Irish Jig 5K

O what a fun weekend we had. Corey and myself headed off to Grand Rapids, MI Friday evening and when we got to the hotel I did what every guy does when checking in with another dude…I asked if it was the honey moon suite with the heart shaped hot tub. I also called “Big Spoon.”

A giggle and a smile later I was handed a room key and told to have a nice night. Upon opening the door to the nice room we noticed…Hmmm only one bed…again me restating “I called the big spoon.”

So back down to the front desk we went and I said to the lady “We were just kidding about that whole honey mooningspooning thing.” Well she turned a few shades of red and said “Well I wasn’t sure and I was afraid to ask.” It was pretty darn funny…Yes we got a room with two beds, I think I saw a bit of sadness in Corey’s eyes.

Off to dinner we went. About half way through dinner I asked the waitress if she would believe that Corey and Me were twins. Turns out she was thinking either brothers or twins…even thou I have dads blue eyes and Corey has mom’s brown eyes everything else looked the same…even our eyes once you get past the color. Once we both paid for dinner on separate bank cards with separate last names she felt kinda silly.

Was there something else that happened this weekend…o wait a race that’s right. Well it was a good and bad day for me. We went out hard, Boaz taking right to the lead with Corey and I side by side 3 paces behind.

Boaz hit the first mile at 4:36 and we followed close behind at 4:40. Mile two was mostly up hill as Boaz increased his lead and Corey and I realized that we were not alone.

We hit the second mile in 4:54 pace and I began to waver in the brisk hill climb. About 200meters into the 3rd mile Nick Stanko and Kris Koster edged past me. I though “this is ok, I could use a windshield before I kick them down.” Well being that Stanko knows I have a kick he decided to push hard and the group of three began to gap me as my legs began to protest the pace. One meter gap quickly became about 40-50 meter gap pretty quick. About 800meters to go the course leveled off and then began it’s decent down to the finish. I began to push harder and harder…I saw that Corey and gaped Stanko and Koster which caused them to slow down allowing me to move back on them. 400 meters from the finish line I was full tilt barreling down the hill closing on those two guys quickly.

I thought I was going to grab these guys at the line but the sad story of a kicker is too little too late, if only I started 10 meters earlier or the course was 10 meters longer. Sad but true.

And nobody was going to catch Boaz because he put on the crazy Kenyan face.

Boaz – 14:31
Corey – 14:39
Kris – 14:44
Nick – 14:44
Jordan – 14:45

The good news was that I got my fastest time in a 5K on the roads but the place is just not sitting well with me. We will see everyone in another week at The Martian 10K What I didn’t let everyone know is that I ran the whole race with my eyes closed. At least I got some pics. in the Michigan Rehab uniform GO RUNNING INSTITUTE!

Ready to Rock

Finally had a great race! On Friday we headed over to Grand Valley State University to run on the 300 meter indoor track, which is awesome looking. I knew I was in 8:10 shape…roughly and I was excited to see what I could do. For the past week all I could thunk about was this race. Not that this was a championship race or an indication of future success but I thunk it was more of seeing if I still hold true to my competitive edge and have the ability to push on when all systems are telling you to stop.

The race went out very hard. I think we might have hit the 400m in 63 then we slowed a little and came through the 800m around 2:07-8 which is still well under my slow personal best of 8:10. My mind played games on me letting me know I can’t run that fast but I also knew that if the lead pack broke me I would not reach my goal of sub 8:10. A few guys past me putting me back to 10th place but my coach was right there to assure me that I can beat that guy and retake the position on the back stretch, so I did. Eventually the lead pack pushed to hard and broke away from the rest of us. So now I was leading the back pack trying to maintain a competitive pace. With about 400m to go I began pushing harder and harder.

1,000M TO GO

I wanted to catch back up to my training partner Corey. I flew around the last 200m at this point I was only racing the clock and I was willing my legs to keep moving. Eventually I crossed that finish line 6seconds behind the lead pack. They were 8:06 and I came in at 8:12. It was no PR but it was a good step in the right direction. Thanks for the great pictures Mitch Zost of me in my new Michigan Rehab. uniform.

Race Weekend

So this weekend we did a little racing at EMU. I don’t think it was anything super fancy but more for getting in front of the crowd. I did a 1,000m, I was hoping it would have gone a little faster but after being boxed in for 400m then tossing in a couple surges (in other words RACING) my legs just ran out of juice at the end. So I finished 3rd with a 2:30. We did follow it up with a nice long run on Sunday. I did this same run 2 weeks ago and this time we were about 1m30s faster. Hope you all got out there and had a nice run on Sunday…I the temp was 6 but the sun was awesome!!

First Indoor Race

Well last Sunday we had our EMU inter squad meet and all of us boys ran the 3000M. It was a pretty relaxed venue and I feel like most of us took it as another hard day at practice. No one really battled for a position or ran until they were ready to collapse but we at least were reminded of butterflies in the stomach and also of what the gun sounds like. All thou my 2nd place finish and time of 8:29 was nothing to get to excited about, it was the fastest 3k that I have ran in about 3-4 years. I guess it’s still safe to say that I am moving in the right direction…Now I just need to get 10 seconds faster and put 35 barriers to jump over with some water as well…then I’ll be right on target.

Clearing the Watch

Time to Finally get these splits off of my watch

Mile Time
1 5:50
2 5:59
3,4 11:13
5 5:34
6 5:45
7 5:43
8 5:50
9 5:59
10 5:53
11 5:56
12 5:49
13 5:49
14,15 11:49
16 5:45
17 5:35
18 5:22
19 5:22
20 5:15
21 5:21
22 5:19
23 5:25
24 5:24
25 5:34
26 5:28
26.2 .67
Total 2:28.30

Detroit Free Press Marathon 2010


1st Marathon 1st Place

Ok for those of you who want to hear the whole story behind the marathon, this is for you. I have been wanting to run one for a few years now just to say that I did it. This year everyone at Hantz Group (my old employer) was harassing me to run it but I hadn’t really been running much so I kept putting it off. Then one night, September 16th at about 11:30pm I was sitting with my wife and she started browsing Hulu looking for something to watch and so she turned on “Spirit of The Marathon”

So here I am watching this movie, seeing Brian Sell and Clint Verran racing and of course, I start getting the nervous sweats while my wife is laughing at me. ( I can’t talk about running or even smell the rubber of the track without getting butterflys in my tummy) So I said “screw it” and went and snagged my wallet.  A few minutes later I was registered for the Detroit Free Press Marathon.

So being I hadn’t run a long run in a few weeks I decided to run with  EMU XC for Sunday long run, 17.5 at 6:35 pace and it was painful.  After that run I was a little worried about my decision being I only had 4 weeks to go.  That was my highest mileage week weighing in at 66 miles.

The next week was a good week for workouts and on Sunday I did another long run with EMU XC and one of Kenya’s best, Boaz Cheboiywo (EMU Alumni and former Teammate)  We did a 20 miler out and back.  We were out for the first 10 in 6:37 pace but when we turned around the chase was on.  The group just kept getting faster and faster.  In the last few miles I got dropped by Boaz but still finished in 1:58.44 / 5:58 pace, clocking in 5:23 pace for the last 10 miles.

After this I just thought “whats 6 more miles at a slower more even pace?”  Over the next few days Eric Green had offered to pace me through my first marathon at 6:00 pace (2:37.12).  I was delighted to have company on the run.

2 Weeks later and an 8 week mileage average of 40 per week, Sunday morning was here.  I was dropped a few blocks away from the start line by my wife Jamie and my buddy Joel.  I made my way through the crowd to the never ending port-o-potty line next to the start line 6:42am…6:52am still in line…6:55am National Anthems are sung, still in line…6:58am Scott Hubbard starts to makes race announcements, still in line…6:59am the wheel chairs start and I ask the guy in front of me if I can cut and showed him my section A bib number, he graciously steps aside.  I handle my business, burst out the door, weave through the crowd, and hop the gate into the start line, BANG! gun goes off.

Where is my pacer Eric Green?  It feels like I’m in about 60th place and I’m looking all over for Eric.  First mile 5:50, still no Eric.  Next mile 5:59 I think I see Eric ahead of me.  I catch up to him right as we are about to make the loop and start the bridge climb.  We have a good climb, he lets me know we are ahead of pace and I start to feel bad for mass of people following as I notice only one lane open for the runners.  Mile 3 and 4 go by in 11:13, again Eric cautions me of our quick pace.

In Canada the crowd was pleasant and the view of the river was beautiful.  A few more miles went by as we approached the tunnel hitting the 7 Mile at 40:07 again Eric cautioning me about the pace.  In the tunnel we met up with former CMU standout Jake Flynn, who I raced against many of times.  He said he was hoping to run 6:00 pace as well and started running with us.  It was nice to have him there as we got caught up on life, talking about marriage and him finishing up med school.

Mile 10 came quick as we crossed it in 57:51 as we just chatted away, Eric again reminding me we are over 2 minutes ahead of goal pace and if we dropped to 6:00 he would still set a personal best.

As we passed the half way point the crowd quickly thinned out.  Now I was feeling good still and was getting antsy as two full marathoners passed us…1:15.26 at the half.  My competitive nature kicked in as I said to Flynn “That’s not sitting well with me.” as I pointed to the two guys that just passed.  We kept them in our sites for the next two miles.  I started asking Eric and Flynn how I should be feeling at this point in the game as we crossed the 15 mile mark.  They told me “if you are still talking and feeling good, you should go.” I hesitated for one more mile…5:54 16th mile.

We turned the corner for Indian Village and I just started running.  I felt a rush of adrenaline and freedom wash over me as the chase set in.  I could still see the two runners that had passed us a few miles back.  Dropping a 5:35 for the 17th mile, I was feeling good.  I passed my old manager from Hantz Group, giving him a high five, and telling him I feel great! Headed South on Burns, back towards the river, I finally caught up to those two guys.  I was wondering how many more full marathoners were ahead of me.

As I came to the bridge for Belle Isle, my buddy Joel was there telling me I can win this.  I thought to my self “No chance, not with Boaz in the race.”  Joel pointed to the guy in front of me and told me that guy was in 2nd place.  I charged past him, clocking 5:15 for my 20th mile.  I could actually see Boaz.  Mile 21 5:21 I was catching him…something wasn’t right.  At about 21.5 Boaz rounded the corner and looked back at me, I gave him the point and right then his pace instantly slowed.  He stepped off of the road and slowed to a stop.  I asked him if he was ok and he said “Go Man!! I’m dropping out.”  So I went! Mile 22 5:19.

Coming back over the bridge there was Joel.  “Where is Boaz!?!” he said.  “He just dropped out!” I replied.  He said “Your going to win this!”  “Wow!” I thought, I only have to hang on for 4 more miles.  Mile 23 went by in 5:25…my legs were starting to ache, and my feet felt like they were bruised.  The turns by the boat docks were feeling way hard on the hips. Mile 24 5:24.  Mile 25 was very long, straight, and boring.  Not much of a crowd to keep you motivated.  I was out of energy and my legs were screaming.  “This is what everyone talks about…the marathon starts at 20 miles.” 5:34.  OK 1.2 to go…I can do this.  I looked down at my watch only 2 minutes of running left.

My wife was there right by Cobo, just before I made the left to the home stretch.  I had never seen her so excited before.  I could hear it in her voice as she cheered for me.  That was what I needed.  Mile 26 5:28.  I rounded the corner, the finish line was in my sites…it just seemed so far away.  I ran as hard as I could, so I could hurry up and stop.  The closer I got to the finish line the bigger my smile got.  By the time I hit the finish line I was all smiles.  Last .2 67.58.

I can’t believe I just ran and won my first ever marathon!! 2:28.30 way ahead of my 2:37 goal.

Finish Line

I also wanted to say thank you to Bob Bickel and for supporting me and giving me the opportunity to further my running career.