RECAP: Best of 2019

RECAP: Best of 2019


Stacey helped me learn to run with proper form

In January I started weekly physical therapy at Mobility Fit. Stacey helped me overcome Achilles tendinitis and improved my running form. She coaches track at Valley View High School and I told her at the start of my treatment that I didn’t think I would ever race a half marathon again.


Frostbite 5M Cropped
Racing my way back in shape

In February I ran the Frostbite 5-Miler in 28:25 (5:41/M) and finished 10th overall. I was running every other day which gave my Achilles tendons a chance to heal. I averaged 22 miles/week from January through March and I was beginning to run pain free.


St Patrick 5K 2019
Racing with Kyle on a cold, windy morning

In March I ran the St. Patrick’s 5K in 17:14 (5:34/M) and I finished behind Kyle Lach for the second race in a row. Kyle ran for the University of Dayton and I took the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach and recruited Kyle to become one of my training partners.


Xenia Half 2019
Running the ORRRC Half in Xenia

In April I ran a low-key half marathon as a long run. I started out conservatively and finished in 1:21:35 (6:13/M). I was running 35 miles/week along with weekly physical therapy. I ended April with a 58:07 (5:49/M) 4th-place finish at the Cleveland Ten-Miler.


Lou Cox 5K 2019
15:25 for 3-miles (5:08/M) finishing 9th Overall

In May I raced the Lou Cox Memorial 5K 3M. This was my first race in the Vaporfly 4%. There is no doubt this shoe has helped my performance. The shoe is lightweight, comfortable, and highly cushioned. My days of racing in paper-thin flats are over.


Crossroads 5K
Ran 15:48 for 5K in June

In June I ran the Crossroads 5K and validated my increasing fitness. The following week I injured my right foot and couldn’t run for three weeks. I rode the stationary bike every morning hard for 60 minutes and most evenings I aqua jogged for 60-90 minutes at the YMCA or at my in-law’s pool. I was very disciplined with my cross-training and this helped me stay focused on my goals.


Hurlburt Field
Working out on a trip to Hurlburt Field, FL

I resumed running on July 4th and later resumed bi-weekly physical therapy with Stacey as well. These sessions provided structure to my schedule and forced me to continue addressing my weaknesses. At the end of July I took a leap of faith and asked Tom Schwartz to coach me. Tom’s immediate and positive response is something I’ll never forget. Thanks Coach!


Running laps on the half-mile track

In August I began my first full month of Tom’s training. This required me to change a lot of things. My mileage increased and I was running every day. I lost weight, although not intentionally. My body slowly adapted to the training and I worked hard to reduce my likelihood of injury by running on soft, natural surfaces whenever possible.


Wondering if September would ever end

In September I ran the River Run Half and the Air Force 10K. You can read about them here and here. I tried to do too much at the River Run Half and ended up straining my left hamstring badly. It was definitely a low point but fortunately I was able to work through it and continued to run, although my pace was much slower and I had to constantly manage the injury to make sure it wasn’t getting any worse.


Army Ten Miler 2019 - 2nd Photo
53:38 for 40th place at the Army Ten Miler

In October I raced the Army Ten Miler. I had experience with the race and now had the fitness as well. I had a solid run and remained focused on my goal at Indy. I felt excited that I finished the race with no injuries and I knew I had a bigger performance in me.

Army Ten Miler 2019
Eyes focused on the road ahead


Indy Monumental Half 2019 - Finish
1:09:20 for 44th place at the Indianapolis Monumental Half

In November I achieved my goal of breaking 70 minutes in the half. I was prepared to run in the cold and wind. I quickly found the 2:18:59 marathon pace group and enjoyed running with them for the first seven miles. I went through 10K in 32:56 and I thought I could break 69 minutes but the headwind on the way back eventually wore me down.

Indy Monumental Half 2019 - Cropped
It was a good day in Indy – thankful for all the help and encouragement I received


In December I resumed training with my focus turned to the spring racing season. Tom gave me my schedule for the winter and I am committed to following it with the same focus and determination as I showed this fall. My goal is to smash my ten-mile PR at the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler in April. I want to compete at a high level and run in races that will challenge me as well as excite me.

Thank you for following me along this journey. Feel free to email any thoughts or questions to me at Here’s to running fast in 2020 together!

Attending a wedding on the beach in Florida

RECAP: ORRRC Turkey Trot

RECAP: Ohio River Road Runner’s Club Turkey Trot

Riverfront Park, Miamisburg, Ohio

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving is a great day for racing. Photo by Event Photos By Tracy.
Results Capture
26:03 for 5-Miles, 10th Overall


Not much to say about this year’s Turkey Trot other than to thank the Ohio River Road Runner’s Club for organizing another great event. Dayton has a deep pool of competitive runners and it was good to see many of them come out to compete in Miamisburg. I appreciated seeing the crew from down South, Cincinnatus Elite, taking part in the race. It’s always good to connect faces with names and they are building what appears to be a tight-knit club with some serious contenders. Shout out to Kyle Klingler (@klingsisland) who gave me some kind words of encouragement as we crested the one major hill in the race. Solid finish Kyle, I enjoyed racing with you!

Looking Ahead – U.S. Olympic Team Trials

There are 12 weeks and 5 days until the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials take place in Atlanta to select our Marathon competitors. You can learn about some of the athletes competing here:

In order to compete for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team (3 men and 3 women) you must first qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Runners must run the U.S.A. Track & Field “B” standard (the exact time or under) by January 19, 2020 in order to qualify.

Olympic Trials 2020 Standards
Qualifying Window
Marathon: September 1, 2017 to January 19, 2020
Half Marathon: September 1, 2018 to January 19, 2020

The Trials will be held in Atlanta on Saturday, February 29, 2020, a little over 5 months before the Olympic Games to give selected athletes time to recover from the Trials race and train for the Olympic Marathon races in August 2020.

It has not been an easy road for the Olympic Trials qualifiers. In addition to achieving the USATF time standard, there was confusion at the beginning of the year regarding whether U.S. athletes had to achieve the World Athletics’ (IAAF) time standard (2:11:30 for men, 2:29:30 for women) in order to be competitive for selection to the U.S. Olympic Team. Fortunately, this is not the case and the top 3 male and female athletes in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials race will have the opportunity to compete in the Olympic Marathon.

According to, there are 26 runners from Ohio who have qualified for the Trials (Note: I have not scrubbed this list for accuracy, but it appears to be fairly accurate). This is a significant accomplishment and milestone achievement, especially considering that most, if not all, Ohio runners support themselves (i.e. do not have a professional contract).

Runners from Ohio (or with an Ohio background) who have qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the Marathon (According to

Male (8) Female (18)
Eric Finan Ann Alyanak
Evan Gaynor Sarah Biehl
Luke Hickman Molly Bookmyer
Enoch Nadler Kameron Burmeister
Nathaniel Orndorf Nicole Camp
Justin Taylor Mackenzie Chojnacky
Jason Witt Elizabeth Gleason
Sarah Horbol
Laura Kaulen
Maura Lemon
Emma McCarron
Sakiko Minagawa
Christina Murphy
Samantha Palmer
Amy Robillard
Maria Scavuzzo
Becki Spellman

This is a very exciting time to be a runner, whether you are competing in the Trials or not. The runners listed above will be focused and training hard this winter and I think we can all join them in focusing and preparing for our next big race. Ohio runners are tough and experienced at racing in all conditions and I will not be surprised to see representatives from our crews and our neighborhoods mixing it up with the best U.S. athletes in Atlanta.

US Olympic Team Logo


“In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.” – LeBron James

Running is an awesome sport and we have the opportunity each day to contribute to what makes our community special. If you see an Olympic Trials Qualifier out there running in your neighborhood this winter, be sure to congratulate them on their achievement and commit yourself to training with the same focus and intensity as they are putting into their Trials buildup. I can’t wait to take this winter head-on and see what results I can accomplish this upcoming Spring. Stay tuned and let me know how I can support you this winter – I’ll be doing my best to share my runs/workouts to let you know you’re not alone when training hard with big goals and dreams in mind.

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2019 ORRRC Turkey Trot. Photo by Event Photos By Tracy.

Training Calendar

Download our Free Calendar Template (Dec 19 – Apr 20)

Tracking your running is the #1 way to improve your performance. Being able to look back on your training will allow you to identify areas for improvement. While you shouldn’t be a slave to your schedule, maintaining run notes (mileage, workouts, etc.) in a calendar format allows you to see holes in your schedule or to see when it’s time to take a break.

Use our Training Calendar Template to track and review your runs this winter (Dec 19 – Apr 20). Right click the link to download a Word document and edit it to meet your needs. Also, let us know how it’s going! Tag, comment, or message me directly @ohloru.

Download Training Calendar Template

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