Conference weekend

A pretty interesting weekend as I ran at Conference USA for U of H. A quick summary:

I ran the 800 prelims in 1:54.4, taking 2nd in my heat. Top 2 advanced automatically so all I did was put myself in position and then cruise in. I was pleasently surprised by how easy it felt. I shut it down with probably a 100m left and just cruised it in basically walking across the finish line. If I would have switched it into another gear or not shut it down I think I could have easily ran 1:53 mid, which would have been an 800 indoor pr, but no need for that in the prelims.

After that I had the DMR. I was a little worried because I had only raced once before this and definately had not done any of the workouts needed to get ready for a double. The plan was just to run my own race and get into a good rhythm. I ended up leading the whole leg going by the first 200 in 29.5 and then clicking off 30s or so with a pickup the last 100m. The UTEP kenyan just sat on me the whole time and tried to go around me twice on the last lap. The first time I surged a little making him settle back in behind and then he tried to come off the turn and outkick me. He pulled even but then I held him off as Jason Perez got the baton in the lead for us. Jason handed off just a little behind UTEP to our 800m leg Daniel who is a freshman and did a good job filling in when our other 800 leg, Chris, went down in the prelims with an injury. The rest of the DMR was pretty crazy as the officials messed up and made the top 800 legs hand off at 600m. The race continued anyways and they decided to just give places and forget about times. In fact our mile leg, Calum, ran 1800m to make the race an even 4km. That part of the race was crazy because no one new what was going to happen. The funniest part was when our coach yelled at Calum to run an extra lap and in the middle of the race he just shouts out "NO!!!". Not only did he run the extra lap but he closed it in 30 because some guy he was lapping thought he was done too.

UTEP ended up winning and we took 2nd. It kinda sucks that the times didn't count because we probably would have run mid 9:50s, which woulda made the UofH top 5 list.

This day didn't go nearly as well as I thought it would, but no complaints. In the 800m final I made a stupid move and paid for it. I was sitting in 5th at the time and on the 3rd lap made too big of a move too quickly to move up to 2nd. In doing that I had to go too wide and then on the last lap, one of the runners held me to the outside on the curve and I got thrown around a little bit. Then coming into the last 100m, I was fried. My legs were dead and I had nothing left. I got passed at the line by 2 guys which I shouldn't have let happen. Anyways, the legs just weren't there today and the stupid move took too much out of me. I'm just not in shape or sharp enough to make those kinds of moves in the 800 yet.

I'm very pleased with this weekend, especially friday. I felt extremely relaxed during both of those races. I just ran out of gas by Saturday. I'm not in shape yet to be able to run 3 races. All things considered, it was a productive weekend. Less than 2 weeks ago I wasn't even going to run indoors at all and hadn't done a single workout where I was straining at all, let alone a heavy "anaerobic" workout to get used to racing. So that being said, I'm very pleased. I think this will give me a good place to build on towards outdoors, which is the main goal. I hate doing this, but looking back through the logs this is the best 8/12 double I've run indoors (1:54, 3:05 frosh year, 1:55.85-3:04 soph year compared to 1:54-2:59 this year), and I'd done it at least once each year I was at rice, and there I had already had 6 weeks+ of workouts like 10x400 in 60 w/1min rest, while this year I haven't even really started my slower distance workouts at 2mi-5k pace yet. Anyways, it felt good to get out there and compete again and this time thoroughly enjoying it.

Awesome racing/competing by all the UofH guys to capture the Conference Championship! As far as distance guys go, Daniel and Calum both PR'd in the mile, running 4:17 and 4:10 respectively.

Rust Buster- 1st race

I ran my first race of the year yesterday and it went pretty well. I won the 800 at the UofH indoor all-comers meet in 1:54. The race ended up a little different than I expected, but it was a good effort and a good "rust-buster" to get used to racing again.

Since they split the college and unnattached athletes into different heats, I wasn't expecting much competition, so I figured it would go out fairly slow and then I'd just take over. Well, that didn't exactly happen. When the gun went off, all of these guys jumped off the line and took off. For the first 50m or so I was kind of in shock because all of these guys were ahead of me. At 150m I came back to reality and realized I was in about 7th place. I had to make a quick decision on how to get to the front at this point. I had two choices, go to the outside and try and pass everyone or go to the inside and try and work my way up. Since, the turns on a flat indoor 200m track are rough, I decided to take the risk and try and make the inside pass. My quick plan was to make a move up the inside once we got into the home straight. I was hoping that the momentum would take the guys in front of me into the outside of lane one, opening up a lane where I could scoot by. I ended up being right, so I threw in a surge and passed a couple guys on the straight.

Well, my plan worked great until we got into the turn. I made it up to 3rd or so at that point and then I ran into a wall. I was moving up the inside, then the guy in front of me at about 240m, slammed on the breaks and I basically ran into the back of him. I slammed on the breaks too, losing all my momentum, made a football like stutter step to the outside and tried to get back up to speed. I finally got into the lead after I had to go wide and pass another guy at 320m. I came across 400m in 56 or so and then I was on my own to the finish.

I felt pretty solid the whole way, got a little complacent towards the end and should have switched into another gear. I ended up winning by 4 seconds and then there was another 5 seconds until the third place guy. So, it was a smart thing for all those guys ahead of me to go out in 26.... Pretty funny how at 150m your in 7th and 200m later your in 1st...

Anyways, I recovered really well, which is a plus. Didn't really feal worn out or anything. Overall, I'm happy with the effort 1:54 on a flat 200m track with no competition for my first race is a solid start. Especially the way I ran it. Losing momentum killed me and is a definate no-no in indoor 800m racing. I ran the race too "jerky" or fartlek style which made it harder than it should have been.


Just a quick note.

My first article for Running Times Online was put up today. It's about what's wrong with using a "Zone" training system. Check it out and let me know what you think:

Lifting weights during workout-Best milers of all time race?

First off, my training idea. About a week ago I did a workout on the treadmill where it was a combo of uphill LT (up a 6 degree incline at roughly 5:30ish pace on the treadmill) and uphill 3-5min segments at the end (up a 10 degree incline). After that, I rested a minute or two, then wanted to see the effects of something. So I did a set of 8reps of ~95 pounds on the bench press, then immediately jumped on the treadmill when it was still moving at a decent clip (6~ish per mile).

The first thing I noticed was that my arms got that tieing up feeling for about 2min. They got the burning/aching sensation that one gets at the end of an anaerobic workout. So I repeated this session two more times (8 reps, then 2min on the treadmill). Then on the last one I just kept going on the treadmill until I was cooled down.

I'm not sure what the exact effects of doing this were, but it definately would help in teaching an athlete how to maintain upper body relaxation and arm stroke during a race because for a minute or two it becomes difficult to keep swinging the arms in the normal motion. It would be a good way to work on arm swing with fatigue without having to run fast to do it.

Also, I'm sure there is some kind of lactate benefit to it. I'll post more on that after I figure it out in my head. Onto the best milers racing...

On a couple of different message boards ( and a recent subject has been what would happen if the best milers in the sub 4 era race each other when each is at the top of their game.

It's an interesting topic to discuss. You have to make it where all generational things are equal (the track surface, equipment, training, nutrition, etc.) to eliminate the obvious advantage that modern athletes have and that the athlete is competing at the best time in their career. Or to state it in a different way, the athlete shows up for this race when he is in the best shape of his life.

For my view on the dyestat "dream mile" race go here:

The contenders in my eyes:
Hicham El Guerrouj
Said Aouitta
Steve Cram
Steve Ovett
Seb Coe
Jim Ryun
Herb Elliott
Noerredine Morceli
Peter Snell
John Walker
Fermin Cacho
Kip Keino

If it's a slow race that comes down to the last 400 I see it like this:
1. Jim Ryun
2. Seb Coe
3. Steve Cram
Cacho, Ovett, Snell, Aouitta also solid kickers

In a fast world record race:
1. Hicham El Guerrouj
2. Herb Elliott
3. Norredine Morceli
Lagat or Ngeny would do well in a race like this too.

In a solid pace but not WR:
1. Coe
2. Ryun
3. El Guerrouj
4. Steve Cram
5. Herb Elliott
6. Morceli
7. Snell
8. Ovett
This would be a close one. I really see Elliott making a big move somewhere in the 3rd lap and El G being the one who goes with him fully. Morceli would also make a go and try and go with the move entirely El G would then hold the lead until the last 100m when Coe would pass him. Ryun would come from too far back and nip El G at the line. Elliott would hold on for 4th or 5th, with Cram, Snell, and Ovett trying to make up the ground when they got gapped. Morceli would die harder than Elliott ending up in 6th-8th depending on how bad he fades/how fast the others kick. I'm not sure where Aouitta would go. My guess is somewhere in the 6-10 range, but it's too close. Walker, Cacho, and Keino would hang on but get left once the huge moves were made.

At altitude
1. Keino
2. El Guerrouj
3. Aouitta
4. Morceli

those are some quick picks.
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