Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bizzarri upset at NCAA xc championships

Per usual (since 2000) I followed the NCAA cross country championship meet on Letsrun.com. That was a mistake this year. In the past all the cretins have put down their hatchets, maces, and spitballs for a few hours and celebrated one of the greatest (and deepest) running races--short of a world or African championship--in the world. The idiots on the message board went berserk, and tracking the race was near impossible, with 30% to 50% of the comments being mean, nasty, or irrelevant.


I need a mobile phone with video feed for these things.

Anyway, it was a day for upsets as favorite Stanford flamed out (except for Chris Derrick's 3rd place finish) and finished 10th in the men's race, which was won by Oklahoma State. OSU's victory wasn't a total surprise, they're loaded, but sophomore phenom German Fernandez's 97th place was a bit of a shocker. Oregon, which has struggled all year, finished a close 2nd in another surprise. Pre-race favorite Samuel Chelanga of Liberty University (Jerry Falwell's school) via Kenya won the overall championship in a record time, followed by Australian David MacNeill of Northern Arizona. Chelanga, a 27:20 10K runner, set a blistering pace (14:10 at 5K) and held on throughout (10K in 28:41).

Now the women's race sounded totally weird. Heavy favorite and American steeplechase record holder Jenny Barringer of Colorado took the lead and held it through 3K, only to falter, stumble, crawl, get back up and wobble her way to a 163rd place finish. Not since the great Henry Rono (who held 4 world records at the time and had been undefeated for a year) jogged into a 4th from last finish in 1978 has a champion of that caliber so inexplicably melted down. Unheralded Angela Bizzarri of Illinois ended up winning the individual race (6K in 19:46) while Villanova was the unexpected team champion.

The jackals are having a field day at Barringer's expense--she was one of the last great heroines with not a lot of mud thrown upon her. Sounds like she may have hyperventalated, which could explain the lightheadedness. She'll be back, be certain of that.


More yet from the People’s Republic of Boulder:

I know nothing about Bizzari but will have to do a little research.

Okay, 15:33 5K PR and 4:16 1500, not to mention an academic star.
Bizzarri's Bio

Friday, November 20, 2009

When Injury Sets In

It's not so much that my identity is wrapped up in running and skiing, it's more like being.

Injuries are never much fun, although this week the reality is setting in. I was hoping that two weeks of recovery would heal the knee, but now nearly three weeks post NYC debacle it looks like recovery is going to be a haul, one that is going to take medical intervention. I made an appointment last Monday and will see a specialist next Tuesday.

This seems to be more than ITB inflammation--it's not healing has become more unstable. This is in spite of weeks of icing, anti-inflammatories, rest, and some strengthening exercises.

Coaching is a good thing, but now more so than ever.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

NYC Marathon: Four Boroughs and 18 miles to Ouch!

Here's the synopsis. Don't know if I'll have time to write up the full report until I get back home and by then I'll probably want to just file this one away.

Gave it my best shot on Sunday, and it was mostly a great experience until just before noon.

After getting up incredibly early and waiting an interminable 3 hr at the athlete's village, and 20 min a the start line, I was awed and thrilled to be standing beneath the mammoth south tower on the Verazanno Narrows bridge on Staten Island. Half the fun was just processing how they deal with the logistics of getting 40,000 runners off the start line.

Hit hit 10K at 41 min and was holding back, but the knee started to ache somewhere in there. Went through 1/2 at 1:28, but the long downhill (off Queensborough Bridge) at 16 did me in. Hung on for 2 more miles and then the knee just locked up completely and I could put no weigh on it.

Fortunately I was only 10 meters from the aid station. Sat at the 18 mile aid station for 2:10, and they didn't know what to do with me (they were prepared for severe type things or getting people back onto the course, not for the temporarily immobile). So I caught a cab and tried to make it back to the hotel (just 6 blocks away) but with the race going on they couldn't get through, so I was left off at a cafe 1.5 blocks away for another 30 min before Mikko and Tamara and my cousin Sarah showed up and were able to get me to the ER. Several good samaritans helped me, with water, energy bars, and help to a seat.

And I got an inside look at the Mt. Sinai ER.

The knee doesn't appear to be damaged (fracture or tears). Just severe inflammation and a lot of pain. I could put no weight on it for 24 hr. But things are much better now and I'm walking (carefully) this morning without the aid of crutches or a brace (or pain killer).

Hope to be skiing soon, within a week or two, but we have some vacation time between now and then.