Sunday, June 17, 2012

The End of Spring XC

Today marked the end of this year’s running program at Indian River School.  With thirty-five kids on the roster and only two coaches, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that things did not always go as smoothly as possible.  While the inaugural fall program went by with flying colors, the spring was a bumpy ride.  Behavioral issues and refusal to run plagued the group, as well as administrative disconnect with the school office lead to great learning moments as I had to reevaluate how to conduct practice.  It seemed like every practice there were new problems and everyday I went home to rack my brain on how to solve the current ailment.  But even with the headaches, the steep learning curve, and having to explain why fist fighting is not allowed, the program was a lot of fun.  It was great to witness the kids deepen their love for running and continue to challenge and surprise themselves.  Watching the final race today, one particular girl was fighting tough, even panting: “I feel like I am going to die” as she neared the end of the four mile race.  Worried that I might have frightened her away with her longest race yet, I was stunned to receive an email from her mother later in the day stating how the girl’s next goal was to run a half marathon in the fall and wanted to know proper ways to train for such a long distance.  Being able to share my passion for running with the middle schoolers, while tough at times, has been extremely rewarding and fun.  With the first year of the program now complete- and many hurdles cleared- I look forward to next year to be able to continue my involvement with Indian River.  Thank you ITA and Amory for the ability and opportunity to share my passion of sport to others, it has been a great experience and look forward to the continued adventure.
Until next time,

Monday, June 4, 2012

What a Weekend

Finally, I get to take a break and relax.  The past few days have been nonstop travel and excitement, and it’s about time to sit back and begin to recover.  It all started on Thursday afternoon.  I had just finished running a workout on the Dartmouth track and about to jump into the shower when I received a phone call stating that a spot had just opened in the Prefontaine Classic 5km, an illustrious race with the fastest field ever assembled on U.S. soil, that was mine if I wanted it.  The catch?  The race was in less than 44 hours and on the other side of the country.  I quickly packed a carry-on, jumped into a car and drove the 130 miles to Boston to catch the last flight out to the west coast.  Exhausted, I landed in Portland, OR at 10:30pm and proceeded to hop on a shuttle and drive down to Eugene, finally laying my head down to rest at 2am PT.  The rest of Friday went by in a blur of jet-lag and the sense of “what just happened.”  I did manage to get in a short three mile jog and a few strides to help ease the legs, but it was mostly spent laying in bed and trying to conserve as much energy as possible.  The next day was game day.  In a field marked by numerous Olympic and World Championship medalists, I entered the race with the worse race credentials.  Trying not to let that damper my nerves, nor the fact that race was rumored to be paced for a 12:50 5k, I knew as long as I relaxed and settled in, I could run a very fast time.  

"participating" in the Pre Classic

Unfortunately, as soon as the gun went off, I realized my legs were left in Hanover.  After the first mile, I knew the rest of the race was going to be ugly.  I tried to hang as long as I could, but ended up fading to a 13:26 finish.  Disappointing would be an understatement, but I couldn’t hang my head for long.  The next morning I was awake at 4am to grab a flight back east so I could attend game 4 of the Celtic/Heat basketball game for my buddy’s bachelor party.  

Watching the show at the Garden
The game was a great experience and capped off an eventful few days.  Best part was that the Celtics were able to win in overtime to tie the series at two apiece.  The bad?  I didn’t get back to Hanover until after 2:30am.  Phew, late nights and long travels have left me exhausted.  Time to rest, recover and get ready for the next three weeks- which will be the hardest yet.  Despite the poor showing at Pre, I know that my fitness is there and I am ready to run fast.  The final three weeks of prep leading into the Trials are going to be good, and I guarantee that I will toe the line ready to run, and this time I won't be caught off guard.
Until next time,