Sunday, October 25, 2009


Sometimes you fall.
Sometimes life throws things at you.
Sometimes you just need to start over.

Last May, I had a terrific race in the Frederick Marathon, posting one of my best times of 2:43 and placing highest I ever have in a marathon(2nd place). On top of that, it was a really hilly course. I ran some good half marathons this year(1:15 & 1:16). I PRed in the 8K over the summer. I ran 100 miles in one week. I started up running with the Georgetown Running Company. I ran in the USA Cross Country Championships last Feb in arguably what my former highschool coach called the best race I have ever run, placing 93rd out of 168 deeply talented runners all over the country.

I thought I was ready to run a PR in the Marathon this fall. There have been signs of my progression in the marathon. Signs that I can bust out a 2:29 marathon..

I started out a little slow for the first 2 miles(12:20), but picked it up and hit the 5K around 18:28, and the 4mile 23:45ish, 5 mile 29:45 ish, 10K was 36:57. I was right on goal pace. 8 mile-47:xx, 10 mile was 59:16 or something. It was perfect pacing. I hit the half in 1:18:28, a little slower than anticipated. I was slowing down. But it didn't really happen until mile 17 or so. Mile 15 was 1:30:xx, 16-1:36:50. After that, I realized I was slowing down and really couldn't do anything about it. I am a tough runner. I run through pain. I am built for the marathon. This isn't making any sense I thought, why am I slowing down? Usually this is the part where I am strong. In Frederick I was strong. People started passing me left and right, it was really dissapointing. I told my body to go and race, but it didn't. It didn't respond at all. It was out of my control. I had to just deal with it and treat the race as a training run instead. False Alarm. I hate false alarms. I ended up crawling the last 5 miles to the finish in 2:57:30. On an off day 2:57 aint bad. I actually was happy that I still ran sub 3 as an off day. BUT the dissapointment burned deep inside my soul, my heart. I was heartbroken, I really was. I want more than anything in the world to run a sub 2:30:00. But maybe this is part of the patience, and sticking with it. When you have runs like these, you question to yourself, what does this mean? Everything has a reason, and this run surely will mean something I am sure when I look back on it in the future. Maybe I NEEDED to run slow today in ORDER to achieve my goal in the months ahead. After all, the year before I ran Frederick I ran in the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon, finished in 3:29!, walked 3 miles of the course! And it simply was that I knew I needed to do it for some reason, at the time I did not know why and was very frustrated, but I did it for bigger reasons. So, if a 3:29 off day a year earlier brought me a 2:43 a year later, I wonder what a 2:57 off day will bring me..

Sometimes you just need to start over.

This has been a rough month. I lost my job, and I did not run the marathon I had hoped to run. But thats ok. Because sometimes we all need to start over. I will pick myself up, dust myself off, and take this week to recover/relax...get back to a starting point. I am going to VA Tech next weekend to really relax and take a "breath."

For the remainder of the year, I am going to have some fun and jump in a few 10Ks(veterans day, turkey chase, jingle all the way). This will put some new spice into my legs and will be a refreshment of shorter distance. It will be a great new start for the end of the year into the upcoming 2010 season. I am excited for the spring goals meeting the GRC is having in a few weeks. This will really be motivating for all of us GRC runners.

So everything is a fresh new start now. My running, my job search, its all a new beginning for me. I can't thank my girlfriend enough for all the support she brings to me during this time. She and I are going to take a trip to VA Tech next weekend for a mini-vacation. I long to return to the mountains once again.


  1. Chris,
    You have the right attitude about this. You have worked really hard and have improved a lot and sub-2:30 is out there waiting to be claimed. Better marathons are ahead. There is talk about a group of us attacking Chicago in 2010; if it happens, it would be awesome to get you onboard. Some days it does not click, but it does not mean that you are not a better runner than you were in Frederick; and even the bad marathons will make you stronger.

  2. Dickson,

    Thanks for the input. And I have thought about Chicago 2010 actually.