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



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

Orlando Photo Extravaganza

It has been a whirlwind the last 10 days and so instead of typing out all of my activities I thought it would be better to post pictures of Esther’s and my trip to Florida. Originally, I was slated to race the inaugural Run Nona 15k in Orlando but my stress fracture changed those plans. Esther was still on board to run the race as well so we decided to make the trip and then spend a few days in Florida relaxing and recovering….well relaxing as much as two athletes can. Enjoy!

My outfit for the ZAP Holiday Party at Bistro Roca in Blowing Rock. Arguably some of the best money I've ever spent.
My outfit for the ZAP Holiday Party at Bistro Roca in Blowing Rock. Arguably some of the best money I’ve ever spent.
Esther winning the Run Nona 15k on Saturday evening!
Esther winning the Run Nona 15k on Saturday evening!
Dylan Hassett, Nicole DeMecurio, and Esther post-race. Dylan was 2nd, Nicole was 3rd and both run for Greenville Track Club Elite in SC.
Dylan Hassett, Nicole DeMecurio, and Esther post-race. Dylan was 2nd, Nicole was 3rd and both run for Greenville Track Club Elite in SC.
Track Shack in Orlando. was the main sponsor of the 15k. Elite Athlete Coordinator Chris Hughes did an incredible job of taking care of everyone.
Track Shack in Orlando was the main sponsor of the 15k. Elite Athlete Coordinator Chris Hughes did an incredible job of taking care of everyone.
Esther and I took a visit to the Track Shack store and she got in a quick run with Joanie and Galloway.
Esther and I took a visit to the Track Shack store and she got in a quick run with Joanie and Galloway.
Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center. 24 lanes plus a section for diving. Not a bad place to cross train!
Central Florida YMCA Aquatic Center. 24 lanes plus a section for diving. Not a bad place to cross train!
Esther kept this cross training session fun. Her kick board skills were quite entertaining.
Esther kept this cross training session fun. Her kick board skills were quite entertaining.
We took a tour of Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. It was incredibly beautiful! (HPU watch out!)
We took a tour of Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. It was incredibly beautiful! (HPU watch out!)
National Training Center in Clermont, FL. Another beautiful place to get in a workout.
National Training Center in Clermont, FL. Another beautiful place to get in a workout.
National Training Center track in Clermont, FL.
National Training Center track in Clermont, FL. Thanks to Christie Snellgrove for giving us a tour!

Here is my last week of training (11/9-11/15):

Sunday: AM: 90 min aqua jog   PM: travel to NYC

Monday: AM: 90 min elliptical  PM: NYAC All Sports Dinner

Tuesday: AM: 1hr 45 min aqua jog/swim   PM: travel back to NC

Wednesday: AM: 90 min aqua jog/swim   PM: 50 min spin

Thursday: AM: 80 min aqua jog/swim   PM: 35 min spin

Friday: AM: 25 min underwater treadmill run   PM: 75 min swim in FL

Saturday: AM: 1hr 30min spin + 20 min elliptical

Total: 0 miles run, 6 pool sessions, 2 elliptical sessions, 2 spin sessions

Swim lanes and soccer games

I had a very eventful week on several fronts. From a cross training perspective I was able to swim without a pull buoy and even hopped on a spin bike for a few sessions without pain. Although cycling doesn’t seem like much it was a positive development as it does put a bit more pressure on my stress fracture than swimming and to feel zero pain means it’s healing!

Also, I changed my locale for a few days to Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock as the heater on the Boone Wellness Center pool had broken. It was a nice change of scenery as I attempt to constantly keeps things fresh! Check out a few pictures of my pool sessions Esther snapped during the week:

Fish status.
Fish status (with belt).


Circles for dayzzz at Chetola Resort.
Circles for dayzzz at Chetola Resort.

From a coaching standpoint last weekend was the season ending Autumn Blast tournament hosted by CVYSA in Hickory, NC. In all, 9 HCSA teams competed in their various age groups, including my U12 boys and U14 girls teams. Both of my teams have been developing and learning a lot over the course of the Fall season and this tournament is always a great way to cap off the season against some teams from other parts of the Southeast that we may not normally play against during the regular season.

The weekend was very successful for both teams. On Saturday my boys won 8-1 and 6-4 while my girls won 4-0 and 8-1 which secured a spot in the semi-finals for both. On Sunday, both teams won their respective semi-final matches and so it was on the championship games. Unfortunately, both teams were unable to pull out victories and both of my teams ended up as Runners-Up for the weekend.

Although many, many tears were shed on both teams, the final games didn’t put a damper on a very solid weekend. Both teams made big strides forward and it was an exciting and educational experience for all involved (players, parents, and coach). GO HCSA!

HCSA U12 Boys Navy
HCSA U12 Boys Navy


HCSA U14 Girls
HCSA U14 Girls

Lastly, Thursday November 5th marked 100 days until the Olympic Trials Marathon in LA. The race organizers sent all qualifiers a card to take a picture with and post on Twitter. Since both Esther and I are qualified we took our picture together. Enjoy!

Thursday makred 100 days out from OTM.
Thursday marked 100 days out from the OTM.

Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (11/1-11/7):

Sunday: OFF (travel back from IN)

Monday: AM: 1hr 45min swim/jog

Tuesday: AM: 1hr 45min swim/jog

Wednesday: AM: 2hrs swim/jog  PM: 30 min spin

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

Friday: AM: 1hr 35 min aqua jog

Saturday: AM: 1 hr spin  PM: soccer tournament all day!

Total: 0 miles run, 4 swim sessions, 3 spin sessions

Boston 2015: The Redo


This week’s entry will be short and sweet. I’m now in the home stretch (again) of this marathon cycle with Boston only a week away. My body is feeling healthy and prepared to race. My workouts the last month have been really good. I feel ready for Boston 2015 which I am coining “The Redo” for obvious reasons!

I have gotten in some solid marathon sessions and kept my calves healthy. And with the detour away from LA to Boston, I have lowered my mileage during this time to between 85-95 miles a week as opposed to the 110-125 miles a week I was logging in Tallahassee.

This decrease in volume has allowed me to get in more quality workouts and sharpened me a bit more than when I was running more mileage but often fewer hard workouts over a 10 day period. I believe this quality-dense last month has me slightly fitter than before Twin Cities in the Fall.

I have been talking with Esther a lot recently about my goals for Boston and I have many, both time and place, but I more importantly want to simply get in a really hard marathon effort. Although I did a workout and ran 2:29 at the Tallahassee Marathon, I have yet to race a marathon from start to finish. With my DNF at Twin Cities in October and my DNS in LA in March I am ready to get the marathon monkey off my back with a healthy and promising performance as I move towards the Olympic Trials in February 2016.

The good news is that my training the past few years has been very consistent. With the exception of a few minor flare ups (mostly calf related) I have not had to miss more than 3 days of running in a row unplanned since 2012. I have had subpar races and PR’s during that time and I know that the accumulation of miles and quality workouts is building for a BIG day. My plan is to have that day on April 20 in Boston.

Thanks for reading and I appreciate all the support. I can’t wait to experience my first Boston Marathon.

P.S. For any and all ZAP friends and supporters in Beantown on Sunday April 19 please stop by The Washington Square Tavern from 1pm to 4pm. ZAP will be hosting an informal party with appetizers and drinks to be served. We held this event last year and it was lots of fun. Don’t miss out this time around!

714 Washington St. Brookline, MA 02445

Here is my last week of training (4/5-4/11):

Sunday: AM: 13 miles (8×20 sec post run)

Monday: AM: 15 miles (1-6-1 fartlek within run)

Tuesday: AM: 6 miles   PM: 6 miles

Wednesday: AM: 10 miles (8×20 sec post run)

Thursday: AM: 17 miles (9 mile progression run)

Friday: AM: 6 miles   PM: 5 miles

Saturday: AM: 9 miles

Total: 87 miles, 9 runs


Boston course run

Last week was very intense training wise. After making the decision to not run L.A. Pete had penciled in this week as the stretch to really see if I would be ready for Boston. The plan was to do 2 hard sessions in 3 days which is pretty unique for how Pete normally structures my training.

Washington Crossing towpath in Lawrenceville, NJ.
Washington Crossing towpath in Lawrenceville, NJ.

On Monday I did a steady hilly 13 mile run with some strides with the intent to make my quads a bit sore heading into my workout the next day. On Tuesday, I went to Washington Crossing State Park to do a 1,000 meter repeat session on the towpath. Luckily, New Jersey is full of lots of flat, dirt trails that run next to the Delaware River and are a great place to get in some faster running off the pavement.

The plan for the day was to run 7x1k then 6x1k. The rest between each 1k was 1:45 seconds and the rest between the sets was 4 minutes. I wheeled out a 1,000 meter section and did the workout back and forth on it. The stretch was mostly flat, however I did notice that the second half one way ran about 3-4 seconds slower as I got into the faster second set. The goal for set 1 was 3:03-2:59 and the goal for set 2 was 2:59-2:53. Here’s how it went:

Set 1: 3:00(up), 3:04(down), 3:00(up), 2:58(down), 3:01(up), 3:00(down), 2:58(up)
Set 2: 2:54(down), 2:59(up), 2:57(down), 2:59(up), 2:54(down), 2:58(up)
All in all, it was a good session. I was really working hard on the second set in the slightly uphill direction but I did run a few 2:54’s which is faster than I’ve run in a long time!
After a very easy 7 mile run on Wednesday with Esther (58 minutes!) I made my way to Boston, MA to do a marathon specific long run on the course. Brian Harvey, B.A.A. runner and 2:17 marathoner, graciously let me stay with him on Wednesday night AND committed to doing the long run with me the following morning.
On Thursday, Brian and I were up and out the door well before 6am and caught a commuter train out to Framingham, which is around the 6.5 mile mark of the course. The plan for the workout was to run 4 miles-3 miles-2 miles-1 mile with a mile float between each harder piece. Brian knows the course very well and suggested starting the 4 mile piece at mile marker 11 so that the latter part of the workout would be over the tough Newton Hills. Here’s how it went:
mm 6.5 – mm 11: 4.75 miles warmup
mm 11-mm 15: 5:08, 5:18, 5:08, 5:12
mm 15-mm 16: 6:19 float
mm 16-mm 19: 5:15 (I-95 hill), 5:20 (Firehouse hill), 5:04
mm 19-mm 20: 6:30 float
mm 20-mm 22: 5:18 (Heartbreak hill), 5:09
mm 22-mm 23: 6:50 float
mm 23-mm 24: 4:46
mm 24 back to Brian’s apartment (1.75 mile cool down)
Boston Marathon course elevation
Boston Marathon course elevation
A few things…I wore my Soleus GPS watch and he worse his Garmin and our splits were off from one another by quite a bit. Also, we were not running any of the tangents because of traffic and stayed on the sidewalk for the entire run. The mile markers are actually permanently in the middle of the road and Brian split his watch when we passed each one but depending on the mile our true splits might be off by .01-.02, or 3-6s. Either way, the splits above are a rough average of the feedback from each of our watches. Neurotic runner rant over.
Overall, it was a good session. I ran up and over the 3 main hills very well and if I can do that on race day it will be a very good day. I will say that even though the early miles are net downhill they are still rolling. Everyone talks about the flying fast opening half marathon but I think it’s fast mostly in comparison to the tough 2nd half. Don’t get me wrong, the course is fast on the front end but it is not a mindlessly straight downhill journey.
I’m glad I was able to run the heart of the course and it gave me confidence that my fitness is still very good. Lastly, and most importantly, my calf felt good after this tough 3 day span! Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (3/29-4/4):

Sunday: AM: 9 miles

Monday: AM: 13 miles

Tuesday: AM: 14 miles (13xk workout)   PM: 4 miles

Wednesday: AM: 7 miles

Thursday: AM: 19.5 miles (4-3-2-1 Boston course run)

Friday: AM: 8 miles   PM: 6 miles

Saturday: AM: 11.5 miles

Total: 92 miles, 9 runs

California Adventures

The last 10 days has been a whirlwind. Here’s the breakdown of places and faces I came across since my last entry:

Thursday, March 12: Flew to L.A. as planned even though I wasn’t racing. Checked into Millenium Biltmore for the night. Had dinner at Soleto Pizza Bar with the lovely Alissa ‘Nana’ McKaig.

Friday, March 13: Checked out of Biltmore since the race would not be reimbursing ZAP since I wasn’t racing and headed to LAX to pick up Esther who was getting in from NJ. Esther and I grabbed our rental car and had dinner at a fast food joint in L.A. before crashing at a friend’s house somewhere in the vast and traffic filled City of Angels!

Saturday, March 14: Met Pete and Reebok’s Patrick Joyce at Millenium to do an easy run on the OT course. Course maps had been distributed so we checked out the 6 mile loop that will be run 4x during the course of the race. There’s certainly some uphill in there people! It will be interesting for sure. Esther and I drove to Cal-St. Fullerton in the evening so she could race the Ben Brown Invitational 5k. She won the race and came away with a nice PR in hot conditions. She’s tough. Went back to the Millenium for the night to crash with McKaig and her friend Taylor.

With Esther after her 5k PR.
With Esther after her 5k PR.

Sunday, March 15: No L.A. Marathon for me but we followed the live feed when we woke up then headed up the coast towards Pismo Beach, CA. We had reserved an Air BnB spot a few days before and arrived around 4. Esther and I went on a beautiful run at the not-yet-opened Pismo Preserve. It was a very steep run but offered breathtaking views of the coast. PB&J and beer for dinner.

Pismo Preserve in Pismo Beach, CA.
Pismo Preserve in Pismo Beach, CA.

Monday March 16: Drive 20 minutes to San Luis Obispo and did a hilly run at another nature preserve. Great views once again at the top. Drove another 10 minutes down the CA-1 to Morro Bay to lay on the beach for an hour. Hopped back in the car and made the long but beautiful drive to Oakland, CA to see our buddy Jesse Cherry. The Pacific Coast Highway is like the Blue Ridge Parkway equivalent of the west coast. Steep, windy, and sometimes dangerous roads but totally worth it for the views. Esther and I were both impressed with how awesome the drive was. We stopped in Piedras Blancas to check out the elephant seal community and drove by a zebra farm at one point as well. Arrived in Oakland around 8pm and grabbed a quick meal at a great Mexican joint.

The elephant seal rookery  of Piedras Blancas on the PCH.
The elephant seal rookery of Piedras Blancas on the PCH.

Tuesday, March 17: Jesse and I helped Esther with her uptempo medium long run around Oakland. It was 60 degrees, sunny, and low to no humidity! After the run we ate lunch at a hole in the wall burrito spot where the gave you much too much food. For dinner we tried Burma Superstar which was excellent as well. Got a few drinks then called it a night.

Wednesday, March 18: Easy run with Jesse while Esther met a friend somewhere else to run. Ate at Bakesale Betty’s for lunch. GOOD fried chicken sandwiches with cole slaw and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Walked around downtown Oakland in the afternoon and got a B-12 shot! Had dinner in Sunnyvale, CA with college soccer teammate Walshy and his wife Molly.

Hanging out with my best bud (and future best man) Jesse Cherry in Oakland.
Hanging out with my best bud (and future best man) Jesse Cherry in Oakland. Business time.

Thursday, March 19: Made our way to the airport to head back to NJ with Esther. Luckily we had a direct flight and were back at her place around 11 pm. All in all a great trip!

I feel very blessed that I was able to see two of my favorite former ZAP teammates, Jesse and Alissa, who coincidentally are the best man and maid of honor for Esther and I’s upcoming nuptials in September. Both are still running and I suspect both will be on the starting line with Esther and I when the Olympic Trials roll around in February 2016.

Running wise, I was taking it very easy both mentally and physically in California as my calf finished up its healing! I was nearly healed when I arrived in L.A. but running over 7 minute pace and trying to run 5 min pace are two completely different beasts. Once I returned to NJ I got in a moderate workout to test out my calf. I did a 3-2-1 minute fartlek with no set rest in the midst of a 13 mile run around Princeton, NJ. It went quite well and I did not feel my calf at all. The coming days will tell the real story as Pete and I try to see whether my body will be ready to go for Boston. We are not going to force things but simply see where my fitness and health go the next month.

Thanks for reading!

Here is my last week of training (3/15-3/21):

Sunday: PM: 12 miles (Pismo Beach)

Monday: AM: 8 miles (San Luis Obispo)

Tuesday: AM: 16 miles (Oakland)

Wednesday: AM: 8.5 miles

Thursday: OFF (travel to NJ)

Friday: AM: 10.5 miles (8×20 sec post run)

Saturday: AM: 4 miles   PM: 13 miles (3-2-1 fartlek x3 within run)

Total: 72 miles, 7 runs

No to LA but yes to Boston?

I was very hopeful entering the week that my calf was moving in the right direction and that I would be able to toe the line for the LA Marathon on Sunday. On Tuesday, I did the classic pre-marathon session of 2×2 miles at marathon pace but at the end of the 2nd 2 mile segment I could feel my calf getting slightly tight. It wasn’t terrible by any means but it was incredibly worrisome. How would I be able to run 26.2 miles on undulating pavement if a 2×2 mile workout was giving me issues? Stubbornly, I still intended on racing after this workout but when Pete arrived the following day we had a meeting and decided it wasn’t worth the risk.

It was very tough to pull out of the race when I wasn’t 100% injured. I was healing slowly but not to the degree that racing would have been smart. Early in my ZAP career I missed entire seasons through various ailments (torn plantar, achilles issues, low iron, etc.) but during those times it was very clear that I couldn’t have raced even if I wanted to. This time the decision to not run was the MATURE thing to do but also tough for 3 main reasons:

1. I would be missing a US Championship which is a great stage to move up the American distance running pecking order.

2. The training cycle was almost perfect. I had only 1 subpar workout and the rest were SPOT on. And even with the calf strain I did not miss 1 day of running…although in hindsight maybe I should have.

3. ZAP has invested so much into me and I always hate (hate!) missing a race that would allow me to repay their ample support.

So, because I didn’t run on Sunday, I will now turn my eyes to healing 100% over the coming week or so. I truly believe my calf is 90% healed and almost ready to dive back into full training. If that happens the plan is now to run the Boston Marathon in 5 weeks. Pete, Ryan, and I all agree I’m very fit and want to see that fitness on display soon. And even though Boston was not the original goal, I am very excited to run this historic race. Tyler and I were in Boston last year to watch the race and feel the amazing energy that takes over the city on Patriot’s Day and we both wanted to be back there one day. Well, this year will hopefully be my chance and I am excited for the opportunity.

Thanks to Bill Orr and the LA Marathon for being so understanding of my decision to not race and thanks to Mike Peroni and the BAA for allowing me to run Boston on such short notice!

Patrick Joyce of Reebok and I previewing the 2016 Olympic Trials course in downtown L.A.
Patrick Joyce of Reebok and I previewing the 2016 Olympic Trials course in downtown L.A.

Here is my last week of training (3/8-3/14):

Sunday: AM: 15 miles (1 min & 30 sec surges)

Monday: AM: 6.5 miles

Tuesday: AM: 10 miles (2×2 mile at MP)  PM: 4 miles

Wednesday: AM: 9.5 miles

Thursday: OFF, travel to LA

Friday: AM: OFF    PM: 3 miles with Esther

Saturday: AM: OFF   PM: 6 miles on LA OT course

Total: 53 miles, 7 runs

The wait begins!


Last week was a whirlwind of emotions! Entering the week my calf was still giving me issues and the lingering soreness was improving but not at the rate that I hoped. This had me down in the dumps but I was determined to continue with all the rehab I could think of with the marathon so close!

Unfortunately, after my last moderate workout of 10×3 minutes on Wednesday I told Pete that my body just felt locked up and completely out of alignment. I wasn’t having any intense pain in the calf but I could tell my stride was very off. Despite this I was able to get in 15 miles for the workout but I was not running freely as I could tell I was protecting the calf.

After the workout, Pete immediately got on the phone with Dr. Josh Glass in Atlanta to see if I could get an appointment on very short notice. Dr. Glass owns Georgia Sports Chiropractic and is very well respected in the track and field community having worked with countless professional runners through the years. Thankfully he got me in late in the day on Wednesday and again Thursday morning before heading back to Greenville.

Dr. Glass found that my right SI joint (sacroiliac joint, hip area) was very locked up and that my left calf was taking the beating from this imbalance. After readjusting my hips and ankles during both sessions, Glass showed me some rehab stuff I could do to continue to improve this weak area. And before leaving town I was also able to get a massage from longtime ZAP friend and excellent therapist Robin Rogers. I’m very appreciative that both were so available and willing to see me.

In the subsequent days following treatment, I could feel my stride coming back to me slowly. Although my calf is still slightly sore I am pleased to report that the treatments from Glass and Rogers were very, very helpful and hopefully what I needed as I enter the last week of training before the LA Marathon. Fingers crossed!

My Dad and I on Saturday in downtown Greenville enjoying the great weather.
My Dad and I on Saturday in downtown Greenville enjoying the great weather.

Lastly, my parents were able to make the trip from Charleston to spend the weekend with me in Greenville. I don’t get to see them very often so the Furman training camp is always a time when they try to come up for a few days. We wandered around downtown Greenville on Saturday and then went to hear my longtime friend and roommate Josh Windley’s father, Rev. Joseph Windley, preach on Sunday morning in Fountain Inn, SC. It was a great few days.

Here is my last week of training (3/1-3/7):

Sunday: AM: 14 miles (8×20 post run)  PM: 4 miles

Monday: AM: 10 miles

Tuesday: AM: 9.5 miles (6×200)  PM: 5 miles

Wednesday: AM: 15 miles (10×3 min workout)  PM: travel to ATL

Thursday: AM: 6 miles   PM: 6 miles

Friday: AM: 9 miles  PM: 4 miles

Saturday: AM: 10.5 miles

Total: 93 miles, 11 runs

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