My 5 biggest takeaways from Worlds 2017.
Usain Bolt was a once in a lifetime athlete and we should be grateful to have borne-witness.
What can be said about Usain that hasn't already been said, he dominated the sprinting game from 2008 through 2016. He couldn't pull one more out of his hat in London but he was gracious in defeat and will leave a massive void that I can't really see anyone filling in the near future. It wasn't just the times, world records or championships that defined the legendary Bolt, it was his charisma and character. The level of self belief and confidence was unrivaled and it will be missed as a lot of athlete who try to portray those qualities come across and arrogant and cocky which Usain never seemed to do. I believe that while we wait for another like him, which may never come that it opens up things for the star that is Wayde Van Niekerk to burn bright. Only time will tell.
Even though Mo got beat by Muktar Edris, I still firmly believe he's the best 5000m and 10000m runner in the world. He had to run 50 laps of the track in 10 days against a fresh pair of east Africans and that was too much to handle after having been pushed to a near PB performance in the 10k. A fresh Mo Farah dusts that field like we saw at Pre, and the very same argument I will make for Almez Ayana. She closed her second 5km of the 10000 in 14:24. Had she been fresh going into the 5000m final I suspect she would have stretched Obiri and run close to 14:10. With that 10k in her legs she couldn't grind out a pace rich enough to drop Obiri and with her 1500m chops (She medaled in the 15 in Moscow) Ayana had no answer. Like I said, both Farah and Ayana are the best at both distances but going up against fresh competitors after having to run lights out in the 10k isn't easy.
How the heck did the US go 1-2 in the steeple?
When I was watching this all seemed to play out as I expected, right up until 600m to go, then it took a turn to crazy town. How did these sub 9 minute girls get dusted so badly? Better yet how did the Americans run such huge PB's in the final. I was stoked to see a steeple title wrestled away from the Kenyans but if anyone in the championship was going to do it I'd figured it would have been Jager and only against a compromised Kipruto
Amy Hastings is a ballar!
What a performance and display of grit over the last couple miles, her close in the last 800 was unreal. I figured after she ran that 68:3X half in the spring and 31 low 10000m solo that she was ready to PR in the marathon and likely had 2:23ish potential but I would have never guessed in a championship style race where there was that many woman in it so late in the game that she would come top 3 and almost run down 2ed. Major props to her and Jerry who had an amazing medal haul at these champs.
More of the same in the woman's 800m.
Watching the final 100m of Caster Semenya is unreal, nobody can touch her. Like, the 800m is generally run as a positive split. Generally you want to run the first lap at around 93% of your 400m potential and come back in 89% of your 400m potential on the second lap. Caster seems to run her last 100m the fastest and manages to do so running 1:55 low which tells us if she were to get after it she is likely 3 seconds better than her current PB indicates. It's got to be discouraging for the other athlete to be up against someone with that type of speed but Ajee Wilson is certainly stepping up and is running insanely well. I was so happy to see her medal. She can beat Neyonsaba I think on her best day but Semenya will remain untouchable. (I'm interested to see just how good she can get at the 1500m, that bronze was solid for sure, but when she figures that event out we could see something special there as well)
Blue Door Walk and Run 5km
A friend of mine, Heidi asked me to give this a mention here and I'd be remiss if I didn't as it's a great cause. This 5km is put off by a group called Verafin and their mantra from what I've read on their site reads as follows;
"The Blue Door is a new St. John's based program that is operated through Thrive. This program is the first of its kind in Newfoundland and Labrador, and is designed to support individuals, primarily between the ages of 14-29, to exit sex trade activities, and/or sexually exploitive situations including sex trafficking. The program is inclusive of gender & sexual orientation and offers intensive, individualized services and supports that addresses key barriers to the exiting process and helps participants move forward with dignity, self-determination and respect."
So anyone in the area who is free on September 24th please think about coming out to the run or donating to the organization. You can find more details here - https://verafin.com/BlueDoor/ or contact my friend Heidi directly firstname.lastname@example.org
So in terms of my training recently it's been excellent. This week I had a 5 mile tempo where I ran 25:27 and did 8X800m on the track yesterday off 2' recovery nice and smooth in 2:20 (dipped under on the last 2 but never got too spicy or out of control). Like I mentioned above, JJ is keeping it simple and it's the best training I've ever had. What's nice about it is that I wasn't peaked in April or May and hanging on for the Tely in late July. We really only put about 5 week of solid training in before that and came out with a big PB so building from there while being fresh has been excellent. Also, what's different this build up that JJ reminds me daily is that I've got to have balance. When I'm running for my 90ish minutes a day, I'm all in but when it's done I leave it out on the roads and get back to focusing on family, friends, work, my run clinic, etc. It's making things more fun, less stressful and the results are speaking for themselves. I'll let you guys know my final fall race plans when I have them set but for right now I'm focusing solely on September and running well at the 5km champs and Eastside 10k. After that we will turn to a fast half and continue the build up towards Scotia.
Until next time, keep those sticks on the ice,
(Few shots I found of the Tely)