Wednesday, September 25, 2013


So it's been 3 months since I made my last post and so much has happened. Actually, so much has happened these past two years I don't even know where to begin. I set goals for myself, worked at them, failed countless times, dealt with setbacks/ injury's, but finally in the end triumphed and achieved what I had set out to accomplish. I am thrilled to say that I made it and that I am on the team!
It is still a surreal feeling and I'm still on cloud nine. I remember receiving my first articles of gear after our first workout day. When I got back I showered, got dressed, and put on that grey T-Shirt that said Mississippi State Track and Field. I looked at myself in the mirror and I lost it. It was a very emotional moment for me. I remember time after time having dreams about that same moment and when it finally happened it was surreal. Its been almost 2 months since the first day of official practice, and I still can't believe its happened. The feeling of accomplishment in living out a dream of yours never gets old.

Training has been going the best it ever has. I was averaging between 60-65 miles the past 5 or 6 weeks and have seen huge improvements already. We had an 8 mile progressive tempo on sunday morning and I ran it in 44:28 averaging 5:33 pace. A year ago I would have never thought I could run this fast. Let alone in a workout. This has been possible because regardless of how well I am doing there is whole team of people ahead of me that believe in me and push every step of the way. I think there is a strong mentality on this team that no matter how well you do, you should always search for ways to improve what you did and to never be satisfied. One of my teammates told me about how every member on the team represents a flame. Each and everyone of us should be fired up on our own and have a passion to compete and improve oneself, but when we get together we all feed off of each others flame and become a raging wildfire that can't be stopped. On and off the track we are one unit, and share one heart beat.
Theres a saying that goes "For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack" and I believe the XC team here represents that perfectly.
These guys are the toughest and by far the most talented athletes I have been surrounded by. They all have the same passion and love for the sport that I have and to be able to call them my teammates and friends is truly an honor.

I have high hopes for what my future on the team holds. It's going to require me to work harder than I ever have before, but this is just the beginning.

I noticed that my story has reached people in 10 different nations. For those of you who are still chasing a dream of yours I hope my story inspires you even more. I want to represent the idea of possibility and handwork. Go after what it is you want, and don't look back. You are going to face hardships when you chase your dream, but you can not give up.

Ultimately though, I was not able to do this on my own. My lord and savior Jesus Christ was with me every step of the way and he gave me the strength to keep pursuing my dream. If you put your faith in the lord, dedicate what it is you do to him, and truly put the decision in his hands you will receive his blessings. It might not be how you wanted to receive them, but he knows whats best for you. I told him that I would stop running if he made it clear to me that that was what he wanted, but until I received an answer I would be working as if it was in his plan. And I am very happy to say that it was and is.


"Our greatest glory consist not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."
Oliver Goldsmith"

"Success isn't how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started."
Steve Prefontaine

-PS I will be doing an update on the workouts we do every two weeks. I will make my first post late this week

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Mid Summer Thoughts: Injuries suck!

Being that it has been almost two months since I posted last I decided to do a mid-late summer update.
With summer classes, training, and physical therapy (I will get back to that), posting on my blog was something I was planning on getting around and doing, but it just didn't happen....until now. haha

Injuries suck! Yep, I'm injured again for the second time this year. 4th metatarsal stress reaction this time, and we found out why. I wasn't stretching my left calve well so my Achilles tendon got stiff which lead to the increase of pressure on the bones of my foot when I strike the ground eventually causing my stress reaction

I'm on week five of my recovery right now and my foot still just doesn't feel right.
I trained for two weeks on an alter-g treadmill which was amazing.
An alter G treadmill allows you to train while putting less stress on your legs by holding up by your waist using air pressure. You have to put these thick compression shorts over your compression short/tights that you are wearing, step in the treadmill, pull up on the handlebars, lock it in place, and then zip your shorts in. Once that is done the chamber of air fills up with air and the treadmill calibrates itself to your weight which then you can can control how much weight you are running at.
Ex: 75% body weight.

I started at 70% and worked my way up to 95% in two weeks.

I was feeling great, I was running pain free and had maintained my fitness. The therapists then said that I was healthy enough to move to training outdoors. My first week back they wanted me at 60 miles though which is nuts! When coming off of an injury like this you want to very slowly move your way up because of the risk of re-injuring yourself even if you have been feeling good! I decided to do 50 miles and the peachtree road race and that is where my mistake was. Impatient and eager to get back into my training I ran a hard week and since then my foot health has back tracked.

I took 4 days off after the 50 mile week running may be 4 miles combined for that time period.
I went back to my therapists and told them what was happening and they they gave me this patch to put on your foot that somehow through battery power delivers anti-inflammatory medicine to your foot. They said "If your foot still hurts with the patch we know its your bone, if it doesn't hurt then it is safe to continue training." And what do you know, my foot stopped hurting. I was so excited that I continued training into what is this week. Using Voltaren gel and Aleve I was able to keep the inflammation down and be pain free all day. I have now ran 7 days in a row hitting 50 miles (which is 20 less than what I should be doing on my training schedule) and my foot is starting to feel tender again. Even with Aleve and the gel I woke up in this morning and something just didn't feel right. I called my therapist today and he said that I should continue training until my bone scan which is on July the 29th as long as the pain isn't sharp. I am in a tough situation right now.
With the time trail the week I move back to school on August 10th this means that I could take time off and be healthy in a week leaving me 3 weeks to gain back my fitness and maybe improve a little, or continue training until my bone scan risking, but risk getting injured and being out for the trial.

Frustrated is an understatement of how I feel right now. I have the heart of a Champion, the desire to push and train my body, but have set back again from something that could have been prevented. I went into the summer in an amazing position to succeed and now that opportunity seems to be fading away. 50 miles a week felt like nothing at the beginning of summer and I was more than ready to move up to the 60s, 70s, and complete the workouts as well, but injury hit me again. ALL BECAUSE I WASN'T STRETCHING WELL.

I already know I'm not running today: I was going to take today off regardless, but I need to think about what is best for me right now. Taking some more time off, or just grinding through the training and seeing what happens in a week and a half.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Man, I love the summer

Most people love the summer because they get to sleep in, enjoy a giant breakfast  and may be watch some tv in the morning. Me? I love waking up in the AM and running down at the river. There's just something about being outside on the trails, breathing in the fresh air, feeling the cool breeze coming off the river, and having the morning due rub off the blades of grass onto your legs. 

Summers don't get much better than to me. I can simply loose myself on the trails, and truly dedicate my time to training.

-Run in the morning
-Take a nap in the afternoon
-Hang out with friends in the evening
-And then go on my second run, or do strength workouts

I am definitely enjoying myself right now, and my training is going great. I'm feel strong and health (Although I felt terrible on my last long run. But you always have those off days so no biggie).
My mileage has been at 50-55 for the past month. I have one more week around 54 miles and then I make my last in mileage to 60 right before I get my schedule!

I stil haven't gotten my schedule, but it should be coming in the mail soon.
Excited is an understatement. haha

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Summer Is Here!

Few, I did it. Freshman year is over. I did well in my classes and I can happily say that now I can truly  focus on my training.

I went in to talk to Coach Franks today to have a final update meeting and gave him my address as well. So, I should be expecting a summer training packet with my name on it coming in the mail around mid May! I am honestly ecstatic about whats ahead of me in the summer. I'm going to be able to train like a profesional. I'll be able to focusing on my training in the morning, rest during the day, and train more in the evening once the temperature goes down. Coach even told me that with the mileage I am doing now (A little over 50) I am right where I need to be in my mileage progression. The mileage in the schedule is supposed to start around 60 mpw and have me at 75 mpw by the end of the summer. I know it sounds like a lot, but I learned from my mistakes over the winter and I am not planning on committing them again. Lord willing, I will be able to stay healthy over the summer and come back in top shape ready to perform.

These past few weeks I have felt great. I have had a nice progression in my mileage and I have been training much smarter. If my mileage the past 2-3 months was graphed it would be a steady slope of increase. I think the biggest thing that will keep me healthy is keeping my easy days....easy, and not being afraid to take a day off if needed! Back in the winter I kept the intensity up every day and eventually my body broke down. You can fight your body all you want, but when it says no you will loose every time. So, over the summer I'm setting pace lvl that I wont let myself pass on my easy days.

Anyways, Ill be posting much more consistently in the summer with posts every Saturday Night, and in the post I will have a short report of each day.

Let the Summer Training Begin!

Until next time

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Alligators, Wasps, and more Cows

So I have a habit to time my runs badly and put my life in potential danger. "But Lucas, everything is dangerous" well... yeah I guess. Theres risk in everything, but let me finish.

Sunday I went out to the refuge with Kamau on sunday, the weather was perfect. So we start running along the rode that goes out to louisville (eventually) and 5 minutes into our run I keep hearing a buzzing sound. I didn't think much of it, but after a minute or so I looked around my head and saw a bunch of wasps. Now... if you know me well you know that I have a terrible fear of flying, stinging insects,ts paralyzing almost. So I start freaking out and swatting everywhere, and Kamua had the same thing happening to him. He had a shirt so he took it off and started swinging it around. We kept running faster and faster until we saw a service road to our right that was closed so we ran off onto the trail, not knowing what we were going to run into.

The bees stopped chasing us and we were able to relax again and enjoy the run. The trail was awesome. It was going straight through the swamps and marshes of the refuge. Eventually the trail came to a fork and I thought "well, if we go left we can connect back up to the road" so we went right. Right when we made that turn I kept hearing these small splashes next to me in the water and I got really jumpy. I knew the refuge has a large aligator population, but I never thought I would see one. About 15 seconds after i heard the splashes I see a huge and I mean HUGE aligator go into the water about 10-15 meters up the trail from us. I don't think I've been more scarred in my life. Its one thing to see one of those animals in a zoo or on TV, but seeing it on land, in person, and out in the wild is completely different. It was a beautiful animal though

Long story short we both said screw this and high tailed it back the way we came and finished up our run on the road. Next time I go out to refuge I'm definitely gonna be more careful about which trails to take and which areas to avoid.
I ended up running 7 miles and the last one was right around 5:50 because of all of the adrenaline.

Side note:
-Todays run on the farm we saw lots of cows out in the trails: somthing about moving them to a new pen. But, I found where they keep the bulls so may be I can get some friends together and play slap the bull...dangerous? Yes, but it would be an awesome thing to do before we leave for finals.

Until next time.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Overtraining and Rhabdomyolysis

Well, training has been goin well for the past week and a half, which was about the last time I posted anything. I think I am going to start posting once a week but write a paragraph on everyday. Posting everyday day is a little too much I think.

Sunday went well; I had a longrun at the wildlife refuge. I completely forgot about the refuge for some reason. I loved running there last semester and I am definitely going to be making weekly visits for my longruns because the trails there are just amazing. 

Well, I don't know what was wrong, but I felt like crap these three days in a row. My muscles felt fatigued and I wasn't feeling how right. I made sure I was getting adequate sleep and a healthy so I knew that was not the cause. I knew that the heat and humidity definitely had something to do with it, but little did I know of what was to come....
Something told me that I was going to hard on my runs and definitely too fast on my easy days this week and in the previous weeks as-well. Along with that, I recently started going to the gym and was doing some pretty serious post-run workouts. I have really been working hard these past few weeks. My hunger to reach my goal is larger now than it ever has been before. 

Before I go any farther with my entry I want to warn you that if you get gossed easily out easily then you might not want to continue reading.

Yesterday after my run I felt tired and extremely sore.. I did 5.5 miles at a very, very easy 7:20-7:30 pace with my buddy Kamau (who is my training partner). It was supposed to be my nice and easy recoveryday, but I still felt like I was working to hard.  After my run I had we made some pasta and hung out for a little bit. We had plans with our friends that night to go long boarding so I went back to my dorm to change and grab my board. Right before I left my dorm on my board I went to the restroom and thats when it happened. I looked at my urine and I was hydrated but there was a cloudy, brown colored liquid in it. I didn't think of it much at first, but after hearing stories about kidney failure and how dangerous it is I called my friends dad who was a doctor about an hour later.
We talked for about 15 minutes and asked me a whole bunch of questions about my exercise, diet, how I felt, and so on.... In the end he told me that I have Rhabdomyolysis, which is the severe breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue and release of its fiber contents into your bloodstream which then goes into your urinary tract. Its not a severe case (my urine was only cloudy once) and he said I will be ok, I just have to take in lots of fluids, make sure to get salt in my diet, and take some time off to rest.

So, as of right now, I need to take 3 days off from any physical activity whatsoever and then I can return to training. Its disappointing to have another set back, but thats how this sport is, and I give thanks to God for keeping me safe. A bad case of rhabdomyolysis will put you in the hospital, cause kidney failure, and even death.
Keep me in your prayers for a healthy recovery.

Until next time


Friday, March 29, 2013

Good News

Well, its been a while since I have updated anything.
I had 3 exams in 2 days so all my time after training was spent studying. All 3 exams went well though which is a relief, now I can focus on my training even more until the net exams come up.

Last saturday I went to a track meet that State was hosting, it was great! Got to see some great athletes run some pretty steller times and was just an overall fun experience. That day though, I woke up with a pain on the outside of my foot and I thought, "Oh man I hope its not a stress reaction". So this week I kept the mileage where it was, but didn't do any workouts. Happily though, I had a doctors appointment this morning and I am happy to say that it is not a stress reaction and just inflammation in my joint of my 5 metatarsal....So I can keep running, increase my mileage, an even wear my spikes and I will be ok.

I bought the Jack Daniels Running Formula book and I've been reading it a bunch. I have learned so much about the different styles of training and what different workouts do for you. So as of today I'm going to be starting on a true training schedule. The race is just about a month away now and I am truly excited for what is to come. Heres to dreaming big and hard work.

Today I have
2-4x200 @31
2-4X400 @64-66
1x800 @2:14
2-4X400 @64-66
2-4X200 @31

All with jogging recoveries based off the distance of the interval. This should be a fun one