Sean's Running Blog

USATF National Club CC Championships

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Location:

Snoqualmie,WA,

Member Since:

Feb 24, 2007

Gender:

Male

Goal Type:

Local Elite

Running Accomplishments:

  • 2011 Boston Marathon -- 2:27 (Top 50)
  • 2011 Steilacoom 20k -- 1:04:57 (1st)
  • 2010 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon -- 2:26 (7th) 
  • 2010 Fall City 10k -- 31:06 (1st)
  • 2009 Indy Mini Marathon -- 1:07:53 (7th)
  • 2009 WWU Invitational -- 10000m (30:58)
  • 2009 UW Indoor Meet -- 5000m (14:49)
  • 2008 Orem Turkey Run -4 miler -- 19:55 (1st)
  • 2008 Seafair Torchlight 8k--25:03 (3rd) 
  • 2008 Time to Fly 5k -- 15:35 (1st)
  • 2008 Newport Marathon -- 2:22:47 (1st)
  • Steilacoom 15M--1:18:30 (1st)
  • 2007 Olympic Trials -- 2:30:41 (91st)
  • 2007 St. George --2:18:55 (3rd)

Short-Term Running Goals:

  • Feb 23 -- Ft Steilacoom 15M
  • March 23  – Ft. Steilacoom 20k
  • April 15  – Boston Marathon
  • June 8 – Sound to Narrows 12k
  • June 22  – Grandma’s Half Marathon (USATF Champs.)
  • July 7 – Run of the Mill 5k
  • July 27 – Torchlight 8k
  • September – SJJ Half (maybe)
  • October/November – Fall Marathon (maybe)
  • December – Club XC Nationals

Long-Term Running Goals:

 Stay healthy

Personal:

Ran track my junior and senior years in high school and cross country my senior year. Went to BYU but did not run. Served LDS church mission to San Bernardino, CA. Started running again in April 2005. Marathon debut was St. George in 2005.

I coach the Mount Si High School Track Team (distance)

Been married for almost 17 years. My wife, Mara, and I have four kids ages 16, 14, 13 and 11.

Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Brooks T5 Lifetime Miles: 34.00
Ravenna Lifetime Miles: 250.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
160.350.0013.001.00174.35
Weight: 0.00
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.000.000.000.0015.00

15 miles at 6:40 pace. Got an early start this morning. It was 32 degrees and light snow flurries at 6:15 when I got started. We're expecting more snow later today so I wanted to get the run in before traction became an issue.

Only looked at the watch once. I've found that this not only makes the run go quicker but it also allows me to think about other things than worrying about hitting certain times. It turns out I hit those times anyway.

Rest day tomorrow.

Weight: 0.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
9.000.000.000.009.00

Amid torrential downpours, 50mph winds and a balmy temperature of 62 degrees, I ran this evening. Many of the roads I normally run were flooded so I had to improvise. Very weird weather. Sunday it was a blizzard with 12-16 inches of snow with drifts upwards of three feet and wind chills around 10 degrees.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
5.250.002.751.009.00

Final speed workout before Nationals on Saturday in Ohio. The workout was supposed to be 3M@5:08, one minute rest and then roll into 1M hard. Well around lap 9 it was clear, that for the first time ever, I was not going to complete a speed workout without having to...um...use the facilities. The only question was whether or not I could make it to the one-minute rest point between my 3 miles and my one mile. There are certain things you can't "gut out" or "will" your way to. I discovered one of those. So with one lap to go in the 3M portion I stopped and took care of business. I finished lap 3 at 3:50 so I was on pace and would have hit my pslit had nature not had other plans.

About 90 seconds later I was back at work and finished my last mile in 4:55.

I was pretty pleased considering the winds were still sustained at 25-30 mph and gusts in the 50s. The temperature was 52 degrees so another incredibly balmy day ahead. As for the winds, I was on a track so I tried to benefit from the tailwind when I could but I'm a believer that a tailwind never compensates for an equivilent headwind. I'm sure Sasha has a formula for that.

Weight: 0.00
Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
12.000.000.000.0012.00

12 miles easy along the Samammish River trail. Perfect weather...mid 40s and partly sunny. I continue to have some trouble getting full breathing capcity out of my lungs. I feel like I'm only getting 85% capacity. I had asthma as a kid but kicked that in my early teens. However, every once in a while, particularly after a cold, I get a few weeks of this restricted breathing. No wheezing but just not able to take the deep, full breath.  

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Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.000.000.007.00

Easy shake out run after a LONG flight from Seattle through Houston to Columbus Ohio.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
7.000.000.000.007.00

Easy 7 around the full Nats course. Very sloppy and snowy. Ohio is as flat as can be. Kind of ugly too.

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Race: USATF National Club CC Championships (6.25 Miles) 00:34:13, Place overall: 97
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.250.006.25

So this was my second cross country race in 17 years. Now I remember why I enjoyed cross country so much more than track in high school. Too bad I only had one year of CC in high school.

We previewed the course Friday and it was covered with 2-3 inches of snow which had been packed down by hundreds of other runners who had previewed the course earlier in the morning. But the temperature warmed and it rained all night long.

When we arrived this afternoon at around 12:30 the course was a disaster. It was windy, 35 degrees and threatening to rain. The Men's Open race was the last of four races and the frozen tundra of Friday was the sloppiest, muddiest thing I had ever seen. Pigs would have thought it too messy. Fortunately I bought a pair of spikes and put some 1/ 2 inchers in for good measure.

The course was two full laps around Voice of America Park in West Chester, Ohio plus a third lap that was slightly shorter. The start and the finish were slightly uphill, although uphill in Ohio is basically flat.

We warmed up as a team which is something I really enjoyed and missed from my high school CC days. An easy three miles was plenty. I joked with the rest of the guys that we marathoners aren't used to such a lengthy warmup. I felt pretty good during the warmups and the strides felt fine as well. But, I was a bit nervous. It had been so long since I ran CC in high school that I had forgotten a lot of the strategy that made it so much fun. Plus, every other guy on my team had run collegiate cross country, most of them for the University of Washington. So I was an old rookie.

One big difference from high school was that we had nearly 500 runners who started the race. The start must have looked like a scene out of Braveheart when the gun went off. Another first was that I didn't even wear my watch so I have no idea what any of my splits were. Time is irrelevant in cross country so it seemed pointless to wear a watch. With all the mud, I wouldn't have been able to see it anyway. Plus, I wanted to run off of feel.

By race time, it had warmed up, the wind had died to just a light breeze and the sun was trying to peek through. I ditched my skull cap but stuck with my gloves and the long sleeve tech shirt underneath the singlet. Good choice.

My goal was to finish in the top 100. That was a fairly random number and I picked it before I found out there were so many runners. My strategy from the start was to stay in the back of the front third and just pick people off who thought it was a good idea to sprint the first 800 meters. My marathon strength and endurance was going to be a huge asset on this course so I just needed to run smart and be patient. Any race that becomes a track meet will always be to my disadvantage.

When the gun went off, it was a crazy scene. The first 800 meters was nearly 100 yards wide but closed quickly after that to a pretty consistent 10'-12' wide. For the first mile or so it was so congested in the middle of the pack that I had to really slow down to avoid barreling into people. That was kind of distressing as it certainly impacted my time without saving me much energy.

By mile 2, it was still crowded but you could pass people if you were sneaky and determined. It was at mile 2 that we encountered our first hay bale. Yes. We had four hay bales we had to jump over each lap. Since they don't have hills in Ohio, they decided to make it a Midwestern steeplechase to add a little excitement. I only saw one person bite the dust on the hay bales. I guess running in muck for six miles can make hay bales look like brick walls.

At the end of two miles, I was starting to feel stronger. I had passed all of my teammates except one (he being Mike Sayenko who finished 29th in the Olympic Trials) and felt like I was at a pace I could easily maintain. I kind of wish I had worn a watch only so I could look back and see how consistent I was thorughout the race. I felt like I was getting stronger throughout which of course is the opposite of how I feel in a marathon.

I  continue to be amazed at how many really good runners don't run the tangents. This course has many twists and turns and provided ample opportunity to make the race muh longer than 10k. The mud made tangential running a bit more challenging but the toll this course took on the body made it all the more important to make it as short as possible even if it meant running through a mud puddle. Fortunately, by running the tangents I was able to find what precious little grass there was left to run on. 

At mile 4.5 you start the final, shorter lap to the finish. I was feeling very strong until I rolled an ankle in a mud hole. It sent a pain all the way up my leg but I kept going as the pain was brief and I didn't appear to have actually hurt anything.

By now the field was thin enough that you could pass anyone you had the energy to pass. With a mile or so to go, I felt fantastic and really focused on reeling as many people in as I could. I saw two guys in blue jerseys ahead of me and that they were two guys from a rival running club in Oregon so I passed them only to realize they were two guys from Boston Athletic Association. Oh well. A double pass is a double pass.

Then I saw one other guy I knew from the Seattle Running Company. He beat me at the Super Jock and Jill and there was no way I was going to let it happen again. However, I have a rule. I don't pass anyone unless I can keep them behind me so I waited for about a quarter mile and then blew by him. He put up no fight.

The finishing chute was nearly 400 meters long. This was new territory for me. Kicking at the end of a race was a distant memory from my high school track days. So I had no idea what I would have left. So I let it all loose with 400 meters to go and wound up passing ten guys in that final 400m. The last guy I passed tried to take me with about 10 meters to go but I found an extra gear and my chest crossed the line before his. One problem though. My time chip was on my back foot and his was on his front foot so while my chest crossed first, his chip beat me by .1 of a second. Now I know why they had us wear a chip on each foot. Oh well.

Using that extra gear I had came at a price. After crossing the finish I laid down and tried to catch my breath. I had all the energy in the world left but that last kick really put me in oxygen deprivation mode.

I finished in 34:13 which was good enough for 97th overall and 76th among scoring runners. I was the second scorer on my team beating out three guys on my team who are sub 30-minute 10kers. The winning time was 31:46 and then the rest were all in the 32s and higher. The slower, more tactical race definitely helped me out. I think if there had been hills it would have helped me even more but I gained a renewed love for cross country and a bunch of fresh experience.  

I was very happy with my race. Cross Country is a very unique animal and I ran as smart as I did hard. In hindsight, I could have gone out faster and quite easily dropped my time into the high 33s, but experience will help me recognize that sooner and have greater confidence in my kick. I would also like to further test my ability to start a bit faster to get farther up in the pack, but do so without jeopardizing the rest of the race.

I plan to run 16-18 tomorrow morning before heading to the airport but after that, I'm taking two weeks off. I need a break. The good news is that I'm finishing a training cycle that has lasted 2.5 years and I'm doing it on a high note.

I haven't finalized my 2008 plans, but I know I need to get stronger and faster so I'm tentatively planning to do no marathons until September when I hope to run Berlin. Until then, I'm going to really focus on shorter distances and speedier workouts while trying to put in the same marathon-type mileage to keep my endurance up to snuff. I'm also going to run a few indoor meets this winter and then do a full outdoor track season for the first time in 17 years. Hopefully, I can get fast enough to run in the USATF Track Nationals in Kansas next summer.

I'm looking forward to Cross Country Nats next year as they will be just a few hours from my house in chilly Spokane, Wa.

 

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Comments(4)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
15.000.000.000.0015.00

Cold, drizzly Ohio morning. Wrong pair of gloves meant cutting my run a few miles short. I felt like I just ran a race yesterday. I guess I did. Looking forward to a couple of weeks off.

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Comments(1)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.000.000.000.004.00

Took a redeye flight from Seattle to NYC Sunday night. After maybe two hours of sleep on the flight I got to the hotel and had enough time before my meetings to run for the first time in 7 days. It was a great week completely away from running both physically and mentally and now I'm easing back into it with four miles today (7:35 pace). My plan is to take a day off Tues, Thurs and Sat and run 6, 8 and 10 on Wed, Thurs and Sun. Then start ramping the mileage up again Christmas week. Feels good to be running again.

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Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
6.000.000.000.006.00

Six easy miles today on a a nice gravel trail near work. A balmy 48 degrees today. I was way overdressed. Ran 6:50 pace which was faster than I wanted but it felt fine. Rest tomorrow then 8 on Friday and 10 on Saturday with a rest on Sunday.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

A nice easy 10 miles (6:50s) today on the newly discovered Preston-Snoqualmie trail. It's all paved but goes six-plus miles through some of the most gorgeous terrain I've ever been in. It's one of the many old railroad tracks that have been converted into public trails and it goes from Preston to Snoqualmie falls. I didn't have time to reach the Falls today but I'm planning on going back tomorrow.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

After yesterday's beautiful run, I realized that I was very close to my house during part of the run. So today I left my house -- in pouring rain -- and went down one of the many barked trails we have in our community which leads to the Preston-Snoqualmie trail. Getting to the trail from my house takes me through .75 miles of some of the most densely forested hills on the planet. It was very muddy so I couldn't run very fast but I was in awe of the beauty. Once I reached the bottom of the hill and got on the main trail, I headed east for a view of Snoqualmie Falls. It was gorgeous. Turned around and headed to Preston to finish up my 10 miler. I love running here even in the pouring rain.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.300.000.000.0010.30

Cruised down the forest path from my house to the Preston trail. The recent rains have made it very muddy so it was slow going despite being downhill. I ran over to the Falls again and there was way more water coming off the Falls than on Saturday.

I turned around and followed the path to Alice Lake road and took that to Alice Lake. I had never been to the lake or on that road despite the fact it's less than a mile from my house. The road is incredibly steep and I was really huffing and puffing by the time I got to the top. But it was another gorgeous run.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
8.000.000.000.008.00

I managed to sneak in a quick run this morning after the kids opened their presents and before we headed to my sister's for brunch.

I did some more exploring which turned into a very hilly but gorgeous run. Most of it was spent on trails and other non-cement surfaces which was nice.

We had a great Christmas.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.000.000.000.0010.00

An easy 10 miles in light snow conditions which was wonderful.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
11.000.000.000.0011.00

35 degrees and raining this morning during the run. I would have much preferred 30 degrees and snow. Oh well. It's winter in Seattle.

Weight: 0.00
Comments(2)
Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
4.700.0010.000.0014.70

I hooked up with the other two Oly Trials guys from the state and we did a 10-,ile tempo run after a 3-mile warmup. It was 36 degrees and pouring rain most of the run around the very popular Green Lake path. The first 7 miles were at 5:22 pace and then we were supposed to run the last three miles at between 5:10 and 5:15. Actuals were as follows:

5:24

5:28

5:20

5:15

5:22

5:21

5:16

5:15

5:18

5:15

I learned that the first thing you lose after taking even a short time off is your speed. But it felt good to run hard again even though it was probably too much, too fast, too soon. I'll know more in the morning.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
10.100.000.000.0010.10

Felt quite a bit of fatigue left over from the workout on Saturday and many late nights of games and fun with family in town for the holidays.

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Easy MilesMarathon Pace MilesThreshold MilesVO2 Max MilesTotal Distance
160.350.0013.001.00174.35
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