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Posts Tagged ‘Alan Webb’

I’ve been warned not to get my hopes up, but GMR teammate JD is blogging over at Runner’s World online. Check out his post about Facebook, it made me laugh out loud (I am an adamant Facebook abstainer)… Poet, children’s book author and cool Atlantan lady LS has a poem up at Starting Today (poems for the first 100 days of the Obama administration). The politically-minded of you may wish to check it….  Husband has always been a clipper. Even when we were dating he’d mail me newspaper articles about places he wanted to take me or things he thought would make me laugh. Now he clips articles about running and leaves them around the apartment for me to find, like this one about Rose Kosgei (who came in third last year at the Fifth Avenue Mile), or this one about a barefoot runner… Valentine’s Day is a load of bullshit, but I’m spending time with an artist I love on the eve….. I’m not the only blogger who ran the Bronx Half-Marathon this weekend. Read other reports of the race at Live to Run-Run to Live (“this course stinks like a 3-days-gone hooker”), Runner NYC spots her annual dead rat on the course, The Brooklyn Beast cut short his race to accompany a fellow runner tothe hospital (then ran home to Brooklyn), I feel your pain, Cowboy Hazel, but I take comfort in the strong race the Laminator had despite the headwinds that dogged us all…. And lastly, track and field factotum JPM shared this video of Alan Webb’s July 6, 2007 win in Paris at the IAAF Golden League track meet 1500 meter race as evidence towards his point that Webb Is Great, and also as evidence that the Brits are much better at announcing running events than us Yanks (no argument from me on that point)….

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I’ve been waiting for these track and field trials since November, when I watched Hall, Ritz and Sell win their tickets to Beijing as they steamed around Central Park. Even though not every event provided for surprises, there were enough dramatics at the finish lines to make me happy. As you could guess, I’m  not so interested in the sprint events (all that work and training for less than a minute’s worth of running? I just don’t get it), and the filed events fascinate me the same way the giraffes do at the zoo. But the middle- and long-distance events are what get me cheering and on the edge of my seat. Herewith, snippets with links to my favorite moments of the trials.

6/27 Galen Rupp owning his home track in his heat of the men’s 5000m semifinal… Shalane and Kara living up to expectations in the women’s 10,000m final (kudos to the organizers for kicking off the meet with an exciting final on day 1)… and Amy Begley leaving it all on the track as she pushed herself to not only come in third, right behind her training partner Kara, but also to make the A-Standard time for the event in the same go. I admit it, I got a little choked up on her behalf. And I loved how she and Kara jumped up and down together like excited high schoolers who were going to the prom with the football star.

6/30 The decatahlon is insane. I never truly realized the endurance and versatility that is needed for this two-day event. All I know is if those athletes ever decided to pull a Scarlet O’Hara, I’m leaving the scene…. Both Kara and Shalane won their semifinal heats for the 5000m… and Bernard Lagat, Matt Tegenkamp, and Ian Dobson comprise the men’s 5000m team (I root for Tegenkamp, who Runner Matt calls the “Brian Sell of the 5000m”); Mr. Kara Goucher dropped out as he was off the “A Standard” time…. but really, what beats this dramatic finish, that sends three Oregon Ducks to the Olympics in the 800m? How can you not love these guys? Nick Symmonds, with his dramatic move to get out of how he was boxed in, moving like greased lightening to the finish, and Andrew “It’s All You Guys” Wheating too kicking like mad, propelled by the crowds, plus Christian Smith literally diving across the finish to take third and simultaneously make the “A Standard.”  Fabulous craziness! Sportsmanship and showmanship, it’s what the Olympics are all about. I’ve watched the clip on NBC’s Olympic website like five times, and each time I have to cheer. 

7/4 Feeling patriotic? Yeah, me neither… In the 1500, despite my doubts, Alan Webb pulled it out to advance to the finals (what, no food poisoning??); Gabe Jennings runs like a determined hippe; Leo Manzano shines; Shannon Rowbury gets a lot of attention; Sara Hall moves to the finals, too; and my dad was rooting for the high schooler who broke the HS AR (Jordan Hasay)… My crush on Kara turns into full-blown unrequited love as she powers through like a warrior woman to beat Shalane in the 5000m. The Olympic team for the event is Kara, Jen Rhines, and Shalane. Notables: the face of victory Kara makes as she wins, and the pigtails Jen styles as she flies through the race. Adorable and fast — see, they are compatible!…. The evening warpped up close to 1 AM (if you were watching the TV coverage on the East Coast) with the men’s 10,000m final. I didn’t know who exactly to root for; I so wanted Mr. Kara Goucher to make it, but I couldn’t help but root for Mr. Personality (Abdi Abdirahman), Senor He’s Not Heavy He’s My Brother (Jorge Torres) and Kid Rupp (Galen, duh).  It’s always fun to cheer for Ritz, and I was still pining for Andrew Carlson, wishing he’d made it to the finals. I wonder how cold the steeplechase water pit was…

7/5 Three afternoon Sierra Nevadas had me snoozing through this afternoon’s OT’s, but I did go back and watch the men’s steeplechase finals on NBCOlympics.com. Love how Fam told Ed Eyestone that he was hoping to emulate Ryan Shay, and give the spirit of Shay’s performance to the crowd…

7/6 The final day of the trials left the men’s and women’s 1500 to be determined.  In the women’s, I was rooting for Sara Hall, but it ended up Rowbury, Erin Donohue and Christin Worth-Thomas.  Rowbury and Donohue train with Shalane (sounds like a workout video: “Train with Shalane”), so it’s cool they’re all going to Beijing together. I saw Erin Donohue at the Women’s Invitational 8k earlier this year…. and, in the event everyone’s been talking about for the past two weeks, the men’s 1500 held little surprises as Lagat won it, Leo Manzano (they kept calling him “the little guy“) and Lopez Lomong coming in 2-3 to also make the team. No Alan Webb, no Gabe Jennings.

I’m sad it’s over, but at least the Olympics are right around the corner.

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After completely spacing on (and missing) the Milrose Games earlier this year, I went through my calendar and marked in all the NYRR’s Pro Races, not wanting to miss another opportunity to see this sport as executed by its masters.  Two of those pro events were this morning — the men’s 8k and the women’s 8k invitational.  There was also a people’s 8k at 7:30 this morning, but after this week of relentless work & bathroom renovation, I needed to sleep in (that means, past 6:30 AM). 

Since there were two races, I figured I’d catch the men’s race after the start, at West 86th Street, a little over 1 mile into the 4.97 mile course, with the plan then being to cross back over to the east side to see them just past the 4-mile mark.  This is the first time I’ve ever spectated at a pro race (other than the Olympic Trials and of course the NY Marathon), so I had no idea what to expect.  Turns out, there were hordes of runners in the park — all out for their Saturday morning workout — but they by and large seemed blissfully unaware someone was about to win $10,000.  I was the only spectator on my corner until around 9am, when a pack of orange-jacketed runners from the Central Park Running Club swooped in on my spot. 

Then, five minutes later, Alan Webb strode by, with a pack at his heels.  They were gone so fast (the leaders were holding a 4:34 pace), I was left blinking as I marvelled at their grace.  The final runner came by, (Kahn, who looked in pain), and I took off eastward, jogging after the CPRC jackets.  Along the way, I recognized one of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project coaches, which was cool. I somehow ended up catching the reservoir path up north, and came out just a few block south of the finish line. 

As I was waiting on the sidelines, I met Michelle, a totally cool chick who is training for the Lake Placid Iron Man, is a runner herself, and was there to cheer on a friend who was competing in her first pro race.  It was fabulous to talk with someone who was a fan as well, since usually when I talk about my favorite runners, no one knows who I’m talking about. 

It was a thrill to see the guys pound towards the finish, with Jorge Torres leading and Andrew Carlson working as hard as he could to catch him — he ended up finishing just seven-tenths of a second behind Torres.  There was a small (but dedicated) crowd, maybe a few hundred spectators or so, bunched around the finish line.  Because of this, I had a great view, and was happy to cheer for Carlson, who I’d just blogged about earlier this week when he won the 15K Championship (he looks just like his picture).  We were dismayed to see Webb finishing much farther back that we expected.  (I later learned why.) 

I have to wonder why any runner would miss the opportunity to watch these athletes in action — at most professional sporting events, you’re hundreds of feet away from the action and have to pay crazy ticket prices to watch.  This morning, I was five feet away from some of the best runners in the country, for the price of my subway ride into town.

I took this picture of Torres, and then Michele and I strolled to the start of the women’s invitational.

 jorgetorres1.jpg

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I haven’t run in Central Park since the Manhattan Half-Marathon over a month ago, so it was a real treat to dash up there after work to meet one of my friends from my first TNT season for a social run.

It’s a perfect plan, really.  Work until 6:15, do the quick-change in my office as if I was running home, run up 5th Avenue to 61st Street, and bingo! Not a minute after I arrive my friend DR crosses 5th Avenue towards me.  I of course am in shorts and a long-sleeved tee-shirt, while she has on a hat, shirt, sweatshirt and running tights. But, at least we matched with our blue eyes and brown hair.

As we are deciding how far we’re going to run, D starts fiddling with this massive fob on her wrist.  A Garmin 350.  Curiosity!  I’ve never seen one this up-close before.  It’s extremely large, I suppose to accomodate its extremely large brain.  In any event, 36:08 minutes later, it tells us we’ve run 3.4 miles, which is about .4 miles than D was hoping to run.

We ran up from 62nd Street along the east side of the park.  I know that side of the park so well, and this time it was a pleasure to be out with the packs (and there were a lot of runners on the footpath).  Sometimes, after too many runs in the park, I take its hills personally.  But, tonight I was content to run the familiar road, and enjoy D’s conversation. At one point our old coach from TNT passed us, but I didn’t recognize anyone else out there. We ended our run deciding to make Thursday evening a standing date at the park;  I hope it holds.

Didn’t get any running in earlier this week; work has been extremely time-consuming lately.  I did, however, lock in my preferred Runner slot for the Green Mountain Relay — I’m runner #7.  Over the three legs, I’ll be running 17.3 miles, which are mostly downhill (net elevation change -1,179). And, I plan to run home from work tomorrow, and then take a long run on Sunday (I am not sure if I’ll have a chance to run on Saturday, since I want to watch Alan Webb and Dathan Ritzenheim battle it out in the USA Men’s 8k Championships).

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EN emailed me last week with his weekend long runs between now and the Brooklyn Half. I too plot out my workouts, but have rarely have things ever gone according to plan.  However, I find that being answerable to this blog is one of the greatest motivators for follow-through I’ve ever come across.  So, in the spirit of sharing, and stick-to-itiveness, here are the long (& long-ish) runs I’m planning between now and April 26th.

  • 2/23-24 POCONOS – 8 miles
  • 3/1-2 NYC – 8 miles
  • 3/8-9 NYC – 10 miles
  • 3/15 CENTRAL PARK spectator – USA Men’s Championships 8000m, featuring Alan Webb
  • 3/16 NYC – 8 miles
  • 3/22-23 NYC – 10 miles
  • 3/29-30 SALT LAKE CITY – 8 miles
  • 4/5-6 CENTRAL PARK – More 1/2
  • 4/12-13 NYC – 12 miles
  • 4/19-20 BOSTON spectator – Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials
  • 4/26 NYC – Brooklyn 1/2

Now that I’ve laid this out weekend by weekend, I can see that the next two months hold some pretty exciting running moments for me.  I can’t wait to have the chance to watch Alan Webb compete in Central Park for the Men’s 8000 title.  It is going to be pretty exciting, to see the American record holder for the mile do his thing.  Soon after that I’ll be in Salt Lake City, UT, for a reunion with my FJVC community members.  Some of these women are amazing athletes, and I hope to have the chance to run with them while we’re all together, even if I’ll be the slowest of the pack. 

April 6th is the More Marathon and Half-Marathon in Central Park, and there is some talk of running it as an action bachelorette party for my friend DR, with whom I ran the 2007 Arizona Marathon.  Either that, or I may volunteer at the race, since the new guaranteed-entry regulations for the 2009 NYC Marathon include 9 qualifying NYRR races, plus one volunteer event.  I had a feeling they would change the qualifications this year, since entries to and participation in the NYC Marathon has sharply increased over the last few years.  Personally, I think it’s cool.  I’m happy to volunteer at a race, it’s a great opportunity to give back to my running community, and a different way to maintain my motivation in this sport.  Anyway, no matter which way I choose to participate in the More event, I know it will be moving, since there’s something special about a women-only race.

And, ever since the Olympic Trials here in Central Park, I’ve slated a trip to Boston to watch the women’s trials, as well.  I cannot wait to see these women in action; I’ll stay to watch the Boston Marathon on Monday.  Sounds to me like the perfect taper weekend before the Brooklyn Half.

What long runs and races are you all planning on between now and April 26th?

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