By David Goodman

I started with NE Distance in September and so far it’s been really great. My favorite race is the Steeplechase and my goal is to be the best that I can in that event. When coming to New England, I felt that the one thing I really needed to focus on is mileage. I never felt I had a chance to run high mileage and the setup here is letting me do that.

In the first four weeks of coming here, I’ve built up to 100 miles per week and feel that my body has been able to handle it pretty well. Coach Rothenberg and I discussed getting in a good half marathon race to break things up. I picked the ING Hartford Half because I had heard good things about it from some of my new training partners and thought that there would be some good competition.

My training leading up to the race was going well, but this was my first experience with that long of a race. Although I am running the highest mileage of my career, it became clear that I haven’t had enough time to develop strength from my base period and that the half marathon is a different kind of race.

Moments before the start at Hartford.

The marathon started with a shock. The pace was quicker than I expected, but I ran my own race for the first mile, letting the leaders run away from me. After the one mile mark, the impatient, aggressive competitor in me came out and told me it was a good idea to try to push myself to chase the leaders, who had already established a sizable lead. This resulted in tiring out my legs with little ground gained. My competitive streak had not yet been beaten out of me, so for the next two miles I engaged in a surging war with another runner, where I would push up the hills and

he would hammer down. By mile 5 I had lost that fight and was well aware that I was in over my head.

At the half way mark I got passed by a few more athletes. By now the adrenaline and allure of racing again had worn off and I was just hoping to finish and move on to training for quicker, MUCH SHORTER track races. Of course, easier said than done. At 8 miles I passed some port-a-potties and realized that nature was on line “2”. I battled with the thought of stopping mid-race to go to the bathroom, but at mile 9.5, nature was no longer letting me keep it on hold so I had to stop to TCB.

After the bathroom break, I emerged behind 3 runners who were more than capable of providing me with enough opposition to get me through the rest of the race. I battled with two of these runners all the way to the line passing one and running away from him with less than half a mile to go.

Finishing time- 1:11:58

Race thoughts- Decent result for not being in race shape yet, and training through it. Somewhat disappointed, but I had unrealistic wishes and expectations. Excited and ready for track, that’s the real goal anyways, this was just a checkpoint.

While I was disappointed, I was able to get my mind off of it pretty quickly and focus on the road ahead. NE Distance hooked me up with the Thunderkids program, a childhood obesity prevention program in Woonsocket, so right away on Monday I spent the afternoon teaching kids how to use exercise equipment at the YMCA. The real races for me don’t start until 2013 and I am looking forward to them.

David is the first athlete to sign with NE Distance. He is the 2011 National NCAA DII champion in the 3000 meter Steeplechase. David graduated from Western State College of Colorado in 2012 with a degree in Environmental Studies. David has a personal best of 8:48.45 in the Steeplechase and placed 5th overall in the NCAA DII National Cross Country 10k Championship this past fall. After driving over 3400 miles in a borrowed van, David moved into his Constitution Hill apartment in Woonsocket (RI) with the NE Distance program at the beginning of September.

Thanks to Nich Haber and NE Distance for helping to pull this together.

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