Friday, October 26, 2007

Twitter Updates for 2007-10-26

  • Matt and Fasil are taking the Kenyans (Baba, Peter, and Fred) out for Ethiopian. This should be an adventure… #
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Thursday, October 25, 2007

So, Solinsky…, Round 2

Tegenkamp sports his Stop Solinsky t-shirtIn which our hero discusses mental outlook, his eating philosophy, Ginger or Mary Ann, his longest training run, his bowling PR, and more. To join the discussion, write to soso AT kimbia DOT net.

What do you predict for the Badgers this fall in cross country? I’ve enjoyed following them (and you) for many years and have also traveled to the Nationals the last two years.—Mike Montgomery

The Badgers are going to do what us Badgers do best, and that is prepare to put themselves in a position on race day to be in contention to win the title, and then hope that things go well enough to accomplish that. This year especially, there are no clear favorites. There are probably 5-6 teams that have a chance to win it on any given day. It will truly come down to which team has a good day on November 19. I think this group of guys, though they’re young, has a lot of upside. I’m telling you now that they will only be better in the coming weeks and by the time NCAAs comes around. I am going to say that they have a really good shot to win the team title, and I will be there cheering them on, bleeding red!!

What in your training has changed that allowed you to shatter your old PR only months after turning pro. I mean you still live and train in Madison I’m assuming. You were running great times in college but it appears you have stepped it up a notch since graduating. Thanks!—Derek Montgomery

Nothing has changed other than the opportunities. Since signing with Nike, I have had the Chris Solinskychance to get into the races that have given me the opportunity to run fast. If anything has changed, it has been my mentality. I have realized there is no ceiling to what I can run. In college, I had the opportunity to run in races that produced some fast times, but I was never ready to run fast at those times for various reasons. This summer was the first time that I was in fast races while being ready to run fast. Our program has traditionally focused on racing, not running fast. I have always been ready to run fast at NCAAs, but the races never produced a chance to run fast, so my true fitness has not shown through. This year I trained all spring for this summer, and I finally got the opportunity to show what I can do!

Are you planning to train for and run the USA Cross Country Championships in February 2008 or focus strictly on indoor and outdoor track with your eyes on Beijing? Congrats on a fabulous first season as a pro. We all look forward to more great races in the future.—Matt Thomas

Thanks. This year I am just focusing on the Trials in July and the Games in August. I have started my base training now for June and have planned no races until the track season gets into full swing. The cross country championships are appealing this year—being in San Diego, there are no advantages or disadvantages for those used to altitude or sea level like last year, or where chances are it will be dry, unlike NCAAs last year. My primary focus for this year is solely on making not only the Olympic team, but also the Olympic final.

What was the key to your high school success?—Erik Myers

It is hard to say what the key to success was, but I would have to say that it was consistency in racing, which came from consistency in my training. I hardly took any days off, only when needed, and showed up to practice every day ready to put in a good training session. I was fortunate enough to have opportunities such as meets like indoor and outdoor nationals as well as the Foot Locker meet to test myself and really build my confidence. Additionally, and most importantly, I had a great set of coaches, Donn Behnke and Pat Leahy, in high school that were very knowledgeable about the sport and always trying to learn more. Donn was very big on distance and strength, while Pat was more focused on speed training, so I had the perfect combination in high school. My parents also played a big part in my running, especially my father, who I would often – and still do – spend hours talking about running and my goals and what I could improve from race to race.

KIMbia gathers on the Cape for Falmouth Mile and Falmouth Road RaceI started running last year during September with my school’s first cross country meet and I ran a 20:41. Since then I broke 5:00 with a 4:56, and got my 5k time down to 17:31 just last week. My coach knew I had talent so he put me on mileage, a lot for me, which is about 80 a week on the Lydiard deal. Luckily I had a good training partner who ran a 14:15 in college, so that was awesome. Now it’s just the start of my last cross country season in high school, and I’ll have guys who tore me apart last year. My mental part to running, to tell you the truth, sucks! I heard you say once when you ran with Craig Mottram and all these other great athletes you were a little nervous. What do you do to control your nerves, and also what do you do to say that you belong there now at this level, because I now know I can run with these guys. Thanks a lot!!!—Jordan Peterson

Well, first of all great job thus far, man, sounds like you’re heading in the right direction! The best thing you can do to alleviate your nervousness is to believe in yourself! I used to get really nervous prior to races, so much so that I would get sick Nelson, Sikes, Tegenkamp, Solinsky, and Bairu in Londonand no one, not even my parents, could talk to me nearly an hour leading up to the race because I had to “focus.” Since then I have told myself that there is no reason to be this bad if I am truly enjoying this sport of ours. I often remind myself how much I love to race and how much I enjoy this sport. Once past this point leading up to a race, if it is a big race with some pretty good runners in it, I just focus on my goals for that particular race, be it a general goal or stepping stone for the rest of the season. I remind myself how much and how hard I have worked to get to that point. Finally, I tell myself that once the gun goes off the nerves go away, and it is time to go to work and do what I do best, and that is compete. Well, I hope this has helped, and just remember that no matter how much pain goes into the training and how nervous you are, that will all subside and is temporary, but the feeling of accomplishing your goal will last forever.

1. Who are your running heroes and heroines?
2. What’s your highest game bowling?
3. What’s your favorite route to run in Madison?
4. What is the best pizza at Ian’s?
5. Which do you prefer, Ginger or Mary Ann?
6. What’s the longest run you have ever done?—Matt Thomas

1. I would say that I really don’t have any running heroes or heroines, but I really like seeing what mySolinsky trails Tegenkamp at the US Outdoor Champs (Victah Sailer) training partner Matt Tegenkamp is accomplishing, as well as what the rest of the top U.S. distance runners are doing, because it really motivates and drives me to push harder. We (the U.S.) are making a comeback on the international running stage, and it’s really exciting to be a part of that.
2. My highest bowling game is 206; I was really on fire that day!!
3. My favorite route in Madison would be anything in the Arboretum; there are just so many different trails to run and different places to go.
4. I really enjoy the Mac N’ Cheese pizza as well as the Steak and Fries, both are my favorites, often I get both.
5. I wasn’t much of a Gilligan’s Island fan, but I would have to say after looking up these two, probably Mary Ann.
6. Last fall before I got sick, I did a 2-hour long run and covered just over 22 miles. Thanks for the variety!

1. Do you wear suntan lotion during outdoor workouts on sunny days?
2. Have injuries ever been a problem for you, and how have you dealt with them?
3. Besides running, has stretching or strength training particular muscles been a part of your training at all?
4. Do you get regular massages?
5. What’s your eating philosophy?
6. When you were in school, did you have a car, moped or bicycle?
7. When you were in school, what was balancing a double major with your outstanding college career like?—David Hose

1. I know I should wear suntan lotion, but because I’m so pale I tend to try to get all the sun I can to work on my tan!
2. I’ve been fortunate enough to not have any serious injuries (knock on wood!!), but have had some small ones that I treat and get back to running as soon as possible.
3. I stretch before and after every training session and do our core workouts and lifting two to three times a week. I am always trying to increase my core strength to prevent form breakdown during races.
4. Yes, we have a great message therapist here in Madison, Brian Blindt, and I see him once a week or more if needed.
5. My eating philosophy tends to be a little different than most other elite runners. I generally have a rule that if I’m craving something, be it ice cream or fast food, that means my body needs whatever that food has to offer, whether sugar or a little fat, so I’m not afraid to indulge. I do, however, leading up to a race tend to monitor my diet a little closer and give my body the adequate fuel to perform at a high level.
6. I had both a moped, a 2004 Yamaha Zuma, and bicycle, a real sweet Huffy, and actually had a really beat up car, 1987 Chevy Cavalier station wagon colored RUST, that I used just to get home when I needed to.
7. Well, I really never thought it was too much harder then high school. I mean, I struggled a little bit freshman year because I never studied and still got A’s in high school and thought I could get away with it in college, but soon found that was not the case. Once I learned how to study and prepare for exams and papers, I thought it was no different. I just set up a schedule or routine that I stuck to and managed fine. I also took summer school every summer to help get the credits in that I needed.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Close, But No (Victory) Cigar

Charles finished second, just one second back, at the 2007 Gyeongju International MarathonAfter a brilliant 26.1 miles, Charles Kibiwott found himself on the losing end of a 100m sprint to the finish line at the Gyeongju International Marathon in Gyeongju, South Korea. Countryman and friend, Edwin Komen won the race in 2:09:44; Charles ran 2:09:45. “So close,” he said immediately after the race, his thumb and index finger stretched apart indicating a close margin. “So close…” Laban Kipkemboi was forced to drop out with an injury to the ball of his foot.

The race played to Charles’s strength, a nice even effort with very few swift changes in pace. Perhaps the biggest surge was the one Komen threw in after making two sharp turns just before entering the stadium. It was a race that tested the athlete’s patience and will, an occasion to which Charles rose today.

The race went out rather slow, with none of the contenders eager to push the pace. In fact, for much of the first half, the pacemakers ran alone about 30 meters in front of the main pack. At 18.5 kilometers I thought the athletes made a terrible error, allowing Wilson Kigen to tuck in behind the pacemakers while the rest of them sat back. Quickly they realized their mistake, and six athletes, Charles and Komen included, pressed to close the gap. At that point, the race was on.

By 32K the pack was down to five athletes – Kigen, Kibiwott, Komen, Matthew Sigei, and pacemaker Hosea Kogo, Laban and Charles before the racewho did a fantastic job keeping the athletes in the race and on pace as best he could. At this point, the nerves started to creep in. We – the agents, coaches, and marathon staff – were watching the race in a small makeshift locker room inside the stadium. People were getting tense. Or at least I was. I thought Charles looked good, but at 35K his facial expression changed. He was constantly looking at his watch and over his shoulder. And he wasn’t taking sponges from the tables like the other athletes. I thought he was in trouble.

At 35K Kogo stepped off the road, a job well done. At 37.5K Sigei lost his rhythm and faded off the back of the pack. It was down to three – Charles, Komen, and Kigen. Kigen’s manager, Arien Verkade, looked over at me and shrugged; we both agreed that Komen looked very relaxed and effortless. We hoped to be proved wrong.

Charles, smiling, with winner Edwin Komen after the raceAround a slight bend at 39K, Komen became the aggressor for the first time in the race. He didn’t break away from the other two, but he pushed the pace hoping to. Approaching 40K I thought to myself, “Charles should skip his water and make a charge to the finish line. He doesn’t have the strongest kick.” After the race, Charles would tell me that he thought the same thing, but was scared to push from too far out because of what happened in Rotterdam 2006. There, he pushed from a few kilometers out and appeared to have the race won, but his back tightened with about 600 meters to go and he almost slowed to a walk. Three athletes passed him in the last quarter mile.

As they approached the last water stop, Charles found himself on the outside, away from the table. All three athletes had their water on the first table, so they all lunged at the same time. Charles just grabbed his bottle by the flag. After they each ditched their bottles to the curb, with 1.4 kilometers to run, they pulled even with one another, running three abreast. At that point we all left the locker room and headed to the finish line.

When we stepped outside and locked up at the jumbotron, Kigen had fallen off the back. It was down to Charles and Komen. Before entering the stadium the athletes make two semi-sharp turns. Komen almost missed the first one, veering to the right before the course marshals waved him to the left. Unfortunately, Charles was following right behind him and in the quick change of Charles Kibiwott, 2nd Placedirection, lost a step. But Charles quickly regained his ground and I honestly thought he was going to go right past Komen. They pulled even again, but at the final turn before entering the stadium, Komen got the inside track. He stepped on the track, 100 meters from the finish line, two strides in front of Charles. Charles gave it one last grind, his head down with arms flailing across his body, his singlet waving off his shoulders. But it wasn’t enough. Komen crossed the line, arms raised, with Charles just two steps behind.

Despite being “so close,” Charles was very happy with his race. “After Chicago and Rotterdam (where Charles ran poorly), I needed a good effort here. And I did that. I am happy.” From the minute he crossed the finish line until now, save for the 120 seconds when he was vomiting into the trash can, Charles hasn’t stopped smiling. At the awards ceremony the top six athletes were given a trophy and a Charles hands a boy his flowers after the awards ceremonybouquet of flowers. As Charles came off the awards stand, I watched as a young boy ran up to him, having scrambled away from his mother. Charles shook the boys hand and then gave him the flowers. The boy was grinning from ear to ear.

Now we’re back at the hotel, where I’m sure the rest of the day will consist of napping and eating, in no particular order. Tomorrow is another early morning for most of us, as we have the dreaded five hour bus ride back to the airport before our 10+ hour flights. At least we’ll be leaving with a smile.

Gyeongju Race Results – Top Ten
1. Edwin Komen – 2:09:44
2. Charles Kibiwott – 2:09:45
3. Wilson Kigen – 2:09:56
4. Matthew Sigei – 2:10:10
5. Yusuf Songoka – 2:12:36
6. Procopiofra – 2:14:16
7. Teklu Tefera – 2:16:03
8. Heiyang Deng – 2:16:20
9. Thomas Chemitei – 2:17:59
10. Sin Jung-Hoon – 2:18:00

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Twitter Updates for 2007-10-20

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Twitter Updates for 2007-10-17

  • A great story about Nicodemus Niamadu by Steve Holt: #
  • isBaba: Recovering from a hard 30K, eating rice, potatoes, and chicken livers. #
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