Fukuoka

As the finish line came closer, the clock was ticking ever so slowly. It felt like time was moving at a snail’s pace, but maybe that was only me. The worst part was that the clock once again read 2:15. For the third time I ran within 9 seconds of 2:15. But that is not what I was thinking about. I had run a fantastic 35km, setting myself up for a great run. Then something happened I have never experience before while running. With only 4 miles to go, I felt my legs completely shutdown.

– – –

Race

Starting (or finishing) a road race on a track is something that does not happen often in the United States, but I feel like it is a fairly common practice in Japan. Running nearly a mile on the track was actually quite fun. There were plenty of fans in the stadium to cheer and the field size was limited. We also ran the first 400m very fast. I glanced at my watch and saw 70 seconds, and the top group was already gapping me! With that knowledge I slowed down and began to look for the second group of pacers. By 1km they had caught up to me, and I tucked in behind them. From there I maintained contact with that group, even though they were running faster than they were prescribed. The pacers were supposed to go through half marathon in 65:15, which is right around 3:05 kilometers. But the pacers were running much faster than that. Through 15km we were on 2:09 pace, and we went through half in 64:50. Besides the fast pace, the pacers were not very consistent. Speeding up too much after they slowed down, because they had sped up too much, etc. While this was not the worst pacing, it was frustrating. I tried to stay relaxed and not yoyo too much, only gradually making up the ground if they gapped me.

Starting on the track!

After half, two of the pacers dropped out and the one that was left slowed down even more, so I went around him and continued on. Unfortunately the wind had picked up and we were running into a head wind. I was content to lead for a while, with the hope that someone from the group behind would help me in a few kilometers. So after nearly two miles of leading, I pulled to the side and waved the guy behind me to help me out. He firmly stayed put. Since I was in a good rhythm, I did not want to slow down at all, I continued to lead and after another kilometer or so I did it again, with the results staying the same. Finally a kilometer later, I pulled to the side and slowed down, forcing the guy to lead, but he slowed down even more. This made me a bit upset so I surged and gapped the group (that was the 3:02 and 3:04 at 27-8km).

Over the next few kilometers I was reeling in a competitor who had fallen off the main pack. As I pulled up next to him, I saw it was Yuki Kawauchi. For those who do not know, he is a bit of a folk hero in running. He works full time for the civil service in Japan and races all the time, often running very fast. I gave a word of encouragement, and he tucked in behind me. I lead for a bit, then unlike before he went to the lead and helped. Eventually we picked up another runner and maintained for a few kilometers. Around 32 kilometers (20 miles), I was starting to get tired, but was still feeling relaxed and smooth. I began to fall off of Yuki, but I focused on being relaxed and was able to close the gap.

Sometime after 35 kilometers, I experienced something that I have never had before in a marathon. I went from running fast and smooth, to not being able to run fast at all. In my two previous marathons I gradually slowed over the last 6-7 miles, but here I went from running 5 minute pace to over 6 minute pace. Aerobically I felt fine, just my muscles did not want to move. Every step was felt like I was running through quicksand. I do not know what happened. I guess that is what it truly “hit the wall.” From there I could do nothing as people sped around me. I was on a slow march to the finish line. I could not even use the energy of the crowd to will me to the finish.

– – –

Thoughts

I had a great trip with my training partner!

Headed into this race I felt that I was the fittest I have ever been. Even with the stress fracture this spring, I took the patient approach and gradually built fitness over the summer and fall. Every race this fall was a notch or two better than the previous. Also in the last four weeks, workouts were going the best they have in any prior marathon build up. Everything was clicking and I was confident. I carried that into the race.

Maybe my hubris got the better of me, and I was just over my head and crashed and burned at 35km. Maybe things would have been different if the pacers would have run 65:15. I could have closed the last 10km like I wanted, but that is not what happened and I do have some good that came from it.

Even though I did not finish the race as I wanted, I did gain some significant insights into racing a marathon. I made it over 35km faster than I ever had before. At the Trials and NYC the wheels began to come off well before, only I did not slow down nearly as much. I feel that this bodes well for future races. The more experienced marathoner I become, the better I will get. The marathon is one of those that the more veterans tend to run best at (just look at the top 10 at the USA Marathon Champs from CIM).

Also the experience of running in Japan was amazing. As a culture, they understand and respect distance running. They came out in droves to watch the race. There was hardly a spot on the course without a spectator. Even in NYC, where 300,000 people come out to watch the race that does not happen.

From here Pete and I will be figuring out what races I am going to do next, and what changes can be made to my training so I can finish strong in the last few miles of the marathon. That probably means that I will be taking another crack this spring!

Results
Letsrun Recap
Japan Running News – Video glimpses of me at 1:35:10 and 1:39:50

Splits

Kilometer Split Kilometer Split
1 3:04 26 3:07
2 3:06 27 3:02
3 3:03 28 3:04
4   29  
5 6:03 – 15:17 30 6:12 – 1:32:29 (2:10:00 pace)
6 3:01 31 3:05
7 3:02 32  
8 3:00 33 6:16
9   34 3:14
10 6:07 – 30:30 35 3:12 – 1:48:18 (2:10:35 pace)
11   36 3:25
12 6:07 37  
13 3:00 38  
14   39  
15 6:10 – 45:48 40  
16 3:03 41 ~18:30
17 2:57 42  
18 3:09 Finish 2:15:02
19 3:07    
20 3:13 – 1:01:20    
21 3:10 – 64:50 1/2 – Began to lead  
22   the group  
23 6:16    
24 3:08    
25 3:06 – 1:17:03    

BAA Half Marathon

Cruising the Streets of Boston!
PC: Harry Mattison

This past weekend I headed up to Boston for the BAA Half Marathon. I came in with some high expectations. Workouts had been going well and I was starting to feel less tired on a day to day basis. Basically all the prior training was starting to soak in. The main goal going in was to run fast enough to make the World Half Marathon Team in 2018. There are three spots open from the time order lists starting September 1st. Before the race the third time on the list was around 64 minutes, but with some fast halves yet to be run, I figured that it would most likely take around 62 minutes. I think that I am in roughly PR shape, so that seemed like a reasonable goal under ideal conditions. Unfortunately the weather for the day was in the low 70’s for the race, 85% humidity, and winds between 15 and 20 mph. Otherwise, not ideal for running fast.

What did not change was my race plan. Unless someone was going to take it out at a suicidal pace, I was going to run with the leaders and run from my racing instinct. With better weather, I figured that by doing this I could get pulled to a fast time, much like I did in 2014 when I ran my PR. Instead I just ran to place the highest I could.

For the first half of the race I just hung with the front pack, focusing on relaxing and running the tangents the best I could (the course had lots of wide turns where you could run extra meters). I remained tucked into the middle letting others break the wind for me, responding to surges slowly and methodically. It seemed to me that no one really wanted to push the pace, so the pace stayed right around 5 minute miles. Around 7 miles, we were headed back towards Franklin Park, we began an ascent up a hill and I found myself in the lead. Even though it was windy, I felt comfortable running that pace, so I did not bother to tuck back in. Things stayed pretty much the same for the next two miles, until someone made the first major surge, which splintered the pack. I found myself hanging on to the leaders, but slowly everyone was drifting farther apart. I gradually lost ground on the leaders until we entered the Franklin Park Zoo and I lost sight of 5th place. From there, I was just pushing to the finish.

– – –

PC: Matt Sonnenfeldt

After a few days of reflection I am happy with my performance. It has been over three years since I last raced a half marathon “all out.” The last time was in Copenhagen when I made the world half team (it took under 62:00 to make the team, FYI). Every half I have run since then, I have been prescribed to run marathon pace for 10 miles then progress the last three. It was liberating to be able to run from my instincts and enjoy racing. For me the essence of racing is pitting yourself against not only the best you have to offer, but also the best of other have to offer. I feel that often, especially in marathons, this aspect is absent. Do not get me wrong; there are plenty of good reasons why you often have to run your own pace, especially in marathons. The most obvious being going out too far over your head ends up in disaster. I have been there, and am a much wiser runner because of it, but having only raced marathons the last couple of years made me realize how much I missed that part of racing.

As I stated above, I was really looking forward to running a fast time, but the weather and course were not ideal for that. That means I can only compare myself to others around me. In that regard, I can’t be disappointed. All the guys in front of me are phenomenal runners most boasting a half marathon PR of 61 minutes or faster. Hopefully that means I am in good shape, I just was not able to prove it on paper, and while I would have liked to make another US Team, the goal race is in December where I have some lofty goals set.

In a few weeks I will toe the line for the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler, and while I will be in the heart of marathon training, I will be in better shape and looking to win once again in the Steel City.

Individual Results (Search my name or bib 14)
Overall Results
Press Release

Lynchburg 10 Miler!

Fall is arriving in Blowing Rock! PC: Matt LoPiccolo

Well, racing season has arrived! It has been almost ten months since I pulled on my racing flats with the intention of racing (and that was a disaster). So I have been itching at toeing the starting line since then. These last two years have brought many ups and downs, which has lead to a sense that I have not reached my goals. In response to that feeling, I have set some lofty goals for this fall and spring. I will delve deeper into them more as specific races approach, but my first race is this weekend! I am racing The Virginia 10 Miler in Lynchburg.

My last six weeks of training have been great. I have had good solid long runs, and workouts have been feeling easier and more relaxed. Since it will be my first race in quite a long time, I am just focusing on racing my competition. My racing instincts are most likely a bit rusty, so this will be an ideal time to knock some of that rust off. Every time I step on the line, I want to compete to the best I am capable of on that day. While I do not know exactly what shape I am in, I know that I am heads and shoulders above where I have been in the past for season openers. That brings a level of confidence, which is often lacking in my first few races of the season. I have until December to truly find my stride, but starting out a step or two closer does not hurt.

How to follow the race:

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End of Summer Update

Some 220’s with Johnny in the shadow of Grandfather Mountain.
PC: Ryan Warrenburg

It has been a while since my last update. Then I was just on the cusp of running after a second sacral stress fracture in as many years. Since then I have been in tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with one foray to the Rockies, slowly building my mileage back to my normal range. This last week was in the 90’s and with in the next few weeks I should be back in the triple digits, and a bit closer to marathon miles.

I have also semi-finalized a racing schedule for this fall. I am going to start the season at the Genworth Virginia 10 Miler in Lynchburg on September 23. Then I will head up north to Boston for the BAA Half Marathon on October 8. In November I am looking for one more race, hence the “semi-finalized” moniker, before I run my fourth marathon. Which will be the Fukuoka International Open Marathon Championship in Japan! I was in Japan three years ago for the International Chiba Ekiden, which was a fantastic trip, but I did not get to see much outside of the mountainous retreat where we were housed. This time I should be able to see more of the urban side of the country as Fukuoka has a population of over 1.5 million.

One more thing before signing off, I have not been updating my blog but every few months and I would like to that to change. So I have set a goal of at least one, and ideally two, a month until the end of the year. I have been struggling with finding the motivation and ideas to write about. At the very least I will give a short update on training and where I will be racing next.

Master P

Gabe powering away for the regional title.

On Monday I received a call from a friend that one of my friends and teammates from college, Gabe Proctor, committed suicide. Initially I was in shock. It was so hard to fully comprehend the magnitude of such an event, to wholly understand that I will never be able to see his cheeky grin again. Most likely I will never completely grasp that realization, but I have come to better terms with that fact. Other than a deep sadness, I have found it hard to express myself. There have been tears shed, but I over the last few days I have been drawn to the good times I had with Gabe. Death is sad, especially one that is taken much too soon, but I believe it is better to celebrate the life of ones who have passed.

I first met Gabe on a trip to the OSU Jamboree. We stopped in Garden City, Kansas to run with the Garden City Community College team. It was a good place to break up the 12 hour drive to Stillwater, and besides there was a good recruit that Jen was interested in. I do not remember much of the run that day besides that Gabe ran with us and it was ungodly windy, being Kansas and all. Gabe was quiet, but the coach had nothing but good things to say about him. He worked hard and was a team leader. I think later Gabe told me that it was that run which confirmed his decision to come to Western.

Winning Nationals with the Mountaineers. 2011

That next summer he came to Gunnison and had a great cross country season, cumulating with a top ten finish at nationals. He was quiet, and it took a while for him to open up to the team, but he always brought a positive energy to practice. Unfortunately I was hurt for most of that fall, so I did not get to know him too well until the spring. We started running nearly ever day together, as we both focused on similar events in track. Most of my running log days have something along the lines of, “with Gabe” in them.

It was the next year that holds some of the best memories I have with Gabe. I was student teaching, so I was not running everyday with the team, but I remember Gabe telling me he purposely took a class on Tuesdays and Thursdays during practice, so he would have an excuse to workout with me. I remember at regionals, not feeling great, I told Gabe to go for the win. We were clear of the pack, but there was an Adams State guy still with us and I knew he cared more about us crossing the line together than winning.

The Western Crew at RRCA Conference.

That spring we set our sights on running well in the 10,000m at Nationals. Once again he scheduled classes on Tuesday and Thursday during practice. One workout that I remember is right before I went out to Stanford for my debut 10,000m, Gabe and I did a 400m workout on the track. We ended up running around 10,000m pace, and after I remember Gabe saying, “You’re going to kill it dude.” He always had so much faith in everyone. He always saw the positive and wanted the best for others. At nationals that year, we ended up going 1st and 3rd. I crossed the line and gave him a big hug. I know he wanted 2nd, but it was a big step forward for him. A year later, he gave me a call right after he was outkicked for the indoor 5,000m title. He was upset and I tried to convince him that outdoor would be different; Western always runs better outdoors. He told me his was going to win the 5 and 10. He not only did that, but also went undefeated for the season, including a win at the Mt. SAC Relays. Gabe was determined when he set his mind on a goal.

Over the past few years I have less of Gabe, as we were living on opposite sides of the country, but I was always excited when we were going to race together. Usually we would try to find time to go for a run, either before or after the race. Looking back now, I had some great memories with Gabe, but the best were just the everyday runs on the trails and roads of Gunnison. There is not a specific day that stands out, but the hours and miles we spent together both doing something that we truly enjoyed. Those will be the ones that I will be most fond of when remembering Gabe.

This weekend the running community has lost a fantastic athlete and person for the sport. My fellow Mountaineers and Broncobusters lost a friend and teammate. My condolences go out to Gabe’s family, both in the US and Ethiopia. I cannot imagine the sorrow of loosing a family member to suicide.

RIP Gabe “Master P”

– – –

Before signing off, here is the Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, even if it is not for yourself:

1-800-273-8255

It is always better to get help; it is always better to reach out. There is always something to find worth living for.

Also I would encourage anyone to donate to Hope for Youth Ethiopia in Gabe’s name. I know that Gabe was very concerned about the situation in Ethiopia and wanted the best for his home country.

Hope for Youth Ethiopia
PO Box 7306
Longview, Texas, 75607-7306

– – –

And when you wake up
Everything is gonna be fine
Guarantee that you wake in a better place, in a better time
So you’re tired of living feel like you might give in
Well don’t
It’s not your time

Streetlight Manifesto
A Better Place, A Better Time

Breaking the Cycle

“Shit, I know that pain.”

That is all what was going through my head 15 minutes after finishing a long run at Watauga River Road. We had not run super fast, as I have a propensity to do, but it was just a solid run to end a week where I finally felt good in training.

12 x Canova Ks out at Todd with the crew
Picture Credit: J.C.Rain

After the NYC Marathon, I took a nice break from running. I ran seven times total in the next three weeks, and most of them were short. This was all part of the plan. Rather than rush back like I did from my previous two marathons, only to get injured within eight weeks, Pete and I decided to take a much more leisurely approach. The only hitch with this was ZAP only had four guys ready to run USATF Club Cross Country, and I was needed to be the fifth man for a complete team score. I was perfectly fine with this as long as we still stuck to a moderate build up and my expectations were not set very high.

Three days before the race, just like two years ago, my Achilles began acting up. But like two years ago, I figured I could still have a good race (I finished 8th). So this was no big deal. The only thing that made me worried was that it took a month of sporadic running to finally get rid of it, but I would deal with that after the race. The race ended up being an unmitigated disaster. Afterwards I was considering it my worst race ever, mostly because I could not think of a race where I performed worse. Five weeks earlier I ran nearly the same pace, but for four times the length. The only conciliation was that as a team we were able to secure 4th place, only three points out of 3rd, But I was disappointed to say the least.

In the weeks after the race, I turned my focus to getting my Achilles 100 percent before resuming training. That took an agonizing seven weeks of cycling and core work before I was running anything of substantial volume. And even after that, it took another five weeks to begin to feel like my old self. In every workout that five weeks, I was getting dropped, but knew that if I put the work in I would round into form. Even my teammates knew it too. Johnny kept joking that it was only another week before I would be “crushing it.”

Finally that switch flipped and I felt fantastic. On March 4 we all headed to Brevard, NC for a little four mile race hosted by The Oskar Blues Brewing Company (A quality Colorado company). Our instructions were to run the race like a progression run, as we then had some intervals after. I felt alright during the race, but on the intervals I was floating along while running faster than the race. I was stoked! In the upcoming weeks I was going to be able to get some quality training in before taking a shot at a fast 10,000m at Payton Jordan in May.

A few days later I had another good interval workout. Which leads us to the long run at the end of the week. Like I stated above, the run was not anything stellar, just a continuation of the first good week of training since my build up to NYCM. Heading into the run the last thing on my mind was any injury, let alone a stress fracture. My last sacral stress fracture had a quick on set of 24 hours, so I was not too worried to be nearing the end of my run and feeling a slight tightness in my lower back. Most likely it was just my back getting a bit tight in the last few miles of a long run. Fifteen minutes after I finished my run and I was in shock. In the matter of 30 minutes I went from running carefree to knowing that I was not going to run for 2 months.

Since I have been off over seven weeks, I have had lots of time to digest it. Mostly I was just disappointed that I was not going to get a track season again. Last year’s stress fracture was tough because I did not get a second chance to make the Olympic Team after coming close in LA. This time it was tough pill to swallow because I felt like this was going to be my season to focus solely on the track. I know that I most likely have not run my last track race, but the future of my career is on the roads and specifically the marathon, and to reach my full potential in the marathon I have to turn my entire focus in that direction.

For the last seven weeks I followed a similar protocol to last time. Around four weeks off limiting my movement, before I stared walking, gradually increasing the distance. Then around the sixth week I began some light Elipigo, and again gradually increasing the time spent on it. Even though this stress fracture was a level 3 (the lowest level, I think my other one was between 2-2.5), Pete and I are taking our time coming back. With nothing set on the schedule until the fall, there is plenty of time to return to training.

This spring we have been fortunate enough to get two Elliptigos for ZAP. They are great for cross training and since they have a longer stride than traditional elliptical machines, they are much better at mimicking running form.

Besides walking and Elipigoing (if that is even a verb) Pete and I have been trying to figure out what has caused this second stress fracture. The diagnosis of the first one was that my Vitamin D was low from being covered up all winter while heat training and came back too fast from the Trials, being among the most obvious. Once again this one came in the waning months of winter, but my Vitamin D was much higher as I have been consistently taking it along with calcium. Along with a DEXA scan, the numbers on every indicator of bone fragility are not there. While I was months removed from NYCM, I had been dealing with a temperamental Achilles, and after getting healthy I might have started training hard too soon. Some other ideas that Pete have thrown around is that even though my Achilles was feeling fine, it had altered my form slightly. And over the course of tens of thousands of steps, a slight change can add up if the body is not able to adapt fast enough.

Articles

Here is an article from Brian Fullem, whom is basically the closest we have to a team doctor at ZAP.

A good overview of sacral stress fractures in elite runners from Runner’s World

One guy’s story about coming back from a sacral stress fracture. From reading it, I feel like it made the mistake of coming back too soon and too much.

The last two articles are studies (1,2), so their language is more technical, but have some good info and ideas on why sacral fractures occur. Basically they say that load bearing activities are more prone to stress fractures (which is not new) and the fix is to take time off (once again not newsworthy). The biggest thing they say is that most likely sacral fractures are under reported because they are diagnosed as other, usually soft tissue, injuries.

Figuring out why this cycle of injuries is important, as I know the best way to improve is to stay healthy. Constantly increasing your fitness is much better than training hard and getting hurt only to repeat the same cycle again. While in college I was constantly hampered by injuries, every 18 months it was a given that I would be sidelined. Even through that cycle, I was able to advance my fitness and make big jumps. But it was not until I had a few years of uninterrupted training I really began to see how much fitness I lost while being hurt. I had over 5 years of constant training leading up to the Trials and I think that it showed me I am nowhere near my ceiling. I have come a long way from placing a high of 5th at the state meet my senior year of high school to 10 years later being 5th at the Olympic Trials. Had you told high school Tyler that in ten years time, he would have almost made an Olympic Team, I do not think he would have believed you. The belief I could make an Olympic team has developed over the years, but I would argue that the unbroken years of training are the core of that belief. Even with the last year of injuries, that idea has not left my head. There are still three more years until the next Trials! But the smoothest path is through an unbroken three years of training. So it is baby steps towards getting healthy and to eventually racing in the fall.

TSC New York City Marathon

Last Sunday, I toed the line for my third marathon and my first World Marathon Major. I was excited to be in New York City for the second time, but this time I was running the entire course. I arrived on Wednesday, and the first few days were spent hanging out in the hotel and fulfilling media duties. They were fairly laid back, as I knew I would need all my reserves of energy come Sunday.

Coming up First Ave with Patrick Smyth and Jon Grey. They fans were awesome at this point!

Coming up First Ave with Patrick Smyth and Jon Grey. They fans were awesome at this point! Photo Credit: Tim Meigs

From the gun, it seemed like the race was going to be fast. The first mile is up the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge that spans the Narrows and connects the boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn, so the initial 5:20 split is deceiving. Dathan Ritzenhein and Matt Llano went to the front and kept the pace honest. They actually had a bit of a gap at one point in the first couple of miles, but by the time we left the Bridge the pack had reformed. It stayed that way for another three miles, until the leaders through in a quick mile and I found myself in the back of the pack with Jon Grey. We looked at each other and he said he did not want to follow them. Knowing that was the correct choice, we decided to run together.

Over the next ten miles, we clicked off a consistent 5 minute pace, and began to reel in people dropping from the lead pack. Eventually we crested the Queensboro Bridge and headed onto First Avenue. Which was an awesome experience. The amount of fans on First Ave was incredible. People were lining the course over 5 deep and it went on for miles. This was the point of the race that Pete had stressed keeping in control. I can see how it would be easy to get carried away with the energy and run too fast. I was able to ride the wave of support in to the Bronx, where things began to fall apart. Nearly every mile after entering the Bronx was slower than the previous.

Looking back, I understand why New York is a seen as a tough course. Excluding the first two, the first 15 miles are not terribly hard. Some slight ups and downs, and not many turns. Once you hit the Queensboro Bridge, everything changes. You are confronted with a big hill and no fan support. Then on First Ave, the fans will carry for a few miles, even though it is slightly uphill. But in the Bronx, there are lots of turns and ups and downs to throw off your rhythm. After the Bronx you cross the Harlem River back into Manhattan. But there is no relenting; the hills keep coming. If you go out too hard at New York, you will pay for it in the last few miles.

In the last four miles, every time I would try to pick it up, my hamstrings would begin to cramp and I would have to shorten my stride. Knowing that there had to be people falling off the main pack, I remained persistent in the hopes that I could catch someone. Unfortunately I was only able to catch one person in the last half of the race.

Thoughts

In Central Park. All I can say is "Pain Train." Photo Credit: Eric Wheeler

In Central Park. All I can say is “Pain Train.”
Photo Credit: Eric Wheeler

Every marathon, every race for that matter, is a learning experience. The biggest take away from this one is to keep the first half even more contained than I would think. It would have been easy to throw caution to the wind and at mile 5, surge with the leaders. There would have been good justifications in doing so. I would have had a solid pack to run with and block the headwind and I could have turned my brain off and just ran. But with Pete having preached patience for the last month, I knew that waiting was the best option. Fortunately I had someone who was thinking the same thing, so I would not have to run alone, which made the decision much easier.

Even though I made the better rational decision to slow down, as seen by how many people I passed, it was not nearly enough. Looking back at the race, I should have stuck with Tim Ritchie and gone through the half at 66:12. In doing so, I think I would have run faster and been more satisfied with my race. A good example of a solid, measured effort is Ben Payne. Coming through half way in 67:36, he closed well over the hills of Central Park to finish 9th in 2:15:36.

With all that said, it was a good experience going out around that 65 minute mark for half. The next step in my career is to run under 2:10, and the way to do that is be around 65 minutes half way. After I dropped back with Jon, we were able to find a good rhythm around 5 minute pace. Besides the 12th mile, where we started to catch guys falling off the lead pack, we ran a consistent effort. The slower miles would be more uphill and the faster ones downhill. Being comfortable early in the race is the key to running fast in the marathon. I just have to look at my first at Twin Cities. I went out in a slow 67:45 and came back in 65:45, which the last 10km was in 30:45 (2:09:45 pace!). It is no surprise that my PR is still from there.

From here I am taking a break, but will be putting on the spikes in a few weeks for Club Cross Country in a few weeks. While I have had a love hate relationship with cross country through my career, there is nothing like lining up along side your teammates in one of the few team competitions we get to run as post-collegiates. Then I will take a solid winter training block before gearing up for a spring track season. Since I missed last track season because of stress fracture, I feel like I still have more room to improve on the track. I know that I have not topped out my potential in both the 5000m and 10,000m. But before I step on the track, I think a few months of base training will help me get to that next level.

Thanks

In Central Park again. Just trying to keep it all together the last mile. Photo Credit: Tim Meigs

In Central Park again. Just trying to keep it all together the last mile.
Photo Credit: Tim Meigs

As I have done with all my big races, my final section is dedicated to show my gratitude to people and companies who have supported me. First I would like to thank the New York Road Runners. They clearly know how to put on an event, and it shows. The staff is willing to make the race the best experience possible for every runner, whether they finish first or last. And a big thanks to all the volunteers that took the time out of their weekend to make sure the event ran smoothly.

I mentioned the fans along First Ave earlier, but there was hardly a spot on the course that was with out any at all. Peter Ciaccia, the president of NYRR, says that the New York City Marathon is, “New York’s Biggest Block Party.” He is right about that. It seems like the city shuts down for the race, and everyone lines the course.

As it has been the last four years, Pete, Zika, and everyone at ZAP Fitness have given their uncompromising support. They have allowed me to focus mostly on getting the most out of my running, and in turn I want to perform the best that I can at every time I put on the ZAP singlet.

There are also my sponsors I have to thank. Reebok, Soleus Watches, Generation UCAN, and Flynn Sports all make this journey of mine much easier. Whether it is giving me awesome training gear to timing me to fueling me to getting me into races, they have made it much easier for me to just enjoy my time running.

I would be remiss if I did not mention my fantastic girlfriend, Nicole. She has encouraged me through out this build up. She understood if I needed to go to bed earlier, or even if I just needed some time alone to recharge. Now I get to be the support for her as she gets ready for her marathon in Houston.

Lastly I want to thank my parents. They have supported me since day one, even though I beat my dad. They both see my pursuit of running as a worthwhile endeavor. Plus they get to travel all over to see me race, so there is something they get to enjoy.

Splits

Mile Mile
1 5:20 14 5:06
2 4:35 15 5:10
3 4:58 16 5:17
4 5:02 17 5:05
5 4:52 18 5:05
6 5:00 19 5:09
7 5:01 20 5:18
8 5:01 21 5:25
9 4:56 22 5:22
10 4:57 23 5:29
11 5:02 24 5:37
12 4:50 25 5:41
13 5:09 26 5:36
Half 65:16 Total 2:15:09

Results

Overall
USA Men
Mile Splits (You might have to search for me)
All Results

Articles

Letsrun Preview
Letsrun Media Day
Letsrun Review (Including Video Interview)
Daily Relay “Pennel shows he might be next”

Videos

GenUCAN Prerace
GenUCAN Post Race
GenUCAN Chat

Pictures

Tim Meigs
Eric Wheeler