Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Total weekend mileage: 17

Saturday morning the weather was great. I decided to do a 6 mile fartlek "speed play" run. I like to use fartlek training as a good way to get used to faster paces before beginning intervals or formal speed work. Fartlek training involves informal increases in pace for varied distances during a run. I like to look ahead and pick a spot to run hard to, the stop sign or that big tree up a head. It may be only 100m or it may be a half mile, then I usually wait to do the next "surge" until my heart rate is under control again. The workout went very well and typically my "surges" were on the hills around Rancho Vista.

Sunday Andi and I met our friends Bill and Dawn for a trail run. We drove down to a trail off of Placerita Canyon. The first 4 miles were up hill on a great trail which was harder because of the 90 degree temperature! I actually ran out of water by the top. We then made it a loop run down another trail which I guess they call a "fire break" along the ridge. This meant that there were some very steep sections that we carfully walked down. The entire run was 7 miles. Besides the temperatures and the steep downhills we had a great time and got some good pictures.

My legs were so stiff from the run yesterday that I just did a very slow recovery run for 4 miles. It helped loosen me up and I felt much better the rest of the way.

Friday, May 28, 2010

McMillan's Path to Success

I have been working on this blog post all week. I recently read a blog post by Greg McMillan coach of McMillan Elite out of Flagstaff, AZ on the training philosophy of their team. His training program is Lydiard based. I really respect his knowledge and experience as a coach and runner. I thought it was a great post and the ideas could be used for runners at any level to use on their "Path to Success." I copied his post onto my blog with his 9 points and then commented on each to relate each point to the non-professional runner. Hope you enjoy it.

McMillan's Path to Success – Philosophy of Our Olympic Training Team
The training group's philosophy revolves around the following:

1. The Team is a Short Cut
Greg: Emerging elite athletes benefit from the team environment. The camaraderie, accountability, competitiveness and positive support of the group allow for better and more consistent training, which leads to quicker and better performances.
Karl: Running and training with others of equal or slightly better ability will lead to quicker and better performances not only for all the reasons Greg mentions, but also for social and mental motivation. Anyone can benefit from the “team” environment. Even having a consistent running partner on the weekend can be a huge advantage.

2. Long-Term Aerobic Development
Greg: Aerobic development is the key to endurance performance. The aerobic system takes years of consistent training to maximize and then to realize peak performance. Our training focuses on gradual yet progressive aerobic development through mileage and specialized aerobic system workouts. The aerobic development is accelerated by living and training at 7,000 feet in Flagstaff. 7,000 feet/2100 meters has been shown to be the ideal elevation for the training of long-distance runners and emerging elites athletes are encouraged to begin altitude training as soon as possible. We believe a large part of why our group has become one of the best in the US in two short years is that we are based at 7,000 feet altitude.
Karl: When I met Greg McMillan I asked him what I could do to improve my running times. He said, “Consistency is the key.” Aerobic development is a slow process. It can truly take years and years of training to reach your full potential. Sometimes I think people jump into the marathon too quickly. I had run for 12 years before I ever attempted a marathon. Most elite level runners don't run a marathon until they are a few years removed from college running (after running for 10-14 years). My point is don’t rush your training, let it come to you.

3. Capitalize on Strengths
Greg: Each athlete has a unique set of strengths (physical, mental and emotional). The training and racing capitalizes on these strengths (especially during the peak competitive season) and build these strengths over time.
Karl: I truly believe humans were born to run, but we are all unique and we all have different talents and strengths. If you can find one aspect of running that comes easier to you that you enjoy, make that part of your routine. It will keep you motivated to stay consistent with your training.

4. Eliminate Weaknesses
Greg: Each athlete also has a unique set of weaknesses (physical, mental and emotional). The training (run training and ancillary training) and racing eliminates these weaknesses (especially during the non-peak seasons).
Karl: Running is not easy. We all have weaknesses that we need to improve on. People don’t like to work on their weaknesses because they are hard to do. For instance, most runners don’t like to do strength training because it is hard for them. Improving on some of these weaknesses, whether it be speed work, core strength, or hill running, can greatly improve your overall running ability.

5. Build Confidence
Greg: Athlete performance is modulated by confidence. Therefore, the training and racing fosters greater self-confidence. Training and racing is planned as to promote success, which fosters greater motivation, which builds confidence.
Karl: Yogi Berra said, “The game is 90% mental, the other half is physical.” There is a huge mental component to running and confidence is a big part of that. Setting yourself up for successes, even small ones, can be huge confidence builders and motivators to continue improving and training. Running a personal best time is an obvious confidence builder but successes could also mean running farther than you ever have before or finishing a workout feeling stronger or faster than you ever have.

6. Move Up in the Pecking Order
Greg: The team is a racing team, not a training team. Athletes must be ‘racers’ who enjoy testing themselves against ever increasing competitive levels. The goal is a gradual yet steady climb up the US rankings.
Karl: Some people run for no other reason than to stay in shape, loose weight or maintain a certain level of fitness. Most runners I know do care about their times and trying to improve on them. They want to be faster than they were last year or last week. Racing also fuels a healthy competitive urge that many of us have. “Racing teaches us to challenge ourselves. It teaches us to push beyond where we thought we could go. It helps us to find out what we are made of. This is what we do. This is what it’s all about.” - Patti Sue Plummer, U.S. Olympian

7. Become a Complete Athlete & Complete Runner
Greg: In general, the better athlete the runner is, the better runner he or she will be. Ancillary training is used to build the body – improving the core, dynamic ability, balance, function in the kinetic chain and better running form. Additionally, a well-rounded runner (good endurance, stamina, speed and sprinting ability) is a more competitive runner no matter what the event. Training includes specialized workouts to build each runner into a complete runner, tapping into each energy system as well as the other performance-related systems of the body.
Karl: Typically, the best runners are good athletes. There will always be those “lungs with legs,” but a runner who is a well rounded athlete will be faster and will have less injuries. All the things that Greg lists are important in becoming a better athlete and runner.

8. Smooth, Consistent and Positive Training
Greg: Interruptions and inconsistency in training stalls development. The training program and lifestyle of the athlete fosters smooth, consistent and positive training.
Karl: Consistency is the key to improvement. That is what Greg told me at the Boston Marathon in 2008. Every year of training is built on the last. Every experience, whether good or bad, will help the next time the same race or workout is attempted. The more miles logged gradually and appropriately the stronger the runner that will be produced. The elite marathon runner can log up to 140 miles per week or more. What they don’t tell you is that last year they peaked at 135 and the year before they peaked at 125. It is still a gradual progression that all began with running one mile for the first time!

9. Live the Life
Greg: The life of an emerging elite distance runner is not easy. It requires 24/7/365 focus on improvement, not only in training but also in all other aspects that impact performance - recovery, sleep, nutrition, pre-hab, mental training, etc. Life must revolve around training and racing and discipline and dedication are required to live the simple yet required life to become a great distance runner.
Karl: It is not always the running that causes injury. It can also be the lack of recovery. It is not doing all the “little things” that will help our body healthfully adapt to training. Professional athletes have all day to take naps, get massages, ice baths etc. They are striving for perfection where one-hundredth of a second, even in a 10k, can be the difference between making an Olympic team and going home, or a bronze medal and 4th place. Not too many of us have that luxury. We all need to find a balance in our life to stay happy and healthy. Running can be a very healthy part of that balance.

Elite level training programs and workouts are often discussed and posted in magazines. These workouts and programs may seem so much more difficult and so far away from where your training might be that you think, “I can’t even relate to 140 miles per week.” I think we can all learn a lot from elite level workouts. We are all doing the same thing, just at different paces. You just have to find the right speed and training volume that best suits your current level of fitness and amount of available time for training. If you break down an elite training program they all have a weekly long run, some race pace specific training, some variation of intervals, and filler mileage to reach their current weekly mileage goals. McMillan’s Olympic Training Team Philosophy can be used by any runner to design a specific training program that will maximize potential fitness on their “path to success.”

This week in running

The weather continues to be windy around here. The early morning hours are typically the calmest but they have also been uncharacteristically cold (mid to high 40s). I am using this as my excuse for the continued lack of running. I did get in 4 miles Monday morning and 6 miles Friday morning. They both felt much harder than they should have. I can make up excuses like the best of them.

Wednesday, June 2 is National Running Day. Hope you all are able to get out for a run.

"I always tell all people to run at least 30 minutes a day. It cost you some time, but it refreshes the mind and makes you will work more effective during the day. That’s why I support this National Running Day so much. It’s a wonderful idea which we all together should spread around the World." - Haile Gebrselassie (marathon world record holder)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Weekend Recap

I'll start with Friday. I ran 4.5 miles Friday morning before work, finished the run at Albertson's, and brought bagels home for breakfast. I did my kettlebell/core routine at lunch. Friday night I went to the pool with Andi and her brother, Clark. The pool was lots of fun and I was able to swim a 500 in just under 10 minutes, which was the requirement when I was a lifeguard 10 years ago, which made me feel good. We swam for about 45 minutes.

I then got up to meet Clay and Zac at 6 am for a 10 mile trail run off San Fransisquito Rd. We ran up Burns Canyon Rd (7N01) to the top of Grass Mountain, then came down the long way via the PCT and ended back on Burns Canyon again. It was windy and cold out there and I might not have competed it, or even started, had I not been with Zac and Clay. The temps were in the 40s the entire time. It is about 4.6 miles to the top and I tried to keep up with Zac but was only able to do so for about 3 miles where he took off, then waited for me to make the last push to the top. We made it to the top of Grass Mountain in just under 40 minutes, which was a personal best time for Zac. Clay road his mountain bike and was only 2-3 minutes behind us. We cruised down the mountain on the PCT and then pushed the last 2 miles in 6:25 and 6:34. My total time was just over 1 hour 20 minutes. My knee felt great but I felt a little weakness in the left achilles toward the end of the hill. See some video of Zac and I on Clay's Blog.

That night we went down and met some friends at Occidental College for the USATF High Performance meet. It was cool to see some of the best in the country racing. We saw a nice men's 1500m won my Leo Manzano in 3:36! David Torrence won the 800m in 1:47! After the meet Nike had a small booth where Shannon Rowbury and David Torrence were signing autographs. I also got autographs from Will Leer and Erin Donahue. Shalane Flannagan and Jenny Barringer were present but neither had great races.

The weather here has been cold and windy all weekend. It was not fun to be outside at all. We are talking temps the 40s and winds up to 30-40 mph. That being said I did not do any running today. I did take a nap!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

8 mile am run and RUNNING NEWS

I got in a nice 8 miler this morning. It is 2 miles to the aqueduct from my house, then I did an out and back up there, and returned home. It is so nice to get up on the aqueduct again on a nice day. We have had some windy weather and the aqueduct is not protected at all. If it is breezy in town it will be windy on the aqueduct. This morning it was beautiful up there. I had a little left calf sorness from running on the track on Sunday. The only thing that means is that I have to ease into track workouts or it could get worse. The 8 miles took me about 63 minutes, I steadily picked up the pace during the run and cruised back at 7 min pace.

ATTENTION READERS: There is a track meet at Occidental College in Eagle Rock, CA on Saturday night, May 22, with some of the best middle distance runners in the country. They are only running 800m and 1500m. The 800s start at 7:00pm and the event should be done around 8:30! There are many Olympians and Olympic hopefuls on the entrant list (W: Barringer, Flanagan, Rowbury, Pierce, Begley, Hall, Donahue, Martinez) (M: Rupp, Manzano, Dobson, Smith, Torrence, Leer). I plan on attending and invite all of my readers to come out. It should be great fun.

If you have checked my blog list on the right side of the screen you will notice that I have been adding blogs from some elite American Distance runners that I enjoy reading. I just added another one today, Ian Dobson and Julia Lucas, an elite running couple with OTC.

Dean Karnazes had a good post today on organic fruits and vegetable and which ones have the highest levels of pesticides on them if not organic called "The Dirty Dozen." We try to buy organic when ever possible and continue to use abundant harvest organics for our weekly "veggie box."

Finally, Coach Jay Johnson out of Colorado, posted a great basic kettlebell for runners workout video. It is a good program for introduction to kettlebell training, which Clay and I use for leg and core strengthening to suppliment our running. I think his kettlebell is too light for him because he doesn't need to swing it that high, but he has some good commentary and the video is worth watching. Here it is!

I'm intersted, how many of my readers are "going organic?"

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Finally some good running!

We had a great endurance weekend. The boys and I are very proud of Andi for her race yesterday.

Today I woke up early to meet Ron at Green Valley High School on my high school track to pace him for a mile time trial. I decided to run over there to get in some mileage that I has not existed recently. It was 8 miles over to the school and some decent hills along the way. It took me about 61 minutes to get there. Once there I ran a few laps to get my pacing down for a sub 7 minute mile. When Ron arrived we did another mile warm up and then I had him follow me for 200m at sub 7 pace. We talked about running even and started on our time trial. We went through the first lap in 1:45 then hit 3:32 at the half way point. We went through lap three in 5:15 and had a strong finishing kick to finish in 6:53! It was a 20 second PR for Ron and first time under 7 min for a mile! It was a great effort.

Then we talked about track workouts for 5k preparation. We did an extra 2x800m in 4:12 and 4:22 and then did 4x100m accelerations on the football field. Ron is planning some summer 5ks and is sure to PR at that distance soon. He also would like to test his legs on a 10k which is a distance he has never attempted.

He is getting fitter, faster, and stronger aerobically due to his CONSISTENT, training over the past year. These changes don't happen over night.

Total mileage for the day is 13!

I felt great on my run today and on the track. No achilles pain, no knee pain. Before Ron showed up I did a few quick 400s to test my leg speed right now. The first one I ran nearly all out and felt like I was under 70 seconds, but when I stopped my watch the time was 73 seconds. The second one was 75 seconds. I have lost quite a bit of leg speed in the last few months. I am excited to get back to some weekly track workouts over the summer.

For those of you in the market for a Garmin, Amazon has the Garmin Forerunner 305 (I highly recommend it) for an unbelievable price, $125. Here is the link.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Iron Girl

Andi had her first triathlon this morning at the Iron Girl Las Vegas. It was a sprint distance triathlon, which really only means less than Olympic distance, but it was a long course for a sprint (800m swim, 30k bike, 5k run). Some friends of ours, sisters Julie and Joni also competed. They had great weather and all were pleased with their races.

Andi finished the swim in 19:43 (2:28/100m) then bike in 1:06:07 (avg 16.3mph) and finished with a very strong 5k in 22:47 (avg pace 7:20). She was good through each transition and finished overall 85 out of 643 (25/139 AG) with a total time of 1:56:28! Julie and Joni finished 2:17:30 and 2:28:00 respectively. It was a fun morning. I don't think it will be the last triathlon for any of the girls.

Friday, May 14, 2010


The 24-hour run World Championships were this week in France. Scott Jurek from the USA was second over all with just over 165 miles, breaking the American record by 3 miles. That means he averaged 8:43 min/mi over 24 hours!

His support crew twitted this quote with three hours to go,

"Good news is the sun is up. Bad news is you can now see all the vomit along the course. Nobody said this was gonna be easy!”

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday morning run (7.5 miles)

I'm least for now. That illness last weekend really took a lot out of me. Ok, I've been a little lazy too. Thursday morning I had a purpose. I had to run to the auto shop to pick up my car and get back in time to make it to work. I left early enough to take the long route and made it an hour run (7.5 miles). I felt the best I have since LD50, but hacking up lots of phlem!

Some good links that I have found this week:
Remember me talking about Chris Solinsky breaking the American Record in the 10k and being the first non-african to go under 27 min? Welll a few guys analyzed the sub27 group (there are only 31 guys to do so). Chris is quite an outlier. He is the heaviest of the group by 9kg and the tallest by 3cm! Check out the article here.

Thirsty Thursdays with Jack Daniels was great again today. The topic was LEG SPEED and it will make you think about your training plan over again.

Last weekend Sergio Reyes won the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon in 1:04:51 by almost 6 minutes! There are two good articles with pictures of the race here and here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Good News and Bad News

The bad news is that there has been very little running going on this past week. I took the week off due to continued right knee pain that was now bothering me even when walking and at work. I was doing some self cross friction massage and icing on occasion. Friday morning the weather was beautiful and I was going to test it and go for a run, but I woke up feeling ill. I was sick all weekend with different symptoms every day. I tried to run on Saturday and got in a 4 mile run but was exhausted afterward and had a headache the rest of the day. So there was no running for me today either. Andi got in a long run on Saturday and a short bike-run brick today in preparation for her triathlon this coming weekend. I have run 4 miles in the last week and feel like I am starting over again. I just hope I can get back into some kind of 5k shape for July 4th. It may not be as fast as I would like it to be.

The good news is that I had no knee pain on my short 4 mile run on Saturday.

I was reading Kara Goucher's blog and she had some good advice on running when sick. She says she is always sick this time of year and is never able to run the Stanford Invitational.

Kara wrote: "Like most competitive runners I used to try to train through sickness. And as most competitive runners eventually do, I learned the hard way that it’s usually a bad idea. It accomplishes nothing except to make me run poorly and stay sick longer. Now my policy is to do easy runs only when I am sick without a fever and to not run at all when I have a fever. Not only that, but I also wait until a few days after I feel better to start doing harder workouts again. I’ve learned that jumping back into hard training too quickly after a cold or flu seems to have gone a way can make it come back."

Good advice.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Boston Qualifying Standards

Chuck had commented on my blog about the Boston qualifying standards and wanted to know what I thought about them, so I did a little research and number crunching and this is what I came up with.

My first thought is, well 3:10 is hard but not too hard so the qualifying standards for males under 35 is too easy. Then, I thought about age-grade and what that means. For those of you that don't know, age-grade is a percentage given to a finishing time with the runners age taken into account. It is then compared to the world record and given a percentage. This is helpful when comparing times over a running career. Say you ran 3:00 for the marathon when you were 30 years old. This would give you an age grade of 69.4%. If you ran 3:20 when you were 60 years old you would have an age grade of 76.6%, meaning that the later was a more impressive effort. You can then compare your times and efforts as you get older. Let's face it, unless you are Dale Lister, as you get older you will get slower.

So I plugged in all the age group qualifying times for the Boston Marathon and found that they were very close to age-grade percentages. All the qualifying times for the Boston Marathon were around 64-66% on age grade. So how good is 65% and what does this all mean. Runners World lists these different tiers for age grade scores:
60% is Local Class
70% is Regional Class
80% is National Class
90% is World Class
100% is equivalent to World Record

So the Boston Marathon qualifying times are somewhere between local class and regional class.

The history of the Boston Marathon is great. This year was the 114th running of the race. They have changed the qualifying standards many times over the years. In recent history the qualifying times have slowed. In 1980 the qualifying standard was 2 hours 50 minutes for men 19-39. In 1987 the qualifying time was set at 3 hours for the same age group, and in 1990 the standard was increase to 3 hours 10 minutes which also increased the field size to over 9,000 (it had never been over 7,000). The qualifying standards that are in place today, which increase every 5 years of age after the age of 35, started in 2003. When this happened the field size increased from 16,936 to 20,223. The standards have not been changed since then.

Chuck, the extra 59 seconds that you mentioned is nothing new. As far as I know the extra time has been in place since 2003. I know for a fact that it was in place when I qualified in 2006 and ran in 2008. What this means is that if your qualifying time is 3:10 then you can run 3:10:59 and still be qualified to run the Boston Marathon. I do think that is ridiculous, if you have to run under 3:10 then you should have be UNDER 3:10, but I think the reason they added 59 seconds is to cut back on all the letters begging to run Boston by people that ran 3:10:01.

The problem they are beginning to run into, which most race directors would say is a GOOD problem to have, is that they are selling out WAY too quickly. Last year for the first time they sold out for the April 2010 race in 2009! This is beginning to happen because as more "newbies" qualify, more people are deciding to run Boston every year because after running it for the first time they realize how AWESOME it really is and want to do it every year. Also, running a BQ or Boston Qualifier and then running the Boston Marathon, has become this huge motivational goal for many people who are fulfilling a life long dream because of the mystique and history of the race. It is truly amazing how hard and long people will train and run to reach this goal. "Running Boston" is now earning our degree in marathoning.

The race directors knew how much this accomplishment meant to runners and in 2003 changed the qualifying times and made it easier to increase thier field size to make the Boston Marathon one of the largest marathons in the world while maintaining its qualifying standards. Now the Boston Marathon has a field of over 22,000 participants every year. In 2008, when I ran, the race surpassed 25,000 runner for the first time. They are now filling the field quicker and quicker.

Some people now think that the qualifying standards for the race are too easy and that is why the race is selling out quicker and quicker. They are correct it is "easy" enough for many more people to run than they can accommodate, but is it too easy?

My personal opinion is that they are right on the verge of being too easy. If they go back to the standard of 2 hours and 50 minutes for runners under the age of 40 then they will not be able to make the Boston Marathon a 20,000+ runner race that they want (this is a business and huge economic money maker). So where do they draw the line? Well they already have drawn the line and created the standards that they do today. I don't think they can go back and take that away or runners on the bubble everywhere will be dissappointed and upset.

I do think they could still make a very competitive and large field if they changed their standards to match age grade at 70% which is concidered by runners world to be "Regional Class." If this were to happen then the qualifying standards would be as follows:
Men 18-39 (3:00)
Men 40-44 (3:03)
Men 45-49 (3:10)
Men 50-54 (3:19)
Men 55-59 (3:28)
Men 60-64 (3:38)
Men 65-69 (3:50)
Men 70-74 (4:02)
Men 75-79 (4:19)
Men 80+ (4:46)

Maybe this would be this would limit their field size too much, but I think runners everywhere would continue to strive to make those times and make it an even more elite group of "Regional Class" runners. I do think the extra 59 seconds is dumb, but I think I understand why they do it.

I always thought it would be cool to make the original 1980 qualifying time of 2:50 just to say I did it. I think I have a 2:50 in me but it would take a few years of consistent training and the right race on just the right day.

Like I said before, the current qualifying standards are still excellent marks to strive for and certainly guarantee that the Boston Marathon entrants will be full and exceed 25,000 every year, and that is a good thing. Maybe it is because I have run under 3 hours twice now, but I think they could be a little more tough on who qualifies for their awesome race.

There was an excellent article in Running Times in the May 2010 issue on how the qualifying standards for the Boston Marathon have motivated hundreds of thousands of runners to run faster and train harder, and get into shape so that they too can experience the Boston Marathon for themselves.

Don't forget to watch Thirsty Thursdays with Jack Daniels this week.

And good luck to Zac Patten, who is doubling in the 1600m and 3200m at the DML Finals this Friday.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

4 mile recovery?

So today was a little worse than yesterday, probably from pushing the pace a little. I took it easy today averaging 8:30 pace for 4 miles and didn't want to run any further. 11 miles total for the weekend. That is 11 more than last weekend so I feel better about that. Will take the day off from running tomorrow and return to the lunch strength training routine.

OC Marathon results are in! Michael Graham, who also ran CIM with us last December, finally got his BQ (Boston Qualifier) as he ran a very even race today and finished in 3:09. Nice work Michael, congratulations. Chuck ran 3:35 on a still recovering knee to maintain his streak of running every OC marathon! Dan ran a 1:34 half marathon at OC this morning and said that he was able to follow his race plan perfectly. Sounds like there was good weather and that everyone had a good race!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

7 mile run...improving

I got in a nice 7 mile run this morning. I ran up to the aqueduct from my house, then did 1.5 miles out and back, and returned home. I enjoyed getting up on the aqueduct and running a little faster. I always run a little bit harder up there. My knee did bother me after about 2 miles but was not as intense and did not get any worse on the run. I was hitting low 7 min pace on the aqueduct and finished the 7 miles in 52:30 (7:30 pace).

April was an interesting month. It started with achilles tendonitis and a PR for 10 miles, then a 50 mile trail race that left me with mild ITBand friction syndrome. I only ran 10 days the entire month and after all that I actually feel like I LOST fitness in the past 30 days. There is no way I could run 62:01 for 10 miles right now. Maybe I am just down on myself, but it is a good time for a break anyway. I plan on taking it easy for the next two weeks and then making a 6 week push for the Newhall ID 5k.

I stayed up tonight to watch the 5ks and 10ks at the Stanford Invitational online. There was lots of hype out there with some amazing talent and great American matchups. They did not disappoint. Shalane Flanagan took the lead early in the women's 5k but faded late in the race and was passed by 1500m specialist Shannon Rowbury in the last 100m. Shannon won in 15:01.

All eyes were on the first heat of the men's 10k as Galen Rupp had the race set up for an attempt at the American record (27:13 by Meb). The pacers did their thing early on and Galen took the lead after about a mile and lead the rest of the way. There were three other guys that held on with him, including American Chris Solinsky who specializes in the 5k. With 800m to go Chris took the lead and it appeared that Galen was fading but it was an optical illusion as Solinsky took off, running his last 800m in 1:56 to become the first American to run under 27 minutes (26:59.7)! Galen maintained his pace and also broke the old record running 27:12! It was an amazing race and a very smart one by Chris Solinsky with an amazing kick. A new collegiate record and a canadian national record were also set in the same race!

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

Great interview with Chris Solinsky immediately after the race.

The last race of the night was another 10k featuring local elite runner Sergio Reyes. Sergio stuck right behind the leader, who dropped out after a mile, and then Sergio took the lead! After another mile he settled back into about 5th or 6th for the next 4 miles and the lead pack was tight with the front seven runners. With a mile to go Sergio had worked up into the lead again for one lap and then was passed holding on to the back of the front pack for the last mile. With one lap to go the pack was still at five runners, and with 200m to go Sergio unleashed an amazing kick to win the heat handedly in 28:29.6 (another PR!). McMillan's calculator predicts a 2:13:40 with that 10k time and the VDOT equivalent is 2:11:23! I think McMillan's calculator is a bit more accurate. Either way a return to Chicago this fall should mean a new marathon PR!