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RACE REPORT: USATF 5K National Championship

RACE: USATF 5K National Championships
LOCATION: Providence, RI
DATE: 09/17/2013
TIME: 15:29 *** PR ***
PACE: 4:59/mi
PLACEMENT: 32nd Overall

It is difficult to write a race report when races go poorly, oddly enough, writing a true narrative on a race that goes well is a far more challenging task. USATF Nationals was my goal race for the fall to some degree - however like other races inside this paradigm shift - I went in not feeling pressure , knowing that I was in great shape.

When Tyler asked what my goals were - not a peep surrounded my time. Why - because my time honestly did NOT matter. At this point I have learned to appreciate races where your goals are more focused on execution, less focused on a certain number. I have found when I focus on execution, well, the pace comes free of charge. I wanted to run even splits and try to stay with the lead woman.

This past month I have been on a complete shift in terms of my lifestyle and diet. Melisa and I went through the Fat Flush diet which surprisingly made the largest difference of anything I have done in my running to date. My body leaned out, my headaches - gone, my soreness - gone, basically every facet of mood - changed. Americans rely on a disgusting amount of processed foods, and although I may have been to some borderline anorexic (which I was not), the intake was ALL garbage. Sugars, carbs this and that, boatloads of salt and cheese on anything you can find. Yet honestly - we ate healthy. I had black beans , with 2% cheese , and a boatload of seasoning 3-4times a week. Not until you change your diet do you know more.

A difficult series of flights and Melisa, Mike and I arrived Friday afternoon. Providence was very easy to navigate, however we were staying in Warwick which meant virtually nothing accessible. No worries I had Melisa. We instantly hit a grocery store as the diet was extremely tough while traveling. I had bags of tuna, organic prunes and dates and a fruit smoothie in the morning - i was a bit low, however I drank 128oz of water on the way to RI alone.

I got out for a decent run when I returned, adding some pick-ups and ending with strides Saturday - I knew I was ready , my mind and heart were there. I think Mike wanted to strangle me as I kept trying to fire him up come race morning. This race was more of a lunch race oddly - 11:15 meant I had to eat something , no worries, I was planning on that anyways! We found a Naked Brand protein fruit smoothie at whole foods, I downed the whole bottle 3 hours out.

Mike and I did a slow 3 miles in my Wave Rider 16's to start the race, I did this a bit early so I could get a great warm-up routine in. I relaxed for the last minutes after my strides and watched as others continued to do more strides up until the start, I chilled.

I laced up my Universe 4's (not the current model, however still an absolutely rocking 5K shoe!) I wanted to get out clean so I stayed back, this was dangerous as the roads were very wet and tons of folks wearing headphones and sweatshirts lined up in front of me. The gun went off and I only worried about tripping. Down to the first turn I was cut off and had to jog sideways briefly , no reason to fret, life will go on. I went out super easy and watched as folks starting coming back. I repeated I am strong over and over as we approached mile marker 1

4:55.x - Right about where I thought.

As the mile marker hit its like folks around put on parachutes, it was odd , namely the women. I had a perfect rythm going so I avoided even paying attention to the watch - I am strong. As the mile progressed and many many sharp turns later I moved up maybe 20 spots. I welcomed the 2 mile marker, however saw mike coming back to me.

9:56 - 5:00:xx - Excellent Dude!

It was time to trust my mantra, I knew I wasnt poking around and felt like it was time to pick it up. My focus was on catching Molly Huddle. As I approached Mike I commented "Come on" or something to the like, I truly had hoped Mike would come with. The mile was filled with lots of hazards so outside of watching Molly come back to me, I proceeded to focus on the ground and relaxing as I pushed the effort. As we approached the final turn , I knew the hill would put a big dent in my time, however trusting my training I managed to move up yet again - I hammered up and honestly had not been paying attention to my time this mile... The three mile approached at the crest

14:56:- 5:00:xx - Coolness a PR.

I knew I had a kick - I was a big dude, I felt powerful and had left enough in the tank. Molly made a move in front of me, however I felt I could catch her going flat out. The final .13 I let it out there and managed to not only catch others, but finish with Molly. Every part of my body pushed knowing I could get to one of my lifetime goal - a sub 5 minute average in a 5k.

15:29 - Final Time

I had an incredible amount of fun, raising my arms in jubilation, only to quickly run out of the exit area and share the moment with melisa who was screaming. I am not sure who was more excited, however I can say that sharing it was what made it special. A great race is always something to remember - yes the PR - awesome thing, however race execution is what makes me happy. Tyler and I had agreed to my plan and I nailed it despite a less than optimal course congested.

My excitement gleamed and I felt like I accomplished something I worked so hard for. I prayed for strength and everything aligned. I was able to cool down with Mike and others which was pretty cool running with the "big boys" - my confidence definitely radiated. It was unfortunate that Mike did not have the race he wanted so we did not get to celebrate after. My body felt great as melisa and I went around town. The universe's provide just enough cushion as to not beat me up, even on pavement.

My thank you notes are extremely exhaustive, however I will definitely say that Melisa was the most critical here. I had many challenges with life (predominantly the stress of work) and she kept me focused. She has been by my side (literally) on every run, sometimes in my head, and many on a bicycle. Thank you to my Coach and Friend, Tyler McCandless, who has done a brilliant job of identifying the highest ROI training and doing so while healing up any previous injuries from overtraining in 2012. Thank you to Megan Veerman from Massage by Megan, the most dedicated and talented massage therapist around - she treats me like a member of the family, always ensuring I can get in to address issues.

Thank you to Mizuno and Often Running for your generosity and aiding with my running support needs. It makes a large difference in my abilities, confidence et al. Definitely a huge thanks to my family and friends for encouraging me to keep on driving!

Race Video Replay

Next Race(s)
ISU Alumni Town & Gown 5K - 10/6 (Happy Anniversary to Melisa & I)
Pumpkin Fest 8K, Davenport, IA - 10/20
Canal Connection 10K - 11/3