Running as fast as I can since '93
RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • 2011 In Review

    Posted on January 21st, 2012

    I am back from my Caribbean cruise and my last winter break ever is now over. Last Wednesday I arrived back in Flagstaff, delighted by the lack of snow on the ground. I had my last first day of class this week. Weird. Looking forward to finishing this thing called “school.” The NAU Track team already had their first meet a week ago, so coaching has certainly begun in earnest.

    Before I continue on with my adventures of 2012, I want to recap 2011 (as I did for 2009 and 2010)…

    2011 began with my right hand in a brace. At the end of 2010 I had a bit of a sore knee, so I sought refuge in the pool and on the bike. While on a bike ride I took a wet corner too sharp and crashed. I got some pretty good scrapes on my leg and ended up with a broken bone in my wrist. When people saw the brace on my right hand and asked, “What happened?,” I would reply, “Cross training.”

    My parents showed, once again, who the favorite child is and took me to Hawaii. We spent a couple of days in Honolulu, then flying over to Kauai to see my Aunt Pauline. I had a wonderful time with my parents, as I always do, relaxing on the beach and eating some really good meals.

    My final track seasons snuck up quickly, making my indoor debut at the Husky Classic. After a tough winter, I really wanted to see where I was at and go for a big PR in the 3k. Instead, I matched the same time I had ran at that meet three years prior, 8:26. At that meet I got to watch Chris Solinsky destroy a fairly solid field in the mile. I wrote a piece in homage of him and all the other members of the FTC crew.

    Sharing the lead in the "5k" with Ahmed Osman and Andrew Belus

    I took my first trip of the year to Pocatello, ID for the indoor conference champs. There was quite a fiasco in the 5k with us running an extra lap (5200m PR!). The 3k was another lack-luster performance for me and we lost the meet as a team by half a point. That was tough to take, especially since I knew I was capable of so much more.

    Back to the Flagstaff trials I went and started logging my signature 100-mile weeks. I ran three consecutive centuries heading into my first outdoor meet at the Stanford Invitational. Finally I set a new PR in the 5k, running 14:37. I fell off a bit the last mile of the race, so I was confident with a little rest I would be able to bring that time down even more.

    My next major race was my 25-lap debut, the 10k at the Mt. Sac Invitational. That whole race, meet, trip was an experience and one I won’t soon forget. I set myself up for a great time, hitting halfway in 14:52 and feeling good. 10k on the track is a delicate thing, as I learned that night, and pushing just a little too hard can make the wheels come right off. I struggled the last few kilometers. I rallied best I could the last lap and closed in a 31 second 200, passing another runner in the closing meters to finish in 30:01. That final kick would prove to be worth so much more than a couple seconds.

    2011 I was fortunate to meet some amazing people, and Bernard Lagat was one of them. The amount of talent he has is just ridiculous. I asked him about world championship and Olympic races, and heard about some of his training. Thanks to David McNeill and Mo for inviting me over to share a few meals with this legend.

    I like to think of myself as a pretty resilient runner. In my long running career, I have only had a few injuries. My 2010 track campaign, however, was canned with a sever case of Plica Syndrome in the knee. And after a steeplechase workout in April of 2011, my track season took a turn for the worse. Within days of the workout I wasn’t running — forced to cross train just a couple weeks before the conference championships. I went into the meet a little banged up, but determined to give it everything I had.

    When the meet was all said and done, I had just two points to my name (thanks to a 7th place finish in the 10k) and the biggest blister I have ever seen! In terms of racing, it was probably one of my worst track meets ever. But it was clear that I made an impression on a few of my teammates, and that made it all worth it.

    My season looked to be all but finished. There was still a very outside chance that I could qualify for the NCAA Preliminary round in the 10k, but things were not looking good. I was ranked 65th, and only 48 athletes were accepted. In perhaps the greatest miracle of my 24 years, I was given the chance to compete for NAU one more time.

    I had booked my ticket to Eugene, OR and enjoyed every minute of that trip. I was well aware of the gravity of the situation — competing in my last track meet ever, in my first track meet ever in Track Town USA. My parents and my Farfar came to watch, which means so much to me now. At the conclusion of those 25 laps at Hayward Field, I effectively became once a runner.

    With the end of collegiate athletics, I began a new dream in triathlons. I was now a “bona fide” collegiate recruit, identified by USA Triathlon, and began working with Ian Murray of Triathlon Training Series. Before things got too serious, I had some fun racing in the Tahoe Relays and spending time with friends back in Simi doing stuff like this…

    I began my triathlon season at the Breath of Life in Ventura, winning for the second consecutive year. My swimming had improved a lot from 2010, but in ever race I would do in 2011, it was clear that a lot of work still needed to be done in the pool. I headed north for my next race: The San Francisco Triathlon at Treasure Island.

    Once again I have the best supporters. Thank you to Danielle Hunt, Mo and her parents, Peg and Chris, for coming out to cheer me on!

    This would be my first chance to earn an elite license by finishing within the top 3. I started the race out with a good swim, the best bike I have ever had, and a solid run to take the victory! I had such a good time that week with Mo and her family (and Danielle Hunt as well!) and capping it off with that win was special.

    In July I spent about a week at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. I finally got to meet Barb Lindquist, who I owe a lot of my success as a triathlete to, as well as a few other athletes in the same boat with me.

    At the end of August I traveled to Burlington, Vermont for the Age Group National Championships. I wanted to make it 3-for-3 on the year and take the W, but came up short. There were certainly some very talented athletes there, ones that I will hopefully have a chance to race again in the future.

    Once I returned to Flagstaff for my last year of grad school, I morphed into Coach PD. I couldn’t just go cold turkey from the Lumberjack cross country team and I am very thankful Coach Heins asked me to join the coaching staff for the year. I had a great time traveling with the team to the meets, really enjoying the lack of nerves I am used to from lining up at the start line with a few hundred of the fittest athletes in the NCAA.

    At this point I was now officially a pro triathlete, which most people assume means that I make money from the sport. Not yet. I went to the Interbike convention in Las Vegas to sell myself. I learned that I have a lot to learn in this department.

    I continued to focus most of my energy on improving my swim. I did a 200-800 swim test to measure my improvement, and came up with 2:10/9:41 (3″/29″ improvements). I still got destroyed in my first pro race at the Myrtle Beach ITU Pan American Cup about a week later. Honestly I was just happy to finish the race and to be able to take away a few valuable lessons for next year.

    Tim Freriks, a friend and runner on the cross country team, said this in a local newspaper interview:

    LJ: From an athlete’s standpoint, there have been a lot of teammates, mentors and coaches that have influenced you as a player. Out of all of them in the past or present, who has influenced you the most in your career, or as a person?

    TF: There are two big ones. One of which was my high school coach. He really influenced the mentality that I have now, working hard and grinding through it. And also Jason Pedersen; he’s a graduate assistant coach for us now. His mentality and work ethic is like second to none. He was running 110 miles a week, he ate right, slept well, [and was a] straight-A student in mechanical engineering, so it was a template I wanted to follow. He did it right and it paid off, so I want to do the same thing.

    That made my day.

    In November I jumped into a little race down in Phoenix, the AMICA 19.7 sprint. I had taken a bit of time off from the bike, and that was clear in that race. I finished only 26″ out of winning $500, and learned that you can’t fake anything in the professional ranks.

    Finally, before 2011 was over, I wrote about my barrier to success. I swam 40,000 yards in a week for the first time, and planned to focus on the swim throughout the winter.

    On to 2012!

  • Jason Pedersen Talks with NAU Athletics

    Posted on June 3rd, 2011

    Cross country and track & field media relations stud Eric Desalvo asked if I would do an “exit” interview before leaving Flagstaff for the summer. I was very happy to share some of my experiences over the last 5 years at NAU — it turned out to be an 8 minute interview. Thanks Eric.

    From NAU Athletics:

    Pedersen Completes Five-Year Running Career on Top
    It was quite a run for former Northern Arizona student-athlete Jason Pedersen. The five-year member of the track and field and cross country teams recently wrapped up his time at NAU by reaching the NCAA West Prelims for the first time. He sat down with NAU Athletics to discuss his running career, blog, and future role with the track and field program.

  • Once a runner, Now a triathlete

    Posted on May 28th, 2011

    Two nights ago I finished up my NCAA eligibility at the NCAA West Prelims in the 10,000m. In my last opportunity wearing the Lumberjacks jersey I had a lot of firsts. It was my first time running post season in NCAA track; first time running at historic Hayward Field; unfortunately, I think it was my first time being lapped, or double lapped for that matter; first time that thoughts of dropping out went through my head.

    I wish so many things right now. I wish I hadn’t started the track season with a bum knee; I wish I could have really trained these last four weeks; I wish I could have really competed this last race. But I played the cards I was dealt, and as Coach Heins reminded me after my race, I had two options: come and race or stay at home. Staying at home wasn’t an option.

    It feels so strange to write this, but I am effectively once a runner. Sure I can go out to road races or jump in an all-comers meet here and there. I could even try to chase old dreams of being a professional distance runner, hoping that with a few more miles and maybe a few more years that I will have what it takes to be something truly great in this sport. But the way I see things, I have devoted myself to this sport for so long and I am sure that, with a few injuries aside, have come close to reaching my fullest potential. There is a glass ceiling above everyone’s head, and I think I have almost reached mine. And honestly, isn’t that all we are really striving for? To be the very best we can be. Anything more is impossible.

    And this is why I will be moving in a new direction; to try to be the very best me in something else. As cliché as it sounds, when one door closes, you can bet at least one more opens. I have finished writing one very long chapter in my autobiographical book called Life, and have just started another.

    As I have mentioned in previous posts, my next obsession will be triathlons: swim/bike/RUN (you didn’t really think I could actually ever give up running, did you?). I have so much to look forward to in this new direction, and I will be sharing with you what those are in the coming weeks. Until then, let me just say THANK YOU to everyone that has supported me over the years as a runner, and I would love to have you all continue to bless me as a triathlete.

    Results

  • Eugene, Oregon

    Posted on May 26th, 2011

    30:01 is a solid debut, but it is currently only 50th in the West region and only 48 qualify (if I were in the East region I would be sitting pretty in 30th… confirming what everyone already knows), which means it won’t get me into the Regional meet.

    It doesn’t happen very often, and it can be difficult to admit, but sometimes I am wrong. This is one of the few times that I am genuinely over-the-moon to be wrong. 30:01 got me in and now I am sitting in a beautiful Days Inn in Eugene, Oregon next door to Track Town Pizza and across the street from the University of Oregon. I wonder if any sub-13 5k guys have ever slept in this bed?

    Suze at Track Town Pizza

    We arrived in Portland Tuesday and made the trip down to Eugene with a stop at the always-delicious Applebee’s. Mmm mmmm. Wednesday we woke up to some rainy conditions and just took it easy. Tim and I went over to Track Town Pizza, which was delicious. We sat next to Suzy — she wouldn’t stop bitching about Regina Jacobs.

    The track was open at 4pm so we headed over to Historic Hayward Field to do a little jog and strides. The Achilles is feeling pretty good, so I am confident that it shouldn’t bother me too much in the race. It was pretty surreal to finally be at the track. So many of the nation’s best athletes have raced there. What an honor for me to share that experience with them.

    Today Tim and I have been laying low in the hotel. As each hour passes, we get a little quieter as those old familiar nerves creep in. I suspect I don’t have too many more days of nervously waiting for an evening race ahead. Maybe I should be enjoying this?

    Of course I enjoy this. And I am going to miss it. This is likely my last collegiate race and I’m going to live in the moment all 25 laps.

    This is it.

  • One more time

    Posted on May 19th, 2011

    February 3, 2011,

    Now I was a little banged up over winter break, but I would be foolish to think my last collegiate season would come without some adversity. Every time I go out on the track PRs aren’t going to happen just because I’m convinced I’m a better runner now than I was a few years ago. The work needs to be put in and I need to be ready for battle every race. If I do that I know I will be competing at Hayward Field at the end of May, satisfied.

    Here’s to making the next four months count.

    “Adversity” — what an understatement.

    In all honesty, I haven’t seen all that much of it in my 24 years. I have lived a fortunate life with little worry, surrounded by the best family and friends. Perhaps this is why my life is so involved in athletics — I have had the opportunity. I never had to work late nights to pay for my college education and could always afford to travel to the very best competitions. But from my sheltered perspective, the last 14 months have been quite trying.

    In March of last year I had knee surgery, forcing me to forfeit an indoor and outdoor track season. In May, I split with my girlfriend of 4.5 years, who was my biggest supporter and best friend. Running helped me get through it, focusing on the outstanding cross country season NAU was sure to have. A couple injuries to key members of the team and an unfortunate day for our captain David McNeill at NCAAs turned our national championship dream into just another top-10 team. I, however, had a pretty successful season, improving on my NCAA finish from the year before. But it was no All-American performance.

    Shortly after beginning training for my final track campaign, I started battling IT band pain in my knee. While cross-training in December, I crashed on my bike and broke my wrist, limiting my cross-training options. I got through the indoor season and made a — now considered a very successful — debut in the 10k on the track. Then, with less than three weeks until the Big Sky Conference Championships I developed an Achilles injury. Still, I knew I had to give it my all in the 10k and 5k as it could have been my last track meet, my last time wearing a Lumberjack jersey. Then I got that infamous blister

    This post is not meant to be me complaining about how unfortunate I am or how “rough of a year I have had.” Weeks, months and years from now I am going to read this post, and I want to capture exactly what I was thinking and feeling the day I found out I had one more, and this was all a part of it. Yes, that painful 5k at Sacramento State last weekend was not my last track race in NAU blue and yellow.

    At practice this morning, I nervously checked my iPhone to see if the declarations for the NCAA West Prelim were posted. Once they were, I slowly scrolled through the results. When I got to the men’s 10k, I went one name at a time.

    13th. Ahmed Osman.

    31st. Tim Freriks. “I moved up 10 spots. PD, you got a shot.”

    I paused at number 47. This is my track season. The next name determined whether or not I am a collegiate athlete anymore. This is my 18 year long running career we are talking about!

    48th. The final qualifier to race the 10,000m at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field is. . . JASON PEDERSEN.

    I lit up. I was sure I had no chance of qualifying. Someone pinch me. Surely I was dreaming. Nope, this is for real. I have one more race. One more time to pull that NAU singlet over my shoulders. One more time to line up against the nation’s best college athletes. One more time to say thanks to all my supporters over the years by simply doing what I love, running hard.

  • Big Sky Outdoor Championships

    Posted on May 16th, 2011

    Saturday marked my final Big Sky Conference Championship, and depending on factors now out of my control, possibly my last track meet ever. I have known this moment was coming for a while now, but writing those words really makes it sink in. I may never wear an NAU Lumberjack singlet again.

    But before I get too sappy, let me fill you in on the lead up to Big Sky and the races. About two and half weeks earlier, while doing a relatively easy steeplechase workout, I felt some soreness in my Achilles. I didn’t think much of it as it didn’t bother me too much during the workout. The next day it was worse, and by two days after the workout I wasn’t running. I decided to forgo my final tune up meet before Big Sky, the Double Dual Meet down in Tempe, so that I could get healthy. The pain persisted and I took to the pool and, whenever possible, the bike. I told Coach Heins that I felt my Achilles would hold up better in a 10k then the steeplechase, so the decision was made to effectively never race a steeplechase again — at least not for NAU anyway.

    The Achilles pain continued throughout the final build up to Big Sky, limiting my running to just workouts, some of which I was unable to finish. In the two weeks prior to this weekend, I probably logged less than 30 miles. There were two possiblities: I would feel fresh or completely flat.

    10000m

    Tim Freriks leading the 10k

    While warming up for the 10k on Friday evening my Achilles felt pretty good — probably the best it had felt in a week. The conditions were much better than the last time I raced at Sacramento State in 2008 when temperatures were over 100 degrees. There was just a calm breeze and the sun setting. With just 13 entries in the race, it felt like a very low-key affair. Orders from Coach were to take the race out at a respectable pace of around 74 seconds and picking it up in the 2nd 5k. My initial plan heading into the race was to go for a Regional qualifying mark, which I thought would take about 29:50. Once Coach told me his plan, I realized that if I went for the PR I could blow up after 5k and fade badly in the later stages of the race. Considering the lack of work I had done leading up to the race, this was a good possibility. Conference Championships are about team titles, not individual glory. The decision was easy.

    Sophomore Tim Freriks took the lead the first mile and put the pace right where it needed to be. I took the pacing duties for a couple laps, followed by junior Ahmed Osman and freshman Bahlbi Gebreyohanns (aka “BB”). At around two miles, the group dwindled down to a pack of five: the four Lumberjacks and Nick Atwood from Montana State. I was clearly having a tough time hanging with them, and when Coach yelled to Ahmed to not press too hard as to not drop me, Atwood took that as a hint to surge. Great move tactically for him. That was the end of me and I would run all but the final 400m of the race alone.

    "A slow and painful death"

    About halfway through the race I began to feel a blister starting to form on the ball of my left foot. Since I have done so little running in the last few weeks, it was no surprise that I would suffer from a little blister or two. As the race continued, the pain increased with each step, and by the final mile it was affecting my stride. I was told by a few different teammates watching the race that they could tell I was limping the final 800m, but they assumed it was due to my Achilles.

    While the blister on my foot was growing, my lead over 6th place was shrinking. I was dieing a slow and painful death. With one lap remaining, Bowe Ebding of Eastern Washington came by me with Ben Ashkettle. I tried to respond with a sprint. The pain in my foot suddenly increased tenfold and I limped home to finish 7th place, scoring just two points, in 31:03.98. I threw myself to the ground, looked at my foot, and saw blood on my shoe. “Blood has run through my compression socks and my shoe? This must be bad.” I ripped off my shoe and saw the damage. Somehow I managed to tear off the thick calloused skin on the ball of my foot, hardened from thousands and thousands of miles, right off. Below are a couple of pictures of the carnage. Sorry if you have a weak stomach.

    First look

    Athletic trainers removing the "old" skin with a scalpel

     

     

    5000m

    After treating the foot and getting a tough night of sleep (Tim and I were suffering from cases of “gut rot.” Something about 25 laps…), I started to think about Saturday’s race. It was quite painful to walk, and I initially thought I wouldn’t be able to run. I talked to coach just before warming up and he said, “I don’t think you should run it.” I asked if it would make a difference and he replied, “Yeah, if you win it it will make a difference.” Well that wasn’t going to happen, but he said if we were within 30 points with just the 5k and 4×400 relay remaining, the team had a chance at winning the conference title.

    At first I thought, “what if I don’t run and we lose by a couple of points. How would I feel if I hadn’t at least tried?” After beginning my warm ups, I turned that negative thought into, “what if I score a point or two and that is the difference?” Once again, from there it was an easy decision for me. I had six other teammates lining up for the 5k, maybe just by standing next to them on the starting line I could inspire one of them to be tough. Then it would be worth it.

    In the end, I didn’t score any points in that 5k. I was almost last, finishing 18th in 15:10.03. This race could have been my last. I was injured and might as well have not raced. What a rough way to finish up my college career.

    Or maybe not. I didn’t contribute to the team score, but there were my teammates. My teammates shined, scoring 29 points and setting three PR’s. What if I did have an impact on one of them? Maybe one of them dug a little deeper because they knew I was somewhere on that track limping behind them, hoping they could to it because I couldn’t.

    On Sunday, Tim wrote this on my Facebook wall to wish me a “Happy Birthday:”

    On the last day that you were closer to 18 than 30, I saw the runner that summed up Jason Pedersen for me. Determined to make a run at a point or two for his team with half his foot torn off… More than talent, training regimes, or determination, that selfless attitude is what has allowed the Lumberjacks to be a top-10 NCAA team the last four years in a row. You’ve shown me the ropes, and as you move on to bigger and better things I feel like I have some size 17+ shoes to fill. As Coach (italicized) Mo would say, be proud of your legacy here on this team because you have left a burning impression on the minds of all those that come after you. Happy birthday big guy, 24 years isn’t all that many when you know the best is yet to come. To many more inspiring years, it’s almost time to show the triathlon world what J. PD is all about!

    I am forever indebted to Tim for writing this and making me feel like my futile effort in that 5k was anything but. After reading this message Tim wrote, my Dad said to me over the phone, “It seems like a rough way to finish up, but it is clear that you made an impression on at least a few people by running that race. I wouldn’t have raced if I were you, but I’m proud of you for doing it.”

    The end?

    Before I continue on this path of I-will-never-race-on-the-track-again, I will wait to see if I have one more race. I am currently ranked 65th in the West Region for the 10k, and 48 people qualify. So 17 people need to decide they have better things to do in a week and a half than to run 25 laps at Hayward Field. Yes, it is a stretch. I will know for sure on Thursday.

  • Big Sky Outdoor Champs Quick Recap

    Posted on May 14th, 2011

    Before writing a detailed race report, which usually takes me a few hours, I thought I would give a little recap on what has happened so far at the Big Sky Outdoor Championships at Sacramento St. Yesterday was day one of competition, and since I have been battling some Achilles issues, I did not run the steeplechase. Coach Heins and I agreed the 10k’s slower pace would be easier for my Achilles to handle. As it turns out, it wasn’t my Achilles that held me back, but something I never saw coming. Basically, I got a huge blister on the ball of my left foot during the race. I ran most of the race in 5th, but was unable to respond when I was passed by an Eastern Washington runner and Ben Ashkettle, and faded to 7th.

    Whether I will still be competing this afternoon in the 5k has yet to be decided. I would hate for the team to lose by a few points and know that I could have made the difference. Time, and our athletic trainer Crystal Fix’s magical touch, will tell.

    You can see results here. (They are live, more or less, so hit the refresh button every few minutes once the meet is running.)

  • Mt. Sac 10000

    Posted on April 17th, 2011

    Let me bring you up to speed on all PD-related running things (or is it running-related PD things?). About a week after the Stanford Invitational 5000, I went to University of New Mexico in Albuquerque to get a steeplechase in since I hadn’t raced the event in over two years. That race was mediocre at best, 9:27.02 converted, but I knew it was going to be rough: first steeple in a couple years AT altitude… oh, and I did my first steeple workout the week prior. The steeple is one of those races with a learning curve, so I wanted to get a crash course before I really go for it.

    After that meet, it was back to Flag to focus on 10k training. This weekend’s Mt. Sac Invitational was to be my first 10k on the track (speaking of learning curves). During those couple weeks of mental preparation for 25 laps, I was fortunate enough to share several meals with David McNeill & friends. As if sharing a meal of kale and Brussels sprouts with a two-time NCAA 5k champion wasn’t enough, the “& friends” made it extra special. On the first occasion “& friends” included a few NAU teammates, which was a lot of fun. The second time was with Ryan Fenton of Flotrack and Ben True from the Oregon Track Club, whom we had some great discussion with about the different levels of “professional” athletes in the sport.

    But then a week ago, Dave asked if I wanted to join him for dinner with “Kip and Abdi.” You know, that’s short for double World Champ-3:26 1500-multiple American Record holder Bernard Lagat and three-time Olympian Abdi Abdirahman. I thought for about half a second of all the exams I still had to grade and the Smart Materials exam I had to study for, and I said, “YES! I would love to!” So on Sunday I helped put furniture together for Co Mo’s and Dave’s apartment (Lagat signed the bottom of one of the chairs), ate dinner, and then watched the 2007 Osaka 5000m Final, all with Bernard Lagat. (For the record, he was only worried about Kipchoge in that race.)

    Since then I have come off cloud 9 and back to the reality of my own mortal efforts that include cruel truths like lactic acid. As I said, this weekend was my first 10k on the track, which should never be confused with a 10k in cross country. I know now that those are two completely different beasts.

    Unfortunately for Coach Heins, NAU had 7 different people competing in the 10k’s on Thursday night, spaced out amongst 6 different heats. The first beginning at 8:10 and the final one concluding at about 11:50. Those of you that pay attention to the details will notice that those 150 laps almost spanned across two days. Coach handled it no problem, and was still spry and full of character by the end of the night – no doubt the marathon training for the 2008 Trials paid off that night.

    My race was one of the last ones, scheduled for 10:40 pm. I would have liked to be in Tim Freriks heat, for so many reasons, but mostly because 10:40 is usually after my bed time, 8:50 is not. I was able to have a very low-key day and arrive at the starting line without a yawn. There was a little confusion about hip numbers, so the 40 or so of us athletes were held in purgatory a few more minutes while they cleared it up, awaiting our 25 laps of hell.

    The gun sounded and off we went. As we rounded the first of fifty turns, I found myself in the lead and thought, “Tim and Coach Mo are going to kill me for taking the lead, again.” We came through in about 72 and about half a lap later someone else took over and I rode the train hitting 71’s. At about 3k I had a bit of a smirk because I felt great and I thought I could keep hitting those splits all night. I came through halfway in 14:52, which was exactly where I wanted to be. Then a few laps later, it started to get rough. 71’s turned into 73-74 and I was hurting bad. From 8 laps to go until about 2 was really rough. I had come unhitched and couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was well on my way to running a 30:15 10k or so, but was able to rally the last couple laps. I came to 200m to go in 29:30 and kicked with all I had: 31 seconds. 30:01.31 was my final time. Hurts just to write it.

    30:01 is a solid debut, but it is currently only 50th in the West region and only 48 qualify (if I were in the East region I would be sitting pretty in 30th… confirming what everyone already knows), which means it won’t get me into the Regional meet. So what now? The only other 10k I might run would be at Conference, and those are usually slow and tactical. So my next chance to qualify is in the steeplechase in a couple more weeks at the Double Duel meet down in Tempe. For at least the next two weeks, I will be a steeplechaser.

    Results

    Watch more video of 2011 Mt. SAC Relays on flotrack.org