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USA Half Marathon Champs Recap

17

January 22, 2014 by Enoch Nadler

After a great training trip down in Ecuador and a solid few weeks of final preparation, my confidence was high coming into the USA Half Marathon Champs. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to achieve my goal of breaking 1:05 and secure my ticket to the Olympic Marathon Trials for 2016. But I knew that if I raced smart and stuck to the plan that I would have a great shot of achieving my goal.

Angela and I made the four drive to Houston on Saturday and got to our Hotel around 4pm. My old college teammate and friend since the 10th grade Jeremy Criscione stopped by our room for a bit and it felt like old times again. We hadn’t raced together since 2008 so we talked a little about our race plans. For my pre-race meal, I skipped the elite dinner and enjoyed the food I always pack for my races: tofu, white rice, and broccoli. I like to keep things consistent and avoid taking chances for big races. After dinner, Angela surprised me with an awesome video(see video below). She had asked our friends and family to send good luck pics and she put them together in a slideshow with music. It was really motivating and reminded me just how lucky I am to have the support of my loved ones.
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Angela and I woke around 4:30am and I did some last minute stretching before heading down to the buses to go to the start. On the bus, I saw many familiar faces and met some new friends. We arrived at the warm-up area and I headed out for my 2-mile warm up with Jeremy and Jon Mott, another runner from Florida. After a nice jog in the mild 50-degree temps, I got in my drills and my last minute pre-race prep.
I was happy that Angela was able to enter the elite area and I got my good luck kiss and hug before lining up. I actually wasn’t that nervous for some reason and found myself feeling calm and focused. As the gun went off Jeremy and I were side by side.
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The plan was to go out around 4:50 for the first mile and then settle into our goal pace of 4:55s from there. This would put us under 1:05 and qualify me for the trials. Jeremy already had his qualifying time from an earlier race. The lead pack of about 15 runners went out pretty fast so we settled into the back of the 2nd pack and came through the first mile in 4:51. Over the next mile, we noticed the pack wasn’t slowing down and was running right at 4:50 pace. We dropped back and thought about slowing but there was already a big gap between us and the next pack behind us. I decided that I would risk it and go with the 2nd pack. We hit mile 2 in 4:49 and I was still feeling pretty relaxed and easy which was a good sign. Mile 3 was even faster hitting 4:47 to come through the 5k in 15:01. I knew this was a fast pace and I thought to myself,  “I can’t keep this pace” but then I smiled and thought, “I might not be able to but I sure as hell can try”. So I told my mind to “shut it” and focused on staying relaxed and running easily. I clicked off the next 3 miles in 4:47, 4:51, and 4:50 to hit the 10k in 30:06 for a new 10k PR. At this point, the group of guys I was with had dwindled from about 10 or so to 5 or 6.

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I knew that I needed to stay with this group for as long as I could so I focused on using as little energy as possible and ignoring any doubt that came into my head. The next 3 miles went by in 4:48,4:51 and 4:53 to hit 15k in a new PR of 45:04. I was starting to feel pretty tired at this point having just run a 14:58 for my 3rd 5k of the race but I knew I had to hang in with the pack. I stayed on pace the next two miles running 4:51 and made a final push through mile 11 to stay with the group at 4:48. At this point I knew as long as I didn’t completely fall apart, that sub 1:05 was in the bag but I was determined to not let up and go for another goal of mine, breaking 1:04. Over the final 2 miles, I started to really feel the burn and my legs were tightening up a bit. I thought about all my friends and family and took strength from them. That gave me the energy to get through mile 12 in 5:02. With just over a mile to go, I thought about Angela and how proud she would be that we had accomplished our goal and that gave me the last push I needed to run 5:04 for the final mile despite being completely out of energy. As I rounded the final turn I could see the clock counting up and I knew that I would need a big kick to get under 1:04. I dug deep and pushed for home. As I crossed the line in 1:03:55 I thrust my hands into the air. I couldn’t believe that I had done it! As I embraced Angela a wave of emotion came over us and I could finally enjoy the moment that we had worked so hard for. It was a great feeling and a moment that I will never forget. After the race, all my running friends were all super pumped for me and it was great to see their genuine excitement for my accomplishment despite some of them having sub-par races themselves. It was also incredible to receive so much support from all my friends and family via text, calls, and Facebook.
Later that night Angela, my brother Noah, and his fiance Nina had a celebration at their house and it was great to see many of the people that have supported my running over the past two years. I am so thankful for all the sacrifices my friends and family have made for me to get to this point and I want you all to know that I couldn’t have got here alone.
I am so blessed and grateful to have such an amazing and supportive wife. Over the past two years, she has given up a lot and has put so much time, love and energy into supporting my dream.
I know this is just the first step towards my final dream of running in the Olympic Trials and I can’t wait to see just how far and fast I can push myself.
Thank you for continuing to follow and support my Journey,
Enoch
*See video below that Angela made. The first part is the good luck video, the second part is the race re-cap with some video footage.
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17 thoughts on “USA Half Marathon Champs Recap

  1. CRISTIAN PATIO says:

    Really nice resume of the race, I felt really touched about the way you wrote it down and at the same time inspired. You are a really nice guy and hard work and being a good person always pays off, keep going my friend, the sky is the limit.

    Saludos Cordiales; Cristian Patio Torres

    Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2014 13:41:59 +0000 To: cristianpatino@hotmail.com

    • Enoch Nadler says:

      Cristian,

      Thanks for the kind words. Angela and I had a great time with you down in Ecuador and we look forward to seeing you again soon. Thanks for your continued support.

  2. Lee Ann Crane says:

    I cried when I watched the video. You have my prayers and support. Keep doing the right thing.

    Lee Ann

    >

    • Enoch Nadler says:

      Lee Ann,

      Thank you so much for your continued love and support. I think of Henry often when I am running and I draw strength from him. He continues to be a strong influence in my life and I will never forget him.

  3. piratebobcat says:

    That’s awesome man! Keep up the good work!

  4. SO many goosebumps reading this! The part about thinking of Angela for the last mile and realizing that it was a dream you all accomplished together was so sweet! I am so thrilled for you, and continuously amazed by you. Sorry we couldn’t celebrate with you after the race. CONGRATULATIONS!

    • Enoch Nadler says:

      Megan,

      Thank you so much for you continued support. Your comments and encouragement mean a lot to me. Angela and I are so happy that you are also pursuing your dream and we know you are going to continue to do awesome!

      Can’t wait to see you and Kevin soon!

  5. Michelle says:

    Way to go, Enoch! Such an amazing accomplishment! Can’t wait to hear about the next one! And great job on the video, Angela! Such an awesome way to commemorate a huge day!

  6. A Big congrats to u Enoch! An amazing accomplishment for u and ang! Aw, so happy for u guys. 😀

  7. John L. Parker, Jr. says:

    Enoch,

    Congratulations on a terrific performance from an old UF and FTC runner.

  8. Margie McCall says:

    Loved the update! Congrats to you and Angela! Sounds like your a winner in more ways than one. Praying for your continued success!

  9. Enoch and Angela,
    We really enjoyed watching the video and reading about your race and training. Also, the article in the Lake Region Monitor was really good.
    Congratulations! We are rooting for you!
    Brad and Sherry

    • Enoch Nadler says:

      Sherry,

      Thanks so much for you support! I’m glad you enjoyed the video and my posts. I still haven’t seen the Monitor Article but I’m glad its good! We hope to make it home to FL soon and we will be sure to stop by and see you guys.

      Thanks again,
      Enoch

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