The last week of my life has been quite busy, so for this blog post I’m going to start with a bad news/good news scenario, and then delve into some other things that have been going on.
THE BAD NEWS: long story short – I missed the sign up for club xc nationals which was held in San Francisco this past Saturday and couldn’t manage to get entered late. It was disappointing to miss this race, since I feel that I’m ready to run pretty fast right now and the field was essentially a who’s-who of distance running. Running in a race full of the people at the top of the game would have been a great experience, but there is no use in crying over spilled milk. I goofed up and have to live with the consequences of that mistake…which leads me to –
THE GOOD NEWS: I ran the Walnut Creek Half Marathon as a workout in place of club nationals, and ended up winning my first half marathon! Now, I know that most of the people who would have been serious competition for the race were running the club nationals race, but once I had learned there was no way I was getting entered into the race, my coach and I decided that it would be best to just do a hard workout rather than a full race effort. The low key race was perfect opportunity to do it!
QUICK RECAP: The race started, and I ran in 2nd place for the first 4 miles, averaging around 5:37 pace according to my GPS watch. I kept the same average until mile 6, but due to the monstrous hill that lasted from 4 to 6 miles, the effort increased dramatically and I found myself in the lead by a considerable amount. After taking the steep downhill in 4:45 to mile 7, I started my tempo run and averaged around 5:10 mile pace to finish up the race. Despite going the wrong way for about 20 seconds and having to turn around to get back on course, I ran 1:11:00 (my watch had around 69:56 for 13.1). Given the size of the hill, and how controlled and relaxed the effort was overall, I was very pleased with the day!
The good news doesn’t end with the half marathon however. As of very recently, I started working towards creating a company with a couple of (for the time being, anonymous) investors that share my interest in starting a company to help people return to – or start – living an active lifestyle after major surgery or medical hardships. There are an enormous amount of potential directions this could take me, and because of how uncertain everything is at this point.. thats all I can say about it for now!
Aside from it being an amazing opportunity for me to make a career out of my newly found passion for helping people get through life changing surgery, it also allows me to dedicate more time and energy into my other passion, running! Starting in January, I will no longer be training around a structured 35 hours a week of work, but instead will be devoting my time to building a company, and running as fast as possible – and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
As some of my more track-savy readers may have seen, the new (and slightly slower) Olympic standards for Rio 2016 were released last week. The one in particular that is of interest to me was, of course, the 3k steeplechase. The time to hit: 8:30. When I read that this new standard, I was immediately lost in a flurry of daydreams. While 8:30 is quite fast for a steeple and my best steeple time since returning after my surgery is a mere 9:04, the time feels like a time I am capable of running this year (given of course, I set my goals in the right way). Training to get to the Olympic Trials is still the primary goal, but the possibility of running fast enough to make it beyond that point is incredibly motivating.
The Olympic dream is a far-fetched one for anyone who sets their sights there, but three people in the steeplechase are going to realize that dream next year, so I say: why not me ? To my knowledge, there isn’t some omnipotent track lord who decides who those three will be; it’s decided by who is talented, lucky, and driven enough to make it happen.
Training is on an upswing, and indoor track season is around the corner. I’m in the midst of starting a company, and have enough funding to train (almost) entirely unencumbered of financial worries. It’s funny, but whether things are going terribly or things are going great, the good or the bad tend to come all at once; I’m either climbing or falling. In 2013 and 2014 I was falling, but 2015 so far has been great, and 2016 is gearing up to be absolutely incredible; and I can’t wait to see where I can climb.