Back to the Grind

It’s been too long since I have posted, and I have a lot to catch you guys up on. First and foremost, I am back into full training. Since starting to run on the first of year to now, I have raced 4 times and now am starting my build up to the fall after a couple easy weeks. This fall is filled with some of the usual races I would do, and a couple new ones that I am building excitement and anticipation for, as they will provide a new challenge for me and gear me up for a successful spring campaign.

It has been a steady climb back to fitness. I don’t think I am where I was in the Fall of 2014 where I had a lot of breakthroughs, but well on my way to finding and perfecting my running everyday. A lot of credit goes to the people who have had faith in me through a lot of trials. I would really like to thank Carson for keeping me on the right track and working with me to create a great training plan and focus toward my upcoming races. Brad McKay and Tiffany Schride at Performance Therapy in Greenville, who has worked on my diligently for a number of years and really kept me moving forward as I continue to regain my fitness. Also most importantly, my family and friends. I know at times I was a pain in the butt to be around with the illness and injuries and the doubts of returning to this journey. Thank you for your prayers, encouraging words, and patience through it all.

I made my return to competition in March at UNCC’s 49er Classic. The main goal of going up there was rabbiting the first heat to a mid-14min 5k. Carson and I talked right before the start and he told me to worry about getting to the two mile mark, then make a conscious decision whether to race it or step off and get ready for the next section to pace. The gun cracked and it took me a solid 350m to assume the position of the domestique and start clipping 69-70sec laps. Right around the 3k mark I started to feel that race fatigue I had missed. It was great to feel this comfortable at this pace, especially leading. It felt like a tempo and I really wanted to see what I could do over the last kilometer if I tucked in. So I swung wide on the straight away on the backstretch and let the college guys surge by me. I unclipped my watch from my wrist, tossed it at my coach and said “Let’s race baby!” The pace slowed to 72-73s and thought of a time went out the window. With 400m to go I moved around the competition on the turn and with 300m to go I laid it down and broke away. Ended up finishing in 14:34 (62sec last quarter).

It felt amazing.The burning of the legs and lungs…..and the blisters. Soon I started jogging my warmdown/up for the next section. I hurried back and the 30min break in between passed to quickly. I slipped on my flats and did a couple turnover strides and jumped on the far end of the waterfall line. The officials asked what I was doing, and I politely said “I am going to rabbit some guys to some PRs!” They released us again and gosh was it harder to get to the lead this time. I don’t know if it was the race before, my lack of speed at the time, or my age but these college kids were flying. I made my way to the lead and started cruising 72-73sec a lap and making sure the pack stayed with it. I would turn and yell at the USC Upstate guys to latch on (in section one, Theo had a huge PR running sub15 for the first time) and they responded. I had instructions to step off at 2k, but my legs felt good and Newport 10k looms on the horizon so I thought I better make tonight count and get volume in. So I continued to 3k and as I was striding down the home stretch to step off, I starting surging beside the pack and told them to “GET AFTER IT!” It was awesome to see a lot of the guys run PRs. Definitely reenergized me to fall back in love with the sport.

I ran a 5k in Ohio the week before my sister’s wedding and it wasn’t pretty to say the least. Not that I wasn’t prepared, but 25mph winds with 40mph gusts, rain, and 30 degree temps don’t add up to anybody running fast. So I ended up doing a fartlek immediately after the race on the college’s indoor track.

Next up was Newport. My first longer race in a year. I was feeling confident, but nervous as hell! I know workouts had been going well, but it was a 10k with a stellar field and some of these guys were coming off the marathon trials or just qualified for the trails in July. So I felt like a fish out of water coming off 20 weeks of healthy running. But Carson’s training had me feeling confident. The day before the race was cool and rainy. Running around Newport with Mark and Dylan of GTC-Elite was fun to have some company on the pre-race routine, especially after a long day of travel nightmares the day before which had me missing connections, missing a train into the city, and not getting to the hotel until well after 10PM (was suppose to be in New Jersey at 6PM). But I have learned: you control what you can control. Luckily I wasn’t the only person to get in late and had a late dinner across the road with a couple NAZ-Elite runners and the director Will Fodor. The morning of the race was suppose to be cool and breezy……it was quite the opposite. As I walked outside in my full warmups, I quickly realized I made a wardrobe mistake. The temp was rising and rising quick. I started stripping on the warm-up and trying to keep my body temp down before the start of the race. Soon we were all on the starting line and it was a matter of moments before we would sent on your 6mi journey through the streets of Jersey City.

And just like that we shot out. I latched onto the field and soon made the conscious decision that if I am going to die, I might as well last with the leaders as long as I could to get as far ahead from the other runners in the pack. I was happy with my 5th place finish that day. But I know I am capable of faster. It was a good reminder how brutal a 10k is, but makes me anxious to get ready for Cow Harbor this fall.
My last race was a few weeks ago in Lexington, SC. The Jailbreak 5k was a major disappoint for me last year. Going out stupid fast with the Kenyans and barely hanging on for a sub15. This year I was fortunate enough to have Carson there and a few guys I could gage off when the Kenyans decided to lay it down the first mile. So off we went. I thought I was being controlled and  running the first mile comfortable…..WRONG! 4:28?! Adam what the hell are you doing!!!??? You idiot, didn’t you learn from last year??? Yep that is exactly my thought process, but I was invested and there were a couple gus around me and I said alright let’s work with them and try to stay in the money. When we got to the halfway point, I looked up and saw one of the Kenyans look like he hit a wall.

That’s $300 bucks right there! You can get him. Suck it up and go! I threw in a surge and started to work on the gap that lay ahead of me. Ricky Flynn (old teammate and friend) responded and came with me. I know Ricky is strong as an ox and can just crush a pace, so I had to be ready to throw down a last minute surge at the end. Slowly we were closing on this guy. I was trying to calculate when I should lay it down to catch him. Didn’t was to go to early and crash and burn, but not too late and lose real estate to catch him. Carson had mentioned something on the warm-up, “Start kicking at the dead possum.” I had no idea what he was referring to, until I smelt it. Then like second nature I started kicking. I rounded the final turn. My feet were turning over and I was nipping away at the Kenyan’s lead on me. He crossed the line a second ahead of me (he had at least 15sec on me at 2mi), and I was disappointed at the moment. Wasn’t until I looked at my watch and saw 14:35….

Well can’t be upset over a road PR! It was a great way to end a solid return to running. Now I am coming off a couple rest weeks and building mileage and strength to crush it this fall.

I am excited for the future of my running, and I haven’t felt this happy and motivated with it in some time. Here is to a healthy and strong summer!


Posted on March 9, 2016, in Update and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Back to the Grind.

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