For those who don’t know, Lauren Fleshman was a very successful runner for the US from the early 2000s until about 2012. Here’s a good race of her’s.
The letter touches on the issue of young runners, specifically girls, going through puberty, and how it affects their running and personal health.
Puberty affect boys and girls unfairly when it comes to running. For boys, it’s an automatic performance enhancer. For girls, it’s a total guessing game, and often leads to a decrease in performance.
However, girls, and more specifically, coaches, don’t handle this well. Pressure exists to perform well in the short-term and this often results in sacrificing health, most notably in the form of an eating disorder.
The athletes are too young to recognize how serious it is and the coaches (not all, but too many) are too selfish to stop it. This can be a plague on college teams and the culture is such that girls on the team often don’t speak about it at alldespite everyone knowing what’s going on.
This issue isn’t talked about enough based on the amount of impact it has on young women in the sport, so Fleshman’s letter, and any other effort to bring this issue more to the forefront of high school / collegiate running is a positive.
Going into Monday night I wanted two things to happen.
Advance in the Bowling Playoffs
Break 16:00 in the 5k
Bowling Playoffs – Round 1
The #5 seeded Snakes faced off against #4 seed Icantbowlieveitsnotgutter in a best of three matchup.
We crushed game 1 and were looking good in our second until I foot fouled and things went down hill from there. I had to head out for my race and leave it to the other Snakes to advance us for game 3.
Jordan bombed, Evan bowled well, and TC put up a legendary 290 to win by a mere 13 pins. The Snakes advance to the semi-finals next week. WATCH OUT!
Swat Last Chance
In an un-Mackin-like performance, Drew pushed during the third lap of the 1500, clocking a 61 for that 400m, and nearly won his heat in a very impressive 3:56 (4:15 mile equivalent). There’s a lot more in the tank for Drew. 3:56 and 1:50 are only the beginning.
At nearly 10:45 PM my race started with 33 other competitors. I had my fingers crossed for sub 16:00. I got out just fine but was getting passed non-stop. Eventually I had to decide if I wanted to latch on to a pack or slip back into no-mans land. I went with the former.
We hit the mile in 5:02, which was fast, but I could feel that I wasn’t in over my head. The ~15:5x pack stayed in touch through two miles in 10:09.
With 850m left I made a move to the front of the pack and immediately regretted it, thinking I’d shot my wad too early. I had my 200m left face on with 600m to go. Once we got to a lap left I knew at the very least I could maintain pace.
The heat sheets were sent out yesterday for the Swat Last Chance meet. Out of about 100 athletes entered in the 5k, my 15:45 seed time puts me around 80-85. The problem is, I don’t think I can run my seed time.
The Last Few Weeks
Two weeks ago I did 2 x 3200 w/ 2:00 rest in 11:05 and 10:53 with a 5:23 last mile which was the first workout where I actually felt “good” since returning.
Two days later I did 6 x 1000 with 400m rest closing in 3:08 and 3:06 which has been my best workout since returning.
The last 10 days or so has been pretty easy, just making sure I’m ready to race.
Breaking 16:00 is the default goal. It’s a downer, but I have to be realistic and accept I’m probably not in shape to run 15:3x or even 15:4x.
There are 40 people in the heat. I expect it to be fast. If they want to elbow and surge for a good spot a few seconds ahead, go for it. I’m going to be in the back and on the rail.
The other curve ball is my race likely won’t start until about 10:45 PM.
From here to…?
This meet is both motivating and discouraging at the same time. Motivating because there’s so many fast runners, but discouraging because even at my best, I’d still be mid-pack in the slow heat.
Regardless, I’m not taking a break. I’m counting the ~20 days of the flu as my season break and continuing from there. There are a few races I have eyed up in June / July and no doubt the goal remains the same, <15:27.
I’ll post an update after the race. Here’s to 15:xx!
Cavs & Warriors fans have enjoyed this time of year as of late as they each cruise to their third straight finals.
But recently, Sixers’ fans know this time of year for a different reason – the payoff of the process.
We suffer through 82 games a year (except the 15 in January) just to have a chance at the ping pong balls falling our way.
Tuesday, May 16th, is the NBA Draft Lottery, and there’s no shortness of drama for the Sixers thanks to none other than SAM HINKIE.
I won’t get into huge detail, but due to Hinkie’s magic we have:
The Lakers pick if it falls outside of the top 3
The right to swap with the Kings if their pick is better than ours
With all of that factored in, we have a:
15% chance at the #1 pick
45% chance at a top 3 pick
40% chance at TWO top 5 picks.
There are two “best case” scenarios in my opinion.
The first is that we get picks #1 and #4. Fultz goes #1 and then whoever you like at #4 (I’m happy with Monk, Jackson, Fox, or Smith).
The second scenario is that we get #1, the Lakers get either #2 or #3, the Lakers still suck next year, and we get their unprotected pick like the Celtics have with the Nets this year (more Hinkie magic).
We get pick #6 and the Lakers are good next year so we’d get their shitty pick.
This would be the worst thing to ever happen to me in my life aside from if Ben Simmons and Embiid getting into a car accident together.
Watch the Draft Lottery
Joel Embiid will be representing the Sixers at the lottery so it’s sure to be entertaining. My expectations are so high that if we end up with just one pick outside the top 3 I’m going to be so bummed.
Use this draft simulator and see how many times we get two top 5 picks out of 10. It’s incredible. I get a little more excited each time it happens.
It took place on a 2.4k race track in Milan, Italy. There was a phalanx-type drafting strategy with pacers switching out every few miles, along with a Tesla pace car going exactly 4:34 mile pace to keep them on track. Kipchoge, Desisa, and Tadese hung in the back getting their fluids constantly.
Desisa dropped off the pace first, then Tadese, both before they reached the halfway point. However, everyone knew the only man with a real chance was Eliud Kipchoge. Through 35k (marathon is 42k) Kipchoge was actually on pace.
He faded in the last few kilometers and ran an astounding 2:00:25
Eliud Kipchoge is a god damn legend.
The general consensus leading in was 90% no chance, 9% small chance, and 1% they’ll break two. This wasn’t about Nike and all the gadgets / science they could put behind breaking 2:00:00. This was about Eliud Kipchoge putting on a performance that no one expected. Desisa and Tadese fading horrible is even more evidence of that.
Nike went HAM promoting this and it worked. It was live on Twitter (great idea), much hyped, and non-runners actually followed this to some extent. For a sport that lacks any mainstream marketability, this was a pretty big attraction and opens the doors to future “stunts” like this.
But, ‘real’ running may have taken a shot.
My fear prior to this was that this would diminish future marathons. Two hours is easy to remember. Everyone will have that as the anchor in their head. When someone runs 2:10, or 2:05 and even 2:03, the casual fan will view it as “meh”.
Although I still won’t buy Nike products, all things considered, this event was generally a success and I’d say it was good for the sport.
Instead of going team by team, I’m going to give you my EXPERT picks on which of these you can make some money on. Full list from ESPN Below.
Patriots – 11 – Over
7 straight seasons of 12 or more wins. Not sure why anyone doubts Bill and Tom at this point.
Cowboys – 9.5 – Over
They won’t win 13 again, but Dallas controls football games with their O-line and run game, which is why they’re so good in close games, and why they’ll win at least 10 this year.
Raiders – 9.5 – Over
Derek Carr will be top 3 in MVP voting. Amari Cooper will be a top 5 fantasy receiver. Marshawn will win comeback player of the year. I may have to predict them for the AFC Championship game again this year.
Panthers – 9 – Under
I just don’t think Cam Newton cares about football.
Colts – 9 – Under
This division is better than you think and other than Luck, there’s not much scaring me here.
Buccaneers – 8 – Over
Jameis is a year older, O.J. Howard is a stud, and that offense is going to put up some serious points. The Bucs might take over the Falcons to win that division. They went 9-7 last season, how do they get worse?
Chargers – 7.5 – Under
Rivers is a year older. They won 5 games last year. That L.A. Stadium is a joke (home field will suck). That division is good.
Jets – 5.5 Under
No quarterback, no problem! Except it is a problem. A huge problem. The Jets will be the worst team in the league.
I haven’t posted an update about my training for a while because of how bad it’s gone.
“I think I’m in 15:40 shape”
I started to hit a groove and was feeling really fit about 7 weeks into it. My first race was planned for March 25 and I thought 15:40 was a realistic goal. On March 23 I got the flu.
I didn’t run for 10 straight days, and then for the following 10-15 days or so I couldn’t muster up much more than ~4-5 mile runs at a slow pace which left me exhausted.
By the time I’d gotten over the flu I had lost fitness. I’m a couple weeks back into “real” training but it’s been rough.
Last week I had three notable runs:
3 mile tempo @ 5:34
5:37, 5:35, 5:32. I probably tried a little too hard to hit the 5:34 average.
4 x 1200 @ 3:50 w/ 2:30 jogging rest
A total disaster. I went 3:53, 3:56, then threw in the towel 200m into the third interval when I was on over 4:00 pace and dying. Not sure what happened
12 mile long run
This was yesterday. I did the first 6 in ~6:55s and the last 6 in ~6:40s feeling relaxed the whole time. I was happy with this.
Where does this leave me?
I signed up for Swat Last Chance which is Monday, May 15. I was actually starting to believe I would PR with the way things were going. At this point, sub 16:00 is even a stretch, but I’m going to run it no matter what.
I don’t look at this as a failure. If anything I’m encouraged. Things were going really well and a stroke of bad luck dashed this training cycle. I’m not giving up on PRing. It’s going to happen.