Monday, February 10, 2014

World Record attempts are fast and I can make ugly faces

Whew! What a weekend.  I've never had so much fun racing and competing.  For those of you who don't know, this weekend, myself and my teammates at the New Jersey-New York Track Club traveled to Boston to compete in two different meets over two days.  First up was the Boston University Valentine Meet where we ran a hot 800 meter race on Friday, followed by a 4x800 meter relay race on Saturday at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix at the Reggie Lewis Center.  I knew going into the weekend, it was going to be a tough few days, but I was excited by the challenge and even if I wasn't, Coach Gags wouldn't hear any complaining.

The open 800 at Boston University was pretty straight forward-tuck into the pack, run fast, and hit the World Indoor 'A' Standard.  Everything felt great as I sat in third position and allowed our rabbit, Jamaal James, to bring us through the first 600 meters.  I stepped on the gas going into the last lap and was able to come away with the victory and an indoor PR of 1:46.71.  I could not have been happier with the time and effort.  My teammates also had a good showing as we were able to come away with two 'A' Standards and multiple PR's at the end of the day.  "Only half of the job is done." Coach Gags made sure to inform us as soon as we were done cooling down.

Next up was the main event for the weekend.  The World Record Attempt in the 4x800 meter relay.  Leading up to the race, I sure as you-know-what felt the previous day's effort in my legs, but we were there to have fun and compete in an event rarely run at the professional level.  On the line, you quickly find out who you're up against.  I saw Nick Symmonds and Erik Sowinski were also running 4th leg with me and I knew I'd be in for a battle.  I got the baton right behind Sowinski and felt him take right to a quick pace so I just followed behind him, knowing we were running fast.  My plan was to stay as relaxed as possible, and just keep a good rhythm and cadence for the first half of the race.  I started feeling some lactic acid buildup at 400 meters but tried my best to push through.  The crowd was getting pumped, which got me pumped!  It was LOUD in there!  I was still feeling good at 600 meters into the race.  I knew it was time to get ready for one last push.  Sowinski had drifted out slightly on the back stretch of the last lap into the outside of lane one.  I thought my best bet was to hope he would do it again on the home stretch and try to squeeze past him on the inside.  So even before I came off the last turn, I knew what I was going to try to do.  The last 50 meters came, the crowd was screaming and I was feeling good!  I tried to switch down one more gear to make a push past Erik.  My body said...."NOPE."  There was some space for me to squeeze through but I just couldn't quite get my legs to turn over fast enough.  As we got closer to the lane, I briefly contemplated diving, but decided against it.  Last thing I need is to be on the cover of Track and Field News, face-planting my way to glory.

Once I saw the clock when we crossed the line, my immediate thought was anger and frustration.  But, my teammates quickly picked me up.  They're the best guys anyone could ask for.  I did everything I could on the day.  I just didn't have enough in the tank.  Erik ran a great race and I give all of the props in the world to him and the rest of the US All-Stars relay.  The crowd was out of control and the atmosphere was one of the best I have ever experienced in indoor track and field.  I hope we all get to duke it out again, because it was so much fun!

Before I post my log for last week's training, I think I should dedicate a few lines to the wonderful glamor shot that I have been seeing of myself during the last two meters of Saturday's race.  Man do I look awful.  I've been known to make some heinous faces before but wow, that one hurts my eyes to see.  I want you all to know that during those moments in time, it is nearly impossible to maintain control of your body.  That face explains exactly what I was feeling at that moment!  My wife thinks it's hilarious, so I'll chalk it up as a win.

Next up is the Millrose Games in New York City next weekend.  Another record attempt.  This time in the 1000 meters.  This should be another fun race.  Many of the same faces will be on the track and I'm sure we'll be running fast!  I can't wait to get out there and mix things up again!  Now time to rest up.  Here's my log for last weeks training...

February 3- February 9

8 mile recovery run
**Bad weather switched workouts for the week**
Morning Workout-
6x800 (2:20, :16, :20, :16, :20)
4x100 hard stride
1x400 (53 sec)
Weight Session
Total Mileage: 9

7 mile recovery run

3 mile run
3 mile run

BU Valentine 800
10 minute shake-out
New Balance Indoor Grand Prix 4x800

13 mile long run

Total Weekly Mileage: 64

As always, thank you Hoka One One for everything they do for me.  Check out for some awesome brand development opportunities as well as much, much more!  And finally, thank you to my NJ-NY teammates.  We are truly a family that is working towards a common goal.  We push each other every single day on the track, but have such a great relationship off the track as well.

For questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to post below or email me directly at!

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