Posts Tagged ‘andrew carlson’

Hi Matt,

it’s been a while since I’ve given you and your show a proper shout-out on my blog (actually, it’s been a while since I’ve done anything properly on my blog). Yesterday driving over to my house in Pocono Lake, PA, I listened to three back-to-back episodes of your Dump Runners Club podcast, and it brought me back when I first discovered your show, and how the DRC kept me engaged in my training and motivated for my race during my prep for the New York City Marathon in 2008. It was nice to remember back to that time, since that training cycle and race experience remains my best for the marathon to date.  I’m gearing up for what I hope will be a marathon to supplant NYC ’08 as the best, so I can use any kind of positive associations possible.

Your last three episodes were all really strong. Even though you were talking at me, I have some questions and comments. Humor me? So, episode #188… Which half-marathon are you running in May? I was nodding as you were talking about the Boston Marathon hill simulation workout. One of the things that helped me so much to have a positive experience in the New York City Marathon was being familiar with most of the course, and part of my reason for choosing the Empire State Marathon for this Fall (more on that in a separate post) is because Syracuse is close enough that I can get to the course for one of my long runs, to give myself that mental advantage. What you shared about having your gait analyzed by an expert was riveting and so helpful regarding my own efforts with about whole-body fitness and running form. The feedback you were given, about looking at the whole leg instead of just the injured area when treating a sports injury, is amazing and makes so much sense especially in the context of what I’ve learned in Pilates this winter. I thought Pilates class would be all about my core, an hour straight of all different sorts of ab workouts. And while those muscles are constantly engaged (meaning, consciously poised into a specific position), Pilates classes work every single muscle in my body. We do several exercises to strengthen the back and shoulders, and when we exercise the quads, sure as shit the next muscle group we work on are the glues and hammies. Now, no doubt my running form is a wreck compared to yours, but I was encouraged to hear that at least I was on the right track by augmenting my road training with Pilates class. It was interesting that your arm swing compensated for weakness in your glutes–I wonder if my own unsymmetrical arm swing is a result of Betty’s failings. PS thanks for sharing your foot strike video–and I wish your form a return to 2003.

Episode #189 was like candy, I really enjoy your recaps of pro racing. Even if it’s news I already knew about, I like to hear your take on the races and records. I love that many women from our 2008 Women’s Olympic team were all back together on the courses. Oh, and, you casually mention that you are seriously thinking about going to the Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston this January 2012. I will be there (I’m staying with @tejasrunnergirl), too! I’ve been planning on this trip for over a year to spectate the trials, since my experiences with the Men’s and Women’s Marathon Trials in 2007/2008 were so exciting and motivational. I haven’t thought about running the half-marathon while there, but I think it’s a great idea, and I just might do it! (Registration opens June 1, 2011.) I’m also going to Eugene, OR for the Track & Field Trials as well.

While you were talking about your training, you suggested that after Boston, you won’t run another marathon for a few years–but then in episode #190 you said that you want to one day run our New York City Marathon. What’s the deal? For purely selfish reasons (it would be so much fun to cheer you on as you run through Queens), I must insist you come run New York as soon as possible.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the new Boston Marathon qualifying standards, since I am hoping to run a qualifying time this year, even though I realize that a qualifying time no longer guarantees there will be a bib for me (is that the short story called The Loneliness of the Not Quite Fast Enough Long Distance Runner?). Mike’s comments in the “Dis and Dat” show about how the new registration process is bullshit made me feel a little validated. The new standards and process are what they are, and if I want to compete in the Boston Marathon by qualifying (which is what I want), then I have to fit into the new protocols. But Mike’s objections to the tiered registration process (especially that if the faster runners don’t register during their exclusive days, they still get priority over slower runners even if they register on the last day) makes complete sense to me. I think that the Boston Marathon brand was a little diluted even before this revamping process. It started the first year that registration closed months before race day–rather than keeping itself separate from the hoi polloi, the BAA was brought down into the muck with the rest of the mob-mentality races.

Other short notes on episode #190: 1) two-week taper, without a doubt. Love it. 2) race directors taking participants for granted, this is a huge reason why I maintain a loose boycott of New York Road Runner races, especially the ones in Central Park. Since I don’t need guaranteed entry to the New York City Marathon, why would I pay upwards of $20 (much more for a half-marathon) to run a loop of the park I can run any day of the year for free? No, thanks! I am the consumer, as you say, and I prefer to support smaller races run by smaller organizations. 3) Andrew Carlson! I’m a fan. 4) La maratona di Roma, I’ve always dreamed about running this marathon since it happens in my favorite country and it falls on my birthday every several years. Imagine the deliciousness of the carbo-loading I could do for that?!

One last thing, your closing comments keep getting drowned out by the exit music. Lower the volume on the tunes, dude.

Looking forward to seeing you when you’re on my coast for the Boston Marathon. I’ll be cheering you at the finish line on the runners’ left side. Will you be wearing all yellow again this year, like a dashing banana? Enjoy the taper, and the tempos.

Your friend,




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Med school bound TNT Coach Steve H. is training for his first triathlon (a half-Ironman! Steve, are you gonna shave your legs?) as a way to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Click here to help him reach his $10,000 goal…. Alan and Shayne Culpepper have opened their running shop in Louisville, CO (of  Boulder County), Solepepper Sports. I’m going to visit Brother & Co. in Lafayette later this month and will stop by…. I love how Olympic marathoner Magdalena “Chewy” Lewy-Boulet won the USA Half-Marathon Championships in Houston; and I like how Andrew Carlson came in fourth (setting a PR; this FloTrak video from after the race also tells about how he’s now coached by Greg McMillan and sponsored by Brooks), less than a minute behind winner Meb Keflezighi (ever since I saw Carlson race in Central Park I’ve been a fan). Crazy though to think that the first place finishers won $12,000 each – that’s about $916 per mile…  The USATF announced that the 2009 Men’s Marathon Championships will be run at the ING New York City Marathon. Excellent, as it will (hopefully) bring some of the best American distance runners to my city in November; and frustrating, as I’ll be running the course with Brother this year and once again missing out on quality spectating….I’m looking forward to this weekend’s Bronx Half-Marathon with excitement and nervousness. It will be my first race since the New York City Marathon, and I don’t expect to PR but I would like to finish with a respectable showing. Still trying to figure out what “respectable” adds up to…. My running buddy from my first season with Team in Training, BS, is training for her first triathlon (are you sensing a trend here, people?) and raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. If you’re balking at making a donation in these tough economic times, BS argues that “People don’t stop getting cancer when the economy is in a slump.” A sad yet valid point. Click here to help her reach her $3,000 goal…. And, better late than never, I’m linking to Running USA’s 10 Best Moments for U.S Distance Running in 2008. My favorites are #10, #6, and # 2.

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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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I’ve had the Healthy Kidney 10K in my calendar for a couple months now, but not to run. Oh no.  This was one to spectate, and even though the course made it impossible for me to see the athletes except at the start and the finish, I wasn’t going to pass up my chance to see world-class athletes do their thing.  Besides, I ran this baby last year. Who was I most jazzed to see? Dathan Ritzenheim (defending champ and member of the Olympic Marathon Team), Andrew Carlson (he won the 15K Championships earlier this year and finshed a close second in the 8K here in Central Park), Marilson Gomes Dos Santos (NYC Marathon champ in 2006), and Abderrahim Goumri (second in the NYC Marathon 2007). Of course, Ritz, the defending champ and course record-holder, pulled out due to illness (I say “of course” because he pulled out of the 8K Championship race several weeks ago, too. He’s such a tease). Really, though, who can blame the dude, no use risking anything with the Olympics coming up. It was still a thrill to welcome back Marilson and Gourmi to NYC after seeing them run our marathon. As far as the people’s part of the race, I was impressed to learn that 17,000 local runners registered for the race!  While I was glad I wasn’t racing in that horde of people myself, I was also a bit glowy at the thought of belonging to such an enthusiastic community. Runners rock.

It was a beautiful day, and even though the thermometer said 50 degrees, it felt wamer given the sunshine and the humidity; the elites were verrry sweaty when they crossed the finish.  The NYRR has this sweet ceremony where each elite is escorted to the starting line as they’re introduced by one of the kids from the NYRR Foundation program. I love watching this because the kids are clearly honored, and shy, and the elites get a kick out of these aspiring young runners. In the photo to the left, you can see them all lined up waiting to be called.

In the photo below are the elites (and a few superb local runners, running for club points) lined up at the start; what a beautiful sight. (L to R: Makau, Kiplagat, Beyi, Gomes Dos Santos, ??, Zaabi, Alemu, ??, Hartmann and Carlson. Gourmi must be further to the left.) I really like this picture below of Jason Hartmann offering the intense Andrew Carlson a sportsmanly handshake.

We all know now that Makau won, 12 seconds behind Ritz’s course record in 28:19; Gomes Dos Santos came in second; and Richard Kiplagat came in third. Carlson and Goumri both finished in 29:51. Click for the official results.

I was a little bummed when the elites skedaddled off the course right away. They hung out a little more after the 8K Championships, gave some high-fives to the fans and whatnot. Kudos to Wittenberg et al for pulling together such a stellar lineup of elites (we do notice, so thank you). Anyway, I took as many pictures as I could, given the fact that my camera is slow as shit.  Click to watch the NYRR video.

Race reports from local runners:


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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.


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Ask Husband, I spent a good hour online on Saturday trying to figure out how I could watch these races on television on Sunday.  Grumbling the whole time.  Surely it was aired somehow, somewhere, but I failed to google the details. And when I channel-surfed, the only sport that turned up was college basketball.  Ugh, gross.

It would have been a great race to watch, since it was set up in an equalizer format (where the women are given a statistically-determined lead over the men based on average finishing times for the distance, and they then compete against each other to the finish).  This is the second time in a week I’ve read about races set up like this (the other was at the LA Marathon), and would love to spectate such an event one day.

But, I found the results online today, my one break in a 10-hour day (I had lunch at 4:30 PM, okay?).  From what I read, sounds like the men’s race was a sight to see, with Andrew Carlson shaking off Dan Browne (44:21) somewhere in the final 5k to take his first national championship (in 44:12).  My man Brian Sell, despite headlining the lead-in press, didn’t make it to the podium and came in 5th (44:47). Now, most days I’ll tell you I love to root for the underdog, but I wanted Deena to win and was psyched to learn that she took home her 6th championship title in the distance (49:36)–only after giving Carlson the thumbs-up as he passed her to an overall win.

This is the first I’d read about Carlson, and I like him already, based on the quote he gave for Team USA Minnesota’s press release about racing next to Deena:

Then I went into the tunnel toward the finish line and it opened up into a football stadium. There were all these people in the stands cheering. It was a great way to finish. . . You never think you are going to get a chance to duel with an Olympic bronze medalist so that was an interesting race (with the equalizer format).

Now, I imagine not all runners are grounded, and it could be that Carlson is being disingenuous with us via his team’s publicist; but I prefer not to be so cynical. So instead, I say: this is something I love about runners.  Even those who run at the top of their class, and train with the country’s top professional teams, still get a (positive) charge out of the other stars in their sport.  There’s none of that bullshit bluster and posturing I see during the sports news on TV. Or maybe there is; I could be wrong, I’m just a fan watching all this at a great remove.  But, it always seems to me like the elites are generally respectful of each other, even though they compete fiercely with each other.

I’d be a fool to deny that running has its share of doping and rivalries; and probably, if it got more airtime (see above: googling for broadcast info), and prize purses were larger, and more abundantly available, then I suppose the sport’s athletes would more frequently reveal the less savory personality traits we see in pros from other sports.  But for now, I’ll take a little romance with my running, and I’ll wear my rose-colored glasses as I squint into the champions’ glow coming off the podium.

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