PASSION

Lately I have been at lost for words. Trying to find the right words are not always easy to come by. After watching the Oscar’s this weekend, I became motivated. You may be wondering how in the world the Oscars motivated me in a running sense. That is a very good question. But it comes down to my favorite quote, “Every Passion Has Its Destiny”(Billy Mills).

These actors, actresses, producers, make-up artists, screen writers, and various others work their “tail ends” off to become nominated for the prestigious award, the OSCAR. Many will be nominated for an award for several years and may never receive the ultimate title of “Best Actor”. Then there comes a time, after years and years of struggling to make dreams come true when the actor or actress unexcitingly receives their prize. Let’s take Anne Hathaway as an example; several years ago she was staring in cute films about princesses and fairytales. However, recently she scored a major role in the Hollywood Hit, Les Misérables. 12 years ago, who would have thought Anne Hathaway could have a chance at obtaining the Ultimate price? Last night, she won an Oscar. My point to all of this gibberish is that you may have to work very hard for a long time in order to become successful.  Also, many people will doubt your ability. Most people do not wake up one day on top of the world. It takes time to reach such high standings. You have to start somewhere. It may be at the bottom of the totem pole, but if you stick to your goals, the only thing waiting for you at the finish line it is the accomplishment you are vying for.

When you find something you want to work for, you have to put in every ounce of energy into attaining the goal. You have to want it so badly. You have to be willing to make sacrifices and good judgments in order to be accomplished. If your passion is running, it will lead you somewhere, whether it is on the Olympic Podium or obtaining the gut wrenching PR, you will reach your destiny as long as you stick to whatever it is that you are striving towards.

Keep working hard. It all has only just begun!

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Millrose Games and Big River 3200 results!

The Millrose Games were the major event of the weekend for many runners. I love this race because it really is for everyone. Professionals, Collegiate, and High school athletes all come together to race at this highly competitive event.  I was first exposed to this event in 2003 when Nicole Blood dominated the high school girls mile. I believe she was just a freshman when I watched this race. She over took Ari Lambie, who was a senior, and fabulous competitor. Nicole’s time of 4:52.02 earned her the second fastest time in Millrose mile winner history. I will never forget this race. Since then I have been a devoted fan of the Millrose Games.

This year the field was a little unique for the NYRR Women’s Wanamaker Mile event.  Mary Cain, the high schooler from New York was running in the women’s division instead of the high school race. For anyone who watched last year, Mary placed 4th in a time of 4:52.19 racing against the high school girls. This year, racing with the elite’s Mary came in 2nd with a blistering time of 4:28.25. A 24 second difference within one year.  Astonishing!!!

I watched a quick segment of an interview with Mary post race. She was a very insightful young women. There were 2 points she made during this one and a half-minute segment. Both of these quotes spoke loudly to me as a coach.

” As long as you are in it 400 meters to go, you CAN NOT GIVE UP!” (Mary Cain)

I absolutely love this statement. I can not tell you how many times I have seen runners give up with 100, 200, or 300 meters to go. WHY are we giving up after we have just raced for a prolonged period of time? The last 400 meters is going to be the most gut wrenching. However, if you are with the leaders or with the pack, do not lose it the last 400 meters. You have worked this hard, so do not give up! Anything can happen. You CAN NOT GIVE UP!

The second point Mary made during her interview was this…

” It is not about time or place, it is about competing well.” (Mary Cain)

Once again, another impressive statement. coming from such a young runner. As runners we are very hard on ourselves. We want to be perfect. In a perfect world we would set PR’s at every race. But lets face it. This is not a perfect world. Realistically we will not set PR’s at every race. Mary did run a new PR, however she did not win the race. She could have been very upset with her performance for not winning. At the end the day, Mary knows she raced competitively. She competed and ran the best race she could have run regardless of time and place.  Most people want it all. In fact many are not satisfied unless they get the first place trophy and the PR. Yes, it is nice to have it all, but in the end, a job well done is more important. Knowing that you did your very best is more satisfying.

Did you give it all you had during the last 400 meters?

On another note, I will be short and sweet with the results from the indoor race Andrew and Seth ran this weekend. It was the final championships for the Big River High School Indoor Track Series. Both runners qualified for the final and raced the 3200 meter event. Seth came in 5th place with a time of 10:06 followed by Andrew in 7th place with a time of 10:11. It was a great effort by both runners.  Training has switched gears a little and new PR’s and great races are on the horizon for these boys!

TEMPO run: Week 5

Luckily there are not many tempo runs left this season. With track season just around the corner training will change soon. However, we will not be eliminating the tempos all together. Occasionally I will throw in a tempo run for kicks ;).

Lately the runners have been running their tempos on a paved path. This week I decided to switch it up. We headed out to run the tempo on the track. It was a beautiful day for running. The temperatures warmed up a bit. In fact Andrew even ran in shorts and a t-shirt (something we have not been able to do for a while). Since it was a little windy I wanted them to be cautious of their pace. Therefore, they were instructed to take it slow at the beginning.  It is better to finish strong than to start out strong only to die at the end. I was extremely pleased with both runners effort. Their last lap was the fastest! The splits are listed below. Once again Great job yesterday. It will be a great track season.

Looking ahead, the boys will be participating in the Big River High School Indoor Championship series this Saturday. Stay tuned for results! I am expecting some major postings!!!

Andrew Seth
1:26 1:26
1:27 1:27
1:25 1:25
1:23     5:43 1:23     5:43
1:23 1:23
1:22 1:22
1:22 1:22
1:22     5:29 1:22     5:29
1:23 1:23
1:22 1:22
1:21 1:21
1:23     5:29 1:23     5:29
1:23 1:21
1:26 1:22
1:27 1:22
1:23     5:39     22:20 1:18     5:23    22:04

FIRE

The summer of 2003 I attended my first cross-country camp. My mom drove me up to Dallas, Texas where I attended the Metroplex Striders Gold Camp. This camp was put on by one of the most renowned coaches of all time, Terry Jessup. In his camp we train about 3 times per day and attend several lectures where we had the privilege to learn all about the sport of distance running. Terry even invited guest speakers who talked about nutrition and college running. This camp was the first time I was exposed to the intensity of this sport. There is one bit of information which I took back from my time with Terry. Don’t get me wrong I learned most everything there is to know about running from Terry. However the most important information he preached came down to 4 simple words.

FIRE IN YOUR BELLY.

I will never forget the chills that raced through my body when Terry said these words. He told us all that in order to make it not only in this sport but in life that we have to have a fire burning in our bellies. We have to have the deep burning desire to be all that we can be.  There will be times when the tough gets going and we start to spiral out of control loosing ourselves and our desires. One bad workout after another … and it seems as if we have lost it all. I know how that feels I have been there countless times. However the fire inside of me never diminished. It flickered. It tried to go out. But my burning aspiration for running was so strong that the flame could never burn out completely.

The road ahead is long and treacherous.  There will come a time you will want to quit and give it all up. The moment you let it all go is the moment the fire goes out. Once the fire inside yourself goes out, it will become relatively impossible ignite.  However, you are the only one who can lite the fire inside yourself. It has to be your fire. No one else can control it.  ” Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” — Stephen R. Covey

USACC Results and Pictures!

Andrew, Seth, and I headed to St. Louis for the weekend, where the boys would compete and watch the countries best distance runners race for the title to represent the US in the World Championship race in Poland later this year.  To start the morning off Seth participated in the High School Competition. The day was quite cold, barely reaching the mid 30’s. This course can be viewed as both good and bad. I love loops. Therefore I love courses like these. However, it is only a 2k loop and very curvy with lots of rolling hills.  The ground was no longer frozen which made the course exceptionally muddy and slick in some areas. Going into the race we had a time to shoot for, 5:20 pace. I figured if he can do it in practice he can do it on a slippery and windy cross-country course.  Seth crossed the finish line in a time of 13:28 (5:26 pace). He was 20th place which earned him top honors. Only the top 25 were recognized. About an hour after Seth competed, it was time for the Junior Men’s race. Andrew would be racing against the top college freshman in the country. Only a handful of high school students participated in this race. Both Andrew and I figured it would be a good experience to race against college runners since he will be in college in less than a year. The goal for Andrew was to run 5:30 pace for the 8 kilometer race. That would put him around 27:20 for a finishing time. He ran a great race finishing in a time of 28:00. Just a tad shy of our goal. It was the farthest Andrew has ever race. I am very impressed the outcome. Andrew finished strong. I must say it was probably one of his best finishing kicks I have seen in a while.

After both runners finished their races it was time to watch the Men and Women’s Championship race. Many of the USA’s best distance runners were in St. Louis ready to compete for top titles. On the women’s side, Shalange Flanagan, Kim Conley, Sara Hall (reigning champion), and Deena Kastor were just a few of the top contenders. The top Men competitors were Dathan Ritzenhein, Matt Tegenkamp and Chris Derrick. As we watched both of these races i notices a major difference between the younger runners and the professionals was not only the obvious blistering pace, but their tactics. I have never seen anything like it. But then again nothing ever truly compares to the real life experience.

The day was amazing. I know this race has motivated both Andrew and Seth to keep working hard.

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  Seth racing

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After Seth’s race.

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Seth Showing off his Backpack.

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Andrew smiling before his race

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Andrew Racing Strong

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Anissa (me), Seth, and the Ledgenday Coach Joe Newton

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                                                                                                          Top 2 women’s Finishers, Shalane Flanagan and Kim Conley

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                                 Deena Kastor talking to Sara Hall after the race. She placed 3rd. and will represent the US at Worlds

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Dathan is in the lead!

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Dathan, Matt, and Chris

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David Jankowski (former OSU runner) and Seth

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Seth and Ryan Hall (Olympian)

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Ryan Vail (former OSU runner) and Seth

USA Cross Country Championships Here We Come

A year ago, Andrew and I attended the USA Cross Country Championship race in St. Louis, Missouri. This was his first attempt running in a national competition. This year he will not be running in the high school division, but will be racing with the big guys in the Junior National race. This particular race will be 8 kilometers in length. A little longer than he is use too. However, I have full confidence in Andrews ability to race longer distances. Seth on the other hand will be racing in the high school division. Based upon his past few tempo runs I believe he will be a top contender in his race. Watch out runners!!!!

Not only will there be some of the top high school and college athletes vying for the top titles. This year the Men and Women’s Championship race will be one to watch. Some of the top distance runners of all time will be participating in this race. Due to the Olympics last year the field was sparse, but this year will be full of many inspiring athletes. Deena Kastor and Dathan Ritzenhein are two distance runners who are idolized by many runners will be racing tomorrow. Also, one of my former college buddies will be competing, Good Luck David Jankowski. Many high school runners dream of watching their favorite distance runners compete. It is like meeting a celebrity. I am thrilled that both Andrew and Seth will be able to watch these runners.

Good Luck to all racing tomorrow.  Stay tuned for result postings…