Tuesday, February 25, 2014

USA Championships.....OH THE DRAMA

As I sit here, reflecting on this past weekend’s USA Championships, I find myself thinking, “Wait…what?”  Not only did my own performance shock me, but also the other events of the weekend.  It wasn’t anything like I had expected.

First, my thoughts on my own racing.  To keep it simple, I’m not happy with my result.  This indoor season had been going as well as anyone could have expected for me.  I felt great coming into the meet both physically and mentally.  Some things just didn’t click with me.  Ultimately, I think tactical errors ended up getting in the way of my goals and myself.  But hindsight is 20/20 right??

During the first round, everybody wanted to sit in the same position at the break point around 150 meters into the race.  That position was right off the shoulder of the leader.  As you can imagine, when there are four guys fighting for the same position, there’s going to be a lot of bumping.  When I should have sat back, relaxed, and allowed the race to play out in front of me during the first 500 meters, I fought and moved around too much within the field.  For most of the race I even found myself running in lane two.  By the time the last lap came, I had expended too much energy and wasn’t able to finish the race very strong.  Luckily, I had a chance to run the next day as I qualified to the final round based on my time.

The final was unfortunately another tactical disaster.  This time, I did get the position I wanted at the break point.  I sat in second place for the first 400 meters and felt relaxed as could be.  Then on the backstretch of the third lap, Sowinski made the perfect move to take the lead as the pace was slowing down a little bit.  I hesitated for a split second, and boom, Symmonds was shoulder to shoulder with me.  From there, my race went “downhill.”  There was nowhere for me to go for the rest of the race, unless I slowed down to the back of the pack and tried to maneuver around everyone during the last 300 meters.  I tensed up during the last 50 meters, knowing there was nothing I could do, and a tense body is not a fast body.

BUT, indoor track and field is a beast of a sport, and everyone experiences disappointment.  There will be more races.  As for now, it’s back to the drawing board for the outdoor season.  There are parts of my training that I need to change and I will change them to become a better athlete.

And then there are the other big stories of the weekend, the DQ’s.  (Disclaimer: My opinions are my own, and are based strictly on the information that I have heard.  If any of my information is incorrect or offends anyone, please contact me using the email address at the bottom of the page.)  As for Bumbalough’s disqualification, I watched the race live and didn’t see any reason at all for him to be disqualified.  He qualified for the race, he raced from the front, he didn’t drop out, and he didn’t interfere with any other runners physically.  You can’t disqualify someone based off of speculation.

Gabe’s situation was a little bit different.  I haven’t actually seen the video of the race so I can’t speak on the incident that was being protested.  But, I think that the way USATF went about handling the situation was downright embarrassing.  For anyone not familiar with what happened, following the race there was a protest that Gabe should be disqualified because she supposedly interfered with another athlete during the race.  The protest committee denied the protest, which lead to an appeal, twice.  The committee stuck firm to their previous decision and confirmed the results of the event, naming Gabe as the national champion.  A few minutes later, the committee received new “evidence” that caused them to overturn their decision.  And that’s where they went wrong.  Officials make bad calls.  It’s a part of human error.  But when you’re watching a professional sporting event like football or basketball and a call is made final (after reviews, challenges, etc.), it’s final.  There’s no going back.  Even if later in the day there is a new angle that show’s their call was incorrect, too bad!  Luckily, Gabe was reinstated and she will get to travel to Poland for the World Championships next week.  Regardless, USATF needs to reevaluate their guidelines when it comes to protesting.  It brought way too much negative attention to a sport that’s already fighting to find it’s place among other professional sports in this country.

Anyway, that’s my little rant on this past weekend.  Next week I’ll be back to posting on Monday!  I was travelling yesterday and was not able to post.  Below you can find my training log for last week! 

February 17-23 


4x800 w/2min rest



Total Mileage: 8 


8 mile recovery run 


6x400 w/ 1 minute rest

1x300 @39 sec

Total Mileage: 8 


6 mile run 



20-minute shakeout run


20 minute run



USA Championship 800m Semi-Final 


USA Championship 800m Final 

For questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to post below or email me directly at mikeruttrunning@gmail.com!