This web log was created to keep you up to date with the athletic pursuits of Blake Boldon. It will be updated regularly with competition schedules, results, and photos.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Prelimnary Outdoor Schedule

Here's a breif update on upcoming races: March 31, Stanford Invitational 5000 meters, Palo Alto, CA April 13-15 Mt. SAC Relays, Walnut, CA and/or Sun Angel Classic, Tempe, AZ April 29, Drake Relays Invitational Mile, Des Moines, IA There are a few other races on the radar but these are the only things that I am definitely planning on running.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Team USA in Ireland

Here's a team photo after the second race of the weekend. Pictured from left to right are Pat Moulton, Nate Jenkins, Hunter Spencer, Blake Boldon, Thomas Morgan, and Ryan Carrara. I don't have any photos of me racing in the red, white & blue but if I get one I'll be sure to post it. Also, there are a few thanks in order that are overdue. I owe a big thanks to Greg Harger the director of the Indiana Invaders for facillitating the trip for me and handling my online entry and everything else. Thanks also goes to Teddy Mitchell for working with me on the ticket name change. I'd also like to thank Brian Vallie and Charlie Breagy, the race directors for their great assistance and support while I was in Ireland.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Ras na hEireann Cross Country Summary

After the personal best on Thursday I went for a short morning run with Hunter Spencer in Armagh before an organized trip into Belfast for the day. We stopped at a "Living History Farms" type place and got a glimpse at 19th century life in Northern Ireland. We spent the afternoon shopping and hanging out in downtown Belfast before returning to the hotel for a cultural reception that evening. The American team's rendition of "You Lost that Lovin' Feeling" was moving but not as interesting as the presentations of local musicians and the South African team. Saturday morning started with a nice run into the countryside and a jaunt through the historic first settlement in Armagh. It was a gorgeous day and the first time in two weeks that my knee didn't hurt while running. I picked it up on the way back in and did a little fartlek because I was feeling so good. The afternoon was spent wandering around Armagh again and doing some shopping. Unfortunately our hotel was the local hotspot on Saturday night and our room was directly over the bar. I tried to sleep through covers of 80's American rock but my efforts were fruitless and Sunday I definitely woke up as tired as when I went to bed. After breakfast we boarded a charter bus and made the 90 minute trip to the cross country course. I felt sluggish during the whole warm up, it was windy, and parts of the course were really muddy. Needless to say, my performance wasn't stellar and I was glad to have the race done despite my 10th place finish. Sunday night there was another reception and the Americans had a late night of celebrating the trip. So that's pretty much it for my trip to Ireland. It was a great learning experience and I was able to get in one solid race despite leaving Ames with a banged up knee. For those of you who actually read these posts, sorry for my delay in getting these up here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Finally Catching Up

After being home for more than a week I am catching up on a few things so I will finally post some comments on the trip to Ireland. The trip to Armagh, Northern Ireland was long and unforgiving. It started with a drive to Chicago that took more than five hours and then of course the flight to Dublin with an 8:00 am arrival (2:00 am Central Time). By this time I had met up with a group of six other Americans and we met our gracious driver, Dennis. After a short search and rescue mission for a lost Russian we made the nearly two hour drive to the hotel in Armagh City just across the Northern Ireland border. The combination of travel and sleeplessness proved to be a test for my knee. We went for a run shortly after arrival and the pain was pretty bad and I only managed a pedestrian five miles. This run was pretty alarming and it was impossible to imagine myself racing the next day. As soon as I limped back into the hotel I started a strict ibuprofen regimen and iced my knee three or four times that day. After a lunch at the hotel we Americans decided to explore the town mainly as a means of staying awake until after our 7:00 pm dinner. While exploring the town I came across a strange discovery. I walked into a small butcher's shop and heard one of my favorite bands from Springfield, MO playing on the radio. Actually one of the members had been my creative writing teacher in college and this blew my mind. Here's a link to the band: . Definitely check it out if you have a few minutes. I barely made it through dinner without falling asleep but the fourteen hours of sleep that I got that night did a world of good. I woke up feeling a lot better and the icing had made my knee manageable on my morning shake out run. After the easy mile in the morning I went right back to icing for most of the day and stuck to ibuprofen. By race time things felt pretty much normal but I didn't push it during the warm up. The elite men's race didn't start until 8:30 pm and temperatures were down around freezing but otherwise the conditions were perfect. The course was a 1030 meter loop around the courtyard in the center of Armagh and it made for a pretty swift course except for 4 sharp left turns. The course record of 14:08 was set by another American last year, but the local rumor is that the course was short and was lengthened and certified before this year's running. The race went really well. I started out conservative and each loop moved myself up through the field until during the fourth loop I was in the top five and feeling fine. With a lap to go I made a move to the front to take the lead, but I wasn't decisive enough and with the lapped runners on the course it may have been a bad tactical move. With about 500 meters to go I found myself back the pack somewhere around 8th. Then around the final corner all heck broke lose and I was in a bad position to react, but didn't finish too bad. I ended up with a new personal best of 14:13 and a fifth place finish. I'll post more about the trip and the other race soon...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Irish Results...

I made it back from Ireland safely. It was a fantastic trip and one of the races went well. I didn't have internet access at all during the trip so I'll post details after I've had a chance to catch up on a few other things. Here are links to official results from the two races: