Welcome to Indoor
This past week has been an experience for me. I am full swing into working my job at a tax support company on top of training. Working 40hrs a week and finding time to get workouts in and solid gym sessions have brought me back to college days and relearning time management all over again. It has been a tough adjustment, but with most changes you just have to accept them and work toward the goal.
As I was settling into my routine this week and really working towards building strength in my training to carry me through the spring and into the summer, I received a text from Matt Elliott asking me to race a 3000m with him at ETSU in Johnson City, TN. My first thought on the matter was that I was pretty tired from the mileage I had been running and I haven’t really focused on any speed outside of strides or a couple TAG 200s at the end of workouts. I told him I needed a moment to sit and digest the matter and see if this would fit into my schedule and be beneficial for me.
Good ole Matt knows how to motivate me though, reminding me that I ran well at the CRIT and that my first mile was pretty quick there. (Disclaimer: I did not wear a watch at the CRIT and had no clue I went out in 4:23 for the mile). Also I have not raced an indoor track meet, let alone anything under 5000m, in 3 years. It just became clear to me that I needed to do this. So when I got home after work that day, I sat down and entered the race.
I didn’t really change my Tuesday session at all. I had 400s on tap with very short rest at 10k effort. I tried to keep my volume high this week, but didn’t want to sacrifice running well so I didn’t do a long Thursday morning run. I treated Thursday just as a typical pre-race workout of some decreasing 300s, with Friday being an easy run with fast 150s to get the legs moving. I also needed to do something on Thursday to put my feet back in spikes so it wouldn’t be a shock to my system on Saturday afternoon.
Throughout the week, I experienced a mixture of excitement and nerves concerning the race. The 3000m, up until my last year of college, was a mystery to me as I struggled with the concept of how to properly race it. Do I run it like a 5000m and attack late or do I go out like a mile and let Jesus take the wheel for the last kilometer? I knew Matt wanted to run a fast and even race, and I was going to try my best to help him out. So I guess I reverted to the go out, and hold on tactic in my mind.
Saturday came and it was nice to sleep in. I got up and rolled out a bit. Made a huge bowl of oatmeal with flaxseed, cinnamon, craisins, and peanut butter with a big cup of coffee. As I packed my bag for the race, the nerves seemed to sink in more and more.
My dad offered to drive me up to Johnson City, and I really appreciated the company. Dad has always been a huge supporter of my running. He was always there to cheer for my when he could and we would share multiple pre-race meals together and talk about my training and goals for the next day. Over the years It was hard for us to keep our traditions with me going away to school and racing far outside the state. But him and mom would travel to as many races as they could and it meant more to me than I could ever express.
When we got to the Mini Dome at ETSU, after the 2.5hr car ride, dad and I picked up my packet and got our passes to get into the meet. I ran into an old teammate from Winthrop, Drew Harris, who is the distance coach at Wofford College and we caught up as I wait for Matt. Soon it was a reunion and we were having a good time waiting for the time to warm up. Matt went over the race strategy and I agreed to switching off laps for as long as I possibly could until he went for it.
I did my typical warmup and soon I was spiked up and doing strides and lining up to the start the race. Three years and it was second nature as the gun cracked and let us fly. I shot to the lead and carried Matt and myself through 400m, where he took over and we switched up until a mile. I tried to take over to get us to 2k, but I was redlining. Usually in this part of the race I would start going backwards. With how I have structured my training, I have focused on strength and holding form when fatigued. And that was exactly what I did. The last kilometer last for an eternity, but I held on and pumped to the finish. Each step of that last lap I was focusing on getting to the finish strong. As I crossed the line I tried to get a glimpse of the clock. I knew I ran close to my PR. But I didn’t know what.
I saw Matt on the ground resting after winning the race. I went up and we both agreed that was tough. I asked if he saw what I ran and he told me around 8:20….and so I waited as the times were listed on the clock board. There it was 8:19! I took this PR as a step in the right direction. Sure it was only 4sec, but I haven’t done any tuning speed workouts. Pure strength work and mileage. I got really hyped up and knew that this year is gonna be full of some big steps in the right direction.
I had the privilege of cooling down with a runner from Milligan College, Christian Brewer who ran the 3k and PRed. Really great guy with a great 2015 track season ahead of him.
I don’t know whats next on the radar, so back to working out hard and logging miles.
Remember to keep chasing your dreams and stay hyped!