Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I haven't written since before the Blue & Gray Half. Long story short, I went out smart and passed the leader after 9 miles, shut it down on the last 2 miles and still ran 72:02 for the win. Good day in the cold. Since then I've done a handful of workouts and run two more 80+ mile weeks. I can't wait to taper. Hopefully I'm doing that now. I'll describe some workouts.

Tuesday, December 13 - Two days after the half, I went to the track in the morning in 26 degrees and did two x two mile in 11:00 and 10:51. Not a bad morning.

Saturday, December 17 - Twelve miles, with miles 3-5, 7-9, and 11-12 at 5:35 pace. I did a good job. It was a cool morning, but the week had warmed up considerably since Tuesday. The first set I was 5:35, 33, 34. Perfect. I was joined briefly by Chris Badalato for the 2nd set, sort of impromptu, and did 5:35, 29, 33. He dropped off after 1.85 miles, understandably. The last two were both 5:32. A good run, considering I was having a bad day. I had intended to do it in the morning but got no sleep, and tried to take a nap after I taught Saturday school that morning. Oh well, it happens.

Sunday, December 18 - This long run wasn't supposed to be a workout, but it ended up being faster at the end. The first 10 were largely in the in the 7:20s with Jack and Justin, and then I stayed between 5:50 and 6:34 for the last 12. I shouldn't have done it, but it felt too good.

Thursday, December 22 - Justin and I started at the track to do one 4 mile interval on the track and a second on the road. My goal was 5:38 pace. On the track, I ran 5:31, 11:05, 16:38, 22:12. That averages out as 1:23.31 when I was supposed to be 1:24.5. I paid for it in the end though. After a mile or so recovery, we went to the streets. I never saw Justin again. I went on to do 5:32, 5:39, 5:37, 5:45. This is what I get for not running my paces. That last one was brutal too, because it was running uphill from Cobblestone. That's not the fastest stretch of road one could choose to run. I was worn out. However, Chip came to the track during the first interval and proceeded to tell tales of my greatness to his family. So that was good for my confidence going to Phoenix.

Saturday, December 24 - Long run workout. It was very cold out and I expected it to get warmer, so I was under-dressed at the start. It did NOT get warmer; only colder and windier. I did 8 miles relaxed (no target pace) with Jack, Scott, Bob, and David. That was easy. Scott stayed with me while I did another 4 at 6:15 pace (6:15, 6:20, 6:07, 6:15) easily. It was remarkable how easy it felt. Things stayed easy for a while after that too, dropping to 5:45 goal pace. I was running too fast, of course, and then I started to run into a headwind, so I had to fight my way through. I actually turned around so I'd have a tailwind, but by that time I'd already worked too hard. I suffered through the same last mile that I'd struggled to get through on Thursday. Idiot. Those last 8 miles were 5:47, 30, 37, 37, 35, 37, 38, 53. Suffer.

At the conclusion of my long run, I got a text from my mom about being nominated for Fredericksburg Athlete of the Year by Fredericksburg.Patch.com. I don't know how I got nominated, but I was pretty excited about it. I emailed it to a bunch of people and posted it on Facebook and Twitter. Sure, I was probably a little annoying about it, patting myself on the back, but hey, this never happens to me! I was up against a UMW Field Hockey All-American and a JM Football stand-out. They were both credited with athletic achievements, while mine were philanthropic in nature. Nothing was mentioned about my actual running accomplishments of the year (because who really cares but me?). The Marine Corps Historic Half was the worst race that I've run all year long in terms of running, but the best race I've ever run in terms of actually accomplishing something.

Anyway, I really wanted to win. I told everyone to vote for me. And I was winning! It was between me and the JM kid, with like 100 votes total as of Christmas morning. Then, somehow, the UMW girl stormed to the front with hundreds of votes! I rallied during the day, and was back in the lead with everyone spending Christmas on their computers checking Facebook. But then she came right back at me, storming ahead by hundreds of votes again! It was seemingly impossible that this D3 girl who isn't even from Fredericksburg could overwhelm me while college wasn't even in session. Had college and high school been in class, there is no way I could have overcome a viral polling contest. But someone in my family discovered at dinner that we could vote multiple times on our cell phones with no real effort. So we did. We tried to cheat. And we tried hard. From around 7:30pm on the 25th to some time in the morning, we voted! It was to no avail. Yesterday afternoon, she was getting hundreds of votes per minute. It's as though her entire field hockey team was doing the same thing that my 2 siblings and brother-in-law was doing. We were overwhelmed.

I was honored to be nominated. I really wanted to win. I might have even pulled it off in a fair contest. But when the chips were down, I started cheating against a cheater. But it was no use. I could not cheat as much as the University of Mary Washington Field Hockey team. They cheated so much better than I did, and Fredericksburg Patch had over 10,000 votes in a poll that no one really cares about. Morgan Jones had 6059 votes, when I doubt there are even 6059 people who go to her school that have heard her name. Does Mary Washington have that many students? I have no idea. #bitter. I think the JM kid would have won fair and square.

The funnier part about it is the people who commented on Facebook about it. They couldn't just be happy that someone from their sport and their organization was nominated for AOY in Fredericksburg. They had to complain that other people should have been nominated. Well, the joke is on them. They can't read apparently, as the Patch website said "Did we leave someone out who deserved to be included as a nominee? Tell us in the comments below." There are no comments. But if you go on Facebook and look, people complained there. Way to read, losers. This is why our sport is dying and people think that runners are whiney assholes.

Anyway, while Morgan Jones sits around before her last semester of mediocrity without field hockey to guide her through life, I went out and did 5 x 1.5 mile repeats on the track in the pouring rain. I think that Sean Connery had a quote in "The Rock" about winners and losers, but I won't repeat it here due to the profanity. Details of that workout are in the link below.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. My next post will probably be my yearly wrap-up.

Garmin Connect


  1. "last semester of mediocrity without field hockey to guide her through life"?????

    The true mark of good character is not how gracious a winner you are, but how you demonstrate yourself in defeat.

    I do not know Morgan Jones, and I only found this due to a link on the Patch site, but you demonstrate you win alot and obviously are a very poor looser.

    To paraphrase the beer commercial - "stay whiney my friend".

  2. Thanks for the comment Peter M. I was a bit tentative to include the statement that you've highlighted because I wasn't really sure what message I was sending out with it. Perhaps I should have reconsidered. Morgan had a tremendous career as a Lady Eagle, or whatever they call themselves. Now that her collegiate field hockey career is over, I hope that she finds a way to continue to excel athletically.

    Were I a poor loser, I doubt that I would be making light of the fact that Morgan and I both tried to cheat our way to success in this irrelevant poll. To say that I lost "fair and square" would be one thing that I would be fine with. I lose fair and square on a regular basis, and handle such defeats appropriately. This, however, was not the case. I tried to cheat my way to victory, and was out-cheated by a better cheater. Make no mistake, we're both cheaters. I'm not proud of it, so I'm using humor to make myself feel better about it. I cheated as hard as I could and just couldn't cheat enough to win.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm always surprised to hear that people I know read it, but just shocked when strangers read it too. Happy New Year!


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