Sunday, June 30, 2013

Taking it easy


Last week things did not quite go to plan.  The plan was to qualify for the Track and Field World Championships this summer in Moscow, and to do that, I needed to run the world “A” standard and to finish in the top three at US Nationals.  I was able to run both the 10k and 5k “A” standard earlier this spring, so when I arrived at US Nationals in Des Moines, Iowa, the end all goal was to finish within the top three.  Unfortunately, this was a task that I was not able to do, coming up short- twice, with two fourth place finishes.  While the two races played out differently, with one loss easier to swallow than the other, the fact remained that I fell short of my goal.  So, I have decided to return to New Hampshire to rest and refocus for a few weeks before heading over to Europe for the summer racing circuit, eager to prove that not all is lost.

And there is where today comes in.  Resting, recovering and refocusing in style.  After a short sixteen mile morning long run, I spent the afternoon hacking, slicing, and duffing my way around the Quechee golf course.  Playing on one of the nicest golf courses in New England is always a treat, and playing on an empty back-9 is nothing short of bliss.  And after golf?  Nothing refuels the body like a Worthy Burger.  A train-depot-turned-burger-joint where kilt clad men grill local grass-fed beef on wood-fired grills to utter perfection.  Not a bad way to refresh the mind.

Now time to sleep, wake up, and start a new week and new month with new eyes.  Back to the grind, slowly chipping away one day at a time, with eyes ahead onto the next race, the next meet, the next goal.

Until next time,

Ben

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Weekend


Saturday:
This past weekend was my five-year* reunion from Dartmouth College.  The asterisk is there because due to taking a year off from school, I technically graduated only four years ago (that and the fact that Dartmouth officially didn’t recognize this as my five-year reunion for some reason... I swear I graduated).  However, despite the technicalities, it was a time when my roommates, teammates and classmates of old returned to Hanover to relish in what used to be.  It was great to be able to see everyone and to catch up with those in “the real world.”  I had a few of my old roommates out to the house for some grilling and backyard shooting, which is always a blast.  I will look forward to seeing them all again soon, when another roommate of ours gets married this fall.
My "graduating" class of Dartmouth '08 with our coach, Barry Harwick
Sunday:
Today marked the end of my middle school running program for the spring.  To celebrate we raced our last race, a four miler, around Lebanon, NH.  It was a great community event with a live band and catered BBQ.  The new Saucony uniforms looked great on the kids as they sped around the course, knowing full well that the faster they ran, the more BBQ there would be to eat.  This spring has flown by.  It seems like just yesterday I was driving back from Florida to start coaching the twenty young runners of Indian River.  I look forward to being able to work with the group again this fall!

Elizabeth leading the charge in today's race
Thank you all for a great weekend.

Until next time,

Ben

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A middle school “Track Meet”


With the absence of a nearby track facility, my after school spring running program has been strictly that, running.  But throughout this spring, I decided to teach various track and field events to the runner’s of Indian River, to expose them to all aspects of the sport.  The kids have loved learning the different events, and it was great to watch as the runners realized that there is a lot more to track and field than just distance running. 

The beauty of track and field is that there is an event for everyone.  Watching the kids gravitate to either the throws or jumps, or become excited by aspects of hurdling and sprinting, only shows the power of track and field as all encompassing.  And so while there wasn’t a track or official implements for the kids to use, for the last practice of the year, I devised our very own mini track meet.

The meet consisted of five events, a modified track pentathlon.  First, the kids raced the 50 meter low-hurdles in a head-to-head, single elimination bracket.  After this, we moved to the 60 meter sprint, in similar format.  Following the running events, we transitioned to the shot put, tossing a weighted bocce ball.  From the throws, we headed to the sandpits for long jump and triple jump.

While practices are now over, two more road races are left on the schedule, giving the runners a few final chances to race before summer break.  And with the kids beginning their summer vacations, my sights switch from coach to athlete, and I look to make my final preparations for the races ahead.

Until next time,

Ben