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Showing content with the highest reputation on 11/18/2015 in Posts

  1. 2015 USA 12KM Championships - Trip/Race Report Part 1: Background - How I wormed my way into a world class race A question that I hear often from people when i tell them I run races is "can you make money being a runner?". Well, there is relatively little running in money compared to the mainstream sports, but for some of the top tier elite runners in the country right now there is a road racing circuit sponsored by the national governing body fittingly named the "USATF Running Circuit". (http://usatfrunningcircuit.runnerspace.com/) Throughout the year, there are 10-12 races across the country, each dubbed the "(Insert Race Distance) National Championships", where the distance ranges anywhere from a mile up to a marathon. While each race provides some prize money on their own to the top finishers, the series is scored grand prix style with the top-15 finishers at each stop invited to the year end "championship" race in Alexandria, VA duking it out for yet more prize money. At some point during the year, I was fortunate enough to have cherry-picked arguably one of the lesser competitive stops on the circuit (The 25KM championships in Grand Rapids in May) and snagged a top 15 finish. Knowing that only the true elites in the running for some grand prix money would show up for the year end championship, I nonetheless decided it may possibly be a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to run in the year end race. So along with an excuse to visit my sister and friends on the east coast, I entered the championship race this past weekend. Part 2: An unexpected meeting Expectations for a fast time coming into the race were fairly low. I had gone for an Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier the weekend before in Indianapolis and fell off pace before even reaching halfway. (although I did hang on for 8K/5M/10K PRs before watching my shot at a half-marathon PR disappear over the last 5K). At the beginning of race week there were 25 entrants in the 12K championship race, but with a few more race week scratches it seems like I may have an outside shot at squeaking out a top-20 finish. (out of 20-22 starters ). I flew into Maryland on Thursday and spent a couple of days with sister and her husband just relaxing and enjoying myself before driving down on Saturday to spend the night before the race in the host hotel. When I checked in, I was informed by the nice lady at the front desk my reservation had been cancelled. Well... shucks, I tracked down the event manager for the race and he informed me he was responsible for cancelling my reservation but because he was giving me one of the free rooms that race had for elite athletes! (I didn't initially qualify for one of these rooms, but I guess they had a surplus with the lower than expected turnout for this year's race). While free, the room would come with a random roommate, and my roommate for the night would be.... (drum roll).... 2012 Olympian Donn Cabral! (http://www.usatf.org/Athlete-Bios/Donn-Cabral.aspx). Moments after I was told of my room assignment and got my keys from the event manager, we were all ushered into a pre-race technical meeting where they went over the race logistics as well as a quick course preview. We were told to sign a W9 if we want to collect prize money the next day (I didn't waste their time or paper filling one out), and zoned out when they talked about where to go to get interviewed post-race. Right after the meeting, I grabbed my bib and shirt and started heading upstairs when a young skinny kid approached me: "Hi, are you Steve?" "Yes" "Hi I am Donn, I think we are roommates for the night?" Inside I am thinking to myself "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"... "Oh yeah, Matt mentioned that when he gave me the keys before the meeting" Part 3: You guys want to know what Olympians eat the night before racing for $20,000? After Donn and I got back upstairs to the room and put our stuff down, he asked me if I had any dinner plans, which I didn't. He then mentioned that one of the girls competing in the women's race tomorrow had invited him to dinner with her friends/teammates at a nearby Italian restaurant (which sounded standard to me) but he doesn't do Italian the night before most races (what?!). After pulling up google map we found Mexican place around the corner, which he seemed pretty enthusiastic about, so Mexican it is! Alas, it was still early so he invited me to go for a shakeout run with him. With little/no expectations for the race the next day and an opportunity to log a few miles with an Olympian, I accepted. There is an urban legend that some of you may have heard that world class runners actually do their shakeouts/warm-ups/easy runs extremely slow, and while I have a small sample size to work with, my 3.5mi/31:30 run (9min/mi pace) sure didn't debunk that theory. When we got back I took a quick shower and then we were on the way. This guy sure didn't mess around, he got their big burrito with beans / rice / mole sauce, even ordering a soup to go to snack on as we were relaxing in the room before bedtime. Part 4: The calm before the storm I slept pretty soundly, and almost past my alarm. Alas, my roommate who was actually there to race and try to make some money didn't, and woke me up. We went upstairs to the hospitality suite to grab some breakfast, some oatmeal and coffee. While I was trying to wake up, some girl started chatting with Donn. I quickly gathered they knew each other quite well, and when we left he casually remarked "sorry about that, that was my ex-teammate Julie Culley, she retired after the 2012 trials" "Julie Culley that won the 2012 Olympic trials? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julie_Culley?""Yep" When we got back to the room we quickly grabbed our stuff and headed over to a pre-race area they had set aside for us by the start line. I used the porta potty and headed out for my warmup, coincidentally when Donn was about to start his as well. He looked at me and in an almost apologetic voice said "sorry man, I usually warm up alone", which completely surprised me since I wasn't even expecting to tag along, but for someone of that level to even make that consideration of me caught me off guard. "oh of course dude, do your thing". Surprisingly, I quickly pull away from him on our warmup, yet another example supporting the "elites warmup slow". When I got back, I had the pleasure of waiting behind Molly Huddle in the porta potty line, and the whole time I was just thinking about how jealous one of my good friends is going to be later. (he has a huge crush on her). Part 5: The Race This was fairly uneventful. The gun goes off and I am trying to run as comfortably hard as possible. I don't know why I am even surprised at this point, but due to the tactical nature of these type of races I am still fairly close behind the leaders at the mile. Then we crest a second hill and somebody up front started pulling away, or I start fading a bit. Fortunately for me, even though I was completely outclassed by everyone in my race, there is also an open race that runs in conjunction with the championship event, so there's a mass of open runners behind me. 2 miles or so into the race, a couple of the guys from the open race blow by me and I try unsuccessfully to latch on. After seeing my splits for the 3rd and 4th mile (both a few seconds slower than my half-marathon PR pace) I get more and more discouraged, then finally I just decided I would run the last half of the race as hard as I can without looking at my watch again. The downside to this strategy is that there are huge clocks at 8K and 10K marks and when I hit 10K I quickly realized if I don't close the last 2K of this thing somewhat fast I may end up running close to the women's course record and possibly get chicked if Molly Huddle breaks her own CR. Thankfully, with a mile to go one of my friends who live in the area cheer loudly for me and give me just the boost I need. I chase down one of the guys in the open race with half a mile to go and pretty much gun it as hard as I can the last 2 minutes of the race since I didn't want to get passed in the homestretch. Final result - 37:35 (5:02 pace) and 19th out of 20 in the championship race, I did get beat by 5 guys in the open race, then again 2 of the 5 have qualified for next spring's Olympic Marathon trials. I plugged the time into a calculator and it's basically my half-marathon PR pace. Obviously I wasn't super psyched about it, but considering it was at the end of a hard training cycle and I managed to not get chicked I'll take it. Rough splits - 4:54, 5:02, 5:05, 5:07, 5:04, 5:05, 4:58, 2:17/0.49 (4:41/mi) Part 6: The aftermath I went for a cooldown after the race and then had a delicious brunch at a nearby cafe with one of my friends from high school who came to watch the race. On my drive back to my sister's house as well as on my flight home I had a lot of time to reflect on the experience. It was definitely a nice unexpected experience to spend a few hours with an Olympian and get a glimpse of a true professional runner's life, and overall while I ran below expectations compared to what my recent training and races indicate I should be able to do, it's definitely a performance I wouldn't have been capable of even a year ago, and light years ahead of where I was 2-3 years ago. I guess sometimes you just have to take a step back to put things in perspective. It's time for a couple of weeks of downtime before I make one last push for my last two shots at a trials qualifier.
    11 points
  2. It's not my path. I'm turning 40, and I missed my chance. But I'm lucky to live in a country filled with dudes who are tougher than I am and who signed up to do specifically and precisely this, who are trained for it, and who and are just DYING for some combat action. Let those dudes loose on these animals. Yeah, like I was saying, Captain America types who want to send America's sons and daughters to their deaths are always the best. Sure there are plenty of guys just "DYING" to deploy again, 15 months on, 15 months off to places where it's 120 during the day in the summer, getting shot at and IED'd by a bunch of crazies. Their families are fine, they'll be back in one piece for sure. They'll miss their kids growing up, they'll get to see their buddies die, they'll probably get PTSD and they'll be stressed out the minute they get back thinking about the next time they have to go. They'll be hungry a lot, bitten by bugs more, shot at some, in danger most of the time, but they are just DYING to be out there. The 32k documented and 100k estimated wounded warriors form Afghanistan and Iraq need company, plenty of hospital beds available for fresh IED and suicide bomber shrapnel victims. It's all speedboats and super models from there, injured vets just walk into high paying jobs because the same Captain America guy who wanted them to go would love to put them right in there because they are aren't damaged or risky. Because Captain America knows exactly what the vets went through, he understands the skills of the veteran and the value they bring to an operation of any kind. We also wouldn't have to worry that vets are almost twice as likely to live in poverty than their non military counterparts, or that 50% of those homeless vets are disabled. They'll have good jobs when discharged, people lining up to serve those who served. We can spend $1.7 trillion on this new war, then dedicate a few billion paying for the disabilities and recovery of all our vets. We wouldn't do it because there is a clear goal, or because America's National Security was threatened, we'd do it because the guy who would never go to war and never would send his son or daughter thinks its best. We'll all make that sacrifice to send Jimmy and Sally to Syria to fight a ground war, what could go wrong? When Captain and Mrs America are angry their internet connection was lost for 12 minutes, so angry they make a call to the provider and threaten to discontinue, Jimmy and Sally are dodging mortars and bullets. Maybe they'll donate to veteran's organizations, or go to the airport to welcome the troops back home sometime. Or maybe they won't. It's good to be the Captain though, he knows what's best for America.
    9 points
  3. Lots of great motivation the last few pages of this thread. Great job guys! I used to be a very, very serious runner. One hour thirty few minute half, and a three thirty on the nose full PR. It's been about 5 or so years since I was in PR shape, and with a 4 month old at home it will be very difficult to get back to even half of what I was.....but this thread is helping. Maybe sign up for a half next year.
    7 points
  4. His dress rehearsal looked awesome. Can't wait to see what he does. The weather looks good except that it could be windy. I found out that Ned will be running with me the first half of the race, which is awesome and should be a huge help. The plan is to wear a 2:59:59 pace band, but I think I can do better than that. How much better is really the question. I am hoping that the HRM will be working properly and I will be able to pickup the pace based on HR. So the preliminary plan is to run the first few miles at 6:52 and then take a peak at the HR, if it is in the mid 150s like I am expecting I will pickup the pace so that the HR is 158-160 until the half. For my best paced marathon my avg HR was 163 so I am thinking if I do this it should set me up for a strong 2nd half. I never thought I'd be shooting for something faster than 2:59:59 this cycle, but my pace/HR numbers the past 1.5 months have me convinced that I am capable of more.
    7 points
  5. She should strap that pillow to her head for the rematch
    4 points
  6. This is my first contribution to this thread. I've been keeping up with it because the topic hits very close to home for me. So I thought I'd share my story with you guys. I know it's going to sound crazy, and that's one reason why I have resisted posting it. But it's all very true. My dad committed suicide when I was 15. Well actually, we are pretty sure it was suicide, but he also could have been killed. But all signs point to suicide. He was not a "normal" dad. He was Italian and took that very seriously. He had a "gang" (my cousin and a couple of my dad's friends) that would rob banks. According to my cousin, they robbed "so many banks he couldn't count them all." We moved from Detroit to Phoenix when I was 10, and he used to travel back to the Cleveland/Detroit area on the weekends and rob banks. I have all kinds of stories about growing up in that environment that I'm probably going to put in a book some day. Well one day in March of 1982, we get a knock on the door at 6 AM. The police are there and say my dad was found dead in a taxi cab in downtown Phoenix. I was a sophomore in high school. It was headlines in the newspapers for three days because a couple of his gang members were arrested a few days earlier. The cab driver was also killed, but there was one survivor - the other gang guy. He said my dad took out a gun, shot the cab driver, tried to shoot him, and then turned the gun on himself. The police report and the angle of the bullets all collaborate the story, but in the back of our minds we always felt like this other guy might have had something to do with it. However, I have recently reread all the police reports and I am pretty convinced that it was suicide. The weird thing is that he had just gotten back from Vegas and was found with several fake ID's on him. The other part of the story is that he had a real-estate business that was going under. He was probably very strapped for cash and had five kids. He was a very strict dad and really did love us a lot. He didn't show love in the form of hugs and saying he loved us, but he really did. He taught us about life in a way that I don't think any other dad could have. He was uneducated (never even attended high school), yet opened two businesses and was elected as the president of the Arizona Board of Realtors. I have tried to follow in his footsteps regarding business (except for the failing part...), and I really think it is because of him that I have had the success I have. When he died, it was very strange. We never got counseling as a family. And I never cried about his death. We weren't close in that way. And in a way, it was kind of a relief because he was into so much bad stuff that I knew he was going to bring me into it when I was older. So in one way it was a good thing he died when he did. But on the other hand, there is nothing I would like more than to have a dad in my life. I have always wanted to have an older guy who has been around the block in my life to have a drink with and talk about things. And I have always wanted my kids to have a grandpa, and they don't (my wife's dad died young). So I am a bit torn about his death. I am thankful it happened, but mad that he chose that lifestyle and eventually ended up dying because of it. I have missed out on a lot becasue of it, and I have promised myself that I am going to do everything I can do to make sure I am around for my kids as they age because it's someting I really missed out on. Well, that's the short version of my story. I'm not sure if it helps anyone, but it's actually the first time I've ever written anything about it. I'm going to go have a beer now.
    3 points
  7. My God. How awful of a locker room presence do you have to be when the team decides you're more of a distraction than Greg Hardy?
    3 points
  8. I must admit, while it sucks not running this week (I'll do a few miles tomorrow with the team), I have enjoyed hitting the pool each day. I don't think I'll stay with swimming everyday, but I have to start going more often.
    2 points
  9. Same exact course, start times, etc. It sets up perfectly for this. The half/full run the same exact 13mi loop at the start, then split off at 0.1mi from the finish. Marathoners go left for another fun filled 13.1mi while the half marathoners finish up to the right. http://philadelphiamarathon.com/sites/default/files/Full-Half_CourseSplit_2015.pdf So no I'm not sacrificing anything. Just figured I'd try to support him while I'm capable since I'd just be lolly-gagging around the course.
    2 points
  10. The solution: http://www.theonion.com/article/aging-peyton-manning-now-forced-take-field-assista-51858
    2 points
  11. His dress rehearsal looked awesome. Can't wait to see what he does. The weather looks good except that it could be windy. I found out that Ned will be running with me the first half of the race, which is awesome and should be a huge help. The plan is to wear a 2:59:59 pace band, but I think I can do better than that. How much better is really the question. I am hoping that the HRM will be working properly and I will be able to pickup the pace based on HR. So the preliminary plan is to run the first few miles at 6:52 and then take a peak at the HR, if it is in the mid 150s like I am expecting I will pickup the pace so that the HR is 158-160 until the half. For my best paced marathon my avg HR was 163 so I am thinking if I do this it should set me up for a strong 2nd half. I never thought I'd be shooting for something faster than 2:59:59 this cycle, but my pace/HR numbers the past 1.5 months have me convinced that I am capable of more. My running sucks right now, so I just hope I can support you for longer than 5mi before I start sucking wind! I was glad you said yes - otherwise I wasn't really too excited to run Philly. I've been a total slug since my marathon - so I feel like I'd just be going through the motions. Selfishly, running with you gives me a purpose! The wind looks to be W, so that should bode well once you get turned around at mile 19.5 in Manyunk. Its going to make the hills at 8-9 a little more challenging, but you'll still be fresh there. Looking forward to seeing you cross the line with a 2 still on the clock!
    2 points
  12. the amount of upgrades on this bozo by this site is embarrassing.
    2 points
  13. Sorry to single you out JNB because you are a solid poster but the only take home message from your post is that you know that the word "Tool" in the context you used it is name calling and you still chose to use it. My only point is that we can have discussions about being right/wrong about player X/Y without resorting to name calling, in the general or specific context. If people had simply ignored the fishermen/trolls and chose to be civil there would only be one Michael thread and it probably wouldn't have even reached 20 pages over three years.
    2 points
  14. So sorry to hear K4. Every time I hear of something like this, it reminds me of how much I take time for granted. It's the most precious resource we have and using it wisely is the most important thing we do.
    2 points
  15. Tough tough game. Denzel can plain take over a game. Liked what the freshman Deyonta and Matt did tonight, looked great. Bryn got hot at the right times with clutch 3-pointers And we made our ####### free throws...LOL. GO GREEN
    2 points
  16. Did you read that article? It's impossible.
    2 points
  17. My thoughts are with Bloom and Bazinga. Stay strong, fellas.
    2 points
  18. "Are you sure you want to delete this recording?" I've never been so sure of anything in my life.
    2 points
  19. Did the same. Matter of time before he is cut from Dallas. C.Mike owners are in the state of utter denial and delusion. It's hilarious. Also praying for a McFadden injury that may never come. Let's say Darren misses one game. They think CMike will then take the job and not look back. Right. An undrafted free agent and 34 year old RB pushed him out of Seattle. Utter bust in every way. Again over under on him being released sits at 3 weeks. Damn......although it did not take a genius to figure this call out. LOL.
    2 points
  20. Dallas is obviously playing for draft picks now - they had to get rid of CMike.
    2 points
  21. @VeteranScout: Some of the incompletions and one of 2 INTs Jameis threw on Sunday for some perspective. #Bucs https://t.co/8kXV1OjatD
    2 points
  22. Oh if you were up until 330am playing a video game, I can most assuredly say you were not ####ed, my friend.
    2 points
  23. Are you guys ready to kick some Trini buttocks?! We're going to crush them so mercilessly that Tobago is going to secede in embarrassment. Doubles and aloo pies for everyone! USA! USA! USA! USA!
    2 points
  24. Hillary is a phony, slimy, unethical shrew, but I believe she has no problem killing people, which is why I believe she CAN go toe-to-toe with ISIS much better than any candidate out there
    2 points
  25. Your va9ina? Yes, Tanner. My musical taste buds are satiated in my wagina when Wide Open Spaces comes on over the airwaves. Is that a Dixie Chicks song? No, it's my nickname for your mom.
    2 points
  26. Probably not. 20+ pages of everyone agreeing the show is very good is just not worth the risk. What if they are lying?
    2 points
  27. Nice report steve. Really cool.
    1 point
  28. Outside of an inside job it would be pretty tough, and our airport security isn't nearly as tough as in Germany or the UK.
    1 point
  29. Look, the GOP candidates are a bunch of clowns, but you know as well as I do that advocating "more of the same" won't win primaries. You also know that "Obama is doing a great job" won't win primaries. Do you honestly believe Rubio or Kasich, for example, are going to nuke Raqqa, or do anything substantially different than what Obama is doing now? I don't, just like I didn't believe Obama was going to do anything substantially different than Bush. You would do well to understand that what politicians say isn't usually what they actually believe or will do once in office. Not to mention, none of us actually know what will work. We know that what we're doing now isn't particularly working. We can be pretty certain that "boots on the ground" won't work, because the American public doesn't have the stomach for a 50 year occupation.
    1 point
  30. Great stuff here. As it looks right now, it's probable multiple cities get screwed which sucks beyond belief.
    1 point
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