Road to Nationals:One Last Week of Hard Training

Gabe Esser
6 min readNov 4, 2018

Last week was awesome. I am still in a bit of shock from getting All-Conference. I knew that if I ran to my ability I would get it. But actually doing it made it that much sweeter. All of the guys were super proud of me and I am super happy that I can be part of a sucessful program where people care about each other and love watching one another suceed. With that being said, we are not done yet! The top Seven have a huge race, which I will be a part of, on November 10th at Wartburg College! So if you read my blog and you are not doing anything that weekend, come out and support the Rams. But we have a really good chance at making Nationals which is what I have been naming this blog the whole training cycle and to actually see that come true would be amazing! But this week we are training to race well next week. After a pretty hard long run on Sunday I am really confident that I am in great shape. Now to be in a position to get our team to Nationals I and the other two guys need to make sure that we step up our game slightly. So this week expect easy days Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. With harder efforts on Tuesday, which will be the hardest, Friday and Saturday. We are so close to accomplishing our goals and I hope that you enjoy the blog this week. Love everyone who reads these!

MONDAY

6:36 A.M. 3 Miles in 24:22

Went early this morning with my friend Evan Mills. We had a great time just getting the double in and getting some of the crap out of the legs. Legs are still pretty sore after the run, but I am going to go pretty slow again this afternoon. Looking forward to this afternoon being a chill recovery run and getting after it tomorrow in the workout.

3:44 P.M. 7 Miles in 50:54

At the beginning of practice on coach gives out a couple of weekly awards. The first one he gives out is the Golden Shoe. It goes to the person who had the race of the day. And today I got that award for being the fifth runner on the team and clinching our Conference title! The run was simple today. Easy recovery, a bit faster to what I am use to on a Monday but it got the job done. See you tomorrow for the last hard workout that will help me get stronger and more fit for regionals!

TUESDAY

3:44 P.M. 2 Mile Warm Up

4 Mile Tempo then 4x800

1 Mile Cool Down

Today was a good day. The warm up was nice and chill and I thought that I might have a really good workout. Then we actually started the tempo and I felt great! I was supposed to average 5:50 for the four miles but I averaged 5:33! Which is a bit fast but where I need to be if I want to help the squad get to Nationals! Because of the faster tempo run today my 800s were not anything special but I know that I have grown in fitness and am primed to have a huge race in eleven days! See you tomorrow for some easy recovery!

WEDNESDAY

3:40 P.M. 8 Miles in 56:08

I got to run with THE Mason Wicker today, we are both having some discomfort in our feet and the rest of the team did a route that has some bigger rocks that I did not want to deal with today. It was supposed to be a easy recovery day and it felt like it but we ended up running pretty quick. Which I did not mind too much because we still are ten days out from Regionals. But Mason talked a lot about me being confident in myself. I know that yesterday says that I am in great shape. But I have to do the work in the race like the teams chance of making Nationals rests on me. Now to some people that would say that thinking that puts way to much pressure on me. For those people that could be the case, but I know that I have to be at the best form so that if rest of the guys on the team have a sub optimal race. I can try to have the best race that I can. Now everything from this point on is just a tune up for November 10th. I know that I am fit, I can run the paces that I need to run to be sucessful. Now all I have to do in ten days is put it all out on the line for a chance to make it to Nationals.

6:51 P.M. 3 Miles in 24:25

I will wake up and be on time for the double tomorrow! I do not know why it has been so hard recently to wake up but man has it been a struggle. I know that I can be someone who gets places on time. But the past couple weeks have been hard. I am confident in my ability to get up but now I actually have to do it instead of just talking about it. It is a worry that I have about the indoor season. I am already starting to look to my track goals and I want to break 16 minutes in the 5000 meter run inside. Which is attainable if I build the base after my two week break then get super fit. But morning mileage is going to be a huge part of building that base. I have GOT to do it if I am going to be sucessful. Run was fun tonight, saw a couple of kids trick-or-treating, but I was out there eating these miles. See you tomorrow for two recovery runs.

THURSDAY

7:29 A.M. 3 Miles in 24:13

Went early with the boys. I am glad that I kept to my promise of getting up and running this morning. One of the most important things that we take pride in on our team is our culture. And when I do doubles with the team it greatly improves the togetherness that we have. Today’s run was nice and easy, and we did a loop instead of our regular out and back route. Always nice to take on new experiences with the boys. See you this afternoon for an easy eight miles!

3:44 P.M. 9 Miles in 1:06:10

Super pumped about the recovery run today. We have one last 400 workout before regionals. And the goal of that is to go under race pace but as smooth as possible. But the recovery today went really well. Felt really smooth and I know that I am primed for a good workout tomorrow. See you tomorrow for one last 400 meter workout.

FRIDAY

3:44 P.M. 2 Mile Warm Up

16x400 meter repeats

1 Mile Cool Down

Today was the last day that we will do something with higher intensity over a longer period of time before we toe the line on November 10th. These repeats always are just a good way for me to feel comfortable running much faster than race pace, which is eighty seconds per four hundred. Today the range of the 400s I hit were between 68–74 seconds. Which is good and they all felt super comfortable! I am pumped for our long run tomorrow. I get to run 13 miles all the way to sutlift bridge then spend the rest of the weekend with my beautiful fiance at a wedding in the Ames area. But I will see you in the morning for a chill long run.

SATURDAY

8:50 A.M. 13 Miles in 1:30:03

One last long run before we start the taper. Today was nice and relaxed on the first eight miles. Then we gradually picked it up the last five. I know by this time next week I am going to feel amazing and run a really good race to help our team make it to Nationals. Tomorrow is off but I will write about the rest of my weekend with Jo :)

SUNDAY

OFF (WITH JOANNA)

What a weekend. Right after I got done with my long run Saturday I ate lunch quick then jumped in my car to drive to Nevada, Iowa to go to a wedding with Joanna. It was a blast and we danced the night away :) Then today I got to go to Church and lunch with her and her family, which is always a blast! Babe thanks for the awesome weekend and I can’t wait till you are back for Christmas break!

Running was good this week. We are six days out for regionals so for the next few days it is all about getting to that line at noon on Saturday in the best possible form I can be in. We have done the work, but now it is time to prove it. See you next week!

-Gabe

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