- ABOUT US
My guest for today’s episode is the Roots Running breakout star of 2020 not named Noah Droddy. Frank Lara was the US Champion in the 15K despite finishing second after the winner tested positive for EPO. We hear his thoughts on that. He ran 27:44.65 for the 10,000 meters and 61:50 for the half marathon last year. We recorded this episode a few weeks ago so we touch on his hopes for the new year and he makes his pitch to a potential sponsor. Frank will be among the athletes competing at the Trials of Miles Texas Qualifier next month.
You can catch the latest episode of the podcast on iTunes so subscribe and leave a five-star review. We are also on Stitcher, Google Play and Spotify!
“It definitely has. In my mind, my ultimate goal is to be an Olympian. I think if I can get the Olympic standard, it doesn’t matter what country I compete for, I’m going to be in contention to be on the team, even if I have to be top three at the Trials or something. Because if I had the standard… It’s almost like backing down if I don’t compete against the guys I know and train here in the U.S. So I think if I can get the standard, I can be somebody who can be in contention.”
“I think the main change has been just that I slowly accumulated accolades that have now given me the confidence to actually be in those positions to definitively say, “Alright, I’m going to go win this thing now. I think in the past, it’s not that I didn’t believe in myself, but I think it’s a lot easier to have confidence when you’ve done it before and you’re running fast times and your training is going incredibly. I think it’s been such a change from where I was in the past. I think that’s kind of where that confidence stems from. In the Michigan Half, I was just sitting in that pack thinking, ‘I wonder when this thing’s going to move along. I really want to finish this thing up.’ And Morgan Pearson said ‘It’s Flagstaff versus Boulder right here,’ because it was John Rainery, the NAZ Elite guys, me, Sydney Gidabuday and Morgan… A few moments later I was like ‘Alright, time to go. And I took off No regrets.” I think it’s I’m more comfortable with betting on myself now than I have been in the past, and I think it comes from just accumulating achievements that I look back on and think, “Yeah, I’m good enough to do this.”
“I’m unsponsored. I’m fine without a sponsor, as it is right now. I have a job that’s been flexible part-time. But my pitch to anyone listening out there would be: 1) I’m young 2) I’m improving 3. I don’t plan on stopping. I think I am a really good candidate and I think if I keep doing what I’m doing, I don’t see myself faltering or falling short of my goals right now.”
💪 Support for this episode comes from MOMENTOUS. I’ve been able to try Momentous’ ArcFire Strength Recovery Proteinas one of the newest additions to my training regimen. Try it for yourself. CITIUS MAG Podcast listeners will generously receive 20% off their first order of Momentous by using the promo code CITIUS at checkout on LiveMomentous.com. That’s CITIUS at checkout for 20% off your first order of plant protein, whey protein, sleep formula and more.
“That was such a cool race. I loved the whole experience of it. I talked a lot with a lot of the volunteers and it was just an awesome weekend for me. I was super ecstatic with my performance. I was second at a U.S. Championship. I didn’t really know of this guy’s history or anything until I was in line for the podium and the results announcement. Somebody came up to me and said, “Hey, everyone’s defending you on Twitter” and I didn’t know why. I had no idea why that would be the case. I ran awesome. What’s there to defend. Then I saw and I was like, “Oh, that’s that’s shitty.” I could have beaten him. That’s shitty. Whatever, I’ll get over it. It’s not a big deal. I was still second. It was a big day for me. At the time, I was just happy, regardless of the history behind because I performed as well as I could that day. Looking back, I think I could have actually beaten him. I was just focusing that the next time I got to be able to cover the moves when somebody passes me.”
“I got back from an easy run on my birthday, actually. I received a text from somebody saying, “Hey, you won the race that you raced for three months ago or whatever.” I was like, “Oh that makes sense. That’s the reason I haven’t received any money.” Because we were still waiting for the checks for the prize money to be sent out. People were DMing me like, “Hey, have you gotten anything?”… I got my test back really quickly, I had assumed that the delay was there because I imagined they were still investigating the other guy. It was interesting to find out the original results from the tests came back positive for him and that wasn’t announced until much later and after they had tested him a few times after that. I thought that was interesting. I don’t know why they needed to test more to announce the positive test from before. But yeah, ultimately, it was a really cool day. I had kind of a small birthday celebration planned that day. So it was nice to have like a little bit extra to kind of celebrate, which is cool. The next day, I was thinking about it. I was like, “Did I really win a US title or is it just something that was kind of like given to me just based on some rule? And I was like, “Alright, I’m a U.S. champion and I’m going to go prove it.” I ran as hard as I’ve ever had on Magnolia Road the next day. I proved it to myself. I can do it. Since then, like I mentioned, I think a lot of my races I’m on a mission to prove like, “Hey, I’m just as good as a U.S. title says that I am.”
“I think a lot of Noah’s success stems from me but Noah will tell you the success I’ve had has come from him paving the way although I’ve only known him for a short time…It’s been cool. Noah’s a really good teammate and he’s someone that will give me more affirmation that I have ever really gotten from someone I’ve trained with. He’ll be like, “Frank, you’re going to be the guy that does that…” and I’m like, “Wow. Noah Droddy is telling me that I can do that.” It’s cool to get that from a teammate who at the time I thought was significantly better than me. Now, I think we’re on a more equal level. Noah will tell you I’m significantly better than him regardless.”
“After the trials for the track, I think that would be where my focus shifts, but I don’t want it to be the kind of thing where I leave the track by any means. Going into The Marathon Project, I was actually considering finishing the race and debuting in the marathon on a whim. Prior to the marathon project, my longest run was 20 miles from the week before. Coming off the 10K race that I did two weeks before, I was thinking there’s no way I could finish it but as I got closer and closer to the actual race, I thought, “Maybe I could finish it. I guess that would be really cool if I just paced this race, went out and won it.”
As we got closer and closer to the race, I thought, “Wow. I’m going to really practice being a marathoner.” I took it as if I was finishing the race. We did all the bottles support…I practiced taking in my fluids. Mason Ferlic, who was the other pacer for that group, didn’t bring any bottles or anything because he was only planning on going to the half marathon. Frankly, you don’t need anything for that. I think he was just confused as to why I put so much preparation into it and had all the bottles there.
I was expected to get to 18 miles at that pace and I did it. I thought I can make it to 20. And I made it to 20. Then I looked up and was like, ‘Alright, I think I can finish this now.’
So the guys kind of passed me. I tried tucking in for a bit. Then suddenly, I could not run that pace anymore. Almost immediately it was like, “Wow, this was so easy a mile ago!” A couple of miles later, my vision started blurring and I couldn’t really see. I was like, ‘This just doesn’t seem worth it anymore.’
Now, I’m two miles over my farthest run ever. Ultimately, I decided we’ll save it for another day. It’s no good. That was a really unique experience for me because I was able to basically practice running a marathon and at the pace that I want to be running it without actually having any pressure of demonstrating my fitness. Obviously, this is a bonus thing. I’d had my main race two weeks before. It was just really cool to finish and think, “Wow, I know this is going to be really cool and I’m actually training for this.”
If you’re interested in sponsorship of the podcast or site, please reach out to Chris Chavez at [email protected]. Package and slots for 2021 are available.
FOLLOW @trialsofmilesracing for more information on the TEXAS QUALIFIER happening in late February. If you’re a sponsor or brand with an interest in getting involved with the meet, please feel free to contact me: [email protected]