Friday, June 28, 2019

Southeast East Super Regional June 1-2

Southeast – East Super Regional

My Google maps which I had printed off in case WAZE failed, said my trip would be 4 hours and 40 minutes. All was fine for half of the way. In Dumfries, VA where I stopped for gas etc, I activated WAZE for the rest of the trip to Old Waterloo Dr, Elkridge MD,

At the point where Google had told me to take I-395 towards I-495, the lanes going off to the right, WAZE told me to take 395 Capital. Huh? At this point it was closing in on 5 p.m. I could see the Washington Monument as I crossed one of the bridges leading into DC. Traffic was building up. I am still looking for I-395 (was still on 95) when I noticed that WAZE had me exiting on D Street DC. Whoa. No No No! I am now in the far left lane. No way could I get over to the right. WAZE kept telling me to exit as each exit on the right came up. I ended up getting on 695 which is where the left lane took me.

From this point on for the next half hour or so, I was in the midst of a DC road nightmare. There was construction such that I was on 295 going in one direction and then when I exited to try to get to the correct route, I was back on 295 going in the other direction. Eventually I said to heck with it and exited hoping to find a side street where I could stop and get WAZE back on track. I recall passing or being on M St, then other state named streets until finally finding a place to pull over and reset WAZE to go to Elkridge. This took me on 11th through 15th streets, at some point Independence or maybe it was Independence then 11th! I saw some really neat duplex or single multi story family homes along the way. Seemingly quiet neighborhoods with homes of brick, lots of trees etc. The homes were close to each other. They made me think that any one of them could have been the home of James Patterson's character Alex Cross,. I had lots of turns. I think it was the turn from Independence onto 15th st that was a bit nerve wracking because it was a short portion with a light and odd angled intersecting traffic. Here, there was traffic coming at an angle from the left and traffic on the right stopped at a light. I was stopped, blocking the cars who would want to go through the intersection from the right. Arrgh. Finally the cars ahead moved and I relaxed. Eventually, from here, I managed to get on a highway that took me to the Baltimore-Washington Expressway. Bottom line – this tour of DC etc made my trip be one of 7.5 hours!

I was staying at Comfort Suites in Elkridge with Angela Staab and Kathy Jacobs. The Inn was located on the edge of a huge new apartment and condo complex at Port Capital Dr. The parking garage still being finished. It as like a rabbit's warren, with so many side streets. I got there before the other two who came from Greensboro NC area and had stopped at Harper;s Ferry to do some historical sight seeing. We ended up eating a BJ's, a place recommended by Kathy. Terrific food. I had lemon herb chicken and asparagus zucchini noodles

Saturday, June 1

Barbara Warren and William Rhoad

Saturday, I only had field events, the two weights and javelin. Angela had all these plus the hammer. I had never seen this implement before so I imagined a hammer-like device. Nope. I would say it resembles a long stiff wire with a heavy ball at the end. This is definitely not something I want to touch. I watched Angela and the others swing this thing over their head before releasing. There were several implement crashes into the edge of the protective fencing. Oy! It was a hot day. Most competitors and spectators had brought chairs to rest in between throws. The hammer and weight and I think discus were all competed in this area which was down below the track in a field. There was a porta potty there as well as about four up near the track and shot put ring.

Waiting.Jane Simpson & Gloria Krug
Gloria Krug & Barbara Warren

Barbara Warren competing in almost every event obtained the silver with her hammer throw of 16.31m and Wahidah Abdulla (the best dressed competitor there) got third with a heave of 15.74m. Angela got edged out by Jane Simpson 13.56m to 13.47m. Gloria Krug, now 88, threw three times in each of her throwing events. She was operating with a pulled groin muscle so did not go all out. Well, shoot, her less than all out is far superior than many of the younger competitors. She threw 17.42m
Next up was the weight throw, This time I switched from facing left to facing right (after being informed at the Indoor Nationals that rather than letting the weight go by swinging out with my right arm, I must PUSH with the lower hand. Oy!) My right arm would be better at pushing than my left I decided. Nicole Kelly, the youngest competitor there, threw 7.35m and her mom Linda Kelly threw 6.63m. Pamela Zeyala (PVC) (AG 50) from MD, was there and I am sure she was the envy of a few others. She was fit and trim, and does weight lifting etc to prepare for her competitions. She threw 9.13m. 
Pamela Zevala in blue talking to Wahida

  Barbara Warren threw 8.06 and Wahidah Abdullah (best dressed competitor) 
Angela Staab throwing Hammer
threw 6.83m. Barbara had to keep leaving her events so she could go compete in some other pentathlon event. Gloria Krug threw 7.22, farther than all the 75s and many of the younger down to AG 55.

Wahidah Abdullah

(okay – I have had an interruption in writing this and then I went to National Senior Games which took a week and now more detours. So memory has faded and this will be shorter than planned.)

Gloria, Angela, Kathy, Nicole and others also did the javelin. It was hot and there was no shade. I watched one woman who seemed to have perfect form. Speaking to her later, she said she was not up to par physically. If I can, I will put the video here.

Things were not quite running on time so we had a longer wait in the sun. Gloria threw twice for 11.82m and left (but she did give me a tip before doing so – straighten my hand when releasing. I seem to have habit of twisting it.)

Nicole Kelly (W35) threw 31.54m and Stephanie Colby (W40) who I did not see but to me she is the valiant lady who threw the jav in a decathlon type meet last year after breaking a foot or injuring a lower limb) threw 18.49m. Kathy Jacobs (W65) who has been working on her jav throwing threw 15.89m with a bit of gusting wind offsetting her throw at the time. Jane Simpson (W75) threw 8.79m and Angela (W75) threw 8.72m. I threw 10.85m after Gloria's tip

I saw Barbara Warren competing here and there during the entire meet but she did so many things that I only got to be in an event with her during shot..

Angela Staab, Kathy Jacobs, Becky Bowman and I went out to eat at BJs on Saturday evening (Angela, Kathy and I had eaten there the evening before) I think I had the enlightened kale and roasted brussels sprouts salad.

Sunday June 2

I need to make note of the performances of Angela Staab (she did the 1500 and the 800 back to back,) ; Becky Bowman who did the 400m, 200m and the 100m and Rick Pack who did the 1500, 800 and 400.

While warming up, I watched two thirty somethings being coached. The coach had them start (no blocks) in a crouch, keep their heads down for about 30-40 meters then blast it with head up. So, I practiced that myself. I did not use blocks that day (or since, actually)

On Sunday morning, Becky Bowman blew away the competition in the 100m with a time o 14.92. They had an oddball way of making the heats. I was in the same heat as Becky (W60) and Barbara Warren (W70). There were probably 6 of us in this heat. (Nine total ran the 100) Barbara was on my right, Rose Green (W80) who always beats my butt was right next to me on the left and Becky farther to the left. We expected to get our hip numbers at the Start line, but, no, we were supposed to get them by the Finish line inside the registration and sign up shed. Well, great! It is just about time to start and no hip numbers. I started trotting towards the Finish line and met one of the officials who told me what the hip numbers were for Becky and me. When I got to the shed, there was a long line of people registering, so I just reached over and got our numbers and trotted back. When we finally got settled in our positions, the gun went off and everyone raced ahead leaving Barbara and I to race each other, clip clopping to the Finish (Barbara had probably already done some field events by then). We were close but I just edged her out. (21.02 to 21.11) After all, I had been doing nothing until this event. Rose Green beat both of us running 18.89.

Kathy Jacobs and Angela Staab both ran the 1500m (hot hot hot by now) Kathy's time 8:50.15 and Angela's time 11:49.14 (her second time running a 1500m). Rick Pack (M35) had a very long wait over by the Finish area, in the sun, before his 1500m got underway. I don't recall what the delay was. At one point the steeplechase was delayed because there was no water in the water pit. Fortunately, the Columbia Fired Dept. came out and with a high power hose and water truck filled it up in a jiff. When Rick finally got to run he did it in 5:21.14.

Angela Staab 1500m

Kathy Jacobs 1500m
Rick Pack 1500m

Some time before the 200m, Gloria, Angela, Barbara Warren and others threw the shot. The track facility was nicely organized in that the shot pit was right near the track. Nicole Kelly threw 10.55m, Barbara Warren 6.86m, Gloria Krug 6.03m, Angela Staab 5.06m, Jane Simpson (who also did many events) 4.98. I threw 5.89m.

Next up for me, Angela, Rose Green, and Becky was the 200m. Again, it seemed we waited quite awhile. I think I ran in the same heat as Rose. Rose used blocks and was way gone before I had taken two steps. Rose ran it in 42.49 with me five seconds slower (though three years younger) 47.77. Becky was in the next heat and boy, did she heat up the track, running it in 31.25, three seconds ahead of the second runner to cross the Finish.

Becky also won the 400m in 1:20.22. Not her favorite event that day. Three in one day can be exhausting, especially when it is so hot with little shade (though, thank you Craig Pritchard, Piedmont Pacers for lugging a tent for us to use!)

Becky Bowman taking the 400m. no one near!
Rose Green's 400m

I checked afterward and Rick Pack ran the 800m in 2:20.96 – a blur! And Angela (40 years his senior) in 5:50.96 and our younger female Pacer Kathy, in 4:30.10.

Since I had a six or so hour drive back home I did not stay to watch the 800m.

The young guys in their 100m final

Nonetheless, I did not get out of there until 4:30. I was trying to beat the forecast-ed rain. I did encounter some, but it was light. There was a stretch of real slow up just outside of DC until past Lorton (where again WAZE directed me off then eventually back on I-95. Somewhere after the Quantico exit, traffic began to normalize. This was a first time for Potomac Valley folks hosting the Super regional. It should be smoother should they host again. Though the facilities were great I doubt I will drive there again.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

USATF Masters Indoor Champs at JDL

devotion to the sport! (Massachusetts trackster)
I need to begin this by describing our January 20th Southeast Regional Championship at JDL Fast Track. I had only about five training attempts preceding the event due to a dreadful December and early January. New Year's Day, I could barely walk during the annual New Year's Day outing (gut issue).I had signed up for four mile, mostly trail and greenway, run in Rocky Mount along the Tar river some time prior, which due to the freaky weather had been deferred into January. So, I went. I wore my new (won in a Nog Run Club raffle) ON shoes. I must say they have a weird sole! Like horizontal rails, presumably to deflect shock and make one feel as if running on clouds. Well, no! Though I had on KT Tape, was wearing my CW-X capris and these shoes, my knees still hurt. Knowing that I was slow anyway, I slowed to take photos along the way. I jogged walked, crossing the line at 51:45 chip and 52:32 gun. I will say that I enjoyed The Wandering Moose's Beef on Weck (roast beef au jus, on brioche roll, with kosher salt and horseradish) and the local cider beer.

So along comes the Regional. I had signed up for two field events – shot and weight throw (first time) and three track – in order- 60m, 400m, and 200m. Mistake! The weight throw start for women was delayed so I had no time to warm up for the 60m. 12.68 Similarly, the shot throws left no time to warm up for the 400m (just love the stress of looking at watch and worrying about queuing up on time at the check in area!). My 400m was slow and I felt it with about 80m to go, but I managed to finish without walking. 1:57.14 So now there is a break before the 200m. I joined the other Piedmont Pacers and gabbed for a bit then decided to eat a slice of pizza our team Captain, Kevin Gobble had brought us. Yum. So good that I decided to have a second slice. Another mistake because half way through I realized that the 200m was about to queue up at the check in area. (well, 15mins before the event.) No warm up other than to get over there and put shoes on. 47.66 Yet again, a dreadful outing. All in all, my running events were perhaps close to my personal worsts (for sure the 400m was my second worst for that distance, only exceeded by the abysmal Albuquerque Meet two years earlier when I had bronchitis but did not yet know it. I had walked the last 190m or so.)
The field events were not too bad. Shot at 6.01m and weight (facing left) with no overhead swings (would kill myself or another) of 6.65m. Angela Staab and some of the Pacer men had shown me how to throw the weight back in April (though, as it turned out, I missed a crucial aspect – one has to PUSH with the non release hand.)

Pacers - before the pizza! Angela Staab, Jay Smith, Kathy Jacobs

I came away from the Regionals disappointed as I had originally hoped after the October JDL Tuneup Meet – all ages -that I would see some improvement. Actually, I was slower in all of the SEM events!

two block attempt -- oh, the knees!
On January 30th, I began hitting the gym and cutting back to once a week for Camp Gladiator (CG) My knees have begun hurting in CG and my stamina was for ..!.(NYC term) I began practicing 100s and 200s on a nearby dirt Greenway path. I laid out my cones, estimating 140 steps for 100m and went from there. Then, I decided to follow up on a fellow Pacer's comment that he was training on Duke's Morris William track and if one got there in the morning one could safely train without interfering with Duke folk. (the only negative was getting a parking space @2 bucks an hour, max two hours, in a limited quantity lot.) I swear, walking the path uphill to the track wore me out more than any running. Always huffing and puffing! (Becky Bowman much later told me of another way from the lot to track which is less taxing!) I have lots of parking receipts. I went three days from 2/5 to 2/9, trying just straight 60s all out, or 100 – 200 repeats, the last few 200s shrunk to well under 200! I began to attempt block starts again. 

I resembled a watermelon rolling away, so terrible in form and motion.

Becky Bowman, Rick Pack, and Bryan Guido Hussein were also there on the ninth and working with them I came down to just pushing off one block. I went to Duke three more times, sometimes with others, most times not, (since I can do weekdays.) 
with Bryan, Rick, Becky, and Ryan at Duke track

I also reverted back to the greenway when it was drizzly and I did not feel like driving to Durham I attempted multiple 200s at 80% but achieved only a shorter distance. Some days I tried the 150s and other days I just did the all out 60s, which I much preferred. I was also going to the gym using the Prowler2, leg press and wall sits.(none of the gym stuff bothered my knees nor did running on the track.) Pavement for sure does!

USATF Masters National Indoor Championships March 1-3.

Knowing from the Regional that I did not have the oomph to run the 400m, I had not signed up for it but I went to Winston-Salem to watch others run it and visit with other track folk. The first person I saw was Mary Robinson then Angela Staab. It was well before the 400 so we chatted for awhile. Mary Smith eventually joined us. The Triangle contingent of the Piedmont Pacers, Rick Pack and Bryan Hussin showed up, also there for the 400m, as was Becky Bowman (Joy's Jackrabbits TC). Of the six women who had signed up for the 400m in my age group, only five ran it, Jane Simpson being busy doing field events. Right from the start, Mary Smith established her lead and maintained it to the Finish. In as much as she was a prior Indoor National Champion, it was no surprise (though she had had to surmount numerous health issues since her last Indoor Championship in 2017.). Last year's Indoor champion, Rose Green, had aged up into the next AG, after having terrorized her competitors in September's WMA in Spain by winning gold in every event. The 400m times: Mary Smith (Colorado Masters TC) 1:30.75, Mary Robinson (unattached) 1:41. 11, Barbara Hensley (Southwest Ohio TC) 1:47.51, Catherine Radle (Atlanta TC (ATC)) 1:50.82, and Angela Staab (Piedmont Pacers) (running with a torn tendon!) 2:17.60. I was glad I had not run it.

Rose Green

Mary Smith Angela Staab Barbara Hensley

Lesley Hinz and Lane Wilton after Lane's 400
with Jeanne Daprano

Becky Bowman and Angela Staab before their events
Ann Carter Mary Hartzler Angela Staab and Mary Robinson checking result screen  
Angela Staab Mary Smith Rose Green

Next up of the races I had come to watch was Becky's 400m. She was up against the 400m, 800m, and mile record holder, Lesley Hinz (T.H.E. Track Team.) One could say Lesley is a middle distance hog. Despite recently recovering from an injury, Lesley did prevail in their race , 1:13.66 to Becky's 1:19.90.

Both Rick and Bryan were in the same AG and same 400m race. Rick is a speed demon but he was nursing an injured ankle (though one could not tell since he is a blur when running) and this was Bryan's first National Meet, and his third time running at JDL, having caught the bug during the JDL October Tuneup, his first Indoor Meet. They looked darn fast to me but their competitors were even faster this day. Rick 57.62 and Bryan 1:06.66. Watch out world –they have the bug and will be training hard for the next contest. (Hopefully staying healthy.)

Piedmont Pacers Matt Holtry and Kevin Gobble both competed in the 40-44 AG race walk, with Matt (12:44.62) getting gold and Kevin (16:59.39) silver.

Matt Holtry

I would be remiss if I did not mention the one glitch that occurred with the W55 400m race. There were two heats, four in heat one and five in heat two. Sue McDonald was hoping to set a new AG American record, the existing record being 1:06.79. Off they go. Sue in Lane 5. She takes the lead after cutting in beyond the cones and maintains it to the end. The video shows no time elapsing. Peter Taylor, he of the amazing memory, in his red shirt, knows there is a record setting attempt and knowing the record time, keeps looking up at the result screen. 

Sue McDonald crossing finish
Peter Taylor looking for result -- he kept waiting!

NADA! No time recorded for this race. Unofficial timing (by a coach) indicated she had broken the record. .I heard later that the sound of the starting gun was apparently not picked up. The Meet officials decided to give Sue another chance if another would run with her. Sandy Triolo, who had not run in the original heats, stepped up. The race was re-run with just the two of them. Sue's time was 1:06.98, short of the record. The times listed on the results for all in the original heat are apparently estimates!

The start timing technology

Curiosity led me to look at the FinishLynx tech. I am guessing that they were using their wireless RadioLynx equipment in which the transmitter picks up the gun sound via a 3L300R Start sensor and transmits it to the receiver and into the lynx system. The transmitter and receiver can operate wirelessly up to a distance of 2km, precision advertised as greater than ± 0.4 thousandths of a second.. I could not find the sound sensitivity of the 3L300R start sensor component. Just strange that it failed only once during the meet. For those who want to research the tech here is Finishlynx info  Finish Lynx electronic start system

End of tech diversion

As it was raining, I left JDL around 3:40. It began coming down in buckets once I was on I-40. The road spray from tractor trailers was quite bad, reducing visibility substantially. I had about 40 minutes on I40-421 until the turn off for 421S where there would be less traffic. I was relieved to get off 40! However, I was not on 421 long before the car suddenly slowed then made a whirring sound as if in neutral and stepping on gas, before it resumed my travel speed. The rain was still torrential so not knowing what was going on I slowed up even more to maybe 55. This sudden loss of power with subsequent whirring must have happened at least 20 times in the hour I had left to get home. Scary because I was not sure I would get there. Ugh.

I did get home and immediately made arrangements to go pick up a rental car (as it turned out, I made it before they closed at 6) because my first event Saturday was at 8 a.m. Too early to rent a car on Saturday. I also made a car appointment for Monday at 7am at Honda. I just did not feel secure in driving back and forth to Winston-Salem for the next two days in my baby blue (Tidewater blue) 2008 Fit.

Saturday, March 2nd 60m and shot

I got to JDL in plenty of time Saturday morning. I gathered with 3 mixed age groups at the shot area. This gave me plenty of time to talk to folks I had not seen since Spokane (Outdoor) or since January SouthEast Region. Jane Simpson was snazzily dressed in red tights and plaid skirt (Barbara Warren has since given Jane the best dressed award.) Mary Robinson, Angela Staab, Christel Donley, Irene Obera, Mary Roman, Gloria Krug and Josephine Farmer (who I may have seen once before)

Christel Donly making me laugh

Gloria Krug

Wahidah Abdullah and Barbara Warren at Shot

Angela and I had practiced throwing the shot in a field near my home about two weeks earlier, when she was in town. I had seen online, and Angela also showed me, a version of the slide. I tried with back turned to throwing line (a stick) stepping way back with my right foot then sort of hopping and turning with my left and throwing. I compared this to just standing, leaning down to the side and then coming up and throwing. Some of the “slide” were longer throws, some not.
Angela Staab practicing weight throw

 So, at JDL I tried the pseudo slide on my first throw. My shortest one yet! (4.97m). I watched the others throw. Many different techniques. As we progressed through the various attempts, several gave me tips. Gloria Krug (Philadelphia Masters) reminded me I needed to be looking up as I threw. I attempted it but each time there was something I would forget until after the throw. By my third throw I had dropped the slide and reverted back to my original. Then, I began facing the circle and sort of shuffling forward to make the throw. The next to last one, Gloria nodded – I had kept my head up. Then she told me to shuffle forward more slowly, look up and throw. My last throw was my best. It beat my SE Masters January mark of 6.01 by .05m .Thank you, Gloria! Mary Robinson won the shot with 6.47m, I was second, Josephine Farmer third with 5.58m, Jane Simpson 5.17m and Angela Staab 4.92m.

Mary Robinson March 1, before her five Golds and one Silver (maybe more?)

That is the thing about the hot shots – they are so willing to help one out. I recall my third Outdoor Masters Championship in windy Michigan when Christel Donley tried to show me how to throw the javelin. It was a funny thing to see!

My 60m was not until 11:12. No intervening events so again I socialized until I went outside to warm up. Mary Smith volunteered to help me. Her flight was not until after the event. I started off by doing my usual trot around the cul de sac and up the hill and back. That winded me. So she showed me how she warms up. Shorter distances and progressively. I have been using that method since. I think it works better for me than my prior jog – run until winded and then repeat until not winded any longer.

I came back in and practiced a couple of the single block starts. So so. And then it was time. We were after the oldest combined group, which included Betty Lindberg, 94.  I saw later that she ran a 21.15. That is a healthy lady. Irene Obera, 85, having entered a new AG ran 13.76, setting a new AG USA Indoor Record (of course!) Rose Green, nursing a sore hamstring did not go all out, still coming in first in her AG in 12.20. Christel Donley also running at diminished condition, came in second at 13.86.

In my heat, Kathy Bergen was not there and Rose Green had aged up. Two swift folk less! But I had two women who have beaten me in the past, Mary Robinson and Ann Carter. Then there was Barbara Hensley who had Mary and me in her sights, having been converted from speed walking to sprints. Jane Simpson may surprise one day if she cuts back on the many events she competes in and concentrates on sprints. Other than trying to improve my start, I have no strategy other than to go as fast as I can. I was sticking with using one block, pushing off with right foot. Jane was in lane 2, Ann lane 3, Barbara lane 4, me lane 5 and Mary lane 6.

photo by Rick Pack. 60m lineup

I don't recall much about my start which means I don't recall bobbling, so that is good. I ran as hard as I could but Mary was right next to me and pulled ahead before the finish. Now, I have heard two stories about my finish – Rose Green thought I was looking at Mary's shoes and Terry Ozell thought I looked over at Mary before the finish. Oy! I don't recall either. I sometimes look down when I am running but I never look to see where any one else is. I have looked and looked at the video and it does seem as if I am looking to the right but I can't be sure if I had crossed the Finish line before looking at Mary. Rob D'Avellar took a photo of the finish and it seems I am already laughing (which I do, if I can still breathe, when racing with Mary.) Nonetheless, it was Mary at 11.65 and me at 11.77 (I like the way Peter called it – 12/100th of a second. Sounds better than my interpretation of a tenth of a second,) Barbara 12.28, Ann 13.29 and Jane 14.28.

photo by Rob D'Avellar 60m Finish

I was done for the day but stayed to watch some other events. I saw Becky's 60m from the a bad angle as I was walking back. She was in a field of eight. It was hard to tell who had won but I heard, then saw, a video later. Linda Wilson from Texas came in first at 8.89 (2/100th off of American record, according to Peter) to Becky's 9.25. Amanda Scotti (under the weather with pneumonia-like symptoms) third in 9.59. One lady, Dianna Hinton, apparently pulled a muscle and sort of hobbled to the finish.

In the W70, Cynthia Marcelais, ATC, won the 60m in 10.87.

Our new Pacer Bryan Guido Hassin ran the 60m prelim with some hot shots, like Antoine Echols, 38, US Army, who went on to win the Final in 6.88. Rondrick Parker (Southwest Sprinters) came in second in the Finals at 6.99. Fast men..

The race that surprised me was that of the 80-84 men in the 60m. Bob Lida, 82, a marvelous sprinter, who has set many records was running in a field of five, I was not familiar with the other four men in his heat. Lida was the tallest of the competitors. (In subsequent video watching, it seemed Lida very slightly limped, or favors one side, walking back to the blocks after a stride out. Only two of the men used blocks – Lida and Bittner. Shockingly, William Bittner, Philadelphia Masters, seemed to take control about half way, winning 9.56 to Lida's 9.74. Only 2/10th of a second difference but it seemed so much more when watching from the stands because it was so unexpected.

Angela Staab had signed up for the mile run, despite the tendon issue, just so she could see what she could do. She looked good trotting it, despite the 16 curves she had to run. In the last bunch of laps, she did not the curves (giving the tendon a break) but continued her pace, finishing in a good time of 12:25.48. Kathy Jacobs, another Piedmont Pacer, in 65-69 AG, also did the mile coming in at 9:13.70 (Cynthia Lucking, ATC, won the AG in 7:25.65) Betty Lindberg, the 94 year old from ATC, also did the mile in 15:15.58.

Ryan Pack, a new Piedmont Pacer competed in the shot put, not having done so since college. She competed with two others in AG 30-39 and lo and behold – she won Gold , her last shot being her best (8.12m), though she led from the start.

Sunday, March 3rd

I was happy that for me this was a later start to the day. I had the 200m followed by the weight and then the super weight throw. This was good because I did not have to worry about a field event delaying my warm up. I arrived too late to see fellow Pacer Angela Staab win her 800m (5:37.55) or Bryan Guido Hassin run his 200m prelim (29.25), and I was just coming back inside from warming up when Rick Pack ran his 800m in 2:21.27 to get third! I was queued up for my 200m when Jeanne Daprano (having come off a World Indoor Master K Lightweight Rowing Championship win, a week earlier) and Lynne Hurrell competed in the 800m. Lynne edged Jeanne 4:38.14 to 4:38.22

The 200m. I was in lane 6, I could see no one. Ugh. That meant I had to judge what pace to go. Barbara Hensley in lane 5, Angela Staab in lane 4, Mary Robinson in lane 3, Jane Simpson in lane 2 Catherine Radle in lane 1..There were no blocks (pourquoi?) so we were all in a standing start. Bang, off we go. With vivid memories of my Spokane 400m burnout, I hesitated to go too fast. On the back end I knew Mary would be coming up on me but still held back a little. Just before we went into the turn there she was, ahead. Peter had indicated she had the lead, but I still held back until coming out of the turn (again afraid I would lock up). But then I went all out trying to close the gap. I couldn't. Mary won 42.69 to my 42.86, with Barbara Hensley third in 45.42. So, a tactical error brought on by basically fear of a disastrous failure! Aargh. I noticed a few things in reviewing the video – Mary has a great high knee stride making for longer steps whereas I have the choppy short steps. However, in looking at the video, I saw the same thing as in the 60m – I tend to look down and to the right when I try to go all out. No one was on my right, so I am not looking at a person. This is an odd habit that must be broken!

photo by Anne Sluder. Robinson, lg, Staab, Simpson, Hensley, Radle

Becky Bowman won her 200m handily in 31.46, making her now both Indoor and Outdoor National champion. She and Joy's Jackrabbits TC had previously run the 4x200 in AG 55-59 setting a new Club Indoor American record. (2:04.55)

This was the second Meet in which I did the weight throw and the first in which I did a super weight throw. The weight for my AG is 4kg (8.8 lbs) and the super weight 7.26kg (16lbs.) Right off the bat in the weight throw during the practice the official warned me that I was doing it wrong – i.e. I must maintain both hands on the handle, such that it is a push as opposed to a let my arm swing out and release. Oy! I had chosen to face left so that I could release with my stronger arm, the right. Well, this messed me up since now my weaker arm would essentially be controlling things. Ugh. My first throw was a bust because, standing so close to the rim, my heel touched as I threw and therefore a foul! Good start. My third throw turned out to be my best (6.78m). Mary Robinson had the best throw – 8.05m – with Angela Staab throwing 6.81m earning second and I got third. Mary Roman, 83, alone in her AG threw 8:07m, and Gloria Krug 87 (soon to be 88) also alone in her AG, threw 6.85m

I was worried that I might drop the super weight on my foot. I didn't and it was not as bad as I had anticipated. My best throw was my fourth, 4.39m, earning me fourth place. Mary Robinson was first with 6.24m, Angela Staab second with 4.48m, and Jane Simpson, oh, so close to Angela with 4.48m . Based upon USATF Rule 180.18, the second best performance in a tie determines the winner of the tie. Angela's second best was 4.43 m to Jane's 4.40m.

Nicole Kelly in the 35-39 AG, throwing a heavier weight (9.080kg – 20lbs) 7.34m, got third. And third in the super weight (25.4 kg – 56 lbs.) throwing 5.00m.

Sandy Triolo's Athena TC also set a new 50-54 Indoor American record in the 4x200, running 2:03.06.

The Piedmont Pacer men (Matt Holtry, Bryan Guido Hassin, Kevin Gobble, and Rick Pack) AG 36-39 ran both the 4x200, 1:56.20, and 4x800 relays, 10:47.92, earning third in the 4x800. This was Saturday. On Sunday, the same men ran the 4x400 relay, coning in second (4:21.38)

Bryan Hassin, Matt Holtry, Rick Pack, Jr. and Kevin Gobble Relay hogs
Before I left, I saw Toccata Murphy, there to cheer on her teammates.  She will be at NCCWMA.  Yea!

Throughout the Meet, Barbara Warren competed in multiple events, too numerous to enumerate. Shot silver, long jump silver 60m fourth, high jump gold, triple jump, weight and super weight silvers, 200m bronze and pentathlon gold plus three other golds. I would have a breakdown trying to handle so many events besides the fact that my knees prohibit all those jumping events and the 800m is a nope!

This morning, I went to NCSU track (that I discovered, AFTER the Meet, was open to the public during the weekdays – hurrah!) When I did some speed work, I discovered that, yes, I turn my head to the right and look down! Arrgh! Looking down is not new but the twist to the right, well maybe it has been there all along but I was unaware of it. So, the last one I did I concentrated on head up and looking straight ahead. I obviously need to work on that.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

USATF Masters Outdoor Championships - Spokane, WA

       An outing with surprises.

This is long and very late. Best read in chunks! Other things have taken priority. And, I procrastinate. Now, Hurricane Florence has passed and the WMA Malaga Spain Meet has ended with our US Masters doing wonderfully.

Early up on Tuesday July 24th, 03:15, DST. My flight was at 05:35 and I needed to get my boarding pass at the Southwest kiosk. Uber was late arriving by eight minutes but not a problem at that TOD. Becky Bowman, also on the same flights (of which we had two), was already at the gate when I arrived. During the flights, she kept her mind active by playing a wood block game. I read or slept. 

At change of flight, we both got coffee and ate something for energy. In Chicago I was taken by the patriotic design on a plane on the distant tarmac, Turns out, it was a SouthWest Air plane.

note the eagle emerging from behind the shield

I was very surprised at the Washington State topography as we approached Spokane. What trees there were were isolated and scattered. Big swathes of light-brown areas between a tree and the next closest one. Very odd. I was expecting heavily wooded areas, thinking forests and logging. Wrong.

I was staying downtown with Angela Staab at the event “host” hotel and Becky was staying closer to the track, where other SoCal Striders (her team), and others, were staying. It was around 1:30 or noon PDT, when I got to the hotel. Angela was not due until around 10 p.m. I did the usual things one does after arrival, then at about 2:30 decided I wanted to get something to eat. (Having had just yogurt, the energy bar, and Southwest cookies and being the last day they were giving them out - peanuts – boo hoo),

I ventured out to find that there was no sidewalk leading up to Division St, so I walked along the embankment. Seeing a Wendy's on N. Division St. I crossed only to find that the street then split and Wendy's was in the middle of the split. 
I had to get to a median that became a sidewalk. I for sure was in an industrial area. Ahead was what reminded me of a cement plant, though its logo was Coast Trading Company. Big (120ft) silo tower in midst of squat buildings. This was originally a granary, with eight concrete towers, purchased and sold several times, last used as a granary around 2002. It was purchased in 2004 for $750,000 by a real estate investor who bought it just because he liked it -- and the price. He had ideas of condos and offices, with retail on bottom level. However, it still sits undeveloped and empty.

 It was very hot. I had felt the heat on my bare skin while waiting for the traffic light to change. A burning type of hot versus the heavy Southern summer heat. I had forgotten what the heat of the Southwest was like. I had not thought the NorthWest would be similar.

I had a coke (to combat sleepiness) and a bowl of spicy chili. I then ventured out, determined to find a residential side street in the midst of the industrial Division St. Why? Because, being a native NYCer, I like walking and discovering niches of photographic wonders. Walking, one can learn much about an area that is missed when driving. I had no idea where I was going and took note of the streets I passed so I could find my way back (very important!). I turned right down Boone. To my right was the old granary and ahead after a few blocks were residential apartments. 

Suddenly, I was upon Gonzaga University. I had no idea it was even in Spokane. This, being summer, was a quiet area, with only a few people in sight.

 I had not realized Gonzaga was a Catholic University until I saw a grotto with religious figures and, of course, a church, St. Aloysius. Gonzaga was founded by a Jesuit, Father Joseph Cataldo and named after an Italian Jesuit Saint, Aloysius Gonzaga. Interesting stat: more than 99% of students receive financial aid, according to Gonzaga's website. Considering that the estimated yearly cost, including books and transportation, room and board is about 60K, it is not surprising.

paving stones

The obligatory grotto

The bit of the campus I saw was pleasant. Wide red tinted blocks paved the street leading into the main entrance from Boone. I strolled down this street but did not take any of the side streets, except for when leaving. As I mentioned upon first encountering Gonzaga, it was an oasis amidst the stark functional business area along N Division.

I found my way back to the hotel and eventually had the quandary of what to do about eating dinner. I ate the peach I'd brought from home. I was not about to cross N Division St again. Eventually, I ordered a Caesar salad to go that came with a thin, hard, flattened piece of cheese (an ugh. Not eaten.) I brought it up to the room but while ordering it, I discovered that the BACK part of the hotel was along the Spokane river with a path that led to the Spokane River and bridge across to Riverfront Park on Havermale Island.

 Had I found it earlier, I would have found, eventually other places to eat. I took a stroll, crossing the bridge adjacent to the dam, created during the 1920s. To my right after crossing the wooden bridge, I could see cranes as well as cars on a nearby major road. Ahead and to my right were paths along and through the park. There were grassy hillocks occupied by folks playing or laying around. Others walked along the various pathways. I came upon the clock tower, originally functioning as part of the Great Northern RR depot. It is wound, by hand, with 99 turns of a crank once a week.

 On one side was an attractive painted piano being played by a young man. Later I saw painted on it PLAY ME. 

 Beyond the clock tower was another bridge which I took to the other side of the river, after hearing Beatles music from there.

Here, I discovered one of the area's delights: living there since 1974, the brass Garbage Goat, sculpted by Sister Paula Turnbull, and eating small scraps of garbage if the internal vacuum is activated by a button. 

Sister Turnbull's Garbage Goat

Next to it is the Looff Carousel, which that evening was hosting a private party. 

Looff Carousel

Adults were riding the ornate creatures. Giraffe, tiger, and of course horses. This is where the music had been coming from. Farther on was a fountain in which kids were running back and forth getting doused. Then followed gondolas which went on a short, high, trip down to the river and back. Off to the side was the Washington Water Power hydroelectric power building from 1890, updated more recently with underground generators. Alongside, led steps to an overlook and path down to the river quite a ways below.

Not far from this, across W Spokane Falls Blvd, was River Park Square containing restaurants, including two where we later ate, Tomato Street and Twigs Bistro, as well as shops. One can walk through to exit on W Main St to find more restaurants and shops.

Angela finally arrived around 10p.m. PDT. I think we were up until close to midnight. But we had no events other than packet pickup the next day.

We learned that Spokane is pronounced as Spo Cahne as in Cannes rather than, as I had been calling, it Spo cane as in sugar cane.

Wednesday July 25, 2018

Packet pickup day. Angela and I had breakfast in the “Windows” room of the Centennial Hotel. We sat where we could overlook the walking path along Spokane Falls river as well as see the bridge leading to Havermale Island. No rush this morning so we had scrambled eggs, bacon, coffee, and some toast. Then we were off on our adventure to Cheney, which was southeast of Spokane. We experienced the joys of WAZE, which told us too late to take a left onto Browne from the spinoff of Division St, so we eventually took another left (Howard?) which brought us to a right turn at the next light on 3rd with an immediate, and I mean immediate! right onto I-90E. We repeatedly made this mistake until almost the last day. (Turning on Browne eventually led to a more straight forward entry to I-90, eliminating that right turn before the entrance to I-90.) We both commented on the paucity of traffic for a weekday.

The drive to Cheney was pretty. Once outside Spokane proper we encountered apparent wheat fields. 

rolls of wheat (hay?)

heading towards Cheney

  A few sparse trees, a farm or two and one place alongside the highway that was intriguing. It was a home or shop with all sorts of figures, weird and otherwise, scattered around outside. I think it was Mike Ferguson's roadside auction house. Had we had more time, it would have been a great place to investigate. (way out west roadside auction) When we turned onto the road leading to Eastern Washington University, there was an electronic sign indicating no watering between July something and the 31st.

We parked in a lower lot and headed towards the building where they were giving out the event packets. This was the beginning of out meet and greet those folks with whom we have participated in track before. 

This is the fun part of a National or major Meet. Right off the bat we met Becky Bowman who was on her way to check out the track Next was Lesley Hinz (Georgia), then Jeanne Daprano, also from Georgia. All track notables. Inside, before we got to the packets we met those we have a good time with, also track notables: Barbara Warren (WV), Christal and Jerry Donley (CO), Mary Robinson, Mary Hartzler, and Barbara Hensley (OH).
Becky Bowman excited to be there

Jeanne Daprano

Angela Staab

Mary Hartzler & Barbara Warren

Angela Staab & Mary Robinson

Barbara Warren wants to occupy Mars. Not so sure Christel Donley does!

We did survey the track before we left. Temp was in the 90s, where it would remain for the rest of the week.
Note the stands blocking view of turn towards finish

 On the way back to the hotel we did some food and drink shopping. We had soup and salad at the hotel, then we went walking into River Front Park as I showed Angela what I had discovered the night before. She was as thrilled with it as I. I showed her the Garbage Goat (which we later fed after a helpful Ranger told me I had to press the button on the wall to activate the feeding.)
Stands, behind which is the far turn of the track

Angela playing the piano

Metal Runner race along W Spokane

That evening, we went out again (waking Angela's legs off – and she had an 800m the next morning) to eat at an Irish restaurant, O'Doherty's on W Spokane Falls Blvd. The interior was plastered – ceiling,wall, and support posts, with autographed dollar bills, all from those who had taken the challenge to sing karaoke at the bar.

honored dollars 

I had the Butte Pastie (a name we had had fun with in our earlier travels) which turned out to be a mammoth gravy rich upside down pastry concoction much like Shepard's Pie and Angela had Irish stew and salad. I was in dreadful abdominal discomfort after, from having eaten so much on a stomach not accustomed to that heavy and that much of a meal.

Thursday July 26, 2018.
On the road leading to an upper parking lot, we could look down upon the football stadium and red track. When we parked, we saw the two Marys: Mary Robinson and Mary Hartzler. They would both be competing in throwing while Angela was going to throw the weight and run the 800. I was going to watch various events, such as the 800m and the 400m prelims of the younger women.

Throw related events were held downhill and south of the track, behind the indoor track warm-up area. The throws events were behind schedule. Angela was concerned about a conflict between her 800 and the weight throw. She talked to the officials at the weight throwing area. They said they would have someone take her up to the track by golf cart should they run out of time. Throughout the competition, the officials were understanding and went out of their way for the competitors who had intersecting track and field events. Some of the women would take a few throws and then a cart up to the track to hurdle or long jump or whatever their event was. Irene Obera had to take advantage of this while in some of the throwing events. (for those unfamiliar with T&F, Obera is a renown phenom. Many world and American records. Now 84, she competed in seven events in Spokane, including high and long jumps.) Along with Angela, Mary Robinson, Christel Donley, Mary Hartzler, Barbara Warren, and Gloria Krug were there for the hammer and or weight throws being conducted this day. All of these ladies also did track or jumps (or both.) Some folks specialized in only throws.

Angela got fifth (6.95m) throwing a sixteen pound weight. That would put my back (or shoulder) out! She managed to get to her 800m in a combined age group race. 

W70-84 Daprano,Staab, Hill, Simpson,Frable, Worsley 

Jeanne Daprano W80 comes in first. Of course! 

Angela Staab - one bionic hip

Angela was second (5:23.22) in her AG on her bum knee, (oh – did I forget to say how she got that?) to Cora Hill 4:12.211, our eventual relay mate. Jane Simpson, also having done the 800m in the earlier pentathlon (in 6:25.23), was third with 5:53.96. I managed to get in a few photos of other 800m races and 400m prelims the younger folks had to run (because more competitors.) I watched Lesley Hinz (now in 60 AG) run the 800m to almost exhaustion, with a time of 2:34.95. She ran fast and it was hot. I thought she had terrific time but she was a bit disappointed that she had not met her goal time (she was shooting to beat the existing outdoor world record of 2:33.09.)

Lesley Hinz

Before Angela's 800m, I had watched Anne Sluder from Charlotte's Carolina Track & Field Club run the pentathlon  80m hurdles in 13.27.

800m W60-69 start Hinz, Steinbach and others 

For dinner that evening we returned to O'Doherty's, this time joined by Barbara Warren (looking for gluten free – which they had!) and Barbara Hensley and her daughter. Having learned my lesson, I thought, I ordered something lighter: corned beef and cabbage. Plus, Angry Orchard hard cider. I was bowled over when I saw the size of the glass the cider arrived in. Huge. I bet 18 ounces. I did finish it. Barbara Hensley ordered the Butte Pastie. I left the restaurant, once again feeling like an over stuffed sausage. The walk back to the hotel, uncomfortable.

Friday, July 27th 2018

Angela and I both had the 400m and discus today. The 400m first. We encountered very little traffic. Surprising for a weekday, but it was after peak commute time. I went to the indoor warm-up area as did Angela who turned in her discus to the inspection area (also in the warm-up building – which was quite large, containing an indoor track as well as the facilities for the football players, including industrial size washing machines and a rock climbing sculpture.) I warmed up for about an hour, not seeing my major competitor Mary Robinson, who was off somewhere by herself warming up. I slow trotted, did some lunges, a few half high knees (not a friend of mine), butt kicks, spurts of short sprints, and slow travels around the track. Every so often I had to take sips of Red Bull (the can was much too large!) and before I left, the small bottle of beet juice I had mixed earlier. My knees were taped. They would not be a problem. I was worried that my breathing would fail me (end up gasping, with tight chest, as often happened during Camp Gladiator “warm-up” run around a shopping center complex (estimated to be 400-440m by our trainer) A run I hated – but not as much as the big loop around the larger portion of the complex. This past year, I have been last and generally end up walking. (For a few months, I was having more severe problems with these runs.) So, here I am having to run a 400m.

Actually, I had arrived feeling a little more confident, at least to the extent that I did not think I would have leg or knee problems – no pain etc. Any way, Angela managed to get in some warm-up, though not much, having hung around at the other end of the track talking. She was probably the wiser of the two of us.

10:19. There were only four of us, Rose Green having opted out of this Meet in favor of going to WMA in Malaga, Spain in September. (Which turned out to be a smart move as she won five Gold medals there, winning the 100m, 200m, 400m, and ran as part of the 4x100m and 4x400m relay team. Besides, I kept forgetting she has aged up and is no longer in our AG) ) So, it was Mary Robinson on the inside in lane 3, me lane 4, Angela lane 5, and Jane Simpson, lane 6. At the start I went a little faster than a jog then backed off a bit. I passed Angela (though, I hardly recall this because I am concentrating on keeping a decent pace.) Half to 3/4 of the way down the back stretch I sensed Mary coming up on me. I sped up a bit. By the time we approached the back of the stands, Mary was close on my shoulder. Now I increased speed again and tried to maintain it because by the time we came out of there, she was next to me. I started running even faster, or tried to. We were next to each other then she was a bit ahead so I tried moving my legs even faster. NOPE, my right leg refused. Neither leg would turn over at a fast or even decent pace. I can't really describe it. I had never encountered this reaction before. Yes, in the past I have had burning legs, or weak rubbery, uncontrollable legs, but this sudden lock up in which the muscles just refused without even a forewarning burning was unexpected. I watched Mary gallop away. I walked. I was disheartened to say the least. Mentally, at this point the race was over and I had given up. I am expecting Angela and Jane to pass me momentarily. People yelled at me to run. Barely walking and they want me to run. A joke, but I began to jog. However as I closed on the Finish line my legs did hurt and then my breathing went. Why? I was hardly exerting myself. So, here is how the 400m ended: Mary Robinson 1:37.62, me 1:49.01, Angela (looking hardly winded) 2:13.65, and Jane 2:22.44.

another 400m disaster

In looking at the video, I see where my running is quite choppy and Mary's is a smoother lope. She looks as if it is no effort at all, whereas it is obvious I am straining. After I stopped running and started to walk, I see where I am a bit off balance. However, after she finished, Jane looked the worst of all four of us, in terms of how she felt. It took a lot out of her. But, then, she also does a lot of events.

I ended up in Medical having been led off (my breathing was a horror at this point) – trying to catch my breath. So, there I am sitting in Medical, missing the younger age groups running the 400m! They made me sit there for quite awhile. I did get ice for both quads which now ached. My BP was similar to what it was a week earlier in the doc's office 187/70. Surprised it wasn't higher considering my mental state.

Once I was allowed to exit Medical, I found Angela and we both decided to get something to eat since discus was not until 12:45. I was still in a dark mood. Not so much at having lost but in how I lost (and, once again, having to walk) If I had lost by a few seconds, I would have been disappointed (though I would have enjoyed racing Mary all the way to the Finish), but not disgusted and down in the dumps. But I was not down enough not to eat! We found a Subway and I got a veggie six inch sub.

At discus, we were in mixed age group, with the usual folks. Gloria Krug (87) there to compete with herself, Irene Obera, Mary Robinson, Ann Carter, Karen Huff-Pawlett, Joan Berman, Roslyn Katz, Kathy Bergen, Joann Marriott, and a lady I did not know, Janice Bradley. 
Glorria Krug

Carter Staab Warren

Listening to Official before start 

All of whom could throw a better discus than me. A few only did field events. Joan Berman always makes me smile with her comments and light hearted demeanor. But she can throw a mean discus! In fact, she threw farther than any of us! 18.42m (60' 5”) Irene had to leave after three of the six throws to make another track event. One gets three throws and then the officials reorder the list from top to bottom and one gets three more throws. I have found that there are always those who will try to help by pointing out possible tiny improvements to one's form. When it comes to my turn, I somehow only remember to do one or two and walk out of the circle realizing Oh! I forgot to…. And so it goes. Invariably, I rarely throw as I might when practicing at home. Nonetheless, it is still fun. Just having the challenge to try to improve makes it an adventure. And where else can I be with this caliber of competition?

It was eat time again. We almost had Barbara Warren join us, but she and the group she was with ended up eating at some rah rah place. Angela and I returned to W Spokane Falls RD and the River Park Square. We went upstairs to Twigs Bistro, recommended by Jane Barnes. We sat overlooking Main street. Two nuns, in full habit, passed by. An unusual sight these days. However, it seems Spokane is home to numerous convents and religious societies. I think the nuns we saw were from the order of Sisters of Mary Mother of the Church, based upon their attire. There are two religious groups who still adhere to pre Vatican II (1960) precepts: a Latin Mass and not accepting the validity of any Pope after John XXIII. One is a strictly cloistered group of nuns who maintain absolute silence and except for medical or dental requirements, are not seen by outsiders. The other is a small group (35 in 2015), much like traditional old school nuns except, they too, maintain pre-Vatican II concepts: Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen, whose habits are blue. There are at least two other more modern orders.

I ordered Twigs Roasted Brussel Sprouts: Pan-roasted sprouts with bacon, shallots, and roasted garlic then finished with a touch of brown sugar and chili flakes. Crowned with a sunny side up egg and chives. This was just the right amount of food and very tasty!

Saturday July 28th

Today, I had the 100m and Angela and I had the Javelin. Javelin was at 8:30 so I had yogurt for breakfast and Angela went for the eggs etc. I had practiced javelin after the South Carolina Meet, trying to use what I had been shown. Of course, once I was actually required to throw the jav in competition, I managed to remember only one (how to hold it) which I did not execute well. Though my throws were not far, they at least stuck most of the time. That is better than last year's outing. My run ups were so so. None of the fancy side stepping approach for me. Just straight down, throw, and hope not to foul. . Joanne Marriott threw the farthest, 15.30m (50'2”) followed by Mary Robinson 14.28m (46'10”). Karen Huff-Pawlik got third with 11.23m (36'10”). Angela and I got fourth and fifth.

Christel Donley won the next AG up with a throw of 12.7m (41'8”) with Janice Bradley second 12.01m (39'5”), Joan Berman third 11.27m (36'11”) and Irene Obera 10,89m (35'8”).

In the AG 85 Gloria Krug won with a throw of 12.42m (40'9”) and 85 year old Sierra Gold, Betty Stroh, from Montana, throwing in competition for the first time, did extremely well. I think she had her coach with her because she kept going over to the fence after each throw to consult. She was a little lady I was to see later in one of the track events. Like Irene, and Christel she had to leave for a track event after only a few throws

I had fun at the jav event, joshing with the lead Official who I suspect was a former Marine or AF officer, referring to her as Sergeant Major. She was probably a retired Colonel!

7/26 W45 pentathlon hurdle lineup - Anne Sluder in purple

7/26 Anne Sluder taking it to the pentathlon

7/27 - Ann Sluder 80m hurdles

The 100m was scheduled for 10:23. Angela said she would hang around for it But it was hot. There would be six of us. Those of us who have run it before in this age group knew that Kathy Bergen would more than likely win. And by a huge margin. This time, I only warmed up, so to speak, for about 15 minutes. I was thinking maybe I had depleted my energy yesterday before the 400m so I was just going to take my chances today. I still drank my beet juice and this time I had a smaller can of Red Bull. I saw Lesley Hinz and her coach Tom Hinz. Lesley was now with their new team: T.H.E. (Tom Hinz Elite) Track Team. A new member of T.H.E. Track Team, Sue McDonald winning, I believe, her first Nationals 400m race the day before was also there. On Thursday, she had set a new American record, AG 55, in the 800m. Also, perhaps the first time, running it in Nationals. So, Tom has the women's 55 and 60 AGs well covered!

I decided to try using just one block for the 100m. I had practiced a few times on grass and decided I would push off with my right foot. I doubt it really makes much of a difference except a few hundreths of a second gained from not rising from a 3 point stance. In lane 5, I was boxed in by the two speedsters: Kathy Bergen on my left and Mary Robinson on my right. Joanne Marriott in lane 2 (Joanne is a superstar in the throwing events, especially discus), Ann Carter in lane 3 and Jane Simpson in lane 7. Mary and Kathy were using both blocks and Ann and I were using one. The other ladies did not use any. I sort of crouched at the SET and hoped not to lose my balance. This being written after the fact, I have a vague recollection of an awkward start (which goes along with some other awkward things I did in the Meet). Kathy was off and gone and I was trying to catch up to Mary who was a bit ahead of me. There is no tactical thing for me in the 100. Just go as fast as I can. If I make any adjustments during a race, it might be to my arms (swing them faster as I get closer to the Finish line) but most of the time all that I am aware of is Mary. We are generally in close proximity (she may be ahead or we may be even) and I end up trying to move my legs faster. Kathy won in 16.41 and the rest of us were more than two seconds behind her. Big gap. Mary and I came across next, followed by Ann Carter, Jane, and Joanne. This time Mary was not waiting for me to straggle across the Finish as in the 400m. I had no problems breathing or with my legs. That is the one thing I like about the 100m – not far enough for bad things to happen (unless one pulls a muscle). But, on the other hand, it is not far enough to play catch up with someone way ahead with any real hope of doing so.

The 100m and prior day's discus were the only times I got to see Ann Carter, who had competed earlier in her favorite event, the Pentathlon (as did Barbara Warren, who was second in her AG with 1915 points). Ann won her AG with 1347 points followed by Jane Simpson, 1258 points.

I tried to watch my younger track pals run the 100m (I have an interest in all age groups, but particularly in the ones in which I know a runner or two.) We were walking back on the infield when the W65s ran. I saw that Jane Barnes was in the lead but did not see what happened at the end. She did win but immediately went to the ground. I knew she had arrived with an Achilles issue and was hoping to get through the prelims and races of the 100m and 200m. She said later that she felt the Achilles starting to scream about 20m from the Finish line. In watching the subsequent video, I could not see that she slowed down but it did catch her going down after the Finish and grabbing her foot. Medical eventually iced and taped it but there would be no more races for her at this Meet. Such a disappointment. And, she was scheduled to go to WMA in Malaga Spain in September. Sometimes the fates are not kind. So many of these Masters compete in less than 100% condition. Probably on average, I would suspect maybe 80 to 90%, some less than that. But they want the joy of competition and to see if they can. It is tough to concede to injury (or age).

I keep trying to find a better way to start the 100m and 200m. I have gone from a standing start (no good because I lose my balance in anticipation), the three point start wherein I rise from a partial kneeling position and swing one arm back and up on the SET (maybe lose time in rising but at least not off balance), using a block start but quite problematic because of knees, so though I may practice on grass, I am not now using a block start. Currently I use a one block start. I definitely have a start problem. Then, there is the fact that I can't run with high knees or a big kick back. Too much for my knees. So, I end up taking shorter steps, at a faster pace if I can. Also not the most efficient,

Angela and I had lunch with two of our Piedmont Pacer teammates: Kevin Gobble and Matthew Holtry. Holtry, AG 35, practically gained all of the Piedmont Pacer points by competing in the 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m steeplechase, 5000 and 10000 race walks! Are you kidding me? By the 10000m race walk, he was beginning to drag as all of this activity caught up. Kevin competed in the 10000m race. Because of his schedule, he usually only gets to do one event unless it is in our home base, NC. We went to Twigs for a very nice lunch and a chance to catch up with each other. The only time I see these folks is during a Meet.

Afterwards, Kevin had to leave and Matthew had to rest up. Angela and I almost went to the new Mama Mia movie, but the showing times did not fit in. We walked back to the hotel and lazed around by the pool until dinner. Angela had had her eyes on the water slide and gave it a go several times. She loved it! I, on the other hand, tried once and panicked after hitting the water, because I was gasping for air. So much for my swimming days!  While at the pool I enjoyed the live music from Soul Proprietor (Angela was not as keen on the style of music.)

Angela letting the kid out.

We had decided that this year we would go to the USATF Masters Award banquet. It turned out to be a good idea. It was held at the Spokane Convention Center, in the open air beneath the white peaked tents on the upper floor. There was wine to be had (in my case cider based), in the buffet area salmon chunks, various vegetables, potatoes, ham (I think), fruit and cookies. 
Mary Trotto, looking quite different than when steeple chasing!

Hall of famers and honorees

Kathy Bergen, standing still!

 We happened to sit at a table with Mary Trotto, Sandy Triolo, and Latashia Key. Kathy Bergen and Joanne Marriott were both AG 70-79 Athletes of the Year, Jeanne Daprano and Gloria Krug were AG 80 Athletes of the Year. And not for the first time for these folk! Many other younger well deserving luminaries were recognized as well. Those I recognized were LaTrica Dendy, Antwon Dussett, Sonja Friend-Uhl AG 40-49. Charles Alley and Myrle Mensey AG 60-69. The always thrilling Bob Lida was Overall Male Athlete of the Year, Kathy Martin Overall Female Athlete of the Year, and wonderfully (though not present) Julia Hawkins as Centenarian! (100m World Record 39.62)

Sandy "Speedy" Triolo, USATF Masters Communications Subcomm Chair 

Gloria Krug and John Seto (keeper, creator, and master of the Masters worldwide rankings Masters Ranking )were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Sunday July 29th

Meeting our pals in the parking area, as usual. Staab, Hartzler, Robinson

We had to check in for the 200m by 8:14 so, allowing for warmup time, we left the hotel by 7:19. Again, very little traffic. In fact, during our entire time in Spokane, we never saw traffic at all similar to what we find in NC. Pleasant surprise. Our one problem was that the 200m and the shot put were at the exact same time. Ugh. Many of us doing the 200m had this issue. Angela and Mary talked to the officials and they were incredibly understanding. They arranged for a cart to be at the Finish area so that we could come off the track and get immediate transport down to the shot put area.

Again, I limited my warm up time. This time there were five of us including Angela (who runs 200m through 800m). Jane Simpson was in lane 2, Mary Robinson in lane 3, Kathy Bergen in lane 4, I was in 5 and Angela in 6. The outcome for first was again quite predictable (in a sense we are running two races in one: Kathy's race with herself and then the rest of us.) In the stagger setup, Angela and I were farther down the track. Kathy and Mary used blocks, I used the one, and the other ladies used none. So, the gun goes off. Kathy rapidly passes me on her way to the lead and Finish. I passed Angela and then it was Mary and I the rest of the way. About half way through, after coming out of the curve, a fleeting fear of leg lockup flew through my mind (probably as I neared where the 400m disaster occurred.) But I had Mary on my left to focus on. We were both going all out and once again making a race of it. I love that part of it. Mary makes me push as much as I can. Outcome not known until the end sometimes, because we are that close to each other. Kathy was, gasp, six seconds faster than the second place person. Six bloody seconds!

Like most of the others, I had to rush off the track, grab my stuff I'd left at the side of a tent and try to change shoes. The cart was there and I ended up getting in with my shoe not quite on. It was Mary Robinson, Angela, Irene Obera, and Jane Simpson in our cart. I sort of recall Jane's shoe falling out and it having to be retrieved (or we thought it had fallen out.)

Similar to many other field events, each person throws three times before the officials re-order the throwing order from leader down to last. On her third attempt, Joanne Marriott went into the lead, just a bit farther than Mary Robinson's distance. Joanne increased the lead with her fourth throw of 7.29m (23'11”). On her sixth throw, Joanne fouled. To this point, Mary's longest throw was 7.07m (23' 2- 1/2”). So Mary primes for her last throw. Not much crank up and heaves the shot 7.20m (23' 7-1/2”)! Arrgh! Short by 5 inches and a smidgeon from snatching victory from Joanne. Roslyn Katz got third (6.79m 22' 3-/2”). I got fifth (5.40m 18' 0-1/4”) and Angela seventh with 4.85m (15' 11”).In the next AG up, Irene Obera threw just twice because she had to leave for another event and got second to Christel Donley. Irene 6.08m (19' 11-1/2”) to Christel's 6.67m (21' 10-3/4”). Janice Bradley got third with a thr0w of 5.87m. (19' 3-1/4”)

Gloria Krug was the only one in her AG (85) and threw just four times with the longest being 6.50m (21' 4”)

Of the three or so things I was supposed to remember re form when throwing the shot, I may have remembered one or two, but not in the same throw!

Mary Robinson, Angela and I all had the 4x100 relay to do later in the day. Angela was hungry so she went off to the distant Subway and I stayed to watch Matt run the 1500m, talk to Lesley and Tom Hinz, Jane Barnes and Maureen and others. I watched Kay Glynn pole vault. I did not know it was Glynn, someone I had heard of before. She vaulted well and looked to be in her forties. She did not take too long between vaults (maybe that is one of the rules.) She was wearing a patriotic looking outfit and used gloves for the pole. Tom Hinz came along and we talked about the vaulter. I thought I saw five letters on her name bib so we concluded it was Kay. A legend. Two hip resurfacing after age 60, AG65, and she vaulted 2.70m (8' 10-1/4”). From where I stood at the railing, it looked like fourteen feet or higher!

Kay Glynn prepping for vault

Our relay, with Mary Robinson, Angela Staab, Cora Hill and I was set to go off at 1:25. It was a hot day, in the high 90s. When Angela returned, three of us practiced passing and receiving the baton. I usually have a problem whether it is passing or receiving. If passing, I don't slap it into the receiver's hand well (recalling Birmingham National Senior Games relay where I had to pass to our anchor Mary.) I also don't receive well – sometimes standing still rather than moving forward. This old dog has not learned this trick well. Cora and I practiced her pass to me (I was running anchor.) It seemed to be okay.
Behind the track, Cora and Angela , before practice baton passing  

We had a long wait. There were delays due to prior events still ongoing. Our team was running as non Club (surprisingly, there were few Club teams – where all members belong to the same club.) Barbara Warren was running with Mary Trotto, Jane Simpson, and someone's mom who they were giving the opportunity to run on the track, Ingles last name. We were in different age groups. Mary was our lead off. We were running with multiple age groups, thirty and up, so many whizzed by pretty quickly. Becky Bowman was to my right, anchoring for her non club team (having won Gold in the 100 and 200 – that sure makes sense!) Because of the placement of the stands, I could not see part of the backstretch. I did see Angela pass to Cora and then had to wait to see Cora emerge into view. As she was maybe ten to fifteen meters from me I started moving forward, looking back. When she got to me, I had trouble receiving the baton. I thought it was going to drop and desperately grabbed for it, then ran like hell to make up for lost time. I think I should have been running ahead faster because Cora was so fast and on me, such that we were too close when the baton was being passed. I really had no idea what happened until Mary sent me a photo one day the next month which, funny enough, partially loaded on my cell's email, showing only two arms. I think Mary said: What's wrong with this picture? I recognized my ring so realized it must be Cora's and mine and oh, boy! It was worse than I thought! Easy to see why I thought I would drop it since I got Cora's arm instead of the baton. Only the reach over with my other hand saved us.
Well, kiddies, this is NOT the way to do it

Looks like I have a long way to go in exchanges!

Oh, yeah, the existing non Club record was 1:24.88. Our time was 1:29.94. My fumble probably cost a least three seconds, possibly five. If I had run faster such that the exchange would have been good, we might have just beaten the record.
impending disaster caught (probably by Rob D'Avella!)

Relay team: Robinson, Staab, Hill, Guardino

And so it goes. Another National Meet done. Spokane put on an excellent Meet. Well run and organized. The Officials were superb and easy going but kept things running. The Check-In table ran smoothly with Mother Hen Sherry Hott in control.

That night Angela and I took our customary walk through Riverfront Park and ate at Tomato Street, which turned out to have great Italian food! Superb garlic bread. I am not quite sure what I had, but it had tomato sauce. This may have been it but if not – I bet this was still good AUNT ROSE’S PASTA Mushrooms, white onions, roasted chicken, fresh basil, tomatoes, feta cheese, alfredo sauce, mostaccioli pasta with garlic & olive oil and onion butter.

Monday, July 30th
Angela and I had decided to stay an extra day to see the area. Coeur d'Alene Idaho beckoned. It was a short pleasant drive, just short of an hour I think. There was little traffic in downtown Spokane as well as on the road to Idaho. Waze led Angela right into the heart of Coeur d'Alene, by the lake at Independence Point. 

After feeding the one hour meter (which we fed many times), we eventually walked the semi-circular, about a mile long, floating boardwalk. An experience in itself until one makes the adjustment. Coeur d'Alene floating boardwalk One ascends stairs about midway to an overpass that allows boats to pass beneath and then we descended back to the boardwalk. I liked the blue tarps covering docking areas. A cigar-like boat was docked near the far end, reminding me of the original TV Miami Vice series.

Couer d'Alane docks

Angela on floating boardwalk
Looking a bit off balance

We did some shopping and eating of ice cream 

Excellent ice cream!

before actually getting lunch (Angela) or something to drink (me). After the shopping tour, we decided to try stepping into the lake. There was one problem with this: you had to traverse the sand to get to the water's edge. OMG! I probably ran faster than I did in the 100m to get off that searing sand. Shades of being seven years old being forced to cross the hot sand to get to the water. Hated it! Still hate it. Angela was sure her feet suffered burns. The water was such a relief. 

Cooling our feet! Notice Angela's USATF toenail.

We got out by way of a rock ledge along the side. After meeting Mudgy the Moose and Millie the Mouse, we decided on taking the boat tour around the 25 mile Lake Coeur d'Alene. 
Millie telling Mudgy she loved hiding in his antlers

Mudgy has a great view of the lake!

Angela got into a conversation with a gentleman who was taking his elderly (ha ha – who am I to call someone elderly?) mom out for her birthday. They were native to the area so he told Angela much of the history and other interesting items while I surveyed the scenery. The large homes along the shoreline reminded me of NH's Lake Winnepesaukee homes and docks, except for the hills, Steep inclines led from some homes nestled way above to the water.

It was about 4 p.m. When we decided to return to Spokane. That night we again walked through Riverfront Park, but this time we passed through the mall out to W Main street and ate at P.F Chang's. I think I had pepper steak. Angela ordered edamame as a side. We did not finish it and did return with a box or two. Not touched after our return.

My haul

We both departed on Tuesday. I was not up for left over Asian food at 4 a.m. I suspect Angela did not eat any before she left later.

WMA (WORLDS) Malaga Spain update: As mentioned above, Rose Green W80 won the 100m, 200m, 400m and was on the winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams. Lesley HInz won Gold in the 1500m, silver in the 800m,  and just missed on the 400m. Jeanne Daprano won silver in the 1500m, bronze in the 200m, 400m, and 800m, and was part of the 4x100m team that took Gold.  Sandy Triolo was part of 4x100m relay team won Gold and set new world record. Christel Donley got silver in the high jump, and 80m hurdles, Gold in the heptathlon,  Although I have not mentioned the men in the Spokane event, the reliables Charles Allie, 70,  and Bob Lida, 80, hauled in many Malaga medals (among them Gold in the 100m, 200m. Allie also getting gold in the 400m)

Jane Barnes after some recovery work on her Achilles (not done yet) won Bronze in the 100m and was fifth in the 200m. Their 4x100 relay team won 4th. 

Ah -- you have reached the END! Congrats  if you got here.