Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Princeton Firecracker 5k!!!! NY--Loon Mountain and More!

TOday is the Princeton Firecracker 5k right here at Princeton, NJ. The race is held at 7:30pm which is nice and the weather seems like a perfect evening to run fast.  My training has been on fire as of late as I feel I have finally fully recovered from the OKC marathon and all the traveling we did after the race.  I hope to run a stellar time tonight and maybe something sub 15:30  hopefully a time in the 14:50 and under range.  The conditions will be great and it will be a great confidence booster to go out and run a really fast time going into Loon Mountain race.  I hope to come into Loon with a stone-face demeanor and to show all these North-east runners who I am and that I am here to compete with the best.  I see all these athletes getting great opportunities at running that I have longed dreamed of and I feel that at the prime age of 23-my time is now.  I have about 10-12 years on average of really top-tier national caliber running in me and I hope I can make my family, friends, and sponsors proud.  I have what seems like a lot of time still as 23 is young, but I know not to take anything for granted.

Cortland, New York is going to be the perfect place for myself, Ashlee, and Nicole.  Running-wise, Cortland is in a great location for mountain, trail, snowshoe, and road racing.  With its close proximity to Syracuse, I can run in competitive road races and marathons.  By also being fairly close to Buffalo and Rochester, NY, I can also run competitive road races.  Cortland is near the FInger Lakes region and has many great trails races right in the area.  I can snowshoe run in NY state as there is a NY grand prix of snowshoe running to crown a state champion as well as in New Hampshire and Vermont.  THere are great inclines and mountains that surround the town of Cortland which makes a great vertical challenge so that I can build upon my Oklahoma training base I gained from rolling hills.  THe weather is mountainous, with nice summers and cool falls and winters which will be great since the world is already warming up anyway.  The bugs are not too terrible, and wind is not a factor.  It will be exciting to experience the changes my running career will go through this fall and beyond and I have a great hunch that Cortland will be my home for a long time.  I like to live off of hunches and so far, they have led me to great things.  THe University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma in general, Ashlee, and now Cortland, NY in search of a graduate degree and sheer happiness.

Cortland, as wikipedia puts it "Known as the "Crown City" because of its location on a plain formed by the convergence of seven valleys, Cortland is situated about 1,130 feet (344 m) above sea level, making it the uppermost city to crown the state" (cortland wikipedia)  THe views at cortland are beautiful and this place will be HOME!

First run had me run straight up to the top.  1,130 ft to 2,113 ft with 28% incline!

Photos from http://www.google.com/imgres?q=cortland+ny&um=1&hl=en&client=safari&sa=N&rls=en&biw=1163&bih=1011&tbm=isch&tbnid=w1HfGGoRuOLPuM:&imgrefurl=http://www.merchantcircle.com/directory/NY-Cortland/cityphotos/5&docid=3va_cId-TOCrGM&imgurl=http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2521/4016152960_5d9b0e0523.jpg&w=500&h=307&ei=1hrqT6mVA8X40gG50LisAQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=701&vpy=434&dur=332&hovh=176&hovw=287&tx=164&ty=128&sig=102118330349820383109&page=1&tbnh=120&tbnw=195&start=0&ndsp=25&ved=1t:429,r:23,s:0,i:174

Princeton Firecracker 5k results:::

I ran a strong pace from the gun hitting the first mile in 4:50.  The course was a tough course with 3 solid climbs in just one mile.  The humidity hurt my chest as my lungs felt like they were breathing in outer space.  As I was on my own, with 600 participants in the race, I mentally told myself to push and be strong even though I did not feel so hot.  I slowed my second mile splitting a 5:10 mile as I hit 2 miles in 10 mins exactly. I then surged all my strength as the flat second mile soon looped into the uphill last mile like the first one.  I pushed and crossed the line in 15:35-15:40.  It was a great time on a tough day.  It was a great confidence booster as sub 16 minutes was my goal and I feel great to know that I can come back and split 5:02 for a last mile and finish strong! 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Western States 100 Miler



This man can run and I am a huge fan and really look up to this guy. I hope to shadow his great 4 Deserts race challenge where you run the 4 harshest deserts in the world in a brutal 250k say 155 mile 6-7 day stage race.  I wish him the best at the Western States 100 mile race and all the other competitors.

Today I ran with my father to Bunker Hill Natural Recreation Area.  The trail is immaculate though it could be cut a little better.  The trail borders the golf course I work at and is nestled on top of one of the high hills in the area.  The trails were a little high in places but the section we took through the tree canopy and into a massive gorge-like section with high rocks and a nice creek was amazing.  It was a great run as we finished on the golf course and then I simply ran back home the 4.5 extra miles.  It was a great time and the cool shade really helped to cut into the mid-day heat.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Life As We Know It

Things have finally settled down for Ashlee and myself as we are both working and just getting ready for the next chapter in our busy lives.  Let me tell you that moving half-way across the country is not a walk in the park. It takes a lot of planning, money, and teamwork in order for it to happen.  I thank everyone that has made this transition a lot easier for us.  I have had the chance to run some great races since OKC and many more I hope as I begin to regain my strong training base I feel like I have lost since the big move.  I just hope that I can prove to everyone that all my hard work will pay off and that my goals are not lavish but rather reasonable.  I hope that through my running, I can express my gratitude for those that have supported me through all the ups and downs and to inspire and maybe make the world a better and healthier place.

I ran to Plainsboro today and was able to log 90 minutes. THis has been my longest run in a couple of weeks and I feel great about the endeavor.  I have been running with my dad and Ashlee for portions of my weekly runs and it has been a blast.  WHen you are out training at a high level, it is always a challenge to find someone to help push you and to be out there with you.  A two-day summer heat wave is about to hit the east coast and that means Oklahoma-like temperatures.

The heat is here!!!! I never thought I would see 100 degrees again but I was wrong.  I ran last night to the Stonebridge trails in Montgomery and let me tell you they are AWESOME.  A little overgrown in some sections, but the trail conditions were nice and the fact that they border a large creek and is mostly in the shade makes for a much-needed run in hostile conditions.

Today is also going to be an adventure as 96 degrees right now at 2 pm seems horrific and not enjoyable.  It takes a lot of careful preparation to be able to run in these kinds of conditions and I feel that Oklahoma has prepared me for such.

It is amazing to me how many trail systems are in New Jersey let alone in the Princeton/Montgomery/Hillsborough area.  There is a trail behind every shopping center and contained deep within any wooded section, you can find a nice shaded marked trail!

Here is a great photo from http://www.asergeev.com/pictures/archives/compress/2007/581/21s.htm

Of the Six Mile RUn trail right in Franklin, NJ

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More New Sponsors!!!!

I have just been informed that I have received a pro deal with Kelty and Sierra Designs. Both are outdoor companies geared towards camping and hiking/trekking. I am very excited to be apart of this group and to test out their new products this summer.

These companies will work with my trail running and fast-packing pursuits out in Cortland, NY

Thank you again and I hope I can help forward the brands!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Running The Time Away

After the College Avenue Mile, I have been able to string together some really nice runs. I have been logging fast strong runs consisting of hills, flats, gravel road you name it.  Every run so far this week has been 60-110 minutes long.  I have been feeling like my old self again in terms of strength, recovery and the whole grind of high mileage training.  After OKC, I took a slight training rest from my 80+ mile weeks to something of say maybe 60-75.  My I have run races as of later but they have been for more fun and a nice experience rather than a break-through race performance.  I am still acclimatizing to New Jersey weather from Oklahoma as I end a run with more sweat on my body because of the humidity though nothing compares to a Hot Oklahoma summer.  So, training is feeling great.  I can run in the middle of the day and feel just fine which is something an real crazy person might attempt in Oklahoma.  Having no significant wind is nice too though the wind always acting as an interesting training stimulus.  I look forward to running this summer and beyond!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

College Avenue Mile

Today is the College Avenue Mile right here in New Brunswick, NJ.  New Brunswick is the home of Rutgers University and the race is going to have a stacked field. I am very lucky to be apart of the elite mile and maybe I  can rise to the occasion and run under 4:16.  You never know on the day.  My training has been a nice blend of fun runs with Ashlee and my father coupled with strong nice tempos and hard hill efforts and a small dose of speed work.  Running around my home stomping grounds has been fun as I have hit the trails all around the area and have my legs ready to push hard.

Wish me luck as I brave the mile, a distance I have not run since my freshman year at the University of Oklahoma.  I hope today brings great performances for us all!  I would like to thank my sponsors Patagonia, Karhu/Craft, Ok Runner and Acidotic Racing for giving me the tools for being successful in all of my running endeavors.

The race went really well. I am a little shabby on mile racing but the race went out really hard. I immersed myself with the lead pack of 5 runners and went through the quarter in 60 seconds. That was a little too fast for me. I began to drop back to recover a bit as we hit half-way in 2:12.  I felt great at this point as I made a move on the back-side of the road course.  The challenge with every road course that we must consider is that the turns are what can take a lot out of you. Physically, I felt strong but the already hot and humid day at 11 am was making my breathing a little heavy.  We cleared the 1200m point in 3:18. I just followed the pack and felt pretty good but as we cleared the 1200 meter point, the lead guys shot out like a cannon as I  turned my head to wipe sweat off of my brow and then they were already 10 paces ahead of me. I turned on the jets but after the home turn, I could not catch the lead guys. I finished 5th place out of 12 and split a 4:28-4:30 time.  I ran in control the whole way but was not used to the tactics of the mile.  It was a great time and I had fun running against NJ's best.  Thank you NJ Track Club for the event and thank you OK runner for making all the heads turn at our sweet red OK runner jerseys made by Nike!!!

Here are some great videos and photos taken from the GSTC website blog!



Monday, June 4, 2012

RUn in the Rain and the Towpath Tempo in The MUD!

I have my sights sets for the College Avenue Mile this weekend at Rutgers University this Sunday, June 10th.  I hope to run a great time and I have out in more quality speed then normal.  The other day, I had a fun-filled run out along the Cook Preserve with Ashlee in the soaking rain. The run was so special as the green lush trees encapsulated us along this small picturesque trail.

The next day, I hit the towpath and surged a great 5k of 16:45 on the wet and soggy dirt road after already running 8 strong miles at 6-6:15 pace or so. I tracked off the towpath and ran through Griggstown which is a nice little place and the woods provided great shelter and shade as I made my way back home.  With my new Karhu Stable 2 shoes, I feel that I am ready to fly like the wind and my strength is beginning to come back to me. As I continue to increase my volume back to 80-90 miles a week, I look to feel that strength come back to me again that I feel like I have missed since the OKC marathon.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Princeton Reunion 5k

Yesterday, Ashlee and myself woke up for my little 5k set at the Princeton University West Windsor Fields. I have come to know that course well as well as all the time spent painting lines for the Princeton Sports Camps.  It was a nice morning for running.  I laced on those La Sportiva Vertical K shoes for my first outing in them.  The 5k was more or less like a local cross country race as the grass was a little high for a rugged trail shoe.  As I started the race my 5:05 opening mile tired my legs as the deep grass really posed a challenge.  I went through 2 miles in 10:16 and then slowed dramatically up the last slight incline to the finish. I ran 16:31 for the race as it turned out to be more of a workout than a tough race but still was a ton of fun.  Ashlee cheered me to victory as the Princeton Tiger Mascot gave me many high fives at the finish.