Posts Tagged ‘gabe jennings’

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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My final day of running before the Green Mountain Relay this week, and I decide to order up a double.

This morning, up at 5:15 for a 4-miler. Gosh, it was so nice and cool out. There was the teeniest chill to the air, I felt like I got lucky. Plus, I knew I had the Extra Mile Podcast to listen to, so I was looking forward to that. My 4-milers around Sunnyside are two laps of the same 2-mile loop. The first one took me nearly 22 minutes, the second took me just under 20.  When I run my morning runs, I always need to readjust my speed goals, and running negative splits is one way I measure the success of the workout. Total time: 41:48.

Then I got to the office and worked like a fiend until 5:30. I think I got up from my desk once, to get a plastic fork. 

At 5:40 I left the office in my running gear, decked out in my company shirt (a nice sleeveless technical tee, with a zippered hip pocket in which I could stash a Gu, or an ipod, or a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup) since I signed up to run the J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge as part of my employer’s team. Dashed uptown to Urban Athletics to buy a new pair of Nike Zoom Elites, except I was reading the article about Gabe Jennings in this month’s Runner’s World and got on the downtown train. Righted myself at 42nd Street and was at UA by 6:20. Ran into an old TNT friend, who is now training for the Ironman in Panama City, FL, as well as two of my old coaches who I lurve. Made it to Bethesda Fountain for the 7 PM start in my new kicks with seven minutes to spare — which meant I started WAY behind most of the walkers in the lineup. Dude, there were 15,000 office drones running this race. And another 15,000 slated to run it tomorrow. I didn’t cross the start until 7 minutes after the gun, and my clock time makes me shudder.  My watch time was 33 minutes.  Not bad, considering I had to bob and weave past every big-butted secretary in the city the first mile and a half.  I ran the last 2 miles in under 18 minutes, just because I felt like it.  I know, I know, it’s the corporate challenge for chrissakes, I should just let it go, but my competitive juices kick in and I just want to make my time! and beat that skinny chick!  This race marked a first for me: I raced listening to my ipod. But, I had to finish up the Extra Mile ‘cast, and I knew it would keep me calmer amidst all the people walking three abreast and talking with their hands. I can’t say I’d want to run with my ipod in during a real, NYRR, timing-chip race; I still need to concentrate for those.

Oh. Did I mention it rained the entire time we were racing? As soon as I got back to my company’s table for post-race snacks, the rain stopped. Luckily my fahncy technical clothing was half-dry by the time I made it onto the subway, which the MTA chills to meat locker temps, so I don’t think I’ve caught a cold.

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