Training Log: Jan 22 – Jan 28

Monday, January 22:
Running- AM 9 miles
Owl Extras- Pre run drills, post run drills
CESA- Office 9:30AM-2:30PM, Training 5:00PM-8:30PM
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 15.85

Tuesday, January 23:
Running- AM 11 miles w/5×200, PM 5 miles
Owl Extras- Pre run drills, post run drills
CESA- Office 9:30AM-2:30PM, Training 6:00-8:30PM
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 21.5

Wednesday, January 24:
Running- AM 14 miles (4×2 mile, 400m jog rest, 10:18-10:05-10:19-9:56)
Owl Extras- Pre run drills, post run drills, Lifting routine 1
CESA- Office 10:30AM-2:30PM, Training 5:00PM-8:30PM
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 21.79

Thursday, January 25:
Running- AM 10 miles
Owl Extras- Pre run drills, post run drills
CESA- OFF, travel to Japan
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 11.2

Osaka Women’s Marathon course. She raced on Sunday finishing in 2:36.57 in 12th place.

Friday, January 26:
Running- OFF, travel day
Owl Extras- OFF
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 2.1

Saturday, January 27:
Running- AM 8 miles, PM 5 miles
Owl Extras- Pre run drills, post run drills
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 16.5

Sunday, January 28:
Running- AM 18 miles (miles 8-15: 6:02, 6:00, 5:43, 5:41, 5:38, 5:40, 5:38, 5:32), PM Osaka Women’s Marathon walk/jog supporting Esther
Owl Extras- Pre run drills, post run drills
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 25.8 (almost as much as Esther!)

My Sunday long run before watching Esther’s race. 4×4.55 mile loops around Osaka Castle, Hokoku Shrine, and surrounding park.



Training Log: Jan 15 – Jan 21

Monday, January 15:
Running- AM 14 miles (6 warm, 3 mile in 15:50, 600 jog, 2 mile in 10:00, 3 cool)
Owl Extras- No drills (started run at 5:45AM)
CESA- AM Visited Aston Villa training ground, PM Manchester United v. Stoke City
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin: 21.8

Manchester Regional Indoor Arena where I did my Monday tempo session

Tuesday, January 16:
Running- AM 4 miles very easy
Owl Extras- No drills
CESA- Flight home to Greenville, SC
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin: 7.5

Wednesday, January 17:
Running- AM 10 miles, PM 4 miles
Owl Extras- Pre run drills, Post run drills, Lifting routine 1
CESA-  Snowed out
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin: 18.4

Thursday, January 18:
Running- AM 4 miles, PM 8 miles (8×200 in 34-31 sec.)
Owl Extras- Pre run drills, Post run drills
CESA- Office 9:30AM-3:30PM, Fields snowed out
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin: 17.1

Friday, January 19:
Running- AM 7 miles (4×30 sec post run)
Owl Extras- Pre run drills, Post run drills
CESA- Office 9:30-3:00pm
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin: 11.1

Saturday, January 20:
Running- AM 13 miles (3 warm, Downtown 5k 2nd 14:59 chip/15:01 gun, 7 cool)
Owl Extras- Pre run drills, Post run drills
CESA- Games 1:30-5:30
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin: 18.3


Sunday, January 21:
Running- AM 15 miles
Owl Extras- Pre run drills, Post run drills, Lifting routine 2
CESA- 3:00-5:30pm training
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin: 21.2


Training Log: Jan 8 – Jan 14

I had a good 8x 1k workout with Adam Freudenthal on Wednesday before flying to Manchester England on Thursday with the CESA staff to watch games and visit youth academies. It was a whirlwind few days but I was able get in some good runs while I was there and explore a new city. I went on this trip last year but it was days after my 1st PRP injection so I didn’t run at all.

Monday, January 8:
Running- 10 miles w/8×20 seconds accelerations
Owl Extras- Pre-run drills, post run drills
CESA- 11:45am, 1:45pm, 3:45pm games; PM flight back to GVL
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 15.8

Tuesday, January 9:
Running- AM 6 miles w/5×30 second accelerations; PM 5 miles
Owl Extras- Pre-run drills, post-run drills, lifting routine 1
CESA- Office 9:30-2:30pm, no field sessions
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin-13.2

Wednesday, January 10:
Running- AM 14 miles (8x1k w/400m jog recovery @3:03-3:00), PM 4 miles easy
Owl Extras- Pre-run drills, post-run drills
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin- 22.5

Thursday, January 11:
Running- AM 13 miles easy
Owl Extras- Pre-run drills, post run drills
CESA- Travel day to Manchester, UK
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin-15.4

Friday, January 12:
Running- PM 5.5 miles (Manchester)
Owl Extras- Post-run drills
CESA- AM Liverpool U18 Academy training session, PM Sheffield Wednesday vs. Sheffield United @ Bramall Lane
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin-10.5

Huddersfield Town v. West Ham United at John Smith’s Stadium

Saturday, January 13:
Running- AM 10.5 miles w/8×30 seconds accelerations, PM 2 mile shakeout then weights
Owl Extras- Post-run drills, lifting routine 2
CESA- PM Huddersfield vs. West Ham @ John Smith’s Stadium
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin-20.3

Sunday, January 14:
Running- AM 13 miles
Owl Extras- Post-run drills
CESA- PM Liverpool vs. Manchester City @ Anfield
Total Miles Moved Per Garmin-20.4

Liverpool v. Manchester City at Anfield



Training Log: Jan 1 – Jan 7

After a 2 year hiatus, I’m going to try to get back to regular blogging about my running! This time around it will be a more stripped-down version with basic mileage and workout information. However, now that I’m working full-time at CESA I’m going to also attempt to quantify and explain how my work schedule fits into and, more importantly affects my training.

When coaching was a supplementary activity, running took a front seat while now it’s often the other way around. I spend many additional hours each week on my feet at the fields and I’ve become interested in how that activity benefits (or hurts) my training. My gut says when balanced with far fewer doubles these extra walking miles (somewhere between 5-10 miles in a day) are great, low intensity aerobic activities.

A short summary of my running in 2017: I received 2 PRP Injections in January and March 2017 which, thankfully, did heal my high hamstring issues. During the recovery from those procedures and slowly building back up, I missed 85 days of running during the year. I picked up a Cannondale CAAD12 and bike commuted a lot during my initial rehab, which was very helpful both physically and mentally, but I didn’t start doing workouts again until July 13th (8k tempo in 26:57).

Since then, I’ve run two races and “raced” one of them. I paced some local runners in the Swamp Rabbit Marathon then picked it up in the 2nd half winning the race in 2:33.15 (Esther’s exact PR to the second, pretty cool if you ask me). I then ran the Charleston Turkey Trot 5k on Thanksgiving Day in 15:00 for 3rd. I also began a drill, weight, and mobility routine that my buddy James Snyder (Temple University Track/XC coach) wrote to try and help me stay injury free in 2018.


Oh yeah, I signed with the Skechers Performance Team in 2017 and have been renewed for 2018!  I’m excited about the months to come. Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 1:
Running- AM: 7 miles easy , PM: 7 miles easy
Owl Extras- Pre-run drills, post-run drills

Tuesday, January 2:
Running- AM: 10 miles easy
Owl Extras- Pre-run drills, post-run drills, routine 1
CESA: 9:30am-12:30pm on field (4 miles walking)

Wednesday, January 3:
Running- AM 12 miles treadmill workout: 3x(1 mile in 4:55 @1%, .2 at 8:00 pace @ 1%, .5 mile at 4:48 pace @ 2%, .3 at 8:00 pace); 1 mile in 4:52 @ 1%
Owl Extras- Pre-run drills, post-run drills
CESA: Office 9:30am-2:30pm; Field 5:30pm-8:00pm (5 miles walking)
Treatment- Dry Needling Appt. with Dr. Hendry

Thursday, January 4:
Running- AM 6 miles easy, PM 6 miles easy
Owl Extras- Pre-run drills, post-run drills, lifting routine 2
CESA- Office 9:30am-2:30pm

Friday, January 5:
Running- PM 18.5 miles in Orlando, FL (1 min surges every 5 min after 6 miles)
Owl Extras: Pre-run drills, post-run drills
CESA- 6:00AM flight to Orlando, FL

Saturday, January 6:
Running- AM 4.5 miles easy, PM 4 miles easy
CESA- 4 games: 8AM, 9:45AM, 11:45AM, 1:45PM (5+ miles walking)

Sunday, January 7:
Running- AM 7 miles
Owl Extras- Pre-run drills, post-run drills
CESA- 4 games: 9:45AM, 11:45AM, 1:45PM, 3:45PM (5+ miles walking)


Olympic Trials: TBD

So there is a chance that I will not be able to run the Olympic Trials. For those that have been keeping up with my comeback, things had been going well and progressing quickly. All along there was a high chance that rushing back to fitness might have setbacks, but I was confidently keeping my thoughts on February 13th.

Since October 20th when my stress fracture was confirmed, I had not ONCE thought I would not make it to the line in LA. Sure, I knew I would be far from my best, but I never once considered I wouldn’t get there. Sadly, 5 days ago those utterly depressing words came out of my mouth.

After 10 weeks and hours and hours of cross training, I was back to working out on solid ground and feeling quite good. Yes, the phantom pains were evident on some days but there had been no setbacks to speak of. I was cautiously moving ahead with an ever growing confidence that I may have just weathered the worst of the storm.

Unfortunately last week I developed some nasty blisters underneath by big toe nails. (I’ll resist the urge to post a picture; just imagine black, blue, grey, and any other sickly color you can think of and that’s about what they look like.) These blisters on their own were nothing more than a temporary, albeit painful, thing but as so often happens I slightly altered my stride to avoid the pain for 2 easy runs. TWO RUNS! 5 MILES AND 6 MILES! And at the end of that 6 mile run I had screwed up my peroneal tendon on the outside of my left foot from all the over-compensation.

I limped through a 2 hour run the next day where I most likely didn’t run a mile under 8 minute pace due to the pain and discomfort (bad idea). I took the next 2 days off and tried again later in the week with similar results. I then made my way to Tampa to visit Dr. Brian Fullem who gave me an injection to hopefully clear out the inflammation in that tendon. I am currently waiting to see if it works. Pete said I need to be able to run without pain by Thursday of this week or we have to pull the plug.

First of all, running is heartbreaking. Running is an amazing sport when things are clicking but it is absolutely heartbreaking when injuries pop up. And it even more heartbreaking when one injury leads to another injury which leads to another. This cycle can wear down even the most motivated athletes. Depressing doesn’t even begin to describe it.

There is nothing more intoxicating and addicting than being in the middle of a great long run or race when you are in full control of your effort to go fast. Your legs are light but working hard and your breathing is heavy but controlled because you are fit. Only a runner can understand what this feels like. It’s a sensation that is often fleeting and short-lived but it can sustain an athlete for years! A taste of peak fitness is addicting beyond words.

I haven’t felt good in almost a year. I was incredibly fit last winter in Florida as I was preparing for the 2015 Houston Half and LA Marathon. I was flying in workouts and feeling invincible until my very last workout in Tallahassee in February. February 20th to be exact. It was a 2k-1k-500 workout at the St. Mark’s Greenway. I opted to not wear full tights in 30 degree temperatures and my calf got tight during my last set. This injury eventually caused me to not start the LA Marathon and shift my focus to the Boston Marathon.

There were some good sessions leading into Boston, notably a 4 mile-3 mile-2 mile-1 mile long run on the marathon course, but overall something was slightly off. On race day I felt quite good through 16 miles or so (on pace for 2:17-18) but then hamstring cramping ruined the rest of that day. I finished the race, which I am still very proud of, but then dealt with hamstring issues for the next 6 months.

Amazingly, through all of the hamstring stuff I ran over 90 miles per week for 15 straight weeks after my break following Boston. Stubborn doesn’t even begin to explain it.

Then, the hamstring attachment crap directly led (IMO) to my stress fracture and my stress fracture has led to this tendon issue. Blah, blah, blah.

Here’s a timeline of how my last year has gone:

January 18, 2015: 1:04.06 Houston Half. Sub-par day but had fantastic training leading in.

February 8, 2015: 2:29 workout during Tallahassee Marathon. 31 mile day. Felt great!

February 20, 2015: 2k-1k-500 x4 workout. Great session. Calf strained in freezing degree temperatures on last 1k repeat. NOTE: wear full tights even if it’s a workout, dumbass!

March 10, 2015: Pulled out of starting the LA Marathon due to calf injury.

April 20, 2015: 2:23 in Boston. 27th place. Terrible hamstring cramping from 16 miles to the finish.

May 8, 2015: First day I indicated in my log that my hamstring/glute were hurting.

June 6, 2015: Asheville 10k, 2nd place. Hamstring hurt every step of the race.

June 30, 2015: Pete and I decide we won’t run any more races until the hamstring heals. Mileage continues however.

July 12-18, 2015: Active release treatment by Rob Green in Richmond to clear out hamstring damage.

August 29, 2015: 2 hour, 5 minute long run with Griff. Realized after this run I couldn’t get ready for Twin Cities Marathon because hamstring was still bugging me.

October 3, 2015: 19:43, 2nd place at Apple Fest 4 miler in Erwin, TN. Muscled through the entire thing with hamstring still not perfect but slightly better.

October 14, 2015: 6×1500 workout at Moses Cone. Hamstring felt nearly 100%. First pain in my ankle during next to last 1500.

October 20, 2015: Stress fracture confirmed in Sustentaculum Tali. Out at least 8 weeks.

January 3, 2016: After weeks and weeks of cross training I had gotten in 2 weeks of 90 miles and then my peroneal tendon gets irritated.

(FYI: The 2016 Houston Half Marathon is this weekend. Like I said, it’s been almost a year.)

How I feel right now.
How my body has felt lately.

I have been preparing for this Olympic Trials since I joined ZAP in 2010. Sure, I didn’t even run a half marathon until 2014 but the goal all along was to slowly increase my volume and racing distance until I reached the marathon. The slow build was working well with success at 10 miles and half marathon but the marathon has been a headache.

I vividly remember sitting in my interview with Pete in 2010 as we counted ahead to 2016 when I would be 30 years old and well prepared for the marathon. I walked in the door of ZAP in 2010 as a 24 year old runner with only 2 years of training in my legs. 2016 would be great. 2016 would be the year.

Whether I run the OTM or not in a month, I need to take a long break to piece my body back together. I have no desire to stop training but I need to hit the reset button. I think at least a month of no training is needed. I have been a ZAP athlete for longer than anyone ever but my body is getting worn down. I have pushed through so many injuries and pains the last 3 years that I need to refresh my body in order to get the most out of my running career. I’m rarely fully injured, but I’m almost ALWAYS partially injured.

To some extent, this comes with the territory of training at a high level but I think I’ve become too resigned to accepting this as the norm. Why does it have to be this way? I’m slowing realizing if I want to train for many more years at a high level, it CANNOT continue to be this way. It’s not sustainable mentally or physically.

Here are some things that I believe about myself as a athlete:

  • I am very talented.
  • I am injury prone.
  • I love to train.
  • I am not honest with myself about injuries.
  • I incorrectly believe that more training is always better.
  • My best races are still ahead of me.

As of today running the OTM may be largely ceremonial but regardless of whether I step to the line or not, February 13 is a pivotal day for me. It will be the beginning of a new 4 year cycle where things need to change for success to be realized. I just want to feel good again.

I don’t blame Pete for any of this. I was never completely honest about the level of my pain because I didn’t want to seem soft or uncommitted. I’ve also watched my training partner and friend Tyler Pennel reach a level no other ZAP athlete in history has and I wanted to be a part of it. This pursuit probably got me into trouble, too.

Pete has always listened and coached me based on how I tell him I’m feeling. He watches me run and forms his own opinions but he also takes my feedback seriously and schedules my training accordingly. I know I told him I felt better than I really did many times since Boston because I wanted to be super fit again. In reality, I was chasing a ghost.

I want to move forward and have that triumphant moment when I am back to where I used to be, but I need to be much more honest with myself, my coach, and my support system for this to happen.

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned…

Here is my last week of training (1/3-1/9):

Sunday: AM: 5 miles  PM: 5 miles

Monday: AM: 16 miles

Tuesday: AM: 70 minute spin   PM: 40 min spin

Wednesday: OFF

Thursday: AM: 7 mile run  PM: 4 mile run

Friday: AM: 3 mile run, 60 min spin  PM: OFF

Saturday: OFF, travel to Tampa for shot

Total: 40 miles, 6 runs, 3 spin sessions


Training Log: 6 weeks until LA

I was able to get in 3 workouts over the past 7 days and thought I’d walk you through each one in detail for this week’s entry. Enjoy!

Workout #1: Long Run on Alter-G (Monday)

The plan was to run 18-19 miles on the Alter-G in Richmond with the last 10 miles or so progressively faster if my ankle was feeling good. I started at 92% of my body weight and then added 1-2% every 2 miles to where I was running the last 9 miles at 100% of my body weight.

I ended up getting in 18.25 miles with the last 10 miles in 56:55. Other than getting two pretty nasty blisters I felt good. I began the final 10 miles at 6:00 and worked it down little by little to 5:10 by the end. Overall, I was pleased with the run and excited to get in nearly 20 miles with no pain.

P.S. The following morning my quads were super SORE! Welcome back to training they said.

Workout #2: Treadmill Progression Run (Wednesday)

The goal for this moderate workout was to run 35 minutes on the normal treadmill and then hop on the Alter-G and run a 30 minute progression run at 94% body weight starting at 5:45 pace and working down to 5:05 pace by the end.

After getting in 5 miles on the treadmill I hopped on the Alter-G and began the progression run. Like I said last week, even 6% less body weight feels amazing and I ended up getting in 6 miles in 32 minutes (5:20 average) with the last 10 minutes at 5:00 pace. Despite the reduction in weight I was happy that I was able get this workout in after the 18 mile long run 2 days before. Baby steps forward!

Workout #3: 1K repeats at Bass Lake (Saturday)

K workout on Bass Lake. (photo credit Tim Meigs)
K’s on Bass Lake. (Photo Credit Uncle Tim)

After the progression run on Wednesday my ankle was slightly sore so I opted to forgo my scheduled morning 10 mile run and instead did a light spin in its place just to be safe.

I’m in a weird place now recovery-wise as I know my stress fracture has nearly healed but I still notice sensations of pain radiating through my ankle at times. I have read that “phantom” pains are common but with this being my first stress fracture I am finding it difficult to distinguish real and phantom pains. Based on what I’ve read the phantom pains are either the result of calcification in that area or a mental fear that I could re-injure myself again. I certainly hope it’s one of those 2 things and not re-injury.

On one hand, I want to be careful not to take any steps backwards with only 6 weeks to go until the OTM but I also need to be running outside and taking risks.

With all of this racing through my head I was both excited and apprehensive for my 11x1k workout on Saturday morning at Moses Cone. I was pumped to be back in the park working out but really nervous I was going to get 5 reps in and have to stop due to pain.

In the end, I ran all 11 reps and while I certainly felt some pain and awkwardness during the run it was intermittent and didn’t get worse as the workout progressed. Pace-wise I was slower on every rep that Pete had hoped but I don’t think either one of us was overly concerned with that.

Initially, Pete had suggested I try to run 3:12-15 per kilometer or aerobic threshold effort (roughly what I could run for an hour). Once I began, I fell into running 3:20-24 and stayed there the entire workout.

I’m well aware that 3:20 for a 1,000 meter repeat is NOT impressive but I don’t care one bit. Talk to me in 6 weeks. You’ll see a different animal, I promise you that. Gotta start somewhere.

Thanks for reading!

K's on Bass Lake. (Photo Credit Uncle Tim)
K’s on Bass Lake. (Photo Credit Uncle Tim)

Here is my last week of training (12/27-1/2):

Sunday: AM: 5 miles   PM: 5 miles

Monday: AM: 18.25 miles Alter-G 92%-100% (last 10 miles 56:55)

Tuesday: AM: 7.5 miles    PM: 4.25 miles

Wednesday: AM: 11 miles (w/30 min in 32:00)

Thursday: AM: 70 minute spin   PM: 7 miles

Friday: AM: 13 miles Alter-G 94%   PM: walk

Saturday: AM: 13 miles (11xk workout)  PM: 6 miles Alter-G 88%

Total: 90 miles, 10 runs, 7 outside, 3 Alter-G runs, 1 spin session


93 miles for the week! (12/20-12/26)

We are now less than 7 weeks to go until the Olympic Trials and I had another solid week of training. I ran 93 miles for the week with 43 miles on the Alter-G and 50 miles outside. Each run has felt better and better and I am truly excited for the next few weeks.

It’s hard to believe that a week ago I ran for 62 minutes in Asheville and felt absolutely TERRIBLE. I would liken it to a baby giraffe first learning how to walk: awkward, ungainly, and really any other word that means the opposite of smooth.

On Tuesday, I did a mini-workout at ZAP before heading to Richmond to spend Christmas with Esther’s family. The workout was 2×3 miles with one 3 mile piece on the normal treadmill and one 3 mile piece on the Alter-G. Pete wanted to get in some slightly faster running at full weight and then hit the Alter-G for the second rep to be cautious. Here’s how it went:

2×3 mile treadmill workout:

*1st 3 mile piece on normal treadmill: 5:42, 5:39, 5:35
*4 minutes rest
*2nd 3 mile piece on Alter-G at 92%: 5:15, 5:10, 5:07

Overall, it was a good session and I felt stronger as the workout wore on. I do have one takeaway: 8% less body weight feels AMAZING. After getting off the normal treadmill I was shocked with the ease I was able to run the 2nd rep. Regardless of the reduced weight I was happy with the effort and to feel that familiar workout ‘burn’ again.

In-Law game strong.
In-Law game strong.

After the workout I hopped in my car and made the trip to Richmond to spend the Christmas holiday with the Erb clan. It was a full house with her parents, 2 sisters, and various friends popping in and out but also very relaxing. Esther’s 6 month old niece Rae and 3 year old nephew Lee were in town as well which was great. Esther and I got in daily naps, lots of great meals, and a few nice runs with current Boulder resident and Richmond Native Guy Alton!

It was great running OUTSIDE with Guy and Esther in Richmond.
It was great running OUTSIDE with Guy and Esther in Richmond.

I will spend the next 10 days in Blowing Rock and then I’m off to Tallahassee, FL for the final 4.5 weeks leading into the marathon trials. Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (12/20-12/26):

Sunday: AM: 3.5 miles (Asheville)    PM: 12 miles Alter-G 87%

Monday: AM: 8 miles    PM: 3 miles

Tuesday: AM: 11 miles (2×3 mile workout, treadmill and Alter G 90%)

Wednesday: AM: 14 miles Alter-G 90% (Richmond)   PM: 4 miles

Thursday: AM: 6 miles Alter G 90%   PM: 9.5 miles

Friday: AM: 7 miles    PM: 5 miles

Saturday: AM: 10 miles   PM: 45 min spin

Total: 93 miles (43 Alter G, 50 outside), 12 runs, 1 spin session

My last week of training (12/13-12/19)

I spent much of today traveling so I will keep this week’s entry short and sweet. I increased my mileage on the Alter-G to 60 miles for the week and got the weight up to 85%. I did some moderate portions during a few of the runs with no pain to my foot and ankle. Things are moving along nicely and within the next week I will begin workouts in full force.

Right now, I am 8 weeks out from the Olympic Trials and things will need to do everything within my power to get fit. Pete has already warned me that the next 4 to 6 weeks will be HARSH. We will not be reckless but we will be very aggressive with the intensity and frequency of my workouts.

In a perfect world, I’d be 12-16 weeks out from the OT and able to slowly ramp back into intensity and volume, but that is simply not the hand I have been dealt. In athletics as in life, you must do the best with what you’re given.

I will be doing a 2×3 mile workout this week on the treadmill and tossing in a greater number of outside runs. I suspect that in 2 weeks time the Alter-G will become a complementary training tool as normal outside runs will take over the bulk of my training.

My only wish over the next 2 months is to remain HEALTHY and POSITIVE each day in my running. The fitness will take care of itself.

Last but not least, I learned last week that a family at HCSA just had a litter of lab puppies that need new homes, so I went by the house to check them out. Esther, for those that don’t know, has DESPERATELY wanted a dog for the last few years. I’m not joking when I say that at least 2-3 times a week I either get sent a link to Pet Finder or a picture of her doing some activity with the neighborhood dog Lucy. She’s got it bad.

With this in mind, I met Tess (the runt of the litter) and am now considering bringing her home. Check out this picture of one of her brothers (I couldn’t get a picture of Tess; too camera shy):

I have no words.
I have no words.

Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (12/13-12/19):

Sunday: AM: 2 hrs spin (hard every 8th minute)   PM: 50 min aqua jog

Monday: AM: 10 miles at 83% Alter-G   PM: walk

Tuesday: AM: 11 miles at 84% Alter-G   PM: 55 min aqua jog

Wednesday: AM: 10 miles  at 85% Alter-G   PM: 20 min OUTSIDE jog

Thursday: AM: 80 min aqua jog    PM: 7 miles at 84% Alter-G

Friday: AM: 11 miles  at 84% Alter-G w/35 minutes at 5:40 pace

Saturday: AM: 9 miles OUTSIDE in Asheville

Total: 60 miles Alter-G, 6 runs, 3 aqua jog sessions, 1 spin session

Alter-G reigniting the FIRE

Getting injured is never fun and although my current injury has probably come at the most inopportune time possible with the Olympic Trials fast approaching, I have found myself strangely calm throughout the entire recovery process.

Don’t get me wrong, I have had the odd moment of intense anger, sadness, and frustration, but I have mostly been plodding along just getting my cross training done. Perhaps this even-keeled attitude is due to being a bit more mature in my running, but I think I also think I’ve been trying to stay out of my head this time around.

Yes, prior to this injury my goal board in the ZAP dining room said “Top 15 at Olympic Trials Marathon” and while that may not be possible anymore I think there is always another goal to set and pursue. I will not make a new one until I see what I am able to do over the next 9 weeks.

Sure, there have been many moments of doubt in this whole process. I wouldn’t say I have been wallowing in self pity because that is usually not my style but instead, I have gotten in all my cross training while trying to turn my brain off. I think it is nearly impossible to be fully dialed into each and every minute of aqua jogging.

Deep down I wish I could but I can’t. I ALWAYS get the work in and do every surge, tempo, hands out, holding breath action that I am told and hope that I am helping my fitness. I hear from Pete and others about how some of the greats like Todd Williams and Steve Spence would aboslutley murder themselves in the pool and come out FITTER than before but I think we only hear about the best sessions they did during injury. This is much like when guys post workout information; it is usually a kick-ass workout and not the norm.

Sure, I have had some awesome cross training days where I was completely dialed in and got after each and every interval during a 100 minute pool workout, but more often than not I get in the pool, do my work in silence, and get out 2 hours later. Did I work hard? Of course, but was it overly impressive? I don’t know.

All I know is that I can look back and my training log and see that I have approached each day as a professional and punched my time card. This isn’t glamorous or exciting 90% of the time but the accumulation of work is still very exciting and does motivate me to get back out there the next day.

As I’ve begun to slowly wean myself away from the pool and more towards the Alter G a funny thing has happened; my fire to compete again has been growing…quickly. Two months ago, I tossed aside that notion because tormenting myself with the thought that full training was so far away would have wrecked me. Instead, I took those early weeks day by day, as cliche as it sounds. But over the past 2 weeks I have begun to run at least an hour each day with a few faster miles tossed in.

My motivation to return has been flooding my body and mind as I’m pounding away on the treadmill.  So far, these runs have been around 80% of my body weight and I have gotten down to 5:30 pace a little bit. Nothing crazy but it has truly been so much fun. Here’s what a normal morning has been like for me on the G:

I wake up at 7 and eat breakfast with Esther. When she heads out the door to Moses Cone, I drive to ZAP and usually say goodbye to Tyler and Griff as they leave for their runs and I get to briefly hear about how marathon training has just begun and I hate them for a brief moment (I’m just jealous).

I get on the G after negotiating my start time with Colley the previous night through texts as he is injured too. The first 30 minutes go by slowly as I listen to either Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, the Men is Blazers, or any number of NPR programs.

Then after about 40 minutes I have worked the pace down to 6:30 per mile and see I have 2o minutes to go so I switch to Pandora and start getting really excited that my foot doesn’t hurt. This is where the FUN begins. The following super-positive thoughts take over my mind:

“So I’m running 5:40 pace at 82% of my body weight at 1% incline and I feel great. I mean goal marathon pace is ONLY 5:10 pace. That’s only 30 seconds per mile less than I’m going right now. And I’ve got 9 weeks to go. I’m going to be so fit!”

(That new Justin Bieber song “What Do You Mean”  comes on and I increase the incline to 2%)

“Picture this: mile 20 in LA. You realize you’ve just run miles 18 and 19 faster than any the entire day and you are absolutely ready to rip the head off the last 10k. Let’s go to a place we’ve never been before .”

(My hands go in the air and I act like I’m celebrating crossing the finish line in LA and seeing a fast time. I sing along to the next song loudly even though Colley is in the next room waiting for me to be finished. I know he doesn’t care because he’s been injured since Falmouth and completely knows where I’m at right now. He gets it.)

Then I get off. Griff and Tyler come back and tell me they closed their long run in 5 minute pace over hills. I sigh internally knowing I have a long way to go. But hey I got to run an hour, who cares it was on a treadmill! Steps are steps. Miles are miles. Who knew a treadmill could do so much for me?!

Thanks for reading.

Here is my last week of training (12/6-12/12):

Sunday: AM: 20 min spin+ 4 miles Alter G @75%   PM: MLS Cup

Monday: AM: 8 miles Alter G @75%   PM: 1 hour aqua jog

Tuesday: AM: 9.5 miles Alter G @80%  PM: 70 min swim

Wednesday: AM: 9 miles Alter G @80%  PM: 50 min spin

Thursday: AM: 1hr 40min spin high rotation   PM: walk

Friday: AM: 9.5 miles Alter G @81% (6×90 seconds)  PM: 55 min aqua jog

Saturday: AM: 11 mile Alter G @75%

Total: 51 miles Alter G miles, 3 spin sessions, 3 aqua jog sessions

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