As 2010 nears a close I thought I would write up two blog posts on my year. First post is going to be on my races. This year consisted of 17 races from indoor track, outdoor track, to road races. I’ve raced everything from the mile to the marathon. Here is the list of races…
Jan 16 PSU Northeast Challenge (Indoor, banked 200m track) Mile: 4:28, 4th place
Jan 29 PSU National Invitational (Indoor, banked 200m track) 3k: 8:31.62, 3rd place
Feb 12 Washington Husky Invite (Indoor, oversize track) 5k: 14:51, last place?
Feb 28 Big Ten Indoor Championships 2nd Heat of 5k (Indoor, 200m flat track) : 14:21, 1st (6th overall)
Mar 26 Stanford Invitational 10,00m (Outdoor track): 29:22.35, 5th (6th all-time @ PSU)
Apr 22 Penn Relays College Section 5,000m (Outdoor): 14:26, 3rd (2:43 final 1k)
May 14 Big 10 Track and Field 10,000m (Outdoor): 29:15, 6th
May 27 NCAA First Round 10,000m @ Greensboro (Outdoor): 29:51, 5th (top 12 qualify for final round in Eugene, very hot and humid)
June 10 NCAA Championships 10,000m (Outdoor): 29:22, 12th overall, 5th American – NCAA D1 All-American Honors
June 27 Stratton Faxon Fairfield CT Half-Marathon: 1:08:00, 4th overall, 1st American (Hot and Humid)
July 11 Utica (NY) Boilermaker 15k: 46:04, 15th overall, 3rd American
July 16 Buffalo Subaru Chase 4 Miler: 19:16, 6th overall, 1st American (Hot!)
July 25 San Francisco 2nd Half-Marathon: 1:05:02, 1st, missed Olympic Trials Qualifer by 2 seconds
Sept 12 Denver Half-Marathon (actually 13.5 miles): 1:12:26, 1st
Oct 10 BAA Half-Marathon, 1:06:06, 8th overall, 2nd American
Oct 29 Tulsa 15k **Done as a workout at marathon pace with 10 miles warmup, 49:07, 10th overall
Nov 20 Rothman Institute 8k in Philadelphia, 24:56, 9th place
Dec 5 California International Marathon, 2:17:22, 6th overall, 2nd American, Olympic Trials Qualifier by 1 min and 38 seconds.
For the 2010 year, I finished ranked 27th in the USA in the Marathon (with nobody younger than me in the top 26!!) and ranked 32 in the Half-Marathon for the USA. Not too shabby as 23/24 year old!
If I was to “grade” my year of racing, it would definitely be an A+. Not only did I learn a lot from racing, but I became very good at executing great races. This may come as a surprise, but the best race I had was the Washington Husky Classic 5,000m indoor race. I’m not joking either. I have never learned so much from a single race as I did from the Husky Classic. I did everything right preparing for this race from some of my hardest workouts the last few weeks, taking naps, eating very healthy, and even drinking beet juice leading into the race. However, I didn’t recover from training/traveling and had nothing in the tank for the race. I wanted to do so great that I become too stressed about it and it backfired. After that race, I knew that “no race could be as embarrassing as the Husky Classic” and let go a lot of pressure I put on myself. Since then, I’ve been on a streak of great races where I execute the race and “stay in the zone.” Even races that do not look good on paper (BAA Half, Rothman 8k) were very good in the context of training and longer-term goals.
I also learned this year that I recover REALLY well from races. After the California International Marathon I could have raced again 5 days later I felt that good. I also race better AFTER doing several races. Since I have let go of self-pressures to do great in every race, the races become less pressure, I run more relaxed, and have achieved better results. I owe so much of what I’ve learned racing this year to Coach Sullivan at Penn State. Just yesterday I was on the treadmill cranking away on a 12 mile run and thinking of how much I learned from her.
I’ve also learned to celebrate good races. It’s not everyday that you can be healthy leading u to the race, have good training, and then execute a good race. I’m not saying celebrate in terms of wild late nights, but enjoying the process and satisfaction of working hard to achieve a great results. A couple of pints of Guiness and good friends is the perfect way to recover!
In the next couple days I will post some pretty cool graphs, statistics, and other interesting notes on my training over the last year and actually the last three years. Right now I’m about to go pound the pavement for 15 miles with my dad on the bike next to me!
Thanks for reading!
Tyler, 2010 NCAA D1 All-American and Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier (man it feels good to type that!!!!!!)