Monday, July 23, 2012

July thee 23, Twenty-twelve

Change is the only constant....

My next major target is to run 2:12.36 at this year's Twin Cities Marathon.  I am not sure if that will win the footrace or not, but that is what I really want my result to read as I cross the finish line.  I will be more regular with the training updates; maybe once or twice per week.  

I made it through the spring and early summer racing season, and now am in the beginning stages of preparing for this monumental task.  I am going into this segment of training thinking that this goal will happen without a doubt, but my contingency plan if it does not is to accept the result like a man.  I will prepare diligently and intelligently.  I will not take any shortcuts.  I will race with fire in my belly.  

Here are brief recaps of the 6 competitive efforts I put forth after the Olympic Trials Marathon from the end of April through July 4th.  Some were fine, some less than stellar.  It is weird to me in that some years I have trained so hard and ran a ton of miles and did killer sessions, but the results never matched up.  And then this spring, I really cut back on all of that, and the results were beyond what the training would indicate.  It is such a fickle sport.  That is the beauty of it though and why I feel there isn't anything that can compare to the loneliness of the long distance runner!

Race #1 Get in Gear 10k Minneapolis April 28, 2012
Defended my title from 2011 in 30:01.  This sucked because there was a $200 premium for breaking 30 minutes.  I guess I shouldn't have waved at my wife and newborn daughter coming down the straight.  But I was so surprised with how easy the race felt and how simple it was to break the young Kenyan named Festus Kigen that I just eased it in.  Really pleased with where I could be heading this spring.

Race #2 Newport 10k Newport, NJ May 12, 2012
Finished 7th in 29:55.  Felt off from the gun.  I had hammered a long run the previous Saturday averaging 5:15 for 13 miles of it so that probably contributed to the dead legs.  Almost caught the pack chasing the leader, but didn't have enough to go by.  Slightly disappointed.

Race #3 Brian Kraft 5k Minneapolis May 28, 2012
Champ in course record 14:20.  Faster than last year by 4 seconds, but that was after my wedding weekend and some good old-fashion fun. Rated as a good day.  Ran splits of 4:32, 4:37, 4:37.  Pleasantly surprised I was able to able to knock of sub 4:40s as I had done barely any running that fast.  I think it goes to show how far high-end aerobic preparation can take you.  But I guess 14:20 in the grand scheme of my racing life is not that fast.  I was pretty much alone from the gun and it was a picture perfect day with clear, blue skies as crisp as my daughter Mae's eyes.  Warm but manageable.

Race #4 Dam to Dam 20k Des Moines June 2, 2012
5th place, 1:01.46.   Over 2 minutes faster than last year, but not nearly as hot or sticky.  Ran a lot of this solo figuring more guys would come back to me.  If I were to do it again I would put more into it beween miles 3-7 because I basically lost a minute during those miles.  Really believed I could win, but alas not meant to be. This may have been my last competitive Dam to Dam. 

Race #5 USATF Half Marathon Championships at Grandma's Duluth MN, June 16, 2012
11th, 1:04:42. I felt so good between the start and mile 5.  I split 23:45 for 5 miles and 29:40 for 10k so I was bound to run a PR and finish high.  Yet, I developed a bit of a stitch just before 6 miles and slowed down and started running over 5 min miles.until about mile 11 where I rallied somewhat. I may have run faster for the last 6 miles of Grandma's Marathon in 2011 than I did for this half-marathon on the same exact course!  Nice one.  I also finished behind some people that I really think I have no business finishing behind, but that is another thing that makes the sport so great.  You never know who is going to show up and take scalps.  These people up in Duluth provide, without a doubt, the most hospitable experience imagineable.  Thank you Grandma's Marathon.

Race #6 5th Seasons 8k Cedar Rapids, IA 4th of July 2012
9th place, 24:30.  Nearly a complete and utter disaster here, but I then remembered that it was 85 degrees with the dew point at 72 which is amazon jungle like humidity.  Unfortunately, I suck in these conditions, but I was proud that I never gave in.  The winner of this race was convicted performance enhancing drug abuser Alene Reta who I absolutely despise.  Luckily he will not be invited back after I made the race director aware of this.  Major props to Hassan Mead who finished 2nd.  Quite possibly my last competitive outing on the 4th in Cedar Rapids.

Never say never.