Coach McCandless!


I’m going to try to update the blog every Sunday with at least a little bit of my weekly training, so hope you all check back on Mondays each week 🙂

This was another great week out in Colorado.  I spent the first half of the week at Brent and Sara Vaughn’s house in the mountains @9,000ft.  They have a wonderful family and so nice of them to let me stay with them for ten days.  Next week I move “permanently” into a condo in Boulder with another Penn State Cross Country Alumni!  Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday consisted of runs all at 9000ft.  On one of the runs I was running down this soft dirt trail with a view of the snow-capped continental divide ahead of me and a couple of deer to my right.  About a half mile later I saw a herd of Elk.  On that same trail, there were large paw prints that were either from a mountain lion or bear.  I have one question to ask…how can you not love Colorado?  Two solid workouts on Tuesday/Friday and one of my best long runs (22.22 miles, averaging 6:16/mi, felt smooth) ever concluded a 106+ mile week.  This was my highest volume week at altitude and I’m glad to have recovered well from the BAA Half, definitely in large help from ART by Dr. Richard Hansen and a couple of massages by Rob Barber of Peak Integrative Health.  What I think is really cool about this week of training is that I literally think I’ve run at every pace possible from ten minute miles running uphill at 9,000ft to running at max speed in spikes on a track and all paces in between.

Although training was great, even better was the fact that I was hired at the Peak To Peak Pumas Head Track Coach for the spring!  Peak To Peak is a 3A Charter School in Lafayette, Colorado (less than 10 miles from my future condo!) and Dr. Richard Hansen is the head cross country coach.  I went to watch the cross country team compete at the regional meet and the guys team (of I believe all sophomores) finished 2nd, only 5 points behind the winner Holy Family.  They will race at States next weekend and I wish them the best of luck! It should be a fun track season and I cannot wait to be mentoring these high school athletes!  My high school coach, Megan Duerring, has remained one of my best friends who I talk to all the time.  She helped mentor and guide me through life decisions and I’m very thankful to have such a good friend.  I know I will try my best to be as positive as a coach like Megan was for me.

I’m not going to lie, I’m filled with enthusiasm going into the next month of training before the California International Marathon.  I’m going to run 26.2 miles from Folsom to Sacramento on December 5th with the heart of a lion!

Happy trails,



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