Thursday, September 29, 2011

One or Both

With two very big half marathons approaching, I am debating which one to race. While they both offer prize money, they also both have pros and cons. The Prairie Fire Half is a relatively fast course but is the day after traveling to Hays to coach, and my legs will not be as rested as I would like. The Kansas City Half would allow for rested legs, but unfortunately falls on a hilly course. To help me decide, I hopped in an 8K in Baldwin City last week the day after running 13 miles and felt relatively strong. I finished the hilly course in 27:04 but paid for the 5-flat first mile in mile 5. Last week's 8K also gave me a second race without swimming or cycling first which I hope will remind my legs of what it's like to race without the other two disciplines. I hope to decide by Tuesday! Both races have offered me free entry fees, so there is a chance I might just run them both and see what happens. Either way I am racing to glorify God while having some fun. Training is going well for my 2012 triathlon season. I am spending plenty of time at the pool and fighting to still put in the miles on the bike. Thanks for the support and kind words. The good luck texts and congratulatory emails really help me push through workouts while training by myself.

On a side note, I am very excited to receive my Pure Project Cadence before their official release on Saturday. The Brooks representative will be at Salina Running Company for their release Saturday afternoon; so, I hope to see a big turn out!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Settling into Salina

Just short of 1 month in Salina, and I am feeling at home. For those of you who don’t know, I inherited a program with very few runners, and by very few I mean 3. Those three runners, I had to negotiate and recruit in the first few days of being hired just to come run for me. The previous coach knew he was leaving and did not recruit. He also told his runners he was leaving back in May while not telling the university till July. The few returners decided to transfer or give up running. While the 3 that I have are fantastic kids, I am working very hard on the recruiting trail, hitting up meets and spending 10-14 hour days in the office. This is a challenge that most would not enjoy, but I am looking forward to building a program with my principles and goals at the core. I have now found some great friends here in town to hang out with, and after a few tries I have found a church that feels like home. At Kansas Wesleyan I feel that I have found a school that supports me. The head soccer coach has even agreed to work with me by giving me his top runners to make sure I have a full team at conference. This may seem like no big deal, but these are 8 starters who are willing to run for me while still doing soccer. I must say I am excited and ecstatic for next year when I can bring in my own recruits.
Today marked the start of my fall road racing season. I had first heard about this race a little over a week ago at my first trip to First Covenant Church, then after working a few days this week at Salina Running Company, I decided it would be a good workout and test.
While warming up, I noticed Daniel, a fellow runner, who had beaten me in Wichita two years ago. With him there, I knew the pace would be honest and with a very hilly course around Indian Rock, I also knew that it was a race that I had to go out under control while staying close to Daniel. He and I ran side by side for just short of 3 miles. Luckily when we cleared the last hill, I could see the finish and was able to shift gears and put a small gap between us. Two of my athletes got up early to come cheer me on, so as I finished I couldn’t help but think of what I say to them and focused on good form finishing the 5K in 16:19 winning by 2 seconds. While 16:19 is far from an impressive time, I am very pleased. Training long slow runs, long slow bike rides, and easy form drills in the pool, I am far from being my quickest. However, with more runners on a flat course I am easily under 15:30 shape which is exciting for me. Another month of training throwing in a few quicker workouts, and I should be ready to run 2 or 3 quick half marathons this fall.
A great city, fun friends, an environment for success, and my training is going great. I truly am blessed to have such supportive friends and family and a God who has not given up on me and is doing great things in my life!
Best of luck to all of you this fall!