Lolo & a Woodspring Workout …




12:39 pm

Wednesday. December 3, 2008
Meters Rowed: 5,504
Time: 25:00
Pace per 500 meters: Sub-1:50, one-minute sprints at 5, 10, 15 & 20
Strokes per minute: varied
Total Meters Rowed:  151,685

We have  a Lolo Jones sighting! Yes, we do!
Surely you remember Lolo? The journey-not-the-destination, almost-golden Olympic women’s hurdler from this summer’s Beijing Games? She lives!

But first. Asute readers have likely noted that today’s 5,504-meter sprint workout comes only one day after yesterday’s.  My 56-year-old body may live to regret this (then again, maybe not) but after last week’s back-to-backer I have decided to be less strident with my sacrosanct every-other-day approach. We’ll see. Besides, this week didn’t begin until Tuesday, and I want at least three workouts in before heading up to Brooklyn for the weekend. I can spend HOURS thinking about this sort of thing, me and my Concept2,   planning, scheming, rearranging. I will spare you the  details.

So today I got out there and nailed a sprint routine, killing the all-out minutes at sub 1:50 pace. Felt good.  Maybe even great. I was able to hold each minute at 1:48, 1:49. Even the last one – especially the last one. What does it mean (or does it mean anything?) that I usually grow stronger as the workout progresses?  It has always been like that.  I find my 500-meter pace automatically falls by a couple of clicks over the last eight, nine minutes of a pull. And any final sprints , if that’s what I’ve got going,  are invariable faster and better (easier?) held than the earlier ones. This does, by the way, feel very good in the moment. To glance at the monitor and realize, Wow, I COULD SLOW DOWN IF I WANTED TO!

Afterward, with those sub-1:50s having pushed me over the 5,500-meter mark for the first time in a 25-minute yank, I walked out of my boathouse (well, OK, my garage) and down to the banks of the Woodspring (well, OK, to the sidewalk by the street in front of my house.) It was wonderfully quiet, frost on the grass, the sun not yet up but its yellow-pink light everywhere. I could hear the rumbling ocean (well, OK, the cars on Prospect Street over the next hill) and in the deep distance the evocative longing of a train blasting its horn, heading out (well, at least that really happened). Good workout. Good moment. Good feeling.

Now, about Lolo Jones! I blogged about Lolo on Halloween (there certainly being no connection to her and fright-night, believe me). With plenty of time to think on a 40-minute row, I thought of Lolo (too much of Lolo, though you can be the judge!) and how this gold-medal lock in the women’s 100-metrer hurdles lost the key and a glittery future on hurdle number nine.

But there she was yesterday on ESPNs’s “First Take.” That famous smile on her face, that infectious joie de vrie that made you want her so much to win that Olympic gold. She was the featured “expert” to pass judgment on the hurdling form of Mike McLaughin, a Boston College linebacker who is enjoying his 15 minutes for spectacularly hurdling a nearly straight-up defender on his way to a quarterback sack in Saturday’s win against Maryland.

Lolo, good sport, played along, even at one point referencing her own Beijing failure, poking fun at herself. You know: if only (stupid me!) if only (laugh) if only (shrug) … Life it appears, does go on.

Interesting, though, was this: Ms. Jones was introduced and referred to only as LAURIE. Not by accident, I would wager. Lolo, she was the 25-year-old who hit the hurdle in Beijing 2008. Laurie? She will-be 29-year-old looking  to soar to gold in London 2012. What’s in a name? Maybe sometimes everything. 

(Meanwhile and for the record: The actual, you know, REAL winner of the 2008 women’s Olympic 100-meter race was Dawn Harper.)