February 5, 2014 by Enoch Nadler
This past Friday I headed down to Edinburg, TX to run in the All-America City 10k. I decided last minute to go to this race because I knew it would be a great chance to run a fast 10k. A lot of fast Kenyans that train in Mexico and also some top American guys show up because of the prize money. My flight down went smooth and on one of my flights I met a local runner, Cody Hughes, who recently moved back to the area. It was nice getting to know him and I look forward to training with him soon. I flew into Corpus Christi and then drove down the final two hours to Edinburg just north of the Mexican border. The race director set me up with a nice room at the host hotel. I got in a quick shake-out run on the golf course and then did some drills in the courtyard of the hotel. Later on, I attended the elite dinner and hung out with Dawn Grunnagle and a few other Dallas guys that came down for the race as well. After the dinner, I ran into Fernando Cabada who is an elite distance runner from out west. He was really nice and it’s always great to meet top runners and great people from around the country. After a good night’s sleep and nice warm-up with Dawn, it was time to line up for the race.
The main reason I decided to make the trip down was to attempt to run a fast PR and I was hoping to run around 29:30. But once I woke up on Saturday I knew that plan was pretty much out the window. There was about a 20-25 mile headwind that we would face for the first 5k and it was also about 75 degrees and very humid. I decided I would just feel the race out and compete. I knew that it was crucial that I didn’t go out too fast since I hadn’t done anything at sub-Half Marathon pace for the last 4 months. I wanted to go out around 4:50 and then work down from there.
Right as the gun went off that plan went out the window as well. Within the first 10 seconds, the lead pack of about 10 runners separated from everyone else. I knew I had to go with them or eat the wind alone. I surged up and settled into the back of the pack. I came through the first mile in 4:43 and I was starting to fall off the pack. It felt more like a 4:30 mile with the pounding winds so I knew I had to back off. I struggled the next mile to run a 5:07 and that point I realized it was time to back off and just run the race more as a workout. The two Americans in front of me had already gapped me and I had already pulled way ahead of all the Americans behind me. At this point, I shut it down and just focused on finishing out the race. I could tell my legs were still recovering from Houston and pounding them further for no good reason didn’t really make sense. My third mile was 5:33 and was the final mile into the harsh wind. It felt more like 5:00 effort and I hit the 5k in 15:58. As I turned with the wind I cruised the next mile in 4:57 before backing off a bit the final two miles to run 5:11, and 5:14 to finish in 32:02. While it was a disappointing race and not what I was hoping for I knew that it was still a good effort and a solid workout. It’s still very early in the spring racing season and I know this experience will make me stronger and even more hungry to lay down some fast times in the coming months.
After the race, I rushed to the hotel to shower before making the two-hour drive to Corpus Christi. I had just enough time to make my flight so I had to stay on schedule. I knew it was the last flight out of Corpus for the day so I was determined to get there on time. I stopped about 10 miles from the airport to fill my rental car with gas and then disaster struck. While I was waiting behind a car to pull out on to the road a big work truck backed into my passenger car door while I was sitting still. I was pretty irked but the guy was very nice and I know accidents happen and you just have to deal with the situation.
After about an hour of trading insurance info and filling a claim with my insurance I finally made it to the airport. I knew I had already missed the last flight so I dealt with the rental car company and then talked with South West to figure out my options. The woman was very nice and actually gave me a flight credit so I took it and then rented another car. After another 6 hours of driving from Corpus to Dallas, I finally made it home around 10pm. The trip turned out to be a little longer than I had hoped for but I made it home safe so I can’t complain.
I am excited to get back to training and I plan on continuing to build my mileage over the next few weeks. Then I hope to shift my training to more speed work before hitting the track for some fast 5k’s in late March and into April. The goal is to run sub 14:00 for the 5k.
Thank you for continuing to follow my Journey to the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles.