On | Chasing Tokyo | E02: Grandma’s


We have a very unique setup: Putting 10 young athletes together just out in the middle of nowhere. It’s a one-track mindset: you know, wake up, eat, sleep, run. Everybody at ZAP has the goal
of becoming an Olympian. There’s a lot that has to go right but we’re going to do everything we can
to get someone to the Olympics in Tokyo. This is a great shot right here. Be tough. You too, man. Thanks Johnny. Let’s go run a marathon. We’re driving down the mountain, headed to Grandma’s Marathon
in Duluth, Minnesota. I’ve got four ZAP athletes racing. Josh Izewski is running and Joe Stilin is running Joanna Thompson and Andrew Colley. By and large, there’ve been
really good build-ups and they’ve all been training together,
working off each other and looking to kick some ass
this weekend. Time goal for this race: 2hrs, 11mins, 30s, which is what you have to run to be eligible to go to the Olympics. The Olympic trials are in February,
eight months from now but even if you win the Olympic trials, you have to have the Olympic standard, which for the guys is 2:11:30 and for the women, it’s 2:29:30. It’ll be a pretty big challenge. I actually woke up and immediately
thought about the race today and kind of got
a little spike in heart rate. So… those things are good, I think. We’ve had about
a 9-week build-up for this. That’s included some 25 mile-runs, a lot of big workouts, so I’m ready to see that pay off. I guess the unofficial ZAP slogan is: “The Mind is the Athlete”. It’s all about what you’re thinking, how you’re approaching the race,
your attitude, your confidence and swagger
going into the race. If you don’t have that,
then it doesn’t matter how fit you are. Go down to the bike path,
get in 5-6 by 30 seconds full rest post. Josh has had a tight IT band and it’s just some really
light knuckle compressions. Just helps the tissue
open up a little bit and I talk to the tissue,
sometimes that helps. This is just your typical
Deep South sweet tea. And then I add a little
salt for electrolytes and it’s the perfect thing
to have during a race because I actually enjoy sweet tea a lot, so getting to have it
during a race is nice. Two years ago, I was probably in the darkest place I’ve ever
been in my life. I’d been injured for basically
three years up until that point. I couldn’t stay healthy for more
than a couple of months at a time. Pete was like:
“Hey, we need to figure this out and see what’s wrong with you.” I went to get my arteries checked. We got the test results back and I had pretty much full blockage in both legs behind the knees. I got the surgery, and it’s kind of
been a cool process ever since then. We took it back slowly
but I’ve never felt so strong, so I’m really excited to show people what we’ve been able to accomplish
over the past 12 weeks. Just do what you guys have been doing. Go execute your plan
of that first 10-15 minutes being an extension of your warm-up and then dial into your rhythm and then after you get past 30K,
there’s no coaching, just go race, go beat people. Couple of other quick reminders: run with people, you’ll waste
less energy by running WITH people and you can just pull off their energy. Josh, coming around,
fitter than you know. Joanna, if you execute
the first 4-5 miles as you should, you will run really well
tomorrow, period. Andrew, I’ve said this to you a dozen
times, but I’m going to say it again: you were dead in the water
two years ago with injuries so tomorrow is a celebration.
That’s the way I look at. And Joe, I really believe you hit a
reset button on your career last summer after the track nationals, and it’s been
just inspiring to watch, so… …let’s rock it out, alright. It’s a good 26-mile drive
out to the starting line. We’re going to see
if we can get to a few spots during the race to cheer the crew on and our first stop is going
to be the 5-mile mark. They start in eight minutes. If they’re doing their job, they’ll be
here in about 33mins 20s for the men and Joanna, about
five minutes behind them. So here comes your 43rd
annual Grandma’s Marathon. One thing as a runner
that you need to do is get to the start line with no
doubts in the back of your mind based around what you’ve done
or what you didn’t do. It’s got to just be: “I’ve done this,
I’ve rehearsed it, I’m ready to go”. Alright, boys. Run nice, and relax. Way to go, Josh. Nice and light. Alright, JoJo. Nice control, conservative start. Good, moving forward. Hard to tell a whole lot at 5 miles but they all look good. This is what they live for these days. Yeah, they’re almost here. Alright, boys! That’s good work, Josh. Hey, just light. Run your race. Your race! Pete has this inexhaustible
well of positivity. Alright Joanna, dial into a good rhythm. And he really projects that
to his athletes. We’re going to go now from miles 9 to 16.
We’ll just make it. All of them seem to be executing
well in the early stages. I say that even 9 or 10 miles
into the race because in a marathon,
it’s the last 10 that really matter. So interestingly enough,
the spot that we’re going to now at roughly mile 16
is about that point, the point at which really
the race begins. Alright Andrew! Hey, eyes up to what’s in front of you! Alright Joe, okay Joe. You alright, Josh? It’s very painful. Well, I’m sorry about the IT.
– That’s all right Unfortunately, Josh was
forced to drop out, his IT band really lit up on him. Every step from about three minutes in, there was pain in the whole
side of my leg here. Andrew looks quite good. I think he’s in either
4th or 5th place now. If I’m being honest,
Joe looked pretty rough. Alright, I’m going to get down
to the course here. The leader is still a couple
of minutes ahead of everybody, but Andrew has worked himself
now into 2nd place. There’s Andrew. He was on 2:11:35 pace at 20. Alright, Andrew! When I’m racing well,
it’s like no other feeling in the world, where you’re just running
and not thinking and everything is just
kind of flowing along. Keep coming all the way, all the way. He looks good,
he looks better than the leader. 2:11:08 right now for the full marathon. We got an update, he’s got a mile to run. Right now, he’s in 2nd place. Awesome job! Congrats.
– Yeah, man. My hamstrings and my calves
started giving out on me. Thanks. He finished second, 2:12:15. A step in the right direction, but… Let’s say a ‘B+’. He’s got to be pleased with that. Of course, he’s going to be
a little disappointed in not running the Olympic standard, but he’s just
getting started in his career. Excited to move forward. I’m almost certain that
Joanna must have dropped out because unless she’s walking,
she would have been here by now. I knew the big goal was out of sight, my PR was out of sight by mile 15 or 16, so at that point,
the goal was just to finish, and I ran like 2:19 something, it’s a lot slower than we wanted to run, but it’s still under 2:20, so… I’m sorry, man. So during the race today,
I felt really good aerobically but then at about mile 14,
my back started tightening up and I ended up dropping out
at mile 20 with back spasms. So yeah, it kind of sucked. In 2nd place with the time of
of 2:12:15 is Andrew Colley. I wanted to run that 2:11:30 and I feel like I was fit enough
to run faster than that so that’s why I’m a little disappointed. You’ve still got to come away
with some positives and keep the experience
as a step to greater things. I’m really happy for Andrew. That guy deserves a break.
This was really cool to see. Sorry, I’m getting
a little bit emotional. He’s been through the ringer. Getting to see what he can do,
with that solid, healthy training block is pretty incredible. Well, my first takeaway is we’ve just had a guy finish 2nd
at the Grandma’s Marathon. I mean that probably
1% of him is thinking… because I don’t know
if you guys know this: he was on a 2:11:35 pace
until a mile and a half to go but it’s still a victory! And Josh seemingly looked very relaxed
at running a 2:11 pace for 16 miles. So I still view those as victories. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say,
for someone like JoJo, who’s had the best training she’s
ever had since she’s been at ZAP, I’m disappointed FOR you, not IN you. There’s more races to run in the fall. The training doesn’t go away. And that’s not just lip service,
that’s true. Pete’s like “Well, what do you
want to do this fall?” and I said honestly, I think
I want to run another marathon. Yeah, I’m gearing up for Chicago. Berlin.
– New York City. Two weeks ago, we got
a new addition to the team. I know that I can be one
of the top marathoners in the country. I’m trying to help her
adjust to Pete’s training. Inversed band strap
Flexerdexers, frozen. We want to put someone
on the Olympic team for Tokyo but just making it to the starting line
can be really hard. Not only can I not walk right now, in February 2020, I have to run
the best marathon of my entire life!

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