California here we come. We leave soon, driving to Southern California for a week visit with the family.
Good read. Meet Becky Wade, America's Best Young Marathoner. How cool, a grant that requires you stay out of the U.S., away from the comforts of home, for 12 months.
Everyone needs a Grand Tour. Read. See/hear this.
I don't go to Forbes for running advice, but... Consider: Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid
So often I read stuff with a runner's mind. Most recently, Sun Tsu and The Art of War. I read it on a treadmill at 6 to 7 MPH. Recommended for cross country coaches and people who work, leaders or followers..
Orders today at Running Warehouse will be delivered to your porch before Christmas.
Bye. We'll keep in touch.
LetsRun: Week That Was. Lotsa great stuff, including the Foot Locker boys finish video, fun song about high school cross country, and, finally, why cross country rules. Forget Al-Sal's sissies.
Bizzare. Gardena marathoner gets two year suspension for drugs. Link. The offense happened a year ago. Only recently did she accept the suspension, and that the rest of us found out. Whether she accepted it or not, why didn't we learn about it in May when it became effective ...Look her up on the internet. There were stories about her going way-back. ...Our sport should have a life-time ban. ...The only good thing we see here is that she accepted "forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes."
Better. Flash Mob -U.S. Air Force Band at the Smithsonian
Super stuff. Tracktown Photo at Club XC Championships.
Dan Agnew/Signal: Alysia Montano stays humble
Daily News designates best xc All Area preps. Girls. And boys.
Matt Fitzgerald: Softer strides means less injuries.
Why we need to be cross-training.
Hello, my name is Phoebe, meet my boyfriend, Track.
Marc Bloom: Barrett Outruns a Rare Condition on Her Way to the National Title
Brett Larner/Japan Running News is upset. Japan doesn't suck at the 1500; they just don't care about it. More. In an amazing coincidance, Don doesn't care about stuff he sucks at.
Next up. Placerita Canyon Holiday 5K. Coach Zach Schroeder writes: The holiday 5k is looking really good. We are bringing in professional timing this year and we already have 116 registrants. We have shirts for 200! This is a family fun event, and really is turning into another great local race.
Kinda funny. Kinda sad. An inside look at runner ego, controls, blackballing, and the media. Link.
Anyone doing the Race for the Dream indoor meet in Fresno? If so, first you have to qualify. See here.
Great idea. Amateur Ride Planned For Last Leg of Amgen Course. We should have more of that in our sport. Maybe loosen the qualifying standards for Olympic and World Champs trials in some events, such as the marathon, say, best 500 men and women Americans in the country are invited to the trials. Or how about this. Best post college Foothill alums return to race the 100 or 3200 (Jimmy Kelley, Alfredo, Stonerock, Shannon, Katie, Brooke, etc.) at Foothill Finals. A few years ago, I was in a geezers 3000 at the Twilight meet before a packed Hayward Field, finishing butt last, getting that "good-for-you" applause we give for losers. Hey, I loved it all, and the memory is still sweet.
New York Times: Should We Toss Our Vitamin Pills?
What are you reading? Mike Tyson is reading Kierkegaard.Link.
An excerpt from a new collection of his work proves that Dr. George Sheehan was–and always will be–the philosopher-king of our sport. Words To Run And Live By
Researchers found that costs associated with medical and drug claims rose gradually with each unit increase in body mass index (BMI). Notably, these increases began above a BMI of 19. Link. As do your race times. ...Calculate your BMI.
Q&A with Science of Running's Steve Magness.
Canyon alum Chris Low is back. After a year off with a leg injury, he ran a 1000m in 2:25. Came through the 800m at 1:55. Video. Hasn't lost that wicked kick.
Canyon alum Lauren Fleshman is back. Fun and informative post race interview video. The Turkey Trot she references was at COC.
Gio Guzman, beastmeister and friend, Hart and UO graduate, writes: It was so nice to see so many people open up their wallets for such a good cause (7th Annual Beast). We had around 100 people! I mean could you imagine ever having 100 people at the Beast!? The winner was a man named Oscar who won the race in 38:21 and the first woman was Jenny? in 47:01. The winners of the Charity race do win a free pair of New Balance shoes of their choice. So as you can imagine, this race will probably get more popular throughout the years.
PrepCalTrack: 2014 Track & Field Master Schedule
Fun read. Gladwell vs Simmons. Scroll through to the discussion on PEDs, the estimates on what percentage of the big sports athletes are drugged-up. ...BTW, David & Goliath is a terrific book.
Do Compression Socks Really Work?
Instant inspiration. Once A Runner. My club coach will be absent tonight, but he left behind an interval workout (see Read More). Even if you/your kid don't read Once A Runner, at least read the memorable chapter The Interval Workout.
Don't miss, short your Z's. Link.
On cycling, doping, Lance, etc. Lifetime ban: Does the time fit the crime? More here.
Must see photos. 2013 National Club Cross Country Championships.
Next up is Jeff Gilkey, head coach at Valencia High School track and cross country. As a total school effort, I think Valencia had it's best cross country season ever, boys and girls varsity each getting third in Foothill, one of the toughest leagues in CIF-SS.
1. Congratuations. Valencia has consistently had outstanding talent. Invariabily, Rio Vista would kick butt in the middle school meets, only to see much of the talent going into soccer and godknows what else, and not onto the cross country teams. Track teams often very good. XC teams, well, uh, mmh... So what's happened lately, especially with the boys?
Valencia cross country has definitely been a roller coaster for 20 years. For the past five years, we have felt there is talent at the school, but like you said, we lose a lot to soccer and other sports, especially the boys. We finally have a solid group who believes in themselves; this is not the first time, but when we had a great boys team a few years ago, the league was so tough three boys teams finished in the top 10 in the state and we were fourth in league thanks to a very tough break in league finals. We have had a few bad breaks with the girls in the past as well, but now that we have been there a few times, I think their confidence is up and that bodes well for the future.
2. Kaylee Thompson. How good is she going to be? I watched the video, and the phrosh phenom is up there swinging elbows with Samantha Ortega. Pardon me, but I love it! Does she have the range, 800 to 3200, or is it mostly endurance more than speed?
She has decent speed and showed that when she ran well under 5:00 in the 1,500 last year as an 8th grader. She has potential to be one of the greats out of this valley if we can keep her healthy for four years and not overtrain her or put too much on her too early. She loves cross training (she does triathlons) so we have to be careful with her mileage right now.
3. And the dudes. Dead last in 2012. A very strong third in 2013. Give it up. Waz-up? Waz-haps?
Last year was a surprising, bitter disappointment. We honestly thought we could have been battling for third and then nothing seemed to go right. We graduated a couple of our top 12, but kept most of them, so that helped. They also felt frustrated and disrespected and wanted to prove what they were capable of this year. We would have finished better had we been a bit healthier at the end, but they are looking forward to continuing to prove themselves in track.
4. OK, I'll back off for a rest interval. Way back when, my first awareness of Jeff Gilkey was the writer, the guy with the death grip on the runner's desk at the Mighty Signal, who really covered the SCV running scene in the 90s and early 20XX as never before or since. Can you jog us through the past, i.e., involvement in sports as a kid, the scholarly years? You left the Sig and ended up at Hart, teaching and coaching. Left. Indiana? Reincarnated at Valencia, English teach and coach.
I can jog you through, but it is with a slight limp some days now. How much time/space do you have (the old writer in me can still be longwinded). I always loved running as a kid and ran in high school in the Bay Area for Homestead (which had one of its best-ever cross country seasons this year) and was decent in cross country but loved track (1:58.2 800) a bit more. I loved my coaches and wanted to coach since I watched my first state meet in 1978, but I did not see myself as a teacher/coach until much later. I worked for three newspapers for a total of about 10 years, including The Signal from 1990-1996. I left the paper on July 4, 1996 after covering the Independence Day Classic and was ready to start teaching. As a reporter, I covered every running event I could and tried to learn from every coach I could. I was even part of the original Santa Clarita Marathon Steering Committee and helped organize the volunteers for the first one and also was The Signal writer and photographer and called color commentary for 1220 radio for it. After leaving the paper, I coached at Saugus in 1996-1997 school year and then went to Hart from 1997-2006. My beautiful, wonderful wife and I decided to try living somewhere else since we had lived in California our entire lives, so we moved to the Indianapolis area where we both have family. I coached track a season at Carmel High School, which is consistently one of the top XC programs in the nation, but after two years, we decided to move back to Santa Clarita and I was lucky enough to be hired at Valencia. I still run some, but not as much with the athletes as I did at Saugus and Hart, although I wish I could. The knees and lungs don't work like they used to; getting old sucks.
5. What are some of the highlights of the 2013 cross country season? Who stepped up?
Wow. Everybody stepped up, including the lower levels who were pushing the varsity. When we were trying to decide who would get MVP for the girls varsity, co head coach Kevin Berns said, "All 7 of them." Seriously, if not for all seven, we would not have made it to CIF finals. Alyssa Rodriguez, our #7, held off three WR girls and edged a Hart girl at the finish of league finals to give us third place by two points, or we would not have made it to CIF prelims, let alone finals. But had our other girls not run where they did, we would not have been there either. Kaylee, Amelia Pear, and Kimmie Newton all had outstanding seasons and Gabby Zacky, Morgan Spurlock, and Lexi Whitman battled hard as well. On the boys' side, Alex Allevato, Nick Lentz, and Ian Hurst were our leaders at different times, but again, without Zach Strader, Lucas Holtz, Patrick Miller, and Austin Hartman we do not have the solid seven every team needs.
6. What changes have you instituted in the past year, especially in the area of training that produced better results?
I don't think our training was that much different. It was really more a different attitude. Our boys and girls were so disappointed after last year they wanted to make a statement. We also brought in a couple more coaches who gave them some extra attention, and they believed there were good enough to make CIF. We also maybe stayed a bit healthier this year compared to last year.
7. One or two tips from your crypto-top-secret training program?
We don't have secrets. We do the basics -- long runs, tempo runs, fartleks, speed/pace work, hills, recovery runs, and drills, core and some cross training when we can.
8. Paragas likes Lydiard. DeLong likes Lananna. Welker/Jackson like Jack Daniels. You?
We do not live by any one method in that sense. They are all good; we just develop a pattern we think we will work for our team and it has stayed pretty consistent, with some variation depending on personnel.
9. Drills? Form work? Weights? Hills? Cross training?
We would like to do more of all of those, although we do some of all as well. It is a struggle to do weight work and cross training here, so often the athletes have to do that on their own.
10. Valencia has been one of the best track & field programs in recent years. I know you have some outstanding coaches. Is one key to your success your ability to get the football players (sprinters and throwers)? Predictions for 2014 track & field?
We have been working on getting more crossover athletes out for the team since I have been here. I am not a hard-core recruiter and do not do it as well as Rene or some of the others, but we are trying to get more soccer, football, etc. players out. I do not think any one coach here does better with that than any other. We have about a dozen track and field coaches on a good year and, as of last year, three on campus (only two before last year), so there are problems with recruiting because so few of us on campus. We have been lucky enough to get an athlete to the state meet four of the past five years and we are definitely hoping to take a few this year. We have a few events we may not be very strong in right now, so we have to fill those holes, but we have a handful of outstanding athletes who have a chance to compete all the way until June, and they will come from different training groups. As for a season prediction: This is the Foothill League; nothing will be easy.
Hey, so I'm late. Sue me. The hosting company failed me, apparently otherwise engaged in fixing the Affordable Care website.
Toni Reavis: Foot Locker 2013 -World Class Reunion
Sports medicine physician on overuse injuries. Video. The problem invariably starts in your brain.
Brooks Johnson: Why do so many good people do bad things?
A study of 46 species finds no connection between ageing & lifespan.
Santa Clarita needs an Ugliest Sweater 5K
Are the fashionable fitter and faster? And with cuter butts? Link. It wasn't always as it is today, especially with guys. But about 15 years ago a Valencia wife, watching her guy color-coordinating for the early morning long run, said: Isn't your gang getting a little, well, gay?
Multivitamin researchers say "case is closed" after studies find no health benefits. Link.
Dan Agnew/The Signal: Samantha Ortega makes All-American at Footlocker finals
Rich Gonzalez reports here.
Foot Locker girls race video.
scvxcphan writes: Re the U.S. Club XC Championships. Race in Bend, OR was on a REAL XC course in very cold conditions! Lauren Fleshman ran for team Oiselle and placed 28th, while Jameson Mora ran for Asics Aggies A team and placed 60th! Results here.
Don here. Alan Webb was 32nd, Danny Mercado 93rd, Diego Mercado 195th. Pete Magill was 84th in the Master's race. Darcy Arreloa Lange was 12th in her age group. There was a push to get some teams out of my gang, Oregon Track Club Masters. We had unusually heavy snow in Eugene, and that, along with the idea of having to traverse the Cascades, killed off my interest, and apparently everyone else's interest, in the event.
Why did the Oregon Project, save Alan Webb, do a last minute bail on the Club Champs? See here.
Erik Boal/Daily News story on Samantha Ortega
Pat Henry, the Texas A&M coach, likes Eugene. Story.
Today's Must Read: Rise and Shine. We would all be better in every way if we turned off the tube and computer, conversed more, exercised twice what we do now, and went to bed early.
Some of SCV's best young runners competed on the Valley United team at the Junior Olympics XC Championships in San Antonio, TX. Results.
No, the racing doesn't stop. Next up: Placerita Canyon Holiday 5K
Nick Symmonds and Mortimer, his pet bunny, here. Next up. Jim O'Brien and his squirrel.
Beast game-day report from event co-founder Craig Leener:
The presence of a pair of Porta Potties was a welcome indication of just how much the annual Beast event has thrived under its curator, Runners Lane on Soledad Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, as more than 100 participants scaled the mountain in support of the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry.
The skies were clear and breezy and the thermometer sat squarely at 55 degrees, ideal conditions for the 7th Annual Beast Charity Run at a well-groomed Whitney Canyon Park. Runners Lane manager/events coordinator Gio Guzman, who also serves as Hart High boys track and field head coach and boys cross country assistant coach, was up before sunrise Saturday to mark the course.
“We have goals to meet at the store, but at the end of the day, the community comes before the store,” Guzman said. “Don and Don’s Diary created this event, and we want to see it through.”
That means putting “the arm” on a host of sponsors, including New Balance, which sent notable trail runners Dominic Grossman and Katie DeSplinter to address the crowd and run with participants. Castaic Water Agency and Western Bagel also contributed sustenance and manpower.
Runners Lane CEO Flo Mina said this year’s turnout was more than double that of last year. Mina said she recently spent time onsite at the Food Pantry to volunteer and witness how donated funds were used there.
“The Food Pantry doesn’t get a lot of cash donations, so I know what we do really helps,” Mina said. “The event is perfect for the things they need.”
Spotted in the crowd were athletes from Canyon, Valencia, Golden Valley, Hart and West Ranch high schools as well as Rancho Pico and Placerita junior high schools.
Placerita student and cross country runner Allan, 13, was dressed in a black track suit and knit cap as he rubbed his hands together to keep warm in preparation for the 9.4-mile round trip. He smiled broadly and glanced over at his mom and dad when asked why he was up so early on such a chilly morning.
“Because I want to spend time with my parents,” he said.
Daily News: Samantha Ortega seeks All America honors at Footlocker National Final
Foot Locker live webcast at 9:15 AM. Link. ...Or here.
The Miracle Drug You Need To Take
David Estrada has COC at State Finals fotos
What are you giving your daughters for Christmas? Consider.
Footl Locker girls results. Last week Samantha Ortega beat today's 5th place finisher, Anna Maxwell.
Funny and wise. Q&A with Deena Kastor
Scott Douglas/Al Jazeera: Why running is the most democratic sport
Flotrack: Blair Hurlock's Foot Locker Tune Up video.
The Race Walking Dead video. Lauren Fleshman stars.
Slow news day. Cue up The Beast vid. Don stars.
Samantha Ortega ranked 17th in Foot Locker Preview. Here.
Angry Jogger, thoroughly naughty and nasty, foul-mouthed and funny, goes off on the ten people who counsel against your running and healthy living.
Eugene, Track Ghetto or Capital?