Weekly Summary – 64 miles, with most of that on Saturday’s race at the US Olympic Marathon Trials. Race was a nightmare – breathing/asthma issues again, very similar to Doha. Extremely disappointed with the race, as I was surely in the best shape of my life. That’s the nature of the beast. Next time…
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Lunes, 8 de Febrero 2016 – Sparknotes: Last tuneup before the Trials! Same one as always. 5km continuous in 15’47 with 3 sets of 1000m @ 3’07.1 avg, 500m @ 1’41.3 avg + 500m quick in 1’21.8. Felt great. Ready to kill it!
12pm: Sleeping late, cycle in a good spot. Drove over to TC Williams HS for a last tuneup on the track. I’d normally do this tomorrow (4 days out), but we’re supposed to get a couple inches of snow tonight, so I figured I’d rather not fight with the elements.
This is the last workout I’ve done before each of my major marathons and always leaves me feeling good and fresh. The workout is a continuous 5km run, alternating 1000m at MP, 500m moderate three times and then finishing with 500m fast. The overall average is usually quite close to what I run on marathon race day.
Had RunGum on the way over and was feeling pretty good all things considered. I am in day 2 of carb depletion today, so didn’t feel great in terms of energy, but the workout is so short that I wasn’t too worried. I also did have a powergel before starting (probably the only CHO I’ll have today) to give me a little boost.
Warmed up very short on the track, 1600m, which felt pretty bad to start but better by the end, running about 6’20/M by the last lap. Wanted to mimic marathon start, so it’s good to know I can feel super lousy at first and still run very well. Did full drills and then 200m in 35.
Ran in a brand new pair of Clifton 2s which I think will end up being my race shoe on Saturday. These felt fantastic.
Started off way too fast, naturally, ~73/74 for 400m. Running on the track is definitely a bit faster than the road, but not that much faster. Slowed down and came through in 3’08 for first 1km. Recovery km felt great and was still running 3’24/km which felt like a jog. Next rep felt easier and was 1 second faster (3’07). 500 recovery was also faster at 1’39 (3’19/km). Last 1km still felt easier or at least the same – just more warmed up if anything – and was the fastest at 3’05. Took another easy 500m in 1’41 (3’23/km) and then ran the last 500m stupidly, splitting the first 200m in 30.x and then eating it to finish in 1’21.8 (65.4 sec 400m pace).
The total was 5km in 15’47. The average “MP” 1km was 3’07.1, the avg 500m rec was 1’41.3 (3’22/km). For what it’s worth, this is about 30 seconds faster than I ran at this workout in the spring and it felt super easy. I’m very pleased with this last effort and the momentum of the last month or so.
Jogged barefoot on the turf to cool down. Legs felt great – just like really well warmed up. Super pumped. Ready to crush it on Saturday. Hopefully the heat isn’t too brutal. Looks like 70s during the race and maybe up to 80F by the finish. Might have to throw time out the window and just RACE, but whatever happens, I’m super fit and ready for a really good race.
Total run 5M.
1 km 3’08.1 (3’08.1)
1.5 km 4’50.8 (1’42.7)
2.5 km 7’58.2 (3’07.4)
3 km 9’37.9 (1’39.7)
4 km 12’43.8 (3’05.9)
4.5 km 14’25.4 (1’41.6)
5 km 15’47.2 (1’21.8)
6:30pm: Ran on treadmill in sweats. Felt fine – didn’t feel the morning at all. A bit tired after from depletion. 7’00 -> 5’40/M. Total run 3M+ in 19’0x.
Martes, 9 de Febrero, 2016 – 10am: Woke up early this morning feeling very hungry/depleted, so had a bunch of PB. Hung around for a while and then headed out for what is probably my last CCS run of the block (treadmill tonight) – woohoo! Felt quite weak and tired but that’s to be expected. Looking forward to beginning the load tomorrow! Total run 6M++, 10km+ in 47’.
6pm: Ran around CCS in sweats again because I really didn’t feel like getting on the treadmill again. Felt good, much better than this morning. Running a bit quicker by the end but still pretty weak. Total run 5km+, 3M+++ in 21’.
XT: Back/hips (1x, no weight).
Nine years ago, I sat in my then-girlfriend’s living room, watching Ryan Hall power away from the field at the 2007 US Olympic Marathon Trials. As someone who had – at that point – run fewer miles than I now cover in an average week, the performance was both captivating (the allure and prestige of the event) and entirely incomprehensible. I had no true understanding of what Hall’s 2h09 finishing time meant or the absurd negative split he ran or why people were so fired up about this young dude.
The next day, I asked my coach if he thought I could qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials.
“How fast do you need to run?”
“2h18, 5’16 per mile.”
Jon puzzled for a moment, perhaps wondering how to reply to the seventeen-year-old with the brand-new 18-minute 5K time.
Finally, he says, “I think you could certainly run 10 miles at that pace.”
What gave Jon – who still coaches me, a decade and lap-around-the-earth later – the idea that this unathletic teen who could barely cover 3 miles at 6’00 pace would be able to run even 10 miles at 45 seconds-per-mile faster is beyond me. But for whatever reason, I believed him. I just figured it might take a while.
And it did. Fast forward five years and I first did run 10 miles at 5’16 pace in 2012. 10,000 miles later, at the end of 2014, I ran under that oh-so-mystical yet -arbitrary barrier. And here we are.
Looking back, it seems entirely unreasonable to have considered this goal, for Jon to have given a second’s thought to my naive question. How many other coaches would take that risk? And how many times could it possibly play out favorably?
Through his guidance, Jon guided me away from an obsession with fickle time-standards and instilled in me a passion for self-improvement and a desire to find the limits of my athletic ability. As I head to the starting line on Saturday, I’ll think of the process I fell for back on that November day in 2007 and all those who have shared in this journey with me. What a journey it’s been.
Miercoles, 10 de Diciembre, 2016 – AM: Off, up early for travel to LAX! Direct flight in first class!
2:30pm PST: Got to the hotel and checked in and then headed out for a run around the area. In the heat of the day around 90F! Dry so not too bad. Ran in black track pants and long sleeves. Ran a ~5M loop through downtown which was kind of annoying as there were a million stop lights and street crossings. Finished with few quicker laps around the block (no street xing) and then stopped and did 5x strides on the road which felt very good. A bit stiff at first from the long flight, but felt quite good by the end of the run. Total run 7.5M, 12k in 50’.
Jueves, 11 de Febrero, 2016 – Woke up naturally around 6:30am – right where I want to be. Had some animal crackers and coffee and then took the 9:30am shuttle down to the USC campus to run around that area. Felt quite good. Ran with Jonas, Matty P, and Tony – a fun crew. A bit of a convoluted route, but good to see it. Not as bad as people are complaining about. I think it’ll be a nice break from the long straights up/down Figueroa. Only 73F at the start and 77F at the finish but it felt very warm in the sunshine. Did 4x strides in the new Tracer flats on the sidewalk after which felt fantastic. Very excited! Total run ~4.5M.
4pm: Drove back to USC campus for a super light tune-up (mostly to determine which shoes I want to wear). Warmed up on the track for about 5’30 and then light drills to mimic race start. Did 3x800m in Tracer/Clifton 2/Tracer. Tracers felt great. Maybe even a bit big? I really think I’m like a quarter size between 9 and 9.5. Splits were confusing because they had these weird gates blocking lanes 1-4, so I ran in lane 6 and tried to start at the correct line. Not sure if I did but I think the times were around 2’32. Whatever, doesn’t matter. Jogged a few minutes barefoot on the turf afterward which felt nice. Total run 3.5M.
Viernes, 12 de Febrero, 2016 – 9am: Last run before the Trials! Woke up naturally around 6am feeling great. Had some coffee and animal crackers and then headed out. Ran purposefully very slow. Ran into Dan Vassallo and went a bit quicker for a mile or so but feeling good so no problem. Finished with a few quick laps around the 450m block with 900m at about RP. Jogged a bit and then ethio cooldown. Total run 4M in 27’.
Sabado, 13 de Febrero, 2016 – US Olympic Trials Marathon – Nightmare. Awful breathing/asthma issues again starting somewhere in 20-30k. Out in 69 low and ran 2h33 to finish (barely) around 80th. Maybe should have just DNF’d but this is the Trials and I didn’t want my first DNF to be this race. Super bummed. Better luck next time…
Domingo, 14 de Febrero, 2016 – AM: Very slow shakeout with Mariana from hotel up to the top of the big hill by the Walt Disney Concert Hall to watch the LA Marathon go by. Made it just in time. Beautiful spot with the sunrise and lots of runners going by. Walk/jogged back. Total run 3M.