This race recap is brought to you by Chaski Resident Coach Alex Diltz. We hope you enjoy!
I’d like to start off by dedicating my race, this blog, and 2021 to my grandfather who passed away recently as a result of complications from COVID-19. I’d also like to take a moment to express my love for anyone going through hard times during this pandemic no matter the severity of their situation. We WILL overcome this.
RACE WEEKEND - It was extremely daunting coming into this half marathon and not having raced in 14 months. My last race was 14 months ago, and that race left me questioning my whole running career and why am I still doing this (I feel like this goes through every runner's brain after a bad race). I raced the California International Marathon, thinking I was in the best shape of my life, ready to chisel 20 seconds off my marathon time and make the Olympic Trials. Marathons are hard, you can prep perfectly and still fall short. And that is totally okay.
Anyway, my fitness was there, my mentality was coming around, and I wanted to prove to myself what type of runner I am. I haven’t hit a personal best in the half marathon in 3 years. It was time to take away the negative self-talk and just race and do it with passion, confidence, and strength.
Brad Hudson and his crew from Vegas Gold Elite did a wonderful job setting up this race to be Fast and most importantly, “Covid safe.”
Starting the race, I felt like I belonged and it was finally my time to crush a PR. During the race, I don’t remember much. I just remember thinking, my body feels relatively good, my breathing is controlled, and the nagging injuries I have had during this buildup have gone away. (The stars finally aligned). I checked in with my teammate Matt a couple of times to see how he was feeling since this was his half debut. (He was great the entire time and ran fast!) The course was downhill one way and uphill going back. Basically, it was a stretched out figure eight. The wind was at your face on the uphills but behind you on the down. So many moments could have been plagued with negative self-talk, but what’s that good for. I just needed to stay positive and keep on running hard. There were a handful of spectators who did a great job of cheering for every single runner - all 40.
Crossing the line, I took a few moments to cherish what just happened, feel the presence of my granddad with me, and find my teammates who also had AMAZING races - setting new personal bests. As my first race in 14 months, I had expectations but my main goal was to set a PR which I haven’t done in 3 years. I was elated when I crossed the line in 1:06:30. Not the ideal time I wanted to run as I was on pace to run faster through most of the race, but this was the time I needed just to keep everything in perspective and have hope for future racing and more room for improvement. Overall, there were 25 elite/pro men in the race and I came in at 10th place and my two teammates were also top 10 as well! A great day for Elevated Performance and my coach Jeff Boelè was ecstatic. I’m starting to chisel away my times and higher placements in the field. I just have to keep trusting the process, believing in myself and my coach, and giving it my all during whatever race I get to race next. As a sub-par high school runner to college team walk-on runner, now to elite runner, I can only hope my progression continues and I'm able to improve going forward.
Starting off 2021 on a good note, racing wise, sets up a good road map for the races ahead, whenever they may take place. It’s great to be part of such an amazing running community with Chaski Endurance Collective and have so many resources to not only help myself but thousands of other runners we reach on a daily basis.
Continue to enjoy each and every run. Continue to challenge yourself. Don’t forget to check in with your friends, athletes, family, and neighbors.