RECAP: Army Ten Miler

Start Line ATM19

Getting to the start line is not easy

Recap: Army Ten Miler

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Washington, D.C.

Army Ten Miler 2019

40th Overall, 53:38

Splits:

Location Net Time Avg. Pace
2M 10:50 5:25
5K 16:48 5:24
4M 21:30 5:22
5M 26:52 5:22
10K 33:31 5:23
15K 50:01 5:22
Finish 53:38 5:22

Packing List for Army Ten Miler

Because a good race starts with a good plan.

DC-Packing-List

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Recap

As a runner, I’ve never felt more confused about our sport. Is it all about the shoes? Did Alberto really cheat? Are the world champions doping? I’ve had a hard time wrapping my head around some recent topics making headlines in running news that can degrade our discussions about performance and steal some of the joy that we have as athletes.

At the same time, I’ve never felt more encouraged. I’m learning about runners like Amanda Nurse, Ali Feller, Carly Gill, and many more. I’m being coached by Tom and learning every day how little I know about training and performance. I’m reading great books such as British Marathon Running Legends of the 1980s, Duel in the Sun, and My Marathon by Frank Shorter. I’m testing myself daily to find out the limits of my own training and performance. I’m getting together with friends weekly to share easy miles or to meet at zero-dark-thirty out there on the track.

I’ve found the best thing to do when faced with uncertainty is to try to present the facts. Opinions can be argued and debated but facts should be able to stand on their own. As I’m trying to make sense of the opinions and discussions surrounding the efforts we see to test the limits of human performance, I thought I would use this opportunity to lay out some of my recent thoughts and provide some facts underneath them. I’m not sure if it will help any but I figured I’d give it a shot.

My Recent Thoughts

  1. The Nike Vaporfly 4% is a comfortable racing shoe that has helped me run with confidence and avoid injury this season
  • This year, I’ve been working with my Physical Therapist on changing my running form to put less pressure on my achilles tendons
  • The design of the Vaporfly 4% gives me confidence in running with a mid-foot strike that is saving my calves and achilles a ton of pressure while racing
  • The shoe is lightweight, highly cushioned, and stable enough for road races ranging from the 5K to the Marathon
  • I am no longer hobbling around after races feeling injured or broken (at least not from the knee down – I have been struggling with my hamstring and IT band this season)
  1. Alberto Salazar was a highly successful athlete and ran one of the greatest road races in history (1982 Boston Marathon)
  • Read Duel in the Sun by John Brant to learn more about the lives of Alberto Salazar and Dick Beardsley, the athletes who finished 1st and 2nd in that race
  • After the race, Dick Beardsley became heavily addicted to painkillers and was eventually caught and convicted for obtaining a significant number of them illegally
  • After the race, Alberto Salazar suffered from lasting physical damage and pursued a wide range of treatments ranging from spiritual restoration to anti-depressant medication, which helped in part but never fully alleviated his conditions
  • Both athletes went on to learn from their mistakes and made efforts to help other athletes learn from their mistakes as well (i.e. speaking openly about their conditions, admitting to certain unbalances that made them susceptible to the extremes, talking about their family history and various factors in their lives that made them who they are today, etc.)
  1. The World Championships, Kipchoge’s Sub-2:00 Marathon, and the elite performances in Chicago were all inspirational, but I feel more inspired by what I see and encounter daily. Below are just a few of groups of athletes I feel especially motivated by:
  • The working elite athletes – see Roberta Groner, who finished 6th overall in the World Championship Marathon while working as a nurse and caring for her kids (as well as numerous other examples, many right here in our own communities)
  • The running ambassadors – the men and women who have a gift for running, organizing, sharing, and/or coaching who have decided that what they have to offer is valuable and important to share with others
  • The new or developing athletes – these are the runners who are celebrating breaking 1:35 or 3:15 for the first time that you’ll never hear about unless you get to know them and listen to their stories
  • The new parents – deep respect for those who are training and racing while also learning how to take care of a baby

Bottom Line:

  • There is a lot of good and a lot of bad out there in the running world. I don’t know what everyone’s story is, but one thing I’ve learned is that we are all very fragile. You can make or break someone’s day with a word or a comment, so be careful and choose wisely.
  • Let’s push each other to achieve our best while also understanding that we all need a little bit of grace and understanding as we learn and make mistakes. Let’s play by the rules but also understand that we are all different and we all see the world differently.
  • Let’s bring empathy and respect to our next race, workout, or group run. Most of all, let’s stop worrying about what everybody else is doing and challenge ourselves to be the best that we can be. There is no greater truth than what you can find out about yourself when running – especially when you are pushing yourself to your limits.
  • Finally, if you are someone who struggles with overdoing it or suffers from anxiety, reach out to a friend in the running community. Sometimes the best way to move forward is to take a step back and ask for help. None of us like to do it – that’s why we’re runners – but there are other people struggling with whatever you are facing.

To my friends running Columbus – go out there and CRUSH IT this weekend! You make me proud.

Goal Notecard from 2018

Goal Notecard 2018

Took me an extra year to get the time goal; maybe next year I’ll get the place.

Here’s to feeling good all the time!

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