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I’ve learned that blogging is so much easier when you steal borrow someone else’s stuff. Although many will also be reading JT’s blog, those who aren’t should head over for her report of interviews taken before the Healthy Kidney 10K. Who knew “I’m a blogger” could get you free coffee? I mean, who isn’t?

Here’s the Link: Healthy Kidney 10K: The Front Runners

The piece was picked up for LetsRun’s front page and thence to Track & Field News, but if you haven’t seen it before, you saw it here first. As I’ve noted, when I had the chance to run with an elite runner (and I’ve also run with plenty of sub-elites), it was pretty much like running with anyone else.

Also, some weeks ago I characterized a blog from which I had been removed — JT’s not there either — as taking “the all-encompassing approach.” Umbrage was taken. I just figured with scores of blogs listed they all couldn’t be followed. I apparently erred. I apologize.

Also in that post I noted a local eighth grade girl who had run 5:01 for the 1600. She’s now run sub-5 for a mile. Ouch indeed.

On Friday, Matt Tegenkamp became the third American to break 13 in the 5000, a week after Ritz became the second (and broke Bob Kennedy’s American Record). Teg’s 12:58.56 puts him third on the US list (after Ritz’s 12:56.27 and Kennedy’s 12:58.21). With Todd Williams, Kennedy was a breathe of life in American distance running in those days, taking the lead with 800 to go in the Atlanta 5000 before finishing sixth.

This race was quite different from Ritz’s, although they both lost to Kenensia Bekele. Ritz ran very evenly and picked off runners throughout. Teg was in the mix, the eighth of eight guys until Kenny B. opened up a gap. Unlike the week before in Zurich, however, Kenny B. came back to the pack, and Teg and seven others were right in it at the bell.

Bekele opened up and won, and Teg held on for seventh. He was happy:

Julie has a nice post, The sub-13:00 love train, on it.

    I was also reminded of an article from Matt Fitzgerald in Running Times late last year, How Records Are Broken, which examined the forces that push records downward and what everyday runners can learn from them. The gist being: While we hobby runners may not break any world, national or age group records, breaking our own personal records in a regular and dramatic fashion is a worthy goal — and an achievable one.

Unfortunately, I won’t be stepping aboard any time soon.

Watching the end of today’s 19th stage of the Giro, the third-from-the-end and last one to finish on a mountain (Mount Vesuvius in this case), it was clear that the only chance that second-place Danilo Di Luca had was to attack race leader Denis Menchov and get some time, given that Menchov is the superior time trialer, with the final-day, short time trial being the last chance for changes at the top.

In the end, Di Luca couldn’t shake Menchov off his wheel, try as he might. He picked up 8 seconds via a time bonus for finishing third to Menchov’s fourth on the stage, and stands 18 seconds back.

One of my favorite blogger, Julie of RacesLikeAGirl is racing the Newport Marathon in Oregon tomorrow. She’s been working extremely hard under the tutelage of Kevin Beck, and is poised, I think, to blow the roof off the joint. But whatever happens, she posted some pre-race thoughts that are typically insightful and worth storing somewhere for the next time I get ready to run a marathon.

Putting these two things together, it dawned on me that the point of this whole racing business is to go All In. We put everything on the line, everything that we’ve trained for and all the effort that has been put into that training for the shot of winning the brass ring of reaching the goal. And that can be really scary.

As I’ve made clear, my elitist view is that the goal of “finishing” is not what we’re talking about. It’s that perhaps artificial running/racing dichotomy. One of the revelations of this blogging business is seeing so many others with this same mind-set. That pretty well applies to all the bloggers I list.

As Ryan Hall says in the “The Competitors” podcast to which I recently linked, there’s no point if you don’t enjoy the journey (or something like that). I’m sure he’d admit, the end of that journey is best done quickly.

After getting home late last night (later still because I missed the train by about 30 seconds after waiting 20 minutes for the subway at Borough Hall after being a moot-court judge), I awoke to a temperature in the high 50s. This was the first warm day we’ve had for a while, and quite a change from the snow of just a few days before.

Shorts and t-shirt for perhaps the first time since my accident. Traditional out-and-back to Hearney Road in Eastchester along the Bronx River Parkway path (that’s not a photo from today; things are not so green yet).

View from Bridge, BRP Path, Yonkers/Bronxville

View from Bridge, BRP Path, Yonkers/Bronxville

As I’ve noted before, I can get excited when I do a “new” run, i.e., a run I haven’t done in a while. So today found me going out a little too quickly because it felt so good to be out on a beautiful sunny morning. I start from my door and while my first mile is the slowest one, it’s not a jog. But it was too quick today and was not helped by a 6:37 second. Ease it back was the requirement, since I was going farther than I have since the accident — 10 miles.

So I got matters under control, though still in the 6:35-6:55 range. For much of the run, I was not breathing hard but was going at a solid clip. That changed late in the run as I struggled over the last miles, breathing pretty hard.

I posted a few responses in JT’s Races Like A Girl entry “Going Mental.” She speaks of the evils of stopping and of the good that knowledge of the evils of stopping can have during the dark moments of a run. So this came to mind over the final mile today. Hold it together, and don’t stop. It worked. I was still blitzed, but I didn’t stop.

So that finishes the week. 35 miles, with no runs on Thursday (PT) and Friday (moot court).

View Interactive Map on

Area blogger RacesLikeAGirl has been going through her bookcase, and writes a typically insightful review of one of her books, the apparently out-of-print “A Cold Clear Day: The Athletic Biography of Buddy Edelen.”

Her quotation about the sham of amateurism reminded me of articles written about the troubles elite runners had when I was young. This sent me looking back to old Sports Illustrated issues.

The articles I most recall are by Kenny Moore. Moore wrote the biography, Bowerman and the Men of Oregon and he is prominent in the Oregon Public Broadcasting piece I just posted. He also co-wrote the screenplay for “Without Limits,” which contains many of the stories in his Bowerman bio. Both the book and the movie have sections focusing on Pre trying to battle the hypocrisy of the control wielded by the AAU on atheletes.

After finishing fourth in the 1972 Olympic marathon, he wrote one of my favorite running pieces of all time for Sports Illustrated entitled “The Long Blue Line.” It’s a combination of his experience during the race itself and the events of Munich 1972. It has a great final line.

Before Munich, Moore wrote about the Fukuoka Marathon, which was then essentially the world championship of marathons. His “Concentrate On The Chrysanthemums” is another wonderful piece and another that I recall from my youth.

Finally, although I don’t recall this one, I found a short piece that echoes my view about the joys of cross-country running, “‘one of the Pleasures of My Life.'”

Cross-country too often has been portrayed as the last bastion of the puritan work ethic, a sport where miles are counted not as units of joy (as are touchdowns or baskets) but of suffering, a sport whose motives are so pure as to be incommunicable. Certainly the runner, at least initially, must have the will to endure. But when he has attained basic fitness, the sense of ordeal ebbs. Through his fatigue he begins to appreciate this most primary of athletic relationships: a man crossing the earth, unaided, as it presents itself to him.

The USATF X-C champs is in February in Maryland, and I hoped to run it, but not this time. Maybe when it’s again in the northeast. Come summer, however, I’ll be promoting the Van Cortlandt Track Club’s Thursday night series.


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