What a year 2010 was. Much of it didn’t go as planned for me, up to to the final days in December (more on that later), but it was still a great year. Being the blogger that I am, I like to chronicle and review most everything. These yearly review posts (see 2009’s review) are an easy starting point for me to find and remember events of my past. Hopefully you will find this interesting and informative, as well.
2010 started off with an injured knee that I thought some rest and rehab would fix up. I used this as an opportunity to work on my swimming, swimming more than 20,000m in a week for the first time, and did a 200-800 swim test in 2:39 and 12:13 for meters. I soon realized that normal rehab wasn’t going to make my knee any better, and decided I would have to get surgery.
While this was going on, I started the application process to graduate school. A few semesters earlier my adviser suggested that I pursue a masters degree instead of wasting my time taking five years to get an undergraduate degree. I took her advice, applied, and was accepted a couple months later.
I finally had surgery to remove Plica in my left knee in the beginning of March. The doctor was able to successfully remove the Plica (which was the biggest he had ever seen) and I was on with recovery. Within a couple weeks I was starting to jog again and back to running, swimming and biking with some consistency a month after surgery. Six weeks after my surgery I was back at it, almost in full force, logging over 14 hours in a week.
My Spring semester was incredibly busy. Honestly, I don’t know how I would have been able to finish my school work if I was traveling to competitions. So in that sense, I guess my injury was a good thing. Part of my requirements for graduation was a group project for my senior capstone. We worked with a cancer research lab on campus to develop an automated Petri dish filling machine — my contribution to curing cancer. The project was a success and my group actually won a prize at the UGRAD Symposium.
Around this time I was beginning to bike more regularly, and even made it up to Snowbowl. I had just received a new video camera from my cousins as a graduation gift so I made a short video of the ride.
In May I became a graduate of Northern Arizona University! I graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a Minor in Mathematics. I had a lot of my family up there to show their support for me. What a great time I have had at NAU and I am happy that I will be returning for a masters degree.
A bit later I was in Davis, California to see my sister-in-law become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine! While there, my family sat down to watch my teammate David McNeill compete at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 5000. I vividly remember watching his inspiring race, yelling at the TV, and just being in awe of what he has accomplished. How fortunate I am to have trained, raced, and befriended someone like him.
The Summer of 2010 was all about triathlons for me. I hit the training hard and raced three different races. My first was a very short sprint at Pt. Mugu called the Admirals Cup. I finished 2nd behind friend and “training partner” Chris Baird. Next up was the Breath of Life Olympic distance triathlon in Ventura. This time I took home the W, finishing ahead of Chris and Jordan Bethke, who competes for Cal’s triathlon team.
My final race, and I think my best of the summer, was at the Strawberry Fields Triathlon in Oxnard. I rode a great bike leg and ran very well. I actually thought I was leading the race, and even crossed the line thinking I had won. Unfortunately Andrew Haberkorn, who started in a wave behind me, ended up finishing 6 seconds faster! Such is the nature of amateur triathlons, a good lesson learned.
As the triathlon training winded down, I did a little review on my triathlon training for the summer, looking specifically at my swim (I swam a 2:13/10:10 200-800y test), bike and run training. I am a stats guy who likes to reflect. These posts showed that.
And speaking of reflecting, the Fall of 2010 provided lots of opportunities for that. I am happy that I realized that early on in the season, which inspired several of my blog posts. The first of these being my one piece of advice to runners: always keep a training log. In an attempt to make as many memories as I could from my final cross country season, I started a feature called “Getting to know The Lumberjacks” in which I interview my teammates, asking them 20 questions. I posted six total, including Tim Freriks, Andrew Belus, Sarah Raber, Matthew Coloe, Eric Lynch, and Lauren Hill.
I finally ran my first race at the George Kyte Classic in September. A few weeks later we raced at the Stanford Invitational, setting a new 8k PR of 24:15 — it looked like my knee was going to make it through cross country season! Next up was Pre-Nationals. Before the race I talked a bit about my ambitious goal for the season: to be an All-American. Prenats would be my first opportunity to really see if it would be a possibility. In the end, I had a good race, and finished 38th, just 6 seconds behind where I wanted to be.
Any division 1 collegiate cross country runner knows that once Prenats comes and goes, it seems like the season is almost over. Flagstaff was suddenly bombarded with Fall and all the beautiful things that come along with it. The day after Prenats a few of my teammates and I headed up towards the mountain and enjoyed an easy run among the yellow aspens and green pines. I brought my camera with me and made a video that became very popular amongst the team, especially the song. Fun fact: the song in the video, Radical Face’s “Welcome Home,” was such a hit it was chosen to be the final song we listened to before we arrived at the course at nationals.
At Big Sky Championships I had a sub par race, but was happy to see teammates Tim Freriks and Eric Lynch step up and make sure NAU won its 4th straight title.
Shortly following the conference meet, Flotrack posted a “Workout Wednesday” starring the NAU Lumberjacks running repeat miles at Ft. Tuthill. The workout was 6xmile on 7:00 go’s, which is one of our hardest workouts we do. I actually remember being turned inside out for a couple days after that workout. I also have a nice little shout out from Coach Heins in the video.
Regionals came and went without a hitch, and NAU was headed to the NCAA Championships once again. My final cross country race (at least for a team) was finally here. I realized the significance of the moment and I actually almost shed some tears while talking to my dad just before the race. In the end my goal of being an All-American proved to be just too much. I still improved on my 2009 result, finishing 87th. NAU finished 9th, its fourth top-10 finish in a row.
After the season was over, I had a lot of fun just being a dude. Two old friends from Simi Valley, Kelcie Wiemann and Michael Cybulski, visited me in Flagstaff and joined me in an adventure to Las Vegas. I spent the holidays with more friends and lots of family — just the way they should.
Just before the new year came, my right knee (NOT the one I had surgery on) started to bug me a bit so I started swimming and biking to give it some rest. Guess what happens next? Yep, I fell on a bike ride and now have a broken wrist. What terrific way to bring in the new year. So as I write this right now, I am still in a brace, which I will have to wear for another three weeks.
In the coming days I will bring all my loyal followers up to date with where I’m at right now, and where I want to be at the end of 2011.