Sunday, July 1, 2012

Mid Year Report; Olympic Trials Recaps

June has passed, the year is half over.  That's right.  Half over already.  Really?

Glass half empty:  you are 6 months older than you were at the beginning of the year; if you are over the age of 30, you are working against the forces of time to keep from falling apart.  The days are getting shorter now, but the hottest days are summer are here.  Bah.

Glass half full:  you are 6 months wiser than you were at the beginning of the year, and you will work that much harder and smarter the rest of the year.  We had a cool June until the very end, and if you managed to get any mileage this over the past few days, you can make it through just about any conditions.

I'm taking the later viewpoint.  

Mileage progression this year:
Jan - 13 (foot)
Feb - 54 (bad knee)
Mar - 44 (bad knee)
Apr - 88 (knee getting better)
May - 115 (recovered)
Jun - 133 (no injuries still...)

Let's hope the trend continues.

This weekend, I managed to get my miles in, even if it meant getting up at 6 AM each day this weekend to do it.  By the time it was 100+ degrees, I was indoors with the blinds closed, dead to the world.  Week One of official marathon training is in the books:  36 miles, including a solid summer track session (4 events toward the Ironman with a low 19s 5K to close out the night).  That is my highest mileage week yet this year.

I'm going with the "10% rule" from here on out (don't increase weekly mileage by more than 10% from your previous highest), and the "step back" rule (scale back the week after a high mileage week).
Following those rules, I can responsibly get up to 50+ per week by the end of August, at least on the 'high' weeks.

~ ~ ~

NC Runner watch at the Olympic Trials

Bobby Mack finished 9th at the 10K in 27:58

Jesse Williams made the high jump team at 7-5 3/4 (finished 4th but was 3rd best with London qualifying standard)

NCSU runner Ryan Hill finished 5th in 13:27 in a very competitive race

Then there is Julia Lucas (ran high school XC/track at Myers Park in Charlotte and ran for NCSU)... who just missed making the Olympic team in the most agonizing fashion.  

Short story:  She has been off and on injured through most of her running career, and actually gave up the sport for a year.  She made a great comeback this year and actually had the fastest time in the US going into the trials (15:07).

The early pace of the race was relatively slow.  Only 7 runners in the field had the "A" standard to get into London, which meant that unless the pace picked up, only those 7 actually had a chance to make the team.  For some strange reason, Lucas decided to be the one to pick up the pace with about a mile left, even though she did not need to make the standard.  She only had to make sure 3 women with the "A" standard already did not beat here.  She left the crowd and took command of the race by dropping a few 68 second laps, stretching out the field.  Going into the bell lap, she had a 2 second lead on 2nd and a 3 second lead on 3rd, but then the wheels started coming off.  

With 200m left, Julie Culley and Molly Huddle (the US Record holder) passed her, so all she had to do was hold on for 3rd... but in the last stride she was passed and missed the spot by 0.04 seconds. The woman who passed her was Kim Conley.  Conley did not have the "A" standard going into the race, but she did now... thanks to having to chase down Lucas.  Weird sport.

Julia Lucas is 28.  Windows of opportunity close fast in elite running - with a few rare exceptions, most elites are out of the sport and onto coaching or other careers by the time they are 32.  The rest of us can learn from bad races or self-imposed injuries.  It isn't a big deal.  Running is just a semi-serious hobby for most of us.

~ ~ ~

Throughout this post, I've alluded to 'aging' in various contexts.  And so it is only appropriate that my running song of the month features the Smashing Pumpkins.  Oceania is no Siamese Dream, but better than everything else they released in the last decade (for those who liked the early Pumpkins stuff).  I used to record Pumpkins songs from the radio in the early-mid 90s on cassette tapes, and almost 20 years later in July 2012, a time that seemed unfathomably far in the future the first time I heard "Cherub Rock", amazingly I am still listening to new Smashing Pumpkins on Spotify, iTunes, my iPod, and youtube... wow.

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