Tag Archive | track

To get the award or not get the award

The Love of Awards!

I have been getting a few of these age group placings lately and I always feel like they made a mistake. I feel really awkward about them. I say Thank You, I smile for the picture, but it all feels weird and fake to me.

They made a mistake!!!!!!!


Were all the fast women my age doing something more fun I wasn’t invited to?

Should I just leave it there in case it really was a mistake?

I am always afraid they are going to call me on it.

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Millrose Games 2013: rain of records!

Howdy everybody!!!

I’ve been a bit busy lately but I didn’t want a long time to go by without sharing my experience at Millrose this past weekend.

Sidebar: in case you’re not familiar with Millrose Games:

The Millrose Games is an annual indoor athletics meet (track and field) held on the first Friday in February in New York City. They started taking place at the Armory inWashington Heights in 2012, after having taken place in Madison Square Garden from 1914 to 2011.[1] The games were started when employees of the New York City branch of Wanamaker’s department store formed the Millrose Track Club to hold a meet. The featured event is the Wanamaker Mile. (more here)

I’ve been going to Millrose, since I remember liking track and living in NYC. Here is my post from last year, when EVERYBODY was there. Having had the whirlwind-iest last two weeks that I had, I didn’t even check who’d be running. So lame of me… surprise me Millrose. I knew Centro and Lagat would be there and that was enough for me!

Did a great run that day to get inspired, and even watched Saint Ralph, one of my favorite running movies. You gotta get in the mood, right? I then got this breakfast of champions:

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It was Valentine’s Week after all!

We barely made it there for the Opening Ceremonies, and as usual, I never made it to my seat… I like hanging out by the track and located my friend Sid and his wife who are such amazing runners and friends and hang out, just like last year. Sid remembers every single runner and world record, ever, so that makes my work a lot easier.

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(Shoe-Box) Opening Ceremonies. Bright tops really do make a difference, see?

A hot second after they were sprinting and we were screaming. It was just so intense the whole night went by in a minute, even if it was 3.5 hours and we were standing. I just never let down. I did walk off to the media section for a bit and got to chat with Peter Gambaccini. If you read anything running related, you know him. He writes all the amazing RW.com’s news and knows EVERYTHING. I met him last year and when someone introduced him to me I screamed like I had just met Justin Bieber. Yes, he’s that amazing! I’d say, bookmark him.

But back to the action… we were right on the track. I love putting my hands on the track (ok, just the tips of my fingers or the guy with the flag would come my way) when the runners go by. Such… force! You really feel it there… it’s quite breathtaking. Mostly when you know that you’ll never ever get to do the speeds they do!

Look how close:

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Going back to the crazy week I had and not being ready for the event… I then hear Nick Symmonds is racing next.. WHAT?!?!?!??! Seriously. WHAT? I had never seen Nick racing. I am gonna admit the unadmittable: I’ve always had a *bit* of a crush on Nick Symmonds. Well, you all saw my previous post where I screamed about him. Well, Nick RUN.

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Nick’s race is the 800 usually but here he run the 600m. He came in fourth, in 1:16:89, a bit over a second from Sowinski’s american record (for 9/100s of a second) of 1:15:61. Exciting race!

Then it was time for a very exciting 2 mile race. I like the longer races as it’s funner to watch the positioning and strategy 😉

Lagat threw down (and then fell on the floor after too!) to get the american record down to 8:09.72. Such a great race.

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Hello Kip, remember me?

Then, soon enough, waaay too soon actually, the national anthem and the main event, the Wanamaker Mile. The women’s was fantastic, but I was really dying to see Centro and Lagat go head to head again, since the last time I saw them at the Fifth Ave Mile.

It was surreal. There is just something about this event, and how upclose you see them lap after lap, you can possibly even know what they’re thinking…

The thing is… they went out too fast (1:53) and that threw the option of a record out of contention… they all just went with the rabbit!!!

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Too close to even get a picture… They are TOO fast (and I should have brough my camera instead of just my phone!!!)

Eventually Lomong and Centro sprint for the finish, while I held my heart in my hand, and Lomong beat him 3:51:21 to Centro’s 3:51:34. Did I mention in this post how much I enjoy watching Centro run? Just had to say it.

It was intense though. I was shaking for over an hour and I needed help getting out of the building. I am NOT kidding. I thought I was going to pass out.

Lomong, enjoying the victories!

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Lagat again, and his cute kid

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And while I was bring transported out… you know what happened… I saw Nick Symmonds, I almost fainted while talked to me about stuff. And then I left, in shock or something. Post is here in case you missed my ridiculousness. Sharing again, just because I can’t stop.

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Millrose Games 2013: rain of records!

Mission Accomplished: I am a Certified Track and Field Coach! Now what?

Two weekends ago I attended the Track and Field 21.5 hours certification course. Over the past week I was determined to read the material before I started with the online test. The test was 200 questions… One coach on twitter told me he did it in 3 hours… hm… the instructors had warned us that  some questions were tricky.

By Friday, coming back to the city from a ridiculous Thanksgiving OverEatingFest, I decided to tackle it anyway, I had read nothing and if I waited, I’d never get around to it. I wasn’t 100% sure about some of the topics, mostly the jumps and the throws, but jumped (ha) right into it.

They were really tricky, the wording was unstable to say the least. I had to reread a few of them outloud! 200 questions. 80% had to be right. So I’d be fine with getting just 160 right… it took me a while, NOT 3 hours. Basically big chunks of Friday, Saturday AND Sunday. I am sure you’re doubting my brains right now… I might have been a bit overparanoid with the trickiness and English not being my native language…

Then, I was done, press “Grade my Exam”, closed my eyes, and:

Congratulations on successfully completing the USA Track & Field Level 1 Coaching Education program!

You scored a 97.5% on the exam, which is a passing score. Hopefully by having passed the exam, as well as having attended the classroom instruction, you have a better understanding of coaching concepts for track & field.

ehem… that’s just 5 wrong answers in 200! Quite happy with that! These were the topics on the course and exam:

Topic Philosophy, Ethics, and Risk Management Psychology Physiology Biomechanics Training Theory Biomotor Training for the Speed and Power Events The Sprint Events The Hurdle Events The Relay Events The Jumping Events The Throwing Events The Endurance Events The Racewalking Events 

Well, there went two weekends! As for my coaching future, there’ll be some updates soon.  As for my own training, I am now really going to pour over some of the new physiology and training theory I learned (and all the interesting stuff they give us access to online!!!) and create all my workouts for the first half of next year. The decision is made: I am going to focus on the half marathon again, as I did this year. No Spring marathon for me, again. And, what I did this year worked, but that doesn’t mean it’ll work next year. Workouts will be adjusted based on goals, pace, fitness level, etc. As soon as it’s all ready, I’ll share, I promise! Here we go.

Mission Accomplished: I am a Certified Track and Field Coach! Now what?

Adidas Grand Prix, Icahn Stadium

Last Friday I had a very busy day at work where I didn’t even remember to eat, even when I was racing a 10K the day after… and I get an email from the boyfriend “want to go to a track meet tomorrow?”. He was working too so brevity and lack of details is expected and normal. 

My thought process always goes something like this my life is busy and chaotic already that whatever it is I PROBABLY rather sleep. Still, despite my better judgement I always end up saying yes to a lot of stuff. Crazy, I know, It’s just that NYC is pretty fun…

I was getting up early Saturday to race, then I was coaching, then we’d have to stretch, eat, all that and be ready very early Sunday (4:30 am) for a 5K he wanted to place in. 

So I replied “let’s decide tomorrow”.

As soon as I saw the ticket on Saturday, I screamed. It is the freaking Adidas Grand Prix!!! NOT just some track meet!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OK, we’re SO going.

After the 10K, going to Team in Training’s victory party, shower, no rest or stretching, coaching, I was ready for a BIG nap, Headed to Icahn’s stadium in Randalls Island instead… 

OMG. SO much fun. This reinforces my (and Bieber’s) “Never Say Never” life motto. 

Kip, or Bernard Lagat as everyone seems to like to call him, doing his victory lap. I missed a bit of the race but he is always phenomenal!

Then the women’s 800!

Men 400, ooops, missed the race,I blinked… but here is the winner

And the women’s 200. DON’T BLINK!!!

the men’s 100

Then my favorite event, the Women’s 5000. AAAHHH

Scream with me, will you??!?!?!

And… we breathe… 

I still had to eat (had two powerbars during the races), stretch, recover a little and get ready for an early/busy/exciting Sunday. But just like the Bieber, remember, Never Say Never.

One exception: I’ll NEVER be as fast as these people. Needed to get that out of the way to avoid some more dissapointment.

Adidas Grand Prix, Icahn Stadium

Millrose Games. All of it. Up Close.

You might know that the Millrose Games used to be hosted at Madison Square Garden since 1914. This year they got moved to The Armory, an amazing track in Washington Heights, that also holds the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. It’s really a gorgeous place and wherever you sit, you’re way closer to the action than we used to be at Madison Square Garden so, naturally, I love the change!

The thing is, even though seating was quite close… I never made it to my seats! I was saying hello to some NYRR friends and then just ended sticking around there and watching from the main floor.  Standing up, for the whole time, yes, but look how close I was…

This was the scene behind (and on top of) me:

Everyone was there. Everyone. I spotted my friend Robert, who now works for RW, in the middle of the track, snapping pictures (sorry R, you’re quite unmissable!), and found pretty much everyone else walking past at some point or another. You know, like a birthday party or marathon week or something. It was so much fun to see all these different races, and I found myself taking pictures but also shooting video of their form, and watching it over and over in slowmo as soon as they stopped. Yeah, racing p0rn. I’ll upload some videos soon and share if you guys are interested!

Not sure what race this picture is from, but I love it:

I am sure you all heard what happened already and you can watch all the races here, but I’ll share some my pictures, of course! I took a ton so had to pick and choose which ones to post, first some from the NYRR Wanamaker Women’s Metric Mile.

Because you always have to warm up for some things…

Jenny Simpson getting ready to blast the course!

Shannon “always ready to throw down!” Rowbury!

Fabulous, fabulous race. I breathe for a second, and soon enough, we get to watch Lagat (and Baddeley, Lalang and many others) run a fantastic New Balance Men’s 5000 Meter. I can’t lie, about this, I was having some issues standing up at that point. Being so close to the track is quite intense.

Then they did the dashes (IF only I could always get that foamed wall for my runs!!?!?!) which would leave anyone breathless; the hurdles, which really scare the crap out me (I’d be dead in a second!); the Sprint Medley Relays, which are so confusing to me as they switch pace in a millisecond and I struggle to adjust to the speed… and the Women’s 400 meter and 800 meter… Eh, what’s another word for intense? Whatever it is, read it in caps please.

By then, I was seriously exhausted. With just the NYRR Wanamaker Mile coming up, I felt like I needed to lay down and rest. It’s such a packed event, with so many amazing races that you can’t ever look away or relax to breathe. It was like I had had a few cups of coffee (and I don’t drink coffee) or watched a Bourne movie: hyper-tense-elated-attheedgeofyourseat excitement and exhaustion. And all I wanted was more legs turning over. Forever!

And then it’s there, finally, the NYRR Wanamaker Mile. They warm up, they run run around. Matt Centrowitz has the “be scared, I know exactly what I am doing. It’s on” look. He’s totally focused and it shows. I think I felt a bit of fear. 

They go. I stop breathing again.

I am sorry for the blurriness. My camera had no idea these guys would be so fast and hadn’t had any coffee either.

Then it happens: I breathe. He did it and it was all we all had dreamed of and more. I really need to post the video of his legs doing the work, it’s pure art and it needs to be at the Met ASAP. Pure hot-running-art-on-fire. Even when walking he flies…

Remember to breathe, Elizabeth. Setting up a countdown calendar for next year already.

Millrose Games. All of it. Up Close.