Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2012 Olympic Marathon Trials Reflection

It's now a little over a week after the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials.  Looking back, I'm still torn on how I felt about the race itself, but overall I had a great weekend.

Photo Courtesy Nicole Luque.

We got there on Wednesday, but Friday was by far the craziest day.  We had to drop off our fluid bottles, go through a rigorous uniform check, and attend the technical meeting.  

After all this, Ian Torrence and I did a talk with Katy High School students.  Many of them have been training since September to run the Houston Half for the very first time.  Kudos to these runners, as I never ran anything over 10k in high school.

Ian and I after our talk with Katy Student Run.
Photo by Ian Torrence.

On to race day...

I contracted a cold the night before I left for Houston.  I was hopeful it would pass by Saturday, but as the week went on I got more nervous about its affect on my race.  Looking back, I was definitely disappointed with my race.  I didn't expect to shut down like I did at mile 19.  It wasn't a great day from the gun, but you never know when it might turn around out there.  

I give the illusion of fueling, however we've determined
part of my cause for shut down was due to inadequate caloric intake
on my part.  Rookie mistake.
Photo courtesy Nicole Anderson.

On the other hand, I did run 2:37, my second-best time out of three marathons.  As ugly as it was, it's also encouraging that I still ran under the A-standard on an off-day.     

A large pack approaching the fluid tables early on.  They had
over 40 tables on the course, but their system seemed to work
well.  Photo courtesy Nicole Anderson.

Along the way, it was great to hear my college teammate, Trey, yelling out "Go Virginia, Wahoo-Wa!"  It made me think back to watching Dana (Coons) Thiele go through marathon training while I was at UVA and wondering how in the world she managed it.  Now I know!  I'm grateful to be following in her footsteps as the next Cavalier to represent in the Olympic Marathon Trials.

Dana Coons rocking adidas.
Photo from and Victah Sailer

Congrats to my current McMillanElite teammates Brett Gotcher, Nick Arciniaga, and Jordan Horn for having strong races.

A big thank you to Ian Torrence for being my AS (athlete support) all weekend and for keeping it all in perspective.  And as always, to my parents for being out there along the course cheering me on.  They've been through all the ups and downs with me from the beginning.

It's on to some shorter races this spring before tackling another marathon later this year.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Perfect Practice

It’s only a couple days out from the 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon and I can safely say that 2011 was the year of the marathon for me.  As I’ve been perusing the many blogs and articles on this coming weekend, I’ve seen the word “perfect” bounced around quite a bit.  Usually it’s pertaining to the “perfect race” or the “perfect weather,” but whether it be the 800 or the marathon, getting to that perfect race requires countless hours of preparation.  The catch: that preparation has to count.  
The following sums it up nicely:

“Practice does not make perfect.  Only perfect practice makes perfect.” 
~Vince Lombardi

Oh, how true this is.  Everyone knows how easy it is to develop those bad habits...and how hard it is to break them.  This is where the perfect practice comes in.  If you continually practice those bad habits, chances are greater your perfect race will elude you.

A view I pass almost every day on my
second run.

Back to marathon training.  That’s why we practice taking fluids and fueling every few miles on long tempo runs when you’re tired and hurting, to perfect grabbing and carrying your bottle and most importantly taking those fluids in.  There are so many variables over 26.2 miles.  Our goal is to minimize those variables by perfecting training.

Stephanie and I during a 15 mile tempo
on Lake Mary Road.

Post-15 mile tempo.

The list goes on for everything we can work on perfecting in practice.  I wouldn’t be surprised if for most of us, the perfect practice pertains not to the physical act, but to our mental outlook each day.  I’ve watched those around me have good workouts, but they didn’t perfectly practice believing every day that come race day, they were going to succeed.  Many will be distinguished by this come Saturday, January 14th 2012.

Super Bee has been tapering, too.