In the last post I described a summary of my build-up from training to races. This time, I want to take a moment to reflect on the enormous amount of support I have. The worst part about writing a post like this is that I always forget someone and feel bad about it.
First thing about preparing for a marathon is coaching and training. Luckily, I have the best marathon coach in the country, Brad Hudson, who is a great motivator and a very positive influence at every workout. After having a great coach, I’ve been lucky to train with Olympic Triathlete Matt Reed and fellow Mizuno athlete Patrick Rizzo. It’s been nice having James Carney join for a few recent workouts too. I’ve been lucky to surround myself with very dedicated athletes. Matt is running the Ironman World Championships in Kona on Saturday and Rizzo is running the Pan Am Games Marathon at the end of the month. Matt has a great interview (and thanks for the shout-out) before the Ironman on Saturday. Good luck buddy!!
Anyone can train hard, but can you recover ‘hard’? It’s an interesting thought, but it’s entirely true. If you train hard everyday, you’ll never improve because your body will never recover and reach a higher level of fitness. There’s also the risk of a depressed immune system and injuries. I’m fortunate to have a big support system for recovery as well. Rob Barber of Peak Integrative Health is a fantastic massage therapist and my weekly leg massages keep me healthy, improving, and feeling good. TRI-Massage in Boulder also has the All-Sports Recovery Club, which I am a member of. Getting in the NormaTec boots, ice baths, and free 15 minute massages several days a week significantly help recovery. Lastly, I cannot forget to thank Honey Milk. Recovery starts the second the workout end, and for me that also marks the time I drink a Honey Milk. The carbohydrates and protein refuel and rebuild the muscles.
More important than anything else is to be happy. If you’re not happy you will never run well or enjoy anything that you are trying to do. Hands down, I have the best group of friends I could ever imagine. From hundreds of facebook ‘likes’ and comments on various status updates and posts about my running to local friends I run with. My roommate and his girlfriend support me 100% and are always there when I need to chat. My roommate also gave me a pink cell-phone cover and said I’m not allowed to take it off until I run 2:15 or faster in the marathon…another good motivation! Bobby Stucky, the owner of Frasca Food and Wine, also offered a free diner with a date at his restaurant if I break 2:50. Bobby has been a source of inspiration in my own running as I’ve seen him in the last 16-18 weeks go from recovering from a stress fracture in the femur, to hammering out 20 milers on Magnolia Road in preparation for Chicago. Good luck Bobby, have a great race! I’m fortunate to assistant coach at Centaurus High School and work with a great group of dedicated kids as well as two excellent coaches, Devin and Kali. The support from my college coach Beth Alford-Sullivan is also a huge positive influence. Coach Sullivan has been one of the most positive influences in my life and I hope I can be as good a coach someday. The fact that she’ll take the time to talk to me on the phone for an hour plus means so much because I know how busy she is. I may not longer wear the blue & whites for Penn State, but I’ll always feel like I am representing Penn State because of her and the wonderful people I’ve met in Happy Valley.
Speaking of uniforms, I’m honored to be wearing an orange and black Mizuno singlet. Mizuno makes an amazing line of clothes that allowed me to “heat train” over the last few months…in addition to their outstanding line-up of shoes. But what I enjoy most about Mizuno, is the employees of the company. I follow the Mizuno Tech/Sales Reps on twitter and it’s amazing at how much they support me. When I’m out there running 5:10 pace on the streets of Chicago, I know that I’m representing a company with remarkable employees. Thank you guys for all of the kind words of encouragement.
Lastly, I cannot thank my parents enough. Nobody is more supportive than them. They’re always there to support, encouragement, congratulate, or give me advice. I love you guys and I will always do my best.
Now that the work is done, it’s time to go enjoy a very easy five mile run before heading to the airport. It’s time to go make the next logical step in my marathoning and attempt to run a new personal best. I’m fitter than ever and clearly have a village of amazing people to support me. Best of luck to everyone racing Chicago and all the other races across the country.
Hoping I have the pink case off my phone the next time I post…