I was happy to be able to return home to Charleston, SC for Thanksgiving day for the first time since I arrived at ZAP in 2010. I have raced on both coasts on Turkey Day through the years and was happy to come home and run the only race I did growing up. As people know I was a soccer player all my life but I did run 1 race per year from about 12 years old onward, the Charleston Turkey Day Run and Gobble Wobble 5k!
This year I was lucky to have Esther run the race with me and both of us were intent on winning our respective races. Unfortunately, the time I missed through sickness and my calf issues proved too much and I produced a DUD of a performance, 2nd place in 15:02 to former Georgetown runner and current Charleston resident Michael Banks. After going out in 4:34 I felt like I was going all out and although I fought hard against a very strong wind the last 2.1 miles, I was unable to make up any ground on Banks and crossed the line knowing that I just shook off A LOT of rust.
To be honest, I am not that disappointed with the race because it means very little right now. Yes, I always want to win but when I looked back in my training log since Twin Cities on October 5, I have been all over the place with very little quality work or volume to speak of. I am looking forward to USATF Club Cross Country Championships in 2 weeks and hope that the ZAP team can avenge our 1(!) point loss we suffered last year. On a brighter note, Esther ran her race unchallenged and, although she didn’t run as fast as she wanted, got the win in 16:54.
Lastly on an even BRIGHTER note, Esther and I got engaged on Thursday evening. I have been planning the night since before Twin Cities and with the help of my family it turned out perfectly. Esther and I went for a walk after eating Thanksgiving dinner and while we were gone my family laid out 3 dozen mason jars with tea light candles in them.
The candles formed a path down to the marsh by my parents home where two Adirondack chairs waited. Between the chairs was a small tree with rose shaped candles surrounding its base. On the tree I had made various signs that highlighted the things that have made Esther and I fall in love. After showing her each of the signs, I asked her if she would place a final sign on the tree which said ‘Will you marry me?” in Scrabble letters, a favorite game of ours.
Happily she said yes and it was a great night. I am excited to have met Esther at ZAP and feel very lucky she accepted my proposal. The fantastic end of my day certainly made my subpar race seem trivial!
Enough of this mushy stuff! I will be making the trip up to New Jersey for the next few weeks before Clubs, including getting in a key workout on the Lehigh course (site of Club XC) next Wednesday. Thanks for reading!
Here is my last week of training (11/23-11/29):
Sunday: AM: 15 miles
Monday: AM: 10 miles (4-3-2-1, 3-2-1 fartlek)
Tuesday: AM: 8 miles PM: 5 miles
Wednesday: AM: 9 miles (4×30 seconds post run)
Thursday: AM: 10 miles (5k race) PM: 4 miles
Friday: AM: 12 miles
Saturday: AM: 10 miles PM: 5 miles
Total: 88 miles, 10 runs