Sunday, May 3, 2009

My Last Race

My NCAA competition is over. It ended with a depressing 35:26 10k at D3 New England's. Ok I know that's still faster than most people but for me it's slow. Two and a half minutes slower than my PR. 

Season review: Started with a 33:55 this makes me happy that I could throw together a decent race and qualify for New England's. It was even a fairly easy race I felt I could have gone 20 seconds faster or so that day. My hopes for the season improved. I followed that up with a 4:26 1500 (slow) and a 2:11 800 PR which made me happy. The next week I ran a 16:13 5k which was better than that race at last year's meet so I thought things were going to happen. Then a 16:48 5k when two teammates broke 16 for the first time, a sad 9th place in a hot 35:49 at newmacs and a slightly better but still not good 35:26 at NEs. I got burnt out. It had nothing to do with track or running. Learning that I wasn't going to defend my thesis and graduate in May was, and is, very depressing. It affected my running. So three good races, three bad races and a 1500. I also think I didn't do enough long repeats and too many 300s to work on my kick but I was never there with 300 to go to kick...

Collegiate review: Five years ago I took six months off because I was burnt out. When I started running again I never thought that I would compete in running. I just like to run to stay in shape. However after two months of running I needed to compete again. I joined the WPI track team and ran some 19 minute 5ks and 4:50 1500s. For some odd reason despite getting last in, I think, every race I was hooked. The summer at 8000 feet in NM with a few 3 mile runs and tons of hiking turned out to get me in some sort of shape. I ran cross country and PR'd in the 8k at like 30 something and in the 5k 17:55. I was even 8th guy on the team. That winter I ran indoor and at the first meet in December I ran a 4:59.85 mile. I can hardly describe how fantastic that was. That sophomore year I also discovered running high mileage from the internet and did my first 70 mile week during spring break and had 15 consecutive PRs including a 4:52 mile, 9:57 3k, 16:37 5k and 34:57 10k debut. The next summer I hiked even more and did a little running and came back in xc and ran sub 29 once and made varsity and ran 4:44, 9:25, 16:25 during indoor and 1:19 in a half marathon. 

Finally before my senior year I put together a summer of running and PR'd a lot the whole year including 27:34 xc, 4:38, 9:01, 16:03, 32:58. It was my senior year and the olympic marathon trials that really got me motivated to go out there. I knew after following all the superstar athletes that I really loved to compete. I like to race. I love running yes but racing is really the best kind of running. So I put together the best summer of training yet in my attempt to be an all-american. only to be thwarted in the second workout of xc with tearing the plantar in my right foot.  Fortunately I came back and had a moderately decent outdoor track season. I also gained an appreciation of every day and making the most of every run and every opportunity to train. 

Moral of the story: I'm setting out to conquer running. My plans are to take this summer in Pakistan and not run much (besides a few miles at 16,000 feet cause I'm hardcore) then rest a little in August when I come back and mostly just hike and climb but run a little as well. Starting in September build up the miles slowly making sure to do the little foot exercises, ice baths, stretching, massages, chiropractor, lifting, and core work necessary to prevent injuries. Then in October when I reach 100 mile weeks I'm going to pump off 5 months of averaging 100 mile weeks like Lydiard said. Break 15 in the 5k in indoor and 30 in the 10k in outdoor and debut in the marathon in the fall. For the next several years I want to run the track races as well as the marathon so maybe only one marathon a year also because I need to build up a base. I have so few miles under my belt that I'm going to need 4500 a year to get where I want to go. The Olympic Marathon Trials. 

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