Running as fast as I can since '93
RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • Bridgetown CAMTRI Sprint Triathlon American Cup

    Posted on April 26th, 2015

    Nearly one year ago, I raced the Sprint Triathlon Pan American Cup held in Bridgetown, Barbados. Barbados was an interesting place to visit, with some rich English heritage, and set up to be a great race for me — after working hard the first few laps of the five-loop bike course, my group caught the leaders and we made our way into transition in one big pack. The race would be decided on the run. That day, however, things did not continue to progress as I expected. Leading into the race I was nursing some very sore calves that were related to returning to intense training after a bike crash with a truck about a month prior, which had sidelined me with some bruised ribs for a while. After heading out on the run with the leaders, I soon began to fade and stumbled home in eighth place. In my post-race email to Coach Paulo, I wrote, “Feels like a missed opportunity to get on my first podium.” One year’s worth of racing later, and I still hadn’t put together a swim-bike combination worthy of a podium finish.

    Heading into this year’s race, I had new confidence in some areas of my training, but some doubts remained in others. I went back and forth in my mind as to how the race might play out, and often left myself contemplating scenarios where I would be confronted with those doubts. Finally, the night before the race, I decided that was not productive, especially in the few calm moments that remained. Any challenge I would face would be met with the affirmation, “Just win the f***ing thing!”

    Photo by: Andre Williams

    Photo by: Andre Williams

    Swim
    23rd in 9:16, :20 behind the fastest

    I went into the race ranked 5th, which I think is a pretty good spot to be as I can see where some of the best swimmers are lining up and pick my spot accordingly. The Triathlon Squad teammate Eric Lagerstrom was ranked 4th, so my game plan was to pick a spot right next to him and plan to follow his feet (which I trust and have more experience following than anyone else’s in the field). We ended up near the right side. Another American athlete and solid swimmer, Eli Hemming, slotted in on my other side.

    An example of diving too shallow. Photo by: Mark Harris

    An example of diving too shallow. Photo by: Mark Harris

    The horn sounded and we ran a few steps down the white sandy beach to the water. In my practice starts during warmup, I had dove too early and nearly put my nose into the sand. For the race start, I planned to take one more step than what felt comfortable. But that didn’t seem to workout quite right, either, and by the time my face hit the water, Eric was already a body length up. My plan had been to follow his feet, and I was now at his feet, so there was no reason to panic and gave chase.

    The rest of the swim I was in the bunch and didn’t shy away from contact. As I’ve become more comfortable with the mayhem that can be ITU swimming, I’ve learned to put more energy into moving forward and less worry on whether hand is getting the perfect pull or if it’s on someone’s back. Just keep the pressure on; keep moving forward. 

    Heading out of the water and back up the beach towards transition there was a steady stream of guys with no distinct gaps. My last race in Sarasota looked similar at the swim exit, but in that race I failed to get into the main group. I was determined not to let that happen again.

    Driving the pace on the bike. Photo by: Andre Williams

    Driving the pace on the bike. Photo by: Andre Williams

    Bike
    Fastest split in 30:35 

    I mounted the bike and immediately went to work. The graph below shows my power file from the first bike lap. There is a little climb just before the halfway out on each bike lap, and I knew it would be important to be in my cycling shoes by that point, regardless of where I was amongst the field. After getting up to speed, I hopped on someone’s wheel, put one shoe on, then sprinted around, found another wheel to draft behind while I put the other shoe on, and then didn’t look back. Up the short climb the first time I went 496W for 29 seconds. At the top there was a u-turn so I got a chance to see how far ahead the leaders were and if there was anyone behind me. I had put a small gap on the guys behind me, but the guys ahead had consolidated into one group and there was now a sizable gap between me and them with no one in between to help me bridge. There was no hesitation, I put my head down, and drilled it to the end of the first lap. 2:38 and 401W is all it took, and as the group slowed around the second u-turn, I slotted into the back of the group, probably with a grin and a small sigh of relief.

    Lap 1 power

    Lap 1 power

    I took my time the next lap to work my way to the front of the bunch. Jason Wilson, Matthew Wright and Eric were doing most of the work at this point, with the occasional pull by one (or both?) of the Perez brothers from Venezuela and Dillon Nobbs. Looking at the power file below of laps 2-4 you can see that the most erratic riding was done in that 2nd lap. With each lap I got a bit more aggressive and spent more time near the front.

    Laps 2-4 power

    Laps 2-4 power

    Checking to see if anyone is interested in a break. Photo by: Mark Harris

    Checking to see if anyone is interested in a break. Photo by: Mark Harris

    My cycling training has been going very well, so if I couldn’t get a break going, I wanted to make sure that everyone was going to have to put in some big efforts and hopefully make their legs feel pretty tired going into the run. There were sections with pretty strong crosswinds, so if I was on the front in those sections on the last couple of laps, I rode all the way to the side of the road so the riders couldn’t echelon behind me. (I put them in the “gutter.”)

    On the final lap I pushed hard up the hill one last time to see if they’d let me go. That didn’t work, and it was pretty clear that we were going to come into transition as a group. I rolled into T2 on the front of the group with the main players.

    Final lap power

    Final lap power

    Rolling into T2 with the leaders. Photo by: Andre Williams

    Rolling into T2 with the leaders. Photo by: Andre Williams

    You can see my ride (with power) on Strava.

    Run
    2nd in 15:44, :08 behind the fastest

    Photo by: Andre Williams

    Photo by: Andre Williams

    The run was going to be a bit of a mystery for me. Part of the reason I was so keen to make the bike hard was because I have not been doing the same volume and intensity on the run as my squad mates. At the beginning of the year I was diagnosed with a labral tear in my hip and had to take some time off to rest it and get some opinions from doctors on treatment. The doctors agreed that I will need surgery to repair the tear, but were unclear as to how soon I will need that surgery and how much pain or discomfort I will have as I try to train through it. Coach Paulo and I have taken a conservative approach over the past few months and I’ve worked with Gino at Function Smart to rehab and alter my stride to accommodate my condition. Considering the injury, my recovery and training has gone as well as I could have hoped, and I am nearly training at my previous volume, but now on treadmills and Alter-G treadmills to reduce the pounding that comes with running outside. So while there was some unanswered questions regarding my running, I certainly wasn’t going into the race expecting to not run well. If I did, I wouldn’t have stood on the starting line.

    Leading Matthew Wright and Olympian Manny Huerta on the run. Photo by: Mark Harris

    Leading Matthew Wright and Olympian Manny Huerta on the run. Photo by: Mark Harris

    Out of T2, I found myself in fifth or sixth position. The pace felt fast, but I expected that. Eric had a few steps on me and I gauged my running on him for the first kilometer. When we hit the first turnaround, Eric had built a lead of four or five seconds to me, Manny Huerta and Matthew. The way back we were fighting a stiff headwind, and I knew those guys were just sitting on me. I considered letting up, trying to let them pass, and letting them “break the wind” (as runners like to say), but I knew there were more guys not too far behind. Instead, I kept the pressure on, hoping to break some of the guys behind me and secure a podium finish.

    As we began the second lap, I realized Manny and I had created some space between Matthew and us, and I began to think about a 2nd place finish, rather than just getting on the podium. I really had no idea how much my legs would be able to handle, but at that moment, I felt in control. I knew I wanted to get rid of Manny before the far turnaround so that he couldn’t sit on me the final kilometer into the wind, so at about 3k, I pushed hard to the cone. I could hear Manny’s breathing getting more distant, and I began to think about how special a Squad 1-2 with Eric would be. I made the turn with a gap, and knew that I had it if I could just keep moving forward. The final 500 wasn’t pretty, and everything I had gained on Eric while making that move was erased, but I made it to the finish line in 2nd!

    Overall
    2nd in 56:31, :08 behind 1st

    Photo by: Andre Williams

    Photo by: Andre Williams

    Standing on that podium next to Eric was special, and something I won’t soon forget. Shortly after joining The Triathlon Squad and beginning to work with Paulo Sousa, Eric and I shared a bedroom with Joe Maloy in Poway, CA. For the first five months of 2013, Eric and I slept in beds that were closer together than we were standing on the podium on Sunday. Many of those nights, both of us had dreams of standing on the podium, no doubt.

    If you made it this far in the blog, thanks for being a RunPD fan! I’d liked to say a quick a thanks to the friendly people of Barbados (and the ITU representatives) that put on another great event. Special thanks to my training partners, coach, sponsors, family, and fiancee Mo for supporting and believing in me! Next up is Pan American Championships in Monterrey, Mexico on May 3rd!

    Results | Facebook Album #1 | Facebook Album #2

  • 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.

  • Summer 2010 Triathlon Training Part 1

    Posted on July 16th, 2010

    Two hours/day

    That’s what I told my friend and NAU teammate, Tim “Rube” Freriks, that my training plan would look like while recovering from knee surgery in March. It’s kind of like one of those clichés — “An apple a day keep the doctor away.” Since I already love apples and eat my fair share of fruit each day, my mantra to getting healthy and back to what I consider normal was, to be specific, “two hours of aerobic activity each day”. . . or about 14 hours/week.

    After reading about my recent successes in triathlons, and sharing that I had been been pushing well beyond that 14-hour level, Tim asked that I elaborate on what my training has looked like this summer. Because I like to get specific, I have decided to make a 4-part series on what my summer triathlon training has consisted of. This post, Part 1, will serve as an overview of my recovery from surgery, beginning full time training and what a typical week looks like. Parts 2-4 will focus on swim/bike/run specifically.

    Recovery

    First and foremost, I have no doubts that surgery was the right answer. I suffered with knee pain from December until March, and was often limited to five or ten minutes of running at a time. Rehab began just one day after surgery with quad strengthening exercises. In the coming days rehab included range of motion exercises, massage, and eventually squats and lunges.

    As I was promised by the doctor, I was able to resume running within a couple weeks of surgery, but at a much lower volume than I had anticipated. Still today I am running quite a bit less than my normal volume from before the knee pain began.

    Full Time Training

    Since my surgery, my training volume has slowly increased. It began with 20 minutes on the elliptical and peaked a couple of weeks ago at 19 hours, well above my 14-hour target. Below is a chart of my progression this summer.

    Typical Week

    When reading about professional athletes, one of my favorite insights into their lives is how they structure their days and weeks. Now that I am getting involved in triathlons, I have learned that balancing all three sports with appropriate recovery is no small feat. I, of course, am no professional and don’t have a coach, so I have done my best to create a schedule that I think meets my needs. This is an ideal week, and consists of about 18,000 yards swimming, 110-130 miles biking, and 60 miles running for a total of 17-19 hours:

    • Monday – For the second consecutive summer I am working as an Intern at ITT Aerospace Controls in Valencia. I get up around 6:30, eat breakfast and make my lunch, and arrive at work around 7:30. I get off about 4 and head straight to the gym to get in a swim workout — usually 5000 yards. Then it is home, dinner, and on the bike trainer for about an hour.
    • Tuesday – Go to work until 4. After work I do a 10-11 mile running workout.
    • Wednesday – TGIF; last day of work for the week. Regular run of about 9-10 miles and an unstructured swim of about 3000 yards after dinner.
    • Thursday – 8am: 8-10 mile run in the morning followed by a large breakfast. noonish: 5000 yard swim. 4pm: 20-25 mile bike ride.
    • Friday – similar schedule to Thursday.
    • Saturday – Long run in the morning, 14-15 miles.
    • Sunday – Long bike, 50-60+ miles. After the ride I refuel and rest for a little while and then run 6-7 miles.


    I am glad Tim gave me the idea to do this as I know I will be delighted to read these posts in the future months, as I finish my collegiate running career, and years, as I continue as an aspiring triathlete. Expect the next three parts in the next week.

  • “Only a fifth of what you normally do”

    Posted on April 3rd, 2010

    A month ago today I had surgery to remove Plica in my left knee. I am happy to say that I am now swimming, biking and running with some consistency. I have been doing a lot of rehab, nearly everyday since the day after my surgery, and I have to thank our team trainer Cherise for all of her help. She has so many athletes to care for and she always finds time to help me with exercises, ultrasound, and reassuring me that I’ll be back out there soon while I watch my teammates run workouts on the track.

    Earlier this week I told Tim Freriks (Nicknamed “Rube” because he is our lone ranger freshman. You should hear his jokes.) that I was hoping to run about 20 to 25 miles this week. He responded with a chuckle and, “That’s like what? Only a fifth of what you normally do?” While my mileage is much lower right now, I am simply happy to be out there again, improving everyday, and not worrying about if/when my knee will hurt again. As of now I am still very glad that I decided to get the surgery. I have an appointment to see the doctor on Thursday so I should have a better idea of how my recovery is coming along.

    Bus Canyon, Simi Valley, California

    One of the views from one of my favorite runs

    Since my last post I have been home for Spring break, back to school for 4 days, then home again to see my great aunt and uncle from Denmark. It is always nice spending time at home, especially this time of year when the hills of Simi Valley are all green. The little running I was able to do was truly a pleasure. I am so glad that I already have the perspective to realize “how good we had it” running as a youth and in high school. I feel like I have written this countless times over the last year on this blog: those trails are rich with memories.

    Going home has a new perk this semester: Tina. My girlfriend Tina graduated from NAU in December, graduating with a double major in just 3.5 years. What a stud. Unfortunately this means that she isn’t in Flagstaff anymore. Long distance relationships aren’t my idea of fun, but this is just a passing thing.

    Speaking of graduation, I have just over a month left of my undergraduate career! What’s even more exciting is that last weekend I received an acceptance letter to NAU’s Master of Engineering program. I still have at least an entire year of eligibility left and doing grad school seemed like the best way to make the most of my time here in Flagstaff.

    Now that I am running more I should have more material. In the coming days I am hoping to have a good idea of what my goals will be for the next 6 months or so. (It’s crazy to think that cross country nationals were 5 months ago.)

    Happy Spring!

  • FINALLY On With Recovery

    Posted on March 5th, 2010

    Wednesday I had arthroscopic surgery on my left knee to remove Plica. I was told that the surgery was successful and that the it was the largest Plica the doctor had ever removed. Apparently it was about the size of two quarters and had begun wearing  a groove in my patella. One of my reservations about the surgery was the possibility that the doctor might not find anything in the knee causing the pain. Needless to say, I was happy to hear he found what we were looking for.

    The pain has been pretty minimal. I have been taking ibuprofen during the day and one Hydrocodone before I go to bed at night, taking less as each day passes. There is quite a bit of swelling, as is expected, so I ice it often and try to have it elevated at all times. Reducing the swelling is the key to how soon I will recover.

    I have been given some quad strengthening exercises aimed at reducing the effects of atrophy as well as general strength in the knee. Each day I will hopefully be able to do a little bit more and will see a slight improvement in my range of motion.

    I have an appointment on Thursday with the doctor to go over the surgery and discuss which activities I can resume doing. Hopefully I will be able to do some light running and some easy spinning on a stationary bike next weekend. It sounds like swimming might have to wait a while longer as the incisions must be completely healed before I get in the pool.

    Until then I will continue to try to improve a little bit each day.

  • Applying to Grad School

    Posted on February 22nd, 2010

    These last couple days have been consumed with getting everything together for my graduate school application. After graduating in May, the plan is to starts a Master of Engineering while I finish up my last year of eligibility here in Flagstaff. I have really enjoyed my college experience here and would like to take it a step further with a master’s degree. Plus I couldn’t imagine jumping ship four years into my collegiate career and finish my running competing for a different university.

    The application is due in a week, so I am finishing up my résumé and a statement of career objectives. I am thankful to have a brilliant girlfriend to help me edit and proofread this kind of stuff. Thanks Tina. 🙂

    Surgery March 1st

    I found out today that my surgery is scheduled for this upcoming Monday morning. I am happy to finally get this problem taken care of. After surgery, I will do rehab for several weeks and will be able to resume running approximately ten days later.

    As of now I am leaving the Mt. Sac 5000 on April 16th on my schedule. If recovery takes longer than expected I will postpone my return to racing one week at a time. Hopefully, at the very least, I will be able to race a steeplechase in early May that will qualify me to run both the steeplechase and 5000 at conference.

  • Surgery is the Answer

    Posted on February 21st, 2010

    Yesterday I met with Dr. Yuri Lewicky to discuss my knee injury. We went over the MRI, which showed some Plica syndrome. The options are to continue doing physical therapy and hope the pain goes away, get a cortisone shot or arthroscopic surgery.

    The PT option is working slowly, as I have been able to run 3-4 miles every other day with little to no pain. The issue with continuing with this route is that, even if the pain completely subsides for a while, there is still a possibility that the pain will return later on. My worst fear with this knee problem is that it will go away for a while, perhaps allowing me to compete this outdoor season, then come back while I am training for cross country.

    Dr. Lewicky did not recommend the cortisone shot for a couple of reasons. First, because the Plica is rather small, it would be difficult to pinpoint exactly where it is. It is likely that the steroid would not be injected in the appropriate location. The other issue is that the steroid can cause problems with fat tissue atrophy.

    The final option, arthroscopic surgery, was the doctors recommendation. From what I have learned about Plica surgery, it is very noninvasive surgery. Recovery time is rather short, with only about 10 days until I could resume running. More importantly, there is basically no possibility of pain related to the Plica returning.

    So with that, I have decided to get the surgery. I will be getting the surgery during the week of March 1-5. This would leave me about six weeks before the Mt. Sac Invitational, where I am hoping to open up 2010 with a 5k, if all goes well.

    Read more about plica syndrome and recovery.
    NAU Tune Up

    Last night was the NAU Tune Up, the last meet in Flagstaff of the indoor season. There were a couple of huge highlights, starting with the pole vault. In the women’s pole vault, Berlin silver medalist Chelsea Johnson won and another athlete broke the Canadian national record.

    The men’s pole vault was absolutely ridiculous. The 2000 Olympic Gold medalist Nick Hyson and 2004 Olympic Gold medalist Tim Mack both cleared 17′ 6.5″. Watching from the sidelines was Arizona State coach, and 1996 decathlon Olympic Gold medalist, Dan O’Brien. Crazy.

    Then there was David McNeil. Dave woke up yesterday morning and decided he wanted to qualify for nationals in the 5000. He had to run 14:25 up here in the dome, which would convert to an automatic national qualifier. He ended up running 14:17, which converts to 13:39, a new national leading time. Dave now leads the country in the 3000 and 5000. Impressive. Congratulations Dave!

  • Super Bowl, Knee Struggles & Swim PRs

    Posted on February 7th, 2010

    Happy Super Bowl Sunday! What a great, American spectacle. I was rooting for the Colts (Manning is the man), but I am just happy it was a great game. We had some teammates over — Darius Terry, Joe Withers, Simon Gilna and Eric Lynch — and we all made and ate lots of food. My contribution was my Mom’s chili recipe and Trader Joe’s cornbread. Both were delicious.

    Knee

    The knee troubles continue. As of now, I am able to run 10-20 minutes without pain. As I go longer or increase pace it begins hurting. I have been icing, ultrasounding, and strengthening for over a month now with little improvement. It is getting pretty frustrating. And to frustrate me further, I have been trying to get a CD with my MRI images mailed to NAU’s team doctor for over a week now. Patience is a virtue, I guess.

    Once the doctor receives the images, we will have some orthopedics take a look. Depending on their suggestions, I may end up undergoing arthroscopic surgery on my knee. I have read and been told that, as far as surgeries go, arthroscopic knee surgery is about as noninvasive as it gets, with reports of people back running in a couple of weeks. The quick recovery time makes the surgery very appealing. Frankly, I don’t see myself back running full strength in a couple weeks without the surgery anyway. Why not get it fixed?

    But I am getting ahead of myself. For now, I wait to see what the doctors say.

    Swimming

    Today I did a time trial as prescribed by USATriathlon. The protocol for the test is a 200 (yards or meters), 1 minute rest, 800. I did this test a month ago and, converting from yards to meters, 2:45 and 12:45 equivalents. In today’s test I swam a 2:39 and a 12:13, 6 and 32 second improvements, respectively. I plan to continue to do this test once a month to measure my improvement.

    Needless to say, swimming is going in the right direction. Still, I have a lot of work to do. For 2010, I want to be under 2:30 for 200m and 11:06 for 800m (at sea level). I swam over 20,000m for the first time this last week. I am hopeful that many more high volume, high intensity weeks will get me closer to that goal.

    Indoor and Outdoor

    Because of my recent setbacks, running the 2010 indoor season is out of the question. There are but a couple meets left before the conference meet and there is no way I will be ready. Outdoor runs into the middle of May and beyond, so I think if I continue down the road to recovery, I should be able to salvage a decent outdoor season. After the improvements I made in cross country, I think even a mediocre season for me should yield some solid PRs.