Road Racing Updates

On December 8th I reached my ten year mark on consecutive training days.  I thought this would be a good time to look at some of my stats.  51 months in a row I have won at least one race, hope that doesn't jinx it.  I have racked up 312 career wins.  I have run over 40,000 miles in my lifetime.

I will be providing fewer racing updates so I can concentrate on training and racing.

2011 has started off with a bang. While I am not running that fast I have been able to stack up 8 wins in the 9 races so far this year.  I won one in both Alabama and Georgia on the last weekend of January.  I am planning on to more trips out of state in the near future.  One to Texas and a trip to NC and SC.  I have two 5Ks lined up in Houston but winning is never a sure thing.  I will just have to run my best and hope some luck is on my side as well.  Make sure to check out my progress on this color coded map.  Red states are were I have already won at least one race and yellow states are the ones that I have competed in at least one race.

I went to Key Largo for the bridge run again this year.  After a last second decision I was lucky enough to win the 10K.  I like the fact that the race is keeping track of course records.  All I have to do is get lucky enough no one beats my 5K or 10K time and win the half next year in a time faster than last year's winner and I would hold all three course records simultaneously.

I went to Chicago this last weekend to run the marathon.  After 6 months of very focused training I was able to lower my PR by over 6 minutes.  Not everything went perfect on the day of the race.  It started out very cold, about 31 degrees and never rose above 34.  I had to wear arm sleeves, gloves and head band for my ears, none of which I trained with in sunny south Florida.  I needed to urinate minutes before the race, ended up waiting till after the race, it hurt by the time I finished but was out of mind most of the race.  I should have carried one more GU with me for the 23rd mile.  Now for the things that went right my pacing was almost perfect until the last 2K.  I drafted off of several different people for at least 23 miles although the wind was only around 5mph most of the race.  I was at a perfect 129 pounds before the race, I have gained a quick 10 back since the running volume has really dropped and the eating has gone way up.  I am going to enjoy two good weeks of easy running and overeating and then it will be back to the better diet again.  I did not achieve this goal without a lot of help and support.  People put up with me losing crazy weight and constantly eating less and more healthy each week.  My training partners at Niketown were able to push me week after week for hard tempo runs.  I was logging around 80 miles a week and felt great, going into the race with no real injuries or even any nagging pains.  Amazingly during my preparation I still managed to race a ton including racing the day before the marathon in Madison, Wisconsin.  I won the race in a course record, not bad considering it was snowing and I was trying to save my energy for the next morning.  I now have overall victories in the following states: OH, FL, MS, CO, IN, MO and WI.  Hoping to get a win in Tennessee on Turkey day weekend and end the year with 8 states.  Just 42 + DC to go!

20+ years after my high school career ended I finally got one of the awards I most covet - I am the RRCA Masters State Champion at the 5K, coming in second overall at the Firefighter's 5K.  It may seem silly but being a state champion seems big in my book.  Now if I can finish this season off with two more huge goals: a big pr in the marathon and an American age group record.  I am one month away from running Chicago and the goal time is 2:35.  Back to the race updates: even with my training in high gear I have been able to keep racking up wins this year.  I am well past my previous high for a year and have a good chance at least 30+ wins this year.  I won 4 races in a row which is also a career first.  The 4 races were MDA 5K, The Dash Before Dawn, Family Fitness Weekend - Miami Beach and the Halpatiokee 5K. 

Had a very good month of July with 4 more wins and just missed by a traffic accident getting a 5th win.  I was on my way to Key West to run the Coast Guard 5K when 7 Mile Bridge was blocked by a tragic accident for hours.  I never made it to the start of the race which ended up being won in about 19 minutes.  I had a great run at the Dreher Park Dash finishing 4th with a 17:02.  Things are going well in my preparations for Chicago, I just need to stick to the plan and believe in the runs.

June ended with a bang.  I traveled to Ohio for the Busch Brothers' Annual meeting and while I was there I was able to get in 2 races.  The first race was in Sidney and I was able to get 2nd place overall.  it was a big race and I really had a shot at winning but didn't prepare mentally.  I was convinced the winner would be 16:30 and I didn't think I could run that fast.  At the end of the race I was with the leader but just didn't start my sprint soon enough.  Moving on to the 2nd race of the weekend, I traveled to Indiana.  There was a lot of pressure because I am trying to get a win in every state and this was my shot at Indiana.  I didn't expect good competition but you just never know who will show up.  I was in a solid lead at the two mile and the police led me down the wrong road, if I hadn't seen the arrow on the road I would have lost for sure.  I was able to convince the police to turn around after about 100 meters in the wrong direction.  I was still in the lead when I got back on the course but the margin was down to about 10 seconds.  I won by 15 seconds but I still wonder if the cop from the small town was friends with the guy in second.  I ended June with 7 wins and picked up my 5th different state. 

Another 2 wins and this leads to my biggest June of my running career.  Things have been going well.  I have 3 races in 3 days coming up and then it is on to Peachtree.

Last weekend was only the second time in my short career where I got to race 4 times in 2 days (not including track meets).  A very good weekend for me, I was able to win two of the four races.  The Kendra's Kisses 5K award was huge.  My two races on Sunday were both in my top 3 5K times for the month of June so not a bad day at all.  I went into the weekend with a strong week of workouts and I didn't expect nor did I get a sub 17 effort.  It would be nice to run in the sixteen's this upcoming weekend but will have to wait to see the weather and the course.

Been racing a ton and not updating the website enough.  This past weekend I went to the Bolder Boulder 10K.  As a warm-up I ran the Pelican Fest 5K in Windsor, CO.  It was an easy win by close to two minutes and suddenly it made me think about my goal of winning a race in every state.  I will have to find a lot of soft races and do a lot of traveling in the next few years but it would be cool and I am the man for the job.  Bolder Boulder was a great race, didn't feel the altitude much but the hills were killing me.  I need to get more training on hills before Peachtree.  Several other highlights of the race weekend were meeting Ryan Hall again and beating Chrissie Wellington (The Iron Woman World Champion).  My time of 36:59 was ok but felt like I should have run faster.  Can't wait to see what awards they send, the race was top notch all the way.  Even though Bolder ended my 3 race overall win streak, it was a race experience I will never forget.

Busy week with 3 races but the legs are feeling good.  Sad that I missed the entry for the Chicago Marathon, who knew it would fill up so fast.  Now I have to find another fall marathon.  Started the racing off with the Miami Corporate Run.  The 16:52 would have been good if the course had not been short.  Best newspaper story of the week was when the race director talked about happy they were with the race.  Considering it is the 4th largest 5K in the country and measuring 3.11 miles was to much, I would be happy too.  Almost forgot I did end up 5th overall which was very cool.  Next up was the Run to Remember at Hollywood Beach.  After 100 meters it was evident Jeffrey and I could go 1-2 in this race.  We cruised and tried to put on a sprint at the end just to make it look good.  The final race of the weekend was the Posnack 5K, came in 3rd overall with a disappointing 17:09, want to break 17.  Coming up two 10Ks back to back.

Also forgot to mention 7 Mile Bridge Run, best race of my life.  I was running so fast of course we had a 20mph tailwind but I will take it.  Got third overall and Jeffrey got 5th, he has become a great distance runner, he just needs to focus.

Ran 3 races recently.  The 1040K is one of my favorites but I had never run the 10K.  I did well but wished I could have caught Cobi in the last mile.  I started my push to late.  Worst part of the race, no masters award, only age groups.  Saturday Jeffery and I went to a tiny race in Belle Glade.  27 runners.  We came in first and second.  Not my most memorable win but still a win.  Finally Sunday I drove 3+ hours to go to Bradenton for the RRCA 10K state championship.  Before the race I thought I might be in the mix to win, but then a few very good masters runners showed up and the race was on.  I finished 3rd overall and only won my age group.  I ran 35:01 but really wanted to break 35, still a recent PR is better than nothing.  I am feeling primed for 7 Mile Bridge.

Another weekend with just one race.  Went for the USATF State Championship in the 10K.  Got out way to fast and then I let Andrew Greenridge get by me along with a few others who I should beat.  The best thing is that I have another 10K coming up on Wednesday.  Still won $75 for my effort but I have a long way to go.  Need to keep working hard and focus on the goals: 7 Mile Bridge, Bolder Boulder and Peachtree 10K.

Only race of the weekend for me was in Key West.  Always like driving down there just to get away from Miami.  Got out pretty good and felt like the race was in my control but then the second mile started to kill me.  Don't quite have my legs back yet but they are getting there.  The 17:31 wasn't terrible, just hated losing by 4 seconds.  Always feels like more could have been done to squeeze out the win.  Still won the masters title.

Started the weekend with my 101 win at the Manatee Center 5K.  Started out well but the double bridge crossing slowed me down.  Then with .08 to go I made a wrong turn, almost cost me the race.  Sunday I ran the Let My People Run 5K at Tradewinds Park.  Got out ok, but felt sluggish very quickly.  The leader got away and I had to run by myself the rest of the way.  I think the cold, honeymoon, change in time zones, back to increased work load have all added up slow me in the short term.  Hope to get more sleep and the body should adapt back up to correct level.  Trying to get ready for 7 Mile Bridge, all the rest are just preparation.

San Francisco, Fort Point 12K.  Coming off a cold and two weeks of honeymoon, I felt sluggish.  The winner pulled away at the mile and I tried to go with him but didn't hold on very long.  Then running alone in the wind for a few miles got in my head and I let a few others go past me.  I hate losing to anyone but felt under the circumstances I ran ok.  My weight was not nearly as high as thought coming off the cruise so racing is already looking good if I can shake the rest of this cold.  I was only 1 minute off my 12K pr however I have only run one other 12K.

Went to the Keys to try to score an easy win.  After a mile I noticed this guy racing was not fading.  I had hoped to run 38 or 39 and win easily, and in the process save my energy for the Cooper City 5K the next morning.  This guy had other plans.  After I got tied up in racing him, he waited till the last 200 meters to make his move.  I had no response and was caught off guard.  I have to plan a better race at 7 Mile Bridge if I want to beat him there.  Moral of the story is you have to be ready to race anytime you line up on the start line.  Cooper City did turn out to be my 100 career victory so I was thrilled with the win.

Went to Tampa to run the Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K.  I had been planning on peaking for this race and the races leading up to it had been great.  Jeffrey and I arrived very early to the race and some how managed to see Ryan Hall (see picture here).  We were both very pumped for the race.  I got out at 5:28 for the first mile.  It took awhile to find the right group to run with but I was able to settle down and run a super race.  I was hoping to run in the low 54 but everything seemed to fall into place for me.  Then foolishly I came back an hour later and ran the less competitive 5K.  On top of that decision, we came back to Miami the next day for the half marathon.  I was trying to run a comfortable 1:20 but struggle the last 2 miles and ended up in 3rd overall.  A great weekend all in all but my legs are a bit trashed.  Hopefully they will be ready for Sunday where I must defend my title at Cooper City.

Finished the A1A Marathon in a new PR of 1:16:21, good for 4th place overall.  Wanted to start the race off easy and work my way into it.  Instead I went out with both Reback and Aldo.  Went through the 3 mile to fast but felt like I was committed to staying on pace at that point.  Stayed with the pack until I reached the 6 mile mark and then decided to just keep them close.  I was running with one other person, he did not seem happy to be running with me, so by the 8 mile I was forced to pull ahead of him.  At that point I thought I had a chance at top 3 but only because I never saw Jason Bodner take off. 

Jeffrey also came back an made the difficult double (Saturday Edison at 5:45 in Ft Myers then to A1A at 6am on Sunday).  He ran within himself and did very well considering there was very little sleep in between.  He should be seriously thinking about an even 1:20 in the right circumstances.

Ran the Edison 5K in 16:40 and won the Open team championship.  Went into the race with the idea to get out at 5 even and try to blast.  The first mile was 5:04, then hit the 2 mile in 10:30.  I was really happy at that point.  Just tried to hang on for a good time.  I was chasing Paul (the 2nd place master) the entire time and should have beat him.  Winning a check for 3rd Master felt good, but wished we had stayed to get the team awards.  They never posted the team standing so we all just thought there was no point in waiting.

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