Friday, July 31, 2009

Europe Report Card: Rebecca Donaghue

Across the Atlantic Ocean, there is a vast expanse of majestic landscape, there are bustling city streets, windmills, breathtaking works of art, there’s even something called ”tea time”, BUT MOST ESPECIALLY there is a group of American based KIMbia athletes on the European track circuit. The front half of most of these athlete’s time in Europe is over while some are just getting started. We will be checking in with the athletes to get a full report on how their summer is going. They will be grading themselves on how well they have raced so far and how well their training has been going this season. They’ll also be detailing some of their time off the track to give an idea of what life is like for them on the European circuit.dsc_1439.JPG

2009 has been very good to Rebecca Donaghue.  Earlier in the season, Rebecca lowered her PR considerably in the 10k, clocking a 33:08 to win the prestigious Payton Jordan Invite in Stanford.  She rolled into the U.S. Championships shooting for nothing less than a top three finish and a spot on the World Championship team in the 5k.  After leading through a considerably windy second mile and into the third in the 5k finals, Rebecca finished fifth, just three seconds short of third place.  Still, with Kara Goucher forfeiting her 5k spot for the marathon, the third World Championship slot was still in the cards for Rebecca if she could dip under the ‘B’ standard (15:25) over the next few weeks.  And so, Rebecca headed to Europe.

Despite missing the standard, Rebecca made strides in her first European season by posting two more PR’s in the 5000m (15:34 in Liege) and 1500m (4:12.07 in Ghent).  Clearly, the European circuit has treated Rebecca Donaghue well.  Click below to read how Rebecca graded her season and how she describes her first “business trip” to Europe.

Grade: A
“I’ve been doing workouts that I had only dreamed of doing in the past and recovering from them really well. I also slightly increased my mileage and have been responding really well to that. ”

Grade: B
“I did post 2 prs in the 1500 and the 5000 while in Europe. They were very small prs but prs nonetheless. I’m not giving myself an A because I didn’t achieve what I wanted in the 5,000 at the Liege Meet. I intended on a much bigger pr and going after at least the B standard for the World Championships. Unfortunately, I just didn’t have it on that day and really fell apart in the 4th k of the race. But, I’m very pleased with posting a 4:12.07 in the 1500 at the Ghent Meet. Of course I’d be even more pleased had I broken 4:12, but will certainly knock that down next year, and I look forward to doing it. I was able to run three 1500′s this season and all three were just so much fun for me. I always enjoy stepping down to sharpen up for the longer races.”

The European Circuit Experience:
“I won’t forget my time spent in Europe this summer. I’d been to Europe before but not for racing purposes, so this was pretty special. I was definitely a little homesick for the first couple days but once I adjusted to life there and got my laptop up and running it turned into a really amazing time. The two weeks I was there I stayed in a town called Hulst which is in the Netherlands, and is in South Holland. I was excited that I could see this old windmill from the apartment I stayed in, and ran by it almost everyday. Unfortunately, I didn’t see anyone wearing wooden clogs and missed the tulip season but there was always that windmill that reminded me where I was. Also, the town had kind of a fariytale feel to it that I really liked. I had a great time hanging with the other KIMbia runners as well, enjoying Dutch TV and eating lots of Nutella spread on our down time.”

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One Response to “Europe Report Card: Rebecca Donaghue”

  1. [...] to give us a better idea of what it’s like for them. Rebecca was the latest Kimbia athlete to rate her time in [...]