So these are my schemes, And these are my plans
What a difference four and eight years can make. At the beginning of 2000 my goal was to make the Canadian Olympic trials and I ran a huge PB to dip under the 14:40 qualifying standard for the 5000m by less than a second, and then I eclipsed the 1500m standard of 3:53 by less than a second as well. At the start of 2004 I had PB’s of 3:46 (1500m) and 13:53 (5000m), quite a ways off the Olympic standards. Even going into the 2004 Olympic trials (the last chance to make the Olympics) I was not thinking of the Olympics, not at all. After winning the Olympic Trials in 13:45 I went over to Europe for my first set of track races and dropped a 13:31.01. It was at that point I could smell the Olympic B standard of 13:25.
2008 is here and, of course, this is a big year for Track and Field as the big show in Beijing will once again bring the sport to the front pages for reasons other than drug cheats. Now I’m starting off an Olympic year with two Olympic B standards. What does that get me? In the words of Dave Milne, that and a dollar gets me a cup of coffee. I am often asked what I need to do to make the Olympics. The answer is actually pretty complicated so I’ll just lay out the basics. Since a country cannot send an athlete who only has a “B” standard if they are sending an athlete with an “A” standard in the same event I have to assume other Canadians will have the A standard. That being said, the Canadian “Eh” standards are 13:19.62 and 27:47.31. If I can break one of those times during the right qualifying period, and finish in the top 3 at Nationals, my ticket will be booked. There is also the chance of achieving the IAAF standards of 13:21.50 and 27:50 as well as fulfilling repeat “B” performances under the Athletics Canada criteria and qualifying for the Olympics. With Kevin Sullivan already having the 5000m A standard and with Paul Morrison and Simon Bairu knocking on the door of “A” standards it would not be wise of me to only aim for repeat “B” performances, so I will not entertain those possibilities here.
I am very happy with where my running is right now. I’m entering my 11th year under the coaching of Dave Scott-Thomas and our training group is stronger than ever. My first goal is to bust the “Eh” standard in the 10,000m May 4th at Stanford. Right now I’m doing a lot of mileage and tempo, but to keep it interesting I’ll run a couple of indoor races in January, these are used as workouts. I would like to run the Reebok Boston Indoor Games again, but I don’t think I’ll be ready to run at that level by then. If I’m going to race, say 7:55, I’d rather be at the front of a race than be 15 seconds in arrear of the leaders. Then I’ll gear up for an indoor race in February, hopefully the 3000m at Tyson. Between mid February and the beginning of May I’ll likely run two races, one race to keep the competitive juices flowing and another to set up the May 4th race. Later in the season I’ll concentrate on the 5000m, but I have not planned that racing schedule quite yet and it will depend on how my races up to that point have gone.
So those are my plans for the first months of 2008. Thanks a lot for the support and keeping up with my rambling.
Cold tubing is uncomfortable at best. I try to combat this with a toque, loud music, 4 shirts and a hot cup of tea. This pic was taken during a particularly cold session… I know it’s cold when at the end of 10+ minutes the ice still hasn’t melted. There’s another way to determine how cold it is when a guy sits in cold water… but I leave that with the repeat “B” performance explanation.