Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up & Wednesday Workout

From Coach Jerry:

It was a heavy weekend of competition, and we had some excellent results. The GRC athlete of the week was unquestionably Dave Wertz, who ran made his first track race (at age 35, no less) a memorable one, running 15:30 at Swarthmore. Dave's PR coming in was 15:59, and considering the fact that he has absolutely no experience on the track and was in a very competitive heat without any of his teammates to help him with the pacing, that result was beyond impressive. The downside was that Dave, as usual, was talking smack the entire ride home. That guy needs to stop tooting his own horn all the time and learn to comport himself with the quiet dignity of Charlie Ban. Speaking of Charlie, he ran an outstanding tactical race, running almost precisely 75 seconds for every lap, and set a track PR of 15:36. Charlie's excellent run helped Murph to a seasonal best of 15:38. Murph was 5 seconds ahead of Charlie at the mile but started to fade after 6 laps, and Charlie pulled Murph along the last mile. In the fast heat, Wiggy ran a very nice PR of 14:34, shaving off 11 seconds from his previous best. Joe was a little disappointed with the result because he went out aggressively and faded in the last 1k, but it was an extremely gutty performace, and I was very pleased with it. Karl ran a solid 14:30 in his first competitive track race in quite a while, and although he was not pleased, it showed me that he is ready for much bigger things in the weeks to come. Our mighty women's team also produced some strong results, with Beth running an outstanding PR of 1:25:23 for the half in Green Bay in very difficult conditions. Beth planned to run the full marathon, but the forecast of 40 mph winds caused her to make the difficult decision to abandon the full 'thon and enter the half. Her decision proved to be the correct one, as she ended up with a strong performance despite the adverse conditions, and she retains the option to find another spring marathon.

There were also some difficult races this weekend, and as always, the less than stellar results are the most instructive. Michelle struggled mightily in the last mile of her 5k at Swarthmore, and although her 17:31 was a PR by a couple of seconds, she was very disappointed with the time, given her outstanding fitness level. Outlaw also struggled in the final third of the USATF 25k championships. He was on goal pace for the first half of the race, but he faded badly in the last 10k. And Brian tried to tough out the marathon in Green Bay, but the atrocious conditions got the better of him and he dropped out after 19 miles. There are several lessons to be drawn from these races: 1) Avoid suicide missions. I credit Brian for his determination, but a fast marathon is heavily dependent on favorable conditions, and to my way of thinking, other than in a championship setting, it's better to save it for another day if it becomes clear that the conditions are not conducive to a good performance. I don't mean to single Brian out, as the list of GRC'ers who have tried to defy bad conditions in the marathon is lengthy indeed. 2) Bad days happen to the best of us. Michelle was in truly outstanding shape going into the meet on Saturday, and I expected her to continue her string of massive PRs. But no one can run great every time out, and there's no shame in having a bad race. I always look for positives in bad performances, and to me, the fact that Michelle ran faster on lap 12 than on laps 9-11, despite the fact that she was hurting really badly and knew she was on her way to a slow time, speaks volumes about her toughness. It's important to remember that a bad race does not make you a bad runner. Michelle is the same superb athlete today as she was on Friday, despite her disappointing performance at Swarthmore, and she will be back better than ever for having struggled through that race. 3) Luck is a huge factor in our sport. Outlaw planned for the last 6 months to be ready for the 25k champs, and his training was going great, but he had the misfortune of getting food poisoning (or a stomach virus, as diagnosed by Dr. Dusen) a couple of weeks ago, and the illness had an extremely detrimental affect on his preparation. It was simply not possible for him to fully recover in time to be ready to meet his very lofty goals in such a demanding race. It was bad luck, pure and simple. Outlaw will bounce back, but he is understandably disappointed to end his season on a sour note. If there were a way to avoid bad luck, no one would ever run a bad race, but sadly, there is not. Outlaw deserved better, and I’m confident he will have his day in the sun in 2011.

For the workout this week (and as best as I can tell, the rest of the spring and summer), we’re back at BCC.
The A group will do 3 x 2 mile in 10:10, 10:00, 9:50 with a 3 minute jog (we can take a little more if needed). A portion of the B group will do 6 x 1200, doing the first 1200 and last 1200 of the A group reps, and sitting out the middle 800, which will mean 3 minutes rest on both ends. Andy and anyone else who is prepping for the big tri this weekend can do something faster and shorter, and we’ll get that squared away before the workout.

I’ll send a separate message with the women’s workout.

See you Wednesday at BCC.

Jerry

2 comments:

YF said...

Beth said on her facebook's wall, '... Green Bay Half Marathon was 0.15 mile longer...'

That means her TRUE PR for 13.1 should 1:24:30.

Right?

RM said...

The race director sent an email to all participants (in both half and full) saying that due to a course re-direction, it added 800 feet to the course around mile 3. A number of people using GPS units brought this up to the race organizers and it was too many for them to ignore, so they went back and recertified.

So they are adjusting all finisher's times by the appropriate amount of time, which for some people could be the difference in PRs, etc.