a staple in Shawnee Cross Country training, with the first day of practice every year being a 5 mile time trial on the first 5 miles of the trail. Throughout the years, different time trials and workouts were added, including 5K followed by minute runs and even a 2 mile followed by minute runs.

It is debated whether that was how Hangover actually got it's name, because it could be called Hangover because it is simply brutal to your body, making you feel like you have a "running hangover." The first mile of the course is hard. It is all uphill for over a half mile. Going from 600 ft to 1200 ft or more in small distances, then back down, then back up, then back down. There is never a flat section, and that is a fact.

So, there I was, standing in the middle of the forest with Blake Jones, Chris Roush, Paul Webb, Chuck Wentz, and Eric. We were doing the 11.5 mile loop backwards. To make a long story short, Chuck Wentz, a very good runner, finished 45 minutes behind us. We didn't think he was going to come to school after that! Now here we are, both seniors. From that day on, I wanted to run Hangover more, discover it.

A few weeks after that was the 5 mile time trial. I was one of the only freshman that had seen Hangover before. I ran decent that day, 31:37. I was in awe about how much different my body felt. I wanted to figure this course out, just how to run it. How fast is to fast on the down hills, how slow is too slow on the uphills.

Now, fast forward to today, nearly four years later, I was standing in that same spot. One mile up service road #5, with cars parked in the shade. Today was the last of 11 time trials at Hangover. This time, it was a 5k, followed by 3 x 3 min. hard and 1 x 2 min. hard. New faces, eager to get their Friday over with to start their weekends. And there I was, taking in the moment, hoping it would last forever.

I have had many great moments in these time trials. The 5 mile my junior year was spent stride for stride with Shane Meyer, being one of few to break the 30 minute mark. I often remark about the connection we had during that run without a word said. This year, the 5 mile was sweet as well. I ran it with Keegan and Eric chasing me for the last 3 miles, two of my favorite people, and tying Keegans course record with a 29:02. Today though, was special just because I knew it was my last time trial there. I ran 17:39, nine seconds slower than my best 5k time there that I set a couple weeks prior. But still, it was ever so sweet.

It is no wonder Shawnee State XC has improved so much in the past few years. I feel privileged to have Hangover to train on. No one knows what it is like until they experience it first hand. Words do it no justice. Some say I am crazy to get so excited just to run a workout, but its a part of me. My constant quest to fully understand my body in relation to the ground.

The runs at Hangover are not over. I will continue to run long runs there as often as I can. More than likely, I will even find myself standing on those hills later in my life with the future Shawnee Bears, struggling to beat the 15th runner. Maybe, someone will come by and run faster than I ever have at Hangover. But, one thing is for sure, I appreciate Hangover more than most. Disrespect Hangover and she will beat you down. Love her, and she will build you up so high.

After the minute runs, the team was gathered around, catching their breathe, telling everyone good job. With all of our hands in the middle, in the air, I chanted "Bears on 3, ready...." we all became one, "1... 2... 3... BEARS!" That phrase had never sounded so good. With the wind easily blowing through the trees, seeming like we were 100 miles from civilization, I was content. With my teammates...... we ran on.

8-21-2007: 5 mile time trial- 31:37
9-3-2007: 5k time trial- 19:11 (3 x 3:15 hard)
9-21-2007: 5k time trial- 19:10 (3 x 3:15 hard)

8-19-2008: 5 mile time trial- 31:16
9-1-2008: 5k time trial- 20:40 (4 x 3:30 min.)

8-10-2009: 5 mile time trial- 29:33
9-7-2009: 5k time trial-17:44 (3 x 4 min.)
9-25-2009: 2 mile time trial- 11:08 (5 x 3 min.)

8-9-2010: 5 mile time trial- 29:02
8-27-2010: 5k time trial- 17:30 (3 x 3 min, 1 x 2 min.)
9-10-2010 5k time trial- 17:39 (3 x 3 min, 1 x 2 min.)


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Good Times are Coming......

Good times are around the corner. Cross Country race season has now started (see below). The weather is also getting much more cooler, which means Fall is about here. Fall means good trail running at the Shawnee State Forest! I could not be any happier about that. Memories to be made and miles to be had......

Monday 8/30
AM: 6 miles (45:45). Woke up and ran up to the Fire Tower. A nice layer of fog was blanketing the Scioto County. Great sight up on the hill.
PM: 12 miles (1:17:30). 2 mile warm up and 4 mile cool down at the course for our 3 x 2 mile workout. This one went better than the first time we did it.
1. 9:58 (4:48, 5:10), 2 min. jog/2:38 rest.
2. 10:08 (4:50, 5:18), 2 min. jog/2:41 rest.
3. 10:12 (4:57, 5:15), DONE
This has been the 8th time, and last, doing this workout in the four year at Shawnee. It has always been one of my favorite and most successful workouts.

Tuesday 8/31
AM: 6 miles (43:30). Morning run with the team.
PM: 10 miles (1:10:30). Ran primarily with Erock for this entire run. It was hot out so we ran down by the river under the trees for a little while. Then we got up on the flood wall for the rest of our run. Its nice to get some grass running on a Tuesday, since it's the only day I have to run in town twice.

Wednesday 9/1
AM: 4 miles (30:00). Ran out and back on Crabtree-Cemetery.
PM: 13 miles (1:34:00). Most of this run was on Great Seal Trail. Reece and I met with Keegan at the Lick Run TH. After about 50 minutes on the trail we hoped onto the road for a little 2K at race pace. I went through at 6:02. Finished up the run on the trails.

Thursday 9/2
PM: 12 miles (1:25:00). Most of the guys did 45 minutes so they did the Cemetery loop. I cut down on Offnere to add miles on the flood wall.
PM: 3 miles (23:00). Night run, never fails. Turning off the headlamp and seeing the stars is relaxing.

Friday 9/3
AM: 4 miles (30:00). Early run by myself. Most of the guys will doing less at practice so I thought I'd get out early.
PM: 5 miles (37:00). Ran these on the flood wall. Afterwards, Jeremy, Reece, and I did barefoot form drills on the Alumni Green. We also did several simulated starts.

Saturday 9/4
AM: 12 miles (1:20:20). RACE DAY. DAYTON FLYER 5K. First cross race. I ran the 5K in 15:21, 9th place. I did a 7 mile cool down and 2 mile warm up.
PM: 3 miles (24:00). Reece and I ran headlamp-less on the trail behind the house in the dark. Smooth.

Sunday 9/5
19 miles (2:22:00). Parked at the #6 Trailhead. Started on the Connector Trail and turned right onto Conley's Run. Came out past the horse camp. Ran up to Pigeon Roost BT which brought be back to my car. I got some water and a gel and headed back onto the Connector Trail. Felt good all day. I was called a "Jungle Man" and people on horses said I lost my horse and forgot my clothe. It was great.

Total Miles: 109
Total Time: 13:02:35


The first race for the 2010 Bears finally arrived. The weather could not of been any better for this 5K. Going into the race, we knew that Dayton and Miami were going to be our biggest competitors. Morehead State was said to have some good runners too. My goal was simple: go out with whoever was in the lead and try to hold it. I did that.

I found myself, along with Matt Lemon and Chris Lemon (the Lemon twins) 5-6 seconds up on the field during the first mile. It was really bizarre brushing shoulders with two people that have 8k PR's a minute and a half faster than mine. And of course, with that last sentence, I was dropped after the first mile. Looking back, I could of probably ran a little faster and finished a little better in the race, but the main thing is that I had a goal and I did it.

(Getting out hard.)

So, after I was dropped a quarter of a mile after the mile mark, I tried to hold on. After the wooded section, still in 3rd place, a pack of Miami guys came by me, like 5 of them. Also, a IUPUI guy. I ran strong for the 3rd mile, passing two of the Miami guys, but at the finish, one Miami and Dayton runner passed me at the line. I ended up in 9th place, behind 3 Daytons, 4 Miami's, and 1 IUPUI. My time was 15:21.

(About 800 to go.)

(Galen with about 800 to go.)

(Linkous and Chuck)

(Blake on his way to a PR.)

(Reece, first time in the top 7.)

The team came rolling in. It was apparent as soon as I finished that we got thumped by Miami and Dayton, and that was the truth. Besides those two teams, we looked to have the most runners come in. Here was the order:

Galen Dills 15:31, 12th
Josh Linkous 15:44, 21st
Chuck Wentz 15:45, 22nd
Brad Liston 15:51, 21st
Blake Wysocki 15:54, 29th
Reece Brown 16:10, 45th
Adam Schroeder 16:11, 46th
Jeremy Anderson 16:16, 53rd
Eli Gerlach 16:24, 56th
Eric Holbrook 16:27, 59th
Justin Hornick 16:44
Jordan Selbee 16:47

Those were all of our runners that finished under 17 minutes, a good amount.

Even though we did not win the meet, or maybe some didn't run as fast as they liked (a lot of people ran fast though), it was a solid start. It is now time to get back to work, looking forward to Iona, at the famed Van Cortland Park. It will be nice running where the legends have once run. We are going to get stronger and stronger each meet........


Run On


Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's Official......

Okay, so a dream I have had for the past few years is in the process of being made.

Today, I officially registered for the North Face Gore-Tex 50 Mile Trail Championship. The date is December 4th, 2010. This is the 5th and final race of 50 Milers put on by North Face around America and it is the Championship. The race is held in the Marin Headlands just north of San Francisco, featuring some amazing scenery and so called "hard uphill" running. Since it is the championship it comes with a lot of prize money ($10,000 for 1st), which undoubtedly attracts some of the top ultra runners. Last year Uli Steidl and Geoff Roes took top two, respectively. This year, Tony Krupicka is on the participant list. Even the legend, Matt Carpenter, won this race in 08.
Some might worry that this might affect my final year of cross country, since Nationals is a mere two weeks before this race, but it won't. I am not going to alter my training at all from here until Nationals. But, you can bet that I will be doing some big runs in the two weeks in between.
I am very excited about this opportunity, as it could lead to bigger things. None the less, I will build a deeper connection with my body in nature far into a run, farther than I have ever been before.
First its time to run fast for 5 miles!