Many congratulations on the win! It sounds like you had a finely detailed strategy for this course based on the elevation profile, specifically homing in on the steep downhills in the fifth mile as an opportunity to put some distance between yourself and the other contenders. How much of your execution was based on pre race strategy and how much was going on feel and accelerating when you sensed you had an advantage?
Thanks! It was a very fun experience. Regarding the course and race itself, I suppose my strategy was less about beating other people and more about challenging myself. I was pretty familiar with the course going in and knew there would be difficult sections. To me, miles 5-7 seemed like a place where it would be easy to check out and settle in or feel sorry for myself. So, I challenged myself to overcome that. Your legs are starting to feel the effect of the race when you exit the downtown mall at mile 5. Then you have two miles without much crowd support back in that hilly neighborhood. I told myself that no matter what, I'd commit to running that section well. I tend to break races down based on the course geography. The 10-miler gave me plenty of things to think about with all of its hills and natural breaks.
You were quoted in Rachel's recap in The Daily Progress crediting the Charlottesville running community with helping you get back into consistent training. Expand on that; what resources and relationships in the 'Ville have helped you reestablish consistency?
Absolutely! I suppose most of the folks around here don't know that I've been injured off and on since April of 2016. The 10-miler was the first time in 3-years that I have stepped on a starting line and felt good about my fitness. There have been many factors that led to that. Obviously working and training at Formula has been huge. It's given me an opportunity to focus on the strength work that I believe is crucial to staying healthy. It was also awesome during those cold winter months that I'm not used to and allowed me to continue getting in quality work when mother nature said no. The Charlottesville community as a whole has just been so conducive to fitness and running. This is a super active community that is full of people who have welcomed me and helped me get back into the swing of things. The first workout I did in Charlottesville was with the the Ragged Mounting Racing guys. Mark Lorenzoni and all of those guys were super friendly. Hell, Thomas Adam (2nd at this years 10-miler) and I ran and worked out together a lot in the month leading up to the 10-miler. I was super excited to turn around and see him right behind me. I do a lot of training by myself, but I love running with all the great local runners when I can. The people, the training resources, the trails and the dirt roads make Charlottesville an awesome place to be a runner. It's just really made running fun for me since I moved here in August.
This race came in the midst of your build up to the Pittsburgh marathon. Had you been planning on jumping in to this race as a tune up, and did it show you anything about your training and fitness that came as a surprise?
When I decided to do Pittsburgh, I knew right away that I also wanted to run the 10-miler. Training wise, it fell at the perfect time and I was super excited that such a historic race was taking place 5-minutes down the road from my apartment. The race really validated where I thought I was in my fitness. I try no to get too asphyxiated on time. That being said, I ran almost dead on what I though I could on that course. So that was definitely a positive.
The C10M is a great race with a great history and great crowd support, and it's greatly challenging. 48 hours removed, how are you feeling, and how are you planning on approaching recovery with your goal race approaching.
Mentally, I'm feeling quite excited and ready to keep building to Pittsburgh. Physically I'm actually feeling quite good as well. I took Sunday off after the race and will take the first half of this week easy. After that, it's right back to work for a few more weeks as long as the body is ready. I'm pretty sure my post race trips to Random Row and Devil's Backbone helped as well . . .
Now that you've got one under your belt, what advice would you give somebody who's planning to run the C10M for the first time?
My advice would be to seek advice from the real veterans! That's what I did. There are folks around here that have run quite a few C10Ms. Some of the best advice I got was to not underestimate Main St. between miles 7-8. I suppose my best advice would simply be not to over exert yourself on those early hills. There is a lot of energy and and excitement in the opening 5K. It's easy to go out too hard and burn up too much gas on some of those hills around Grounds. Keep it cool and remember that the real race starts when you reach the downtown mall. But most of all, I'd encourage people to have fun with it! It was a very fun experience for me. I remember smiling as I struggled up the hill by Ragged Mountain and thinking about how much fun it was to be running in such as cool and historic race.