Friday night I arrived in State College, Pennsylvania for a few days of training with Luke Watson, watching the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Cross Country Championships, seeing old teamates, coaches, and attending the Penn State Track Banquet – which is this afternoon. This week was a big week of training for me as I’ll likely hit 115-120 miles, the most I’ve ever done. On Saturday morning, a group of us met for this really nice 12 mile loop and then I added on another 12 miles for a big 24 mile long run. Once again, the run went very well and my confidence for the marathon continued to rise. Anything can happen in the marathon, as guys like Bill Rodgers dropped out of 8 in his quest to win. Guys get “humbled” all the time with bad race experiences. Although the California International Marathon Dec 5th is a very “important” race for me since it is my debut marathon, I’m not expecting to “light the world on fire” and I understand that things could go poorly in the race for a number of reasons that are not related to fitness and toughness.
Speaking of fitness and toughness, it was a blast to watch the NCAA regional meet yesterday. Coach Sullivan’s teams ran great, with the guys placing 4th (Kyle Dawson and Vince McNally placing 2 and 3 only 1,2 seconds from the win) and the ladies placing 3rd. Both teams (according to flotrack’s kolas calculator) easily get at-large bids to the NCAA Championships. One girl was sick and still placed in the top 25 to earn all-region. We had most of the 2008 Penn State Team, including a really good friend Dennis O’Connor (DOC) who picked me up at the airport and took me to State College, watching and cheering on the younger guys. I’m excited to see how many all-americans come home from Terra Haute in a few weeks, as Vince and Kyle both have very good chances!!
The weather is beautiful here, a nice 50 degrees this morning, bright sunshine, leaves changing color and falling, and Luke and I are headed out for a nice 10-11 miler. I’ll update a few more times this week when I have a chance, it is just awesome to be back surrounded by such great friends at Penn State!