Pre UC Twilight 2017

Tonight is the annual Ursinus Twilight meet where alumni and current athletes race each other in a 3200m.

A month ago I wrote this post about how great running was going. One line stands out:

“My leg is no trouble at all!”

Literally the next day I woke up and my leg hurt on every step. I took 10 days very easy and then have been doing the usual 35 MPW since then.

Last year I ran 9:49 at this meet, and ran I 9:44 a couple months ago. I haven’t raced in ~3 months so it’s hard to really say what kind of shape I’m in. If I was a betting man, I’d put the over under at like 9:54 and I’ll lose to some kids on the team.

The real benefit of the meet is hanging out with the alums. The race is just the appetizer, cause we’re going to ABC and getting HAMMERED after the race which will be fun.

Brief Running Update

Just a little update since I’m riding high at the moment!

Mileage

After 5 weeks of 35 miles to just get back into it, I’ve done 47 and 57 mile weeks the past two weeks.

I haven’t run 57+ miles in a week in 84 weeks.

Workouts

Tuesday – 4 x 1600 w/ 1:00 rest then 4 x 200

5:38, 5:38, 5:28, 5:24, then 33, 34, 33, 33

Pretty slow actually but it felt very easy!

Friday – 4 x 1200 w/ 3:00 rest

3:51, 3:50, 3:47, 3:46

Again, nothing crazy, but felt great!

Sunday – 11 mile long run

Averaged 6:35s starting at 7:00 and closing in around 6:20s, again feeling great.

Health

My leg is no trouble at all! I’m prioritizing stretching more than ever before which I really think is helping and have been doing core consistently (!).

Goals

The Ursinus Twilight 3200m is in 3.5 weeks and I’m hoping to run faster than the 9:44 I ran a few months ago. It’s going to be better competition this year since James and Joe just ran 26:06 and 26:48 respectively at Paul Short. This will be a fun one!

Other than that, I’ll need to find some races to run. I’d guess I’m in ~15:45-16:00 5k shape right now and hope to be in PR shape in a month.

T&F World Champs – Some Thoughts

Upsets Upon Upsets

I probably missed a couple as well, but upsets were the story of these games.

Personally, I think it could be because of improved doping controls.


The US Women’s Mid-Distance

I totally underestimated them and look like a fool based on these predictions.

Jenny ran a really smart race and benefited from Muir / Hassan running too hard too early.

Coburn and Frerichs just balled out basically. You have to wonder where Quigley would’ve finished. It’s hard to explain why the Africans came up so lame here.

Ajee ran to expectations. She’s only 23, she can be (already is?) a star in the sport AND she’s from Philly.


Bolt / the Men’s 100m

I wish Coleman won. The fact that Bolt took such offense to this question and completely brushed it off makes me dislike him / think he’s dirty even more. Though uncomfortable for them, it’s a logical, reasonable question, backed by data, that we should be able to openly talk about.

Him pulling up in the 4×100 was rough, as you never want to see anyone get injured. Not the fairy tale ending he was hoping for but still the best sprinter of all time.

Gatlin winning the 100m at age 35, though at a more reasonable 9.92, still just makes me shake my head.


The End of the Mo Show

That 10k was spectacular, props to him. A bit of team tactics by the Ethiopians and Edris’ kick FINALLY dethroned him in the 5k. I also thought Chelimo could’ve gotten silver had he run a smarter last 400.

Still a ridiculous 6 year stretch for Mo. I wonder if he’ll be back on the track in 2019, as I don’t see him ever being a consistent ~2:06 marathoner.


Pierre Ambroise-Bosse winning the 800m

The 800m, more than maybe any other event, is a crap shoot. Bosse has run consistently well over the years so I was happy to see him win. His interview after winning was good, this quote specifically:

“I’m not the best of the world. I just won a race at the right time, that’s all that happened.”

He said that in reference to Rudisha not being there. His awareness that he simply won the right race is refreshing.

Also, the race commentary from French is amazing (start at about 6:00).


The Officiating

More than any other global championship, these officials were too involved.

  • The entire Makwala situation was really poorly handled. Robbing him of the 400m and the race against Wayde was terrible for him AND for the fans.
  • Quigley’s DQ in the steeple was a joke in my mind.
  • Sharp’s DQ in the 800m, though overturned, was also joke.
  • Kovaks DQ in the shotput was justified.

Shutting Down

The mile didn’t go well. I got out okay, about 68, 2:17, but I could tell I was in trouble. My arms were rigging with 600 left and there was just no extra gear. 4:39.18 which Brookes almost nailed exactly with 4:39.15

About as successful as my taper.

My taper seems to consistently fail. I run a good time in the middle of training and think “once I ease off I should be totally set!“. Then my “peak” race is a dud.

Though it ended on a bad note, this training cycle was very encouraging. I PR’d in the mile and believe I was in PR shape from mile – 5k. I’m going to take the next few weeks easy then start all over again as always.

One More Time – Guess My Mile Time and Win!

You know the drill, winner gets $10 and a hand written note!


I’m racing the mile tomorrow night at West Chester Henderson and from what I hear there will be a good chunk of people between 4:20 – 4:30. My goal is sub 4:30.

This is my last race of the season and I have no reason to play it safe; no more 5 second negative splits on the last lap.

But am I still in good shape?!

I ran 4:30.9 4 weeks ago.

I ran 9:44 in the 3200 two weeks ago which was disappointing.

I’ve taken the last 2 weeks very easy.

I could run 4:20 (probably not) or 4:40, but at the very least, I’m going to give myself a chance to break 4:30 if I feel good.

Guess away and good luck!

My Top 10 Running Crushes

10. Emma Coburn

Most would have Emma higher on the list. She’s a natural beauty and a great runner, but not quite my type.


9. Genevieve Lacaze

Her social media is over the top and she’s not actually that good BUT she’s a babe.


8. Molly Huddle

A very girl-next-door-y look. Super sweet AND insanely fast.


7. Emily Sisson

Like Huddle, a girl-next-door-y look but younger.


6. Lisa Uhl

Doesn’t REALLY count because she doesn’t run anymore but always has a special place in my heart. A better looking Dee from Always Sunny.


5. Cory Mcgee

A true Southern Belle. This picture makes me think she should be ranked higher…


4. Tori Bowie

This may be recency bias since she just won the 100m in the World Champs today, but I’m a HUGE fan.


3. Laura Roesler

Just a total babe. Don’t know how else to say it.


2. Joanna Jóźwik

I follow her on Instagram. I don’t speak Polish but it SEEMS like her personality is as quality as her looks.

Beauty


1. Emily Infeld

Just the perfect girl. Fast, pretty, bubbly, and fun. She’s not like Jozwik in terms of true beauty, but her personality is amazing. This is the best interview Flotrack has ever done. Follow her on Instagram for her stories and you’ll see why I love her.

Fun AND Sexy

 

2017 T&F World Champs Story Lines

The 2017 Track and Field World Championships start today (day-by-day schedule here). Here are some things to look out for.

Bolt’s Final Run

Usain Bolt will presumably retire after this year. He’s undeniably the greatest sprinter of all time and has been the face of the sport for the last 10 years. He’s looking to cap off his nearly perfect career with victories in the 100m and 200m.

My Take – Bolt will win both races despite looking vulnerable and the media will be totally gaga about how amazing he is. I’m convinced Bolt has been doping for at least 9 years, but so are most of the others, so what do I care. The sport loses a great star, but maybe its for the better.


Semenya Attempts the Double

The biggest media story may well be Caster Semenya competing in both the 800m and 1500m. She’s been subject of a lot of controversy, and if she somehow pulls off this historic double, it will increase the drama & discussion behind the “transgender / intersex athletes place in athletics” conversation.

My Take – Caster Semenya should not be allowed to compete against women for all the reasons outlined in this post. I don’t think she’ll pull off the double, as rounds are tough, and she may not even win 1 gold as the 1500m is first.


Will the Mo-Show Continue?

Mo Farah looks to continue his ridiculous streak of 4 consecutive sweeps in the 5000m and 10,000m at international championships. We’ll see if anyone in the field pushes the pace against the 34 year old or if they’re content to let Mo kick to gold yet again.

My Take – I am so sick of Mo Farah, but I’m even more sick of his competitors doing the same thing over and over again. Someone, for the love of god, push the freakin’ pace. Yes, he’ll still probably win, but at least you can say you TRIED.


How Many Medalists Will Eventually Test Positive?

It’s in London, Coe’s backyard, so one of two things will happen:

  • He’ll want to catch anyone who’d dare cheat while the event is in his country.
  • He won’t want to catch anyone because it makes him look bad.

Doping is always a headline and a big name or two could potentially go down here. However, because it’s in London, Mo won’t be busted.


Which Americans Can Win Gold in Distance Events? (not a story line many care about)

Men

Jager in the Steeple is hands down our best shot. I give him 50/50 to win.
Chelimo could actually upset Mo in the 5000m. I’d love to see him run 13:00 in a front-running effort and just burn the kick out of Mo.
Centro has like a 2% chance of doing what he did in Rio.
Brazier is a total wild card in the 800 but I like Amos then Korir as favorites.
We have no chance in the 10k.

Women

All eyes on Ajee after that 1:55. With Semenya doubling, she’s got a shot!
Jenny finishing top 5 would be a great performance. No medal and definitely no gold.
Coburn in the steeple is similar to Jenny in the 1500.
The 5000 and 10000 are just too loaded. If Huddle or anyone else gets top 5, that’s a big win.

Coming Up Short 3200m Later

The conditions were nearly perfect. I hit the mile in 4:52, slower than I hoped, but I still felt good and thought I’d negative split.

Laps 5-6-7 all felt like I was surging but each lap split kept being in the 74 range. I closed well with a ~69 or so but ultimately fell short of my goal running a 9:44.  Congrats to Simoncini for winning the guessing game!

I’m disappointed. In college and high school, you’re racing every week so when you have a bad race, you can rebound quickly.

Now, if I have a bad race it lingers and makes me question if I’m still in good shape or if I’m past my peak already for this cycle.

I’m going to chalk this up as a slightly below average performance and rationalize that I’m still in ~4:27 / 9:35 / 15:25 shape.

There’s a competitive mile race next Thursday where I’m hoping to be towed to a sub 4:30.

Guess My 3200m Time and Win!!!

I’m racing a 3200m tonight and whoever guesses closest to my time wins $10 and a note from me.

Some More Info

I ran a 4:30.9 mile which was worth a few seconds faster than that.

My plan is to go out in 4:47 – 4:48 and hopefully have something left to close with.

I’d put the over / under at 9:35, with the fastest being a little under 9:30 and slowest being a blowup of 9:50+.

***Update – I’ll have a rabbit running 72s (give or take) until 2400m***

Some Recent Workouts

For those who want to make an educated guess based off the data from the last 2 weeks.

4 x 1200 w/ 3:00 rest

3:43, 3:41, 3:42, 3:41 – Hot as shit but I was pretty happy with this.

6 x 400 w/ 1:00 rest then 4 x 200 w/ :45 rest

69.1, 68.1, 68.5, 68.1, 68.0, 69.1, 33.3, 33.2, 33.3, 33.0 – These workouts kill me, was basically all out.

3 x 1600 w/ 2:00 rest

5:19, 5:19, 5:19 – An easy race-week workout, was trying to run tempo effort. For reference, I did the same thing the week of my 15:51 @ Swat and ran 5:32, 5:29, 5:29, so I think that this perhaps more than anything shows I’m in good shape.


Guess away and good luck!

8 Years Later, I’ve PR’d in the Mile

The Race

It was like 85 and sunny which wasn’t ideal. I knew there’d be a few in the 4:30s but didn’t want to wait if it went out slow.

Lap 1

I was in lane 1 and in the lead around the first turn but had company. Good. I was taking hand splits like a noob but had no other option. We hit 409 in 68.5. Not too bad.

Lap 2

I pushed cause I thought the pace was too slow, and it was. My mouth was also completely dry at this point. We hit 809 in 2:17.3 (68.8). A little slow, but still okay.

Lap 3

I started gapping the field a little on the third lap which was ultimately bad because we all slowed too much. We hit 1209 in 3:26.5 (69.2). Shit, this PR might not happen.

Lap 4

I knew I had something left and started going right at 400. With 200 left I had company, and could feel the guy right behind me. We kicked it in hard and finished in 4:30.90 to 4:30.99 (64.4). He says he didn’t let me win but I actually think he did and that he felt bad that I led the whole thing.

Thoughts?

I’m absolutely pumped. First REAL PR in 5 years. Experience / racing this a few times also made a huge difference.

If it was 65 degrees, overcast, and we had a pack going through in ~2:14, I genuinely think I could run close to 4:25.

“Nice race, Sam.”

I also think this has implications on my 5k potential now. I’m running more mileage than last year and am ~5-10 seconds faster in the mile. If I ran 15:44 last year, I really think I could go (well?) under 15:30. I just need a race to do it in.

Consistency pays is all I can say. I’m not doing anything drastically different other than a bit more mileage and getting to the track on a regular basis.

Hopefully there’s more to come here.