USATF 12km Championships
November 15, 2015
Conditions: 45 degrees, little wind, relatively flat with a few hills
25th place, 37:37 (5:02 pace)
After my failed attempt at the 2015 Chicago Marathon, I came back and competed well in this race. It also let me know that I was quite fit from the endurance work I had done for the marathon, so I began looking at more races to do after this one.
Bethesda Turkey Chase 10K
November 26, 2015
Conditions: cold, hilly course
2nd place, 31:30 (5:04 pace)
By this time I had decided to do the upcoming Jacksonville Half Marathon on January 3. The Turkey Chase 10K was a fun race to do and I used it as a springboard for Jacksonville. I knew my fitness was good after doing this hilly race in my fastest time ever on the course. My previous course best time was before I set my previous half marathon PR, so that was encouraging too. I knew that this 10K pace could be close to my half marathon pace with a little more work in me...
Jacksonville Bank Half Marathon
(Olympic Trials Qualifying Project)
January 3, 2016
Conditions: 48-50 degrees, rainy, no wind, flat course
40th place, 1:06:50 (5:05 pace), PR
10 Mile: 50:32(also PR)
This race was special because there were nearly 60 men recruited to give one last shot at qualifying for the Olympic Trials Standard of 1:05:00. I was proud to be a part of it, and though I failed, I PR'd in the process and left Jacksonville on a new level that gave me perspective on what I can accomplish in the years ahead. This type of effort was special, once you get down to 1:06 it is a bit more rare territory. I remember when I broke 1:10 how fast that felt. But now, to begin to move into the unknown territory of where many either get injured trying or others move on, it feels special. Thin air. Not as many get to this level. After the race, a friend of mine who ran 1:04:50 during this race, told me: "Breaking 1:07 is a really big barrier." Though he is faster, he knew how hard that was to do when he did it. Perspective. My friend Dickson broke 1:10 for the half marathon this season. I was so happy for him and KNEW how tough that is to do! After this race, I began to feel new, like a new journey was beginning for me. How fast can I run? How fit can I get? I thought. I don't like to get too caught up in numbers. I just run as hard as I can, and train as much and as smart as I can without having any injuries or setbacks. Consistency. More miles in the legs. It seems I am a bit of a late bloomer. I wasn't very fast in my early twenties, but my early thirties I have accelerated into a new era of performances of what I used to dream of. What are my limits? What can I DO? It is my quest to find this out, because it is a beautiful thing-using our full potential is so very hard to do and find. A guy like Meb Keflezighi gives me a lot of inspiration. And what I think is pretty cool is that he has just moved up in distance as he got older, but he got better in those distances as well. When he won the 2014 Boston Marathon(his all time best performance in my opinion), at the same time he certainly was not one of the USA's best 10K racers anymore. With age, as he moved away from his shorter distance prime years, he had at the same time become one of the world's best marathoners.
Virginia Tech Challenge Meet
February 20, 2016
Conditions: Indoor Track
3rd place, 15:13 (4:53 pace)
After the Jacksonville Half Marathon, I used the Virginia Tech Challenge Meet as a good workout to get back into things. It wasn't fast, and felt pretty off, but it was a good workout to get things going again. But I felt off. I think doing the 5K made me realize I am just not a 5K racer this year. It seems that longer distances are going more of my way in 2016...
USATF 15km Championships (Gate River Run)
March 12, 2016
Conditions: Hot & Humid, tough course
27th place, 49:07 (5:16 pace)
This race kicked my ass. It was a struggle from mile 2. It was hot, humid, and just plain awful conditions for racing. But the reason was I also wasn't acclimated to it, so it made things THAT much worse! I can race in heat and humidity, but I need to adapt to it! I was used to cold weather and BAM! just like that the world turns 180 degrees on you. You can tell by the photo above I was toasted, but I did give it my best. Last year in July, it was the hottest and most humid summery night in Rockville, MD for the annual twilight 8K race. I went out with the lead Ethiopian at a suicide pace. No one else went with us(and probably thought we were absolutely crazy) and we were alone the entire race. But I was acclimated to the brutal heat from training in Florida a month earlier. I held on and almost won(I should have won-it was poor tactics on my part at the end). It was a good race though. I made that guy work for it, he was on the ground at the end as I helped him up. I at least won a few races in 2015. I have yet to win a race in 2016, but I've been doing a lot of championship racing lately.
Picture of last year's Twilight 8K race below, right before the finish!:
Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run
April 3, 2016
Conditions: WINDY & a bit cold
17th place(10th American), 51:27 (5:08 pace)
Cherry Blossom was the opposite extreme in terms of weather. It was brutally windy and a little too cold, and it frustratingly made times go out the window. It sucks when this race has been ideal in conditions every year and then all of a sudden a ridiculous 50 mph wind comes gusting to rip right through the race, at the perfect(wrong) time. What are the chances? It made things extremely difficult. I kept trying to draft off the lead pack to block the wind, and was forced at times to just have to work against the wind. It sucked. Wind is the worst. But I placed well, snagging top 10 American. I also was able to hang with the lead pack for about 4 miles of the race, so that was pretty cool. So it was a good race to place well. But like others I am sure, it just really would have been nice if the conditions were ideal for fast times. Still, with such rough conditions I ran within under 1 minute of my PR at least. Hopefully next year will be fast!