Still here. Breathing, watching my daughter grow, moving on with my career, planning for our future, supporting the athletes I coach, and yeah once in a while I get to compete to. 2014 from January to current has been nothing short of epic, but wouldn't come without some obstacles and hard decisions.
USATF Indoor Midwest Regional
Started off with a USATF Indoor Regional event down at Carthage and I made a hard choice to go down there with the hopes of tougher competition and wasn't pushed at all taking both the 800m and 3000m titles at times I would rather not post. I may have the medals to say I am the Midwest Regional champ, but would get smoked had there been runners there fitting of that kind of race....bummer, lesson learned.
April Fools Run
I would then get into my first title defense at the April Fools Run in Minocqua and successfully won the 10k overall for the 2nd straight year. The course was seriously icy and I did in fact see an ambulance tending to a runner on the course that may have hit the deck hard enough to do some damage. This would be the first of many events I would run with Chad and Dustin who are both improving at great rates and love their passion for racing. Results GPS 10K: 36:44 2013: 38:48
WORS - Crystal Lake Classic
I wouldn't race again on foot till the Rockin' Tomahawk Half Marathon, but would sneak in a mountain bike race in Rhinelander. The WORS Series makes its annual trip to the Northwoods and the Camp Tesomas Scout Camp. I took the Vassago Jabberwocky Singlespeed for a long overdue trip through the tight ribbon of singletrack for the first ride of the year and I managed to survive. Entered the sport 30-34 class and thought I would get own by all these geared bikes, but had fun, jumped on the 2nd box of the age group podium with an overall finish of 3rd overall after an hour of racing. Would this be my calling back to the sport? No, I am having way too much fun running fast. Results
Rockin' Tomahawk Half Marathon
Last year I tried out running a half marathon for the first time and got a little hooked. I would push the limits only weeks after contracting pneumonia. I finished 4th overall last year and first in my age group a year ago and would be another battle with area favorite Matt Radtke. I would push through the first 1200m and put some distance between Radtke and myself but UW-LaCrosse's Matt Eidenshink would push the pace well above my redline early and I would never make the view of him appear any larger for the duration of the race until I crossed the finish line 2nd place behind him. I had a PR of 1:18:54 according to my watch and would be the last half marathon of the year due to some hard choices I had to make. Results: 2013: 1:24:30
Pow-Wow Days 5K
Each year I gear up for the hometown 4th of July pow wow days 10k. Each year I would put this on my calendar as an "A" race and this year I was experimenting with trying to hold onto a 4 week peak and it wouldn't work as I felt almost out of shape coming to the line, but still PR'd in that distance averaging less that 5:50 per mile. I would have the best competition of the year at this race and I would eventually lose my first age group of the year, but posted a time I would be happy with a 35:43 and 5th overall Results: 2013: 36:59 4th overall.
Bear Cupboard 5K
I would then get into a 3 races in 3 weekends situation having to do them all since they were all close to home with good competition. First up was another race that I did the year before and had a good time with it despite a high mileage week coming into it. This year I took some rest prior and it would produce a new 5K PR and milestone for me. Once again Dustin, Tyler, Chad and I would line up and let it rip. Perrin Hagge would rip a 16:10 I would come through in 2nd at 16:58 with Dustin, Tyler, and Chad all coming home with personal bests and hardware for their efforts. Results: 2013: 17:30 4th overall.
Mike Ross Memorial 5KThe Mike Ross Memorial Run was also in Minocqua but different course. It follows the same basic course as the April Fools run when the conditions are good enough to run the Bearskin, but as I would soon find out, there would be no improvement from the weekend prior. I was gassed early on but still managed to hold on to 3rd overall at 17:35. Once again our group would do well and come home with hardware and even some raffle prizes...I was already looking forward to next weekend at home to defend my 10k title at the Don Lintereur Memorial.
Don Lintereur Memorial 10KThis would turn out to be a hot and humid race. So much to the point where I handed off my sunglasses in which I could not see from the humid conditions. The hills on the revamped course would also test my limits after racing hard the past three weeks. It became a test of who was coming with me for the first mile in which no one would volunteer to push the pace as if they knew the heat that was awaiting us almost two miles in. I managed to keep the pace under 6min/mi for the first half, but would struggle in the end. I did split a 17:42 in it was a 5:22 mile to start with and a decent 36:47 and repeat champion. Results: 2013: 36:23 1st overall
Each year after the Tomahawk Cross Country Teams annual trip up to Bond Falls for CC Camp we come back and host our alumni race. In the last couple of years we've been fortnuate enough to have a great deal of competition to push the times down and this would be my last effort till mid September, but I didn't know what was coming. Bryan and I took off at a moderate pace no faster than 5:30 at the mile and really pushed going down the hogsback to never see him again. He would finish first and I would come in a solid 2nd with a personal best of 17:46 on this course a year ago. This year it was just me out there and while I did make a workout out of it, it wasn't enough to bring down my time and only managed a 17:56. On the bright side no pneumonia this year...more on that one later.
I wouldn't race again till the first weekend in October and boy did I pick a good one. I raced in the first annual nutty trail run and the name does no justice to the type of person who would enjoy the elevation on this course. I personally loved it and made sure to check on the availability to train on this course in the future. I mainly challenged myself in the snow and cold and relentless hills and and and wow! Time wasn't good, wasn't expecting it to be, but it was just what I needed. Results: 19:48 GPS 5K 1st overall.
I am not planning much on the horizon but with the over 1500 miles i've logged, I can pull the trigger on a race taper pretty quick and finish the season on the highest of highs. Some races I've got circled are the Eastbay Turkey Trot as defending champ, Footlocker Midwest Regional Championships, WI-IL Border Battle, USATF Wisconsin State Championships, Frostbite 5mi. I have so many listed due in part of my work schedule I will only be able to do one or two of these so stay tuned as I reach for some sub 16:30 5K, 4:45 mile, and one or two more championships along with 1800 miles.
Thanks go to Saucony, Infinit Nutrition, and support from my family, friends, competitors, and THS Cross Country and fellow coaching staff members from that team.