As of now, only the accepted entries are listed on the University of Washington’s site. There are 4 people who stand out – Shalane Flanagan, Lisa Koll, Lauren Johnson, and Tanya Zeferjahn. I’ve heard that Shalane Flanagan (bronze medalist at the 2008 Olympics) is just pacing Lisa Koll through 2k. If this is true, Lisa (the NCAA 10k record holder and 4 time NCAA Champion) is trying to run 72 second 400’s (4:48 mile pace) through 2k. Her usual racing style is to run a conservative pace for most of the race and then finish quicker. I’m not sure how good her closing speed is – I saw her get out kicked by Amy Yoder Begley at the 2010 USA Track & Field Championships. Of course, that means I’d have to be with her at the end and have as good of a kick as Amy (6th at the 2009 World Track & Field Championships). Lauren Johnson probably isn’t racing this event, she is more of a middle distance runner and wrote in her blog that she’ll be racing the 800. I know the least about Tanya – the 2010 Division II NCAA Champion in the 5k – but word on the street is that she goes out faster than she finishes. She has run some fast times, but I have no idea what kind of shape she is in now or what she’s training for. It seems like she could be a good person to run with for at least the first half. However, she is listed as an elite athlete for Sunday’s Bay Area Cross Challenge, so she may not even be racing in Seattle.
My goal, like always, is to run as fast as I can. I’m kind of torn with how to do this though. My coach told me to go out at 73-74 400 meter pace (4:56 mile pace) and then close with whatever I have left (that means hopefully picking it up). Part of me wants to run with Lisa for as long as I can, but I tried that racing style last time and hated it. In a rare, sensible-side-of-me win, I’m going to do what my coach says, hopefully get in a fast time, and walk away hungry for more.
PS – Thanks for all the comments and positive feedback. A couple months ago when I first started writing I was literally the only person reading, now I get like 80 hits a day! I have really enjoyed blogging, it has served as a great way to express my feelings and share my life with my family and friends all over the world. I have to give a special thank you to Liz Hankinson who taught me everything I know about writing. Also, thank you Mom for spreading the word (literally and figuratively), as well as all of your encouragement. I hope this blog leaves each of you with a sense of entitlement that you too can achieve your goals. Again, thanks for the comments, keep them coming!
“It is very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.” – Dr. George Sheehan