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Runnin’ Down A Dream

August 10, 2012

Hi, I’m David.  This is my first post as a Rogue Athletic Club member, and I couldn’t be more excited.  Rather than give you my running credentials (you can find my bio here and my personal website is I’d like to give you an idea of who I am through some of my recent experiences.  This last year I have competed professionally out of Lincoln, NE as I finished my last year of school at the University of Nebraska.  In May, my wife, Bethany, and I both received our degrees; mine in Electrical Engineering and hers in Dietetics.  I had a job offer to work for a public utility in a town 40 minutes from Lincoln.  A good paying job with great benefits, a perfect transition from college to the “real world”.  There was one small thing that kept me from accepting that position, however:  deep desire to run…fast.  This last season was definitely a breakout year for me as I lowered my steeplechase mark 13 seconds from college and broke the coveted 4 minute mile barrier for the first time.  Getting out of the college training system proved to be just what I needed.  It wasn’t easy at first.  Last fall was tough because I missed the camaraderie of the team atmosphere and was putting in a lot of miles on my own.  But it forced me to be responsible for my running career, to really own it.  This was a year of maturing as a runner and I feel that if I had joined a group right out of college it would have been a very frustrating year.

Running in the Olympic Trials this summer was another learning experience.  Throughout my career I had never actually run in a final of a prelim/final format because the steeplechase was either just a final round or I didn’t advance past the prelim.  It was uncharted territory so even though I finished a disappointing 14th I think I learned more in that race than I had in my running career up to that point.  After that I was ready for a change.  Ready to really take my running to the next level.  I’m tired of people telling me that I “have a lot of potential” or “will be good someday”; I’m ready to reach my potential and be an elite level runner now.  Rio 2016 is my time.  Even though I was ready to get started training for 2016 the day after the Trials I knew I needed to take time to get healed up.  The previous year of intense training had taken it’s toll and I had developed a lot of pain in the ball of my foot in April and ran through it until the Trials in late June.  Now, it’s not the smartest thing to run through injury, but for me it was something I had to do.  I had been training for a long time for the Trials and I wasn’t about to call it quits after I had already qualified with the Trials “A” Standard.  So right now training is resting.  Over the last 5 weeks I’ve been resting and rehabbing in preparation for our move to Austin.  It’s the longest I’ve gone without running in the last 5 years but I think it’s been much needed.  Though the improvement has been slow it is definitely healing and I hope to return to running in a few weeks.

So, of all places, why did we choose to run for Rogue in Austin, TX?  After all, we are passionate Husker Alumni and haven’t forgot the 2009 Big 12 Championship where we were robbed of the title after Colt McCoy through the ball away as time expired, only to have :01 put back on the clock.  Well, I have to admit, I love the state of Texas.  You won’t see me wearing burnt orange or throwing a hook ’em horns up, but we really loved Austin when we came down to visit and were welcomed with open arms.  More important than the training group, coaches, sponsorship, was answering the question, “could we see ourselves living here?”  Well, it didn’t take more than 2 days for us to answer that question.  We are so excited about moving to Austin and starting a new adventure.  You will notice that I use the word “we” a lot and that’s not by accident.  My biggest fan and supporter is my wife.  We got married last July and I know I couldn’t achieved what I did this last year without her support.  She has been so selfless in order for me to pursue my Olympic Dream and I can’t be more grateful.  Anyone who’s married knows that it’s a team effort and without the support of both members there will be problems.  What centers our marriage is our faith in Jesus Christ and the grace God extends to us through Him.  I will leave you with a verse that has really helped me understand how my faith and running are intimately connected.

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me —the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”  Acts 20:24


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