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Who I Am...

My name is Steve Ludwig and I am a new member of the Indiana Invaders.  Collegiately, I spent three years running at the University of Wisconsin after two years at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.  Wisconsin-Parkside is a small Division 2 school located in my hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

In high school I was very uneducated about running.  I didn't have the proper running attire that I am now exposed to, I would wait until a couple of months before the season started to try and build a base, and I would go out and hammer all of my runs for as long as I could.  Aside from those things I was also very one dimensional with regard to races as I rarely swayed from the normal meet agenda of 800 and 4x4.  Because I hadn't been very versatile and only achieved a middle of the road 800 PR (1:55.37 as a Junior/1:54.64 as a Senior) I wasn't recruited very much by D1 programs which consequently was where I wanted to go.  So, I accepted a scholarship to Parkside. 

I never ran cross country in high schoool because I played football in the fall, so I finally had my first cross country season my Sophomore year at Parkside and during track I jumped from my Freshman PR of 1:52.87 to 1:50.37.  Being that the aforementioned 1:50 race was during the last allowable weekend for Division 2 athletes to qualify for the National Championships, I cemented my spot in the meet... or so I thought.  I found out a week before the meet that the Men's team was ineligible for nationals due to the fact that they did not meet a persons requirement stating that at least 14 athletes need to compete in at least 4 meets throughout that portion of the season.  In short, I was not allowed to run because of the University's negligence.  Prior to the season I had been considering different possibilities as far as school and track went because I felt as though I was not getting the proverbial "college experience" and even though I had made steady improvements in the 800 up to that point, I realized that in order to continually progress I needed to surround myself with more top tier competition and athletes who have similar goals to those of mine.  Once the nationals fiasco happened I decided it was time to move on and I made the transition in transferring to Wisconsin.

My first year at Wisconsin I had a tough time transitioning to the lifestyle of living on my own and being at a big Division 1 school so I decided to redshirt for various reasons.  I competed in a couple of meets indoors and a few outdoors, however it is difficult to find open races to get in as well as traveling.  Also, the sheer fact that you are not running for anyone but yourself keeps you honest and really tests your drive and determination.  What I mean is that it is sometimes lonely when you are not competing for a club or team after that is what you have been doing for years.  You are not traveling with your friends and teammates, but instead running solo.

My second year at Wisconsin was also a bit trying as far as running goes.  After waiting a year to compete the progress I had intended to make somehow still eluded me.  My first year I was at Wisconsin the 800 guys were trained by Jerry Schumacher. My second year Mark Guthrie took over the 800 group with a long sprint mentality.  During indoors I felt as though I was fit enough to run 1:50-1:51, however, I could not manage to break 1:52.  I finally realized that my poor performances on the track were more than likely attributable to the fact that I weighed 175 which was heavy for me.  Except for when I came to college my Freshman year weighing 185 after a summer of weightlifting I cannot remember being over 170.  I am pretty sure I was consistently around 165 while I was at Parkside, so I definitely needed to lose some weight if I wanted to drop my times.  So, I made a conscientious effort to slim down so I could run faster.  Well, I did slim down to about 165, however, the problem outdoors became finishing races.  I did not do enough aerobic base stuff in the fall and throughout the season, instead we focused more on speed.  So, I could run a good first 600, but then I wouldn't be able to bring it home the last 200. 

After my fourth year in college I was filled with a lot of disappointment.  After running 1:50 my Sophomore year I figured I would be running a lot faster by then.  Over the summer I decided to up my mileage and get a massive aerobic base over the summer/fall going into indoors.  Turns out that upping my mileage along with following a training plan that was more oriented on short rest was just what I needed.  My last year at Wisconsin I PR'ed in every event I ran indoors and was a part of our school record DMR that qualified for nationals.  I was stoked at the shape I was in and excited at the prospect of my performances indoors being a harbinger of things to come outdoors.  Outdoors was a different story though.  I barely hit the regional mark and didn't run faster than I had indoors.  I ran terrible at regionals which seemingly ended my season.  After not doing much as far as workouts for a couple of weeks I decided to go down to Indianapolis for the AMC series and run the 800.  I wanted to go out a little on the conservative side and see what I could finish in and it worked.  I ran 1:49.91, officially breaking 1:50 for the first time and setting a new PR.  I felt good during the race acknowledging the fact that I had not raced in 2-3 weeks so I signed up to run the 800 again 4 days later in Indy.  As it turned out I got into a really fast section so I didn't have to do much work in running a PR of 1:48.23.  Before the race I told myself that if I could run around 1:49.2-1:49.3 I would be happy, but I did not expect to run as fast as I did.  I knew I could run a fast 800 outdoors after the indoor season I had, but I was still shocked.  The 1:48 qualified me for USA's and as a result Wisconsin accommodated me as far as running out there.  I didn't run very well in Eugene because my legs were beat from the long collegiate season, but I was pleased that I got the opportunity to go and experience what it is like. 

Running faster than I ever have before has rejuvenated me as far as dedication and I feel as though there is still some upside to my running.  I did not run cross country in high school because I played football, which in hindsight was a mistake, but I realize now how important a fall base is.  I also feel there is still a lot of room for improvement because I had 4 different coaches over 4 years in college, so that doesn't allow for much continuity and consistency as far as training plans go.

Going forward I would like to continually improve in all aspects of my running while working towards not only qualifying, but being competitive at the 2012 Olympic Trials.  God has blessed me with the tools to succeed in running and it is my goal to utilize the abilities bestowed upon me to fulfill my utmost potential.

If you would like to know anything else running related or not just let me know. Thanks for reading!

 

2010 Race Schedule

JANUARY 

9   T&F  Indiana Open Bloomington IN
16  T&F  Kentucky Invitational Lexington KY
22-23  T&F  Gladstein Invitational Bloomington IN    
29-30  T&F  McCravy Memorial Lexington KY

FEBRUARY 

12-13  T&F  GVSU BIG MEET Allendale MI     
27-28  T&F  USA INDOOR NATIONALS Albuquerque NM

MARCH  

6  RR  Anthem 5K Louisville KY  

APRIL     

9-10  T&F  Sea Ray Relays Knoxville TN     
23-24  T&F  Drake Relays Des Moines IA
23-24  T&F  Gina Relays Hillsdale MI

MAY  

1  T&F  Jesse Owens Classic Columbus OH
7  T&F  Billy Hayes Invitational Bloomington IN    
13  RR  USA National 1 Mile Champs Minneapolis MN
22  T&F  AMC/ASC I Indianapolis

JUNE

12  T&F  AMC/ASC II Indianapolis    
16  T&F  AMC/ASC III Indianapolis    
19  T&F  AMC/ASC IV Indianapolis    
24-27  T&F  USA Outdoor Nationals Des Moines IA

JULY  

TBD  T&F  Elite Games Series Finland  
TBD  T&F  Sweden    
24  RR  Shay Mile Venetian Festival Charlevoix, MI

AUGUST  

4 or 6  T&F  Aileen Meagher Halifax NS Canada
 

Personal Bests

Indoor

600- 1:19.98  1/31/09

800- 1:50.13  2/14/09

1000- 2:23.3  2/20/10

Mile- 4:09.96  1/09/10

Outdoor

800- 1:48.23  6/17/09

1500- 3:48.71  5/01/10

 

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