Always Forward – Never Straight

Some people hate losing. They just despise it. But in some weird way, I like it. Sometimes (not all the time), I like going down in flames. It creates this fire inside of me. Those raw emotions help fuel the path to greatness. I guess that”s why it’s ok to lose sometimes.

Which is EXACTLY why I decided to go down in flames last weekend at the Jacksonville Half. All in my plan… Not really. But that’s the game you play anytime you lace up the shoes. I felt more certain going into Jax Half as to what I COULD do, than I have in a long time. That certainty turned to uncertainty and feelings of 100 different emotions with less than 15 minutes left in the race. I felt comfortable through the first 10 miles with Tyler Pennel and the pack just cruising some mid 4:50s. But a little after mile 10, that was all she wrote. I felt some tightness creep up into my right calf and thought I could keep going. I brought it down to a ~5:30 11th mile, but I wasn’t going to just ”jog out the tightness”. I had no other choice but to shut her down. Even though I kept a pretty stoic face coming through the last 2.5 miles, the fire had been lit inside me.

I wasn’t the only one that had some raw emotion at the finish line. A handful of my friends and fellow racers were all pretty ecstatic after they got the elusive sub 1:05 to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials. It was very uplifting and I was pretty pumped to see how many got the standard. Ryan Miller, Kevin Castille, the list goes on. Jax Half was a ”poster race” for what American distance running should be. We only have so many USATF championship road races that we get to participate in during the year, this should be an example for future non championship races. I want to see the sport grow, and a race like this, that Richard Fannin put on, helps the sport grow. If more race directors would take a page out of his book, we could really see some great things within running. Big ups to Richard Fannin for doing something that doesn’t happen often in the elite community.

There is only about 5 weeks until the Olympic Marathon Trials. I”m sitting here with my legs raised, hoping that this calf soreness takes a hike soon. I would like to hit a couple more 100+ miles per week with some workouts, then a couple of down weeks. Either way, you can bet your ass I”ll be on that line in Los Angeles. Even if I have to hobble the whole race, I”ll let the fire drive me.

Big ups to Richard Fannin, Skechers Performance, Durata Training, and the rest of the people that care to grow this sport.

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