Tuesday, May 31, 2011

NCAA West Regional Meet

My thoughts going into this race were that I was ranked high enough that I should make it to nationals without a problem, but as soon as you start to think a race is easy I guarantee it will bite you in your ass! So, as I wasn't taking anything for granted I went in to the race thinking that I will just put myself in position to win the race or definitely be in the top five with a mile to go, as 5 automatically advanced to nationals. I had taken a pretty easy week so I was ready for anything.
I did a light workout on Monday and then on Wednesday at the track I did a couple of quarters at race pace and some long strides. So after a pretty easy week leading into the race I felt great apart from the fact that I was sitting around for so long as we arrived on Tuesday night and I didn't get to race until Saturday afternoon. I guess that is something that I have to adapt to and learn how to keep myself from becoming lethargic.

Race Report
I was in the second heat so we were able to see how quick the first heat was and what time we would have to run to qualify as a  fastest loser. As I said earlier 5 automatically advance to nationals from each race, then the next 2 fastest. In the first heat 7th place was 13.52 so we knew that if 7th place was quicker than that time then 7 would advance from the second heat. As soon as our race started, there was no messing around! The pace was set early on and it was there to stay. We were basically hitting 65.xx the whole race. With a lap to go I turned round to find that there was five of us that had broken away and we had a comfortable gap back to 6th place, so I thought that as 5 automatically advance then nobody would thrown down any huge kicks. Well I thought wrong and it seemed that people really wanted to kick hard on the last lap. I just decided not to kick too hard but just to run with the guys so I didn't get dropped. I finished in 4th with a time of 13.34.83 which I am very pleased with as it felt pretty easy.

Results (from my heat)

1 Lawi Lalang              FR        Arizona                        13:30.64Q  
2 Mohammed Ahmed SO        Wisconsin                    13:34.23Q 
3 Joe Bosshard            SO        Colorado                     13:34.44Q  
4 Thomas Farrell         SO        Oklahoma State          13:34.83Q  
5 Diego Estrada          JR         Northern Arizona        13:35.03Q  
6 Ross Millington        SO        New Mexico                13:36.39q  
7 Nicholas Kipruto       JR         New Mexico                13:41.90q  
8 Landon Peacock       SR        Wisconsin                    13:42.90  
9 George Alex             JR         Oklahoma                   13:47.72 
10 Kevin Burnett         JR         Texas A&M                 13:57.91  
11 Jim Walmsley         JR         Air Force                     14:00.17 
12 Jeff Schirmer          SR        Southern Illinois          14:01.97  
13 Alfred Kipchumba  JR         Portland                      14:02.82  
14 Brendan Gregg      JR         Stanford                      14:09.18  
15 Patrick Kimeli         SO        Texas A&M-CC            14:14.04  
16 Barry Britt              JR         Idaho                           14:17.45  
17 Kevin Williams       SO        Oklahoma                   14:18.25  
18 Luke Puskedra        JR         Oregon                        14:19.22 
19 Matt Tebo              SR        Colorado                     14:30.74  
20 Nathan Ogden        SR        BYU                             14:34.93  
21 Chase Caulkins       FR        Portland                      14:41.18  
22 Geraint Davies       SO        Tulsa                            14:53.03

You can see the rest of the results from the other heat, lap by lap splits and the rest of the results from the meet here


The plan from now on isn't really that much. Going to make sure I recover well and then prepare for nationals which starts in 8days and my race is in 11days. 

"You will never succeed beyond your wildest dreams, unless you are willing to have some wild dreams"

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Track Town USA

This place is amazing!
I am currently in Eugene, Oregon for the NCAA West Region First Round of the NCAA National Championships. We arrived here on Tuesday night after a long day of traveling. I decided to get my main run of the day out of the way before we left so I was up at 6.30am and got a nice 40mins in. Then when I got here I ran another easy 10mins just to shakeout after traveling all day.
The first thing I noticed when I arrived in Oregon was the air! This sounds very dumb, but it can get quite humid in Oklahoma and to come here where there is a significant temperature drop and climate change is very different but for running purposes it is very nice. The other things that stand out with Eugene is that the whole town "is" running. People here know what running is and are actually interested about it. There are pictures of Pre, Bowerman and Phil Knight everywhere!

Anyone who follows me on twitter (@farrell_osu), quick little plug, will know that one of the first things we did on Wednesday morning after breakfast was go to a Nike Store. This store was actually really cool as they had a lot of history on the walls with quotes from the stars mentioned above and original shoes etc. I took some pictures and have posted them below. I especially like the quote from Phil Knight about the banks!
 Quote from Coach Bowerman

The entrance to the Nike Store
Quote from Phil Knight. Clearly the banks were wrong!
I did make a huge schoolboy error though! After my run from the track yesterday, I was going to spike up and do some long strides in them. As I pulled out the traditional Nike Spike bag and continued to take out my spikes, my foot wouldn't quite fit into the spike. It was then I realized I had picked up my girlfriends size 7 spikes. Yes, surprisingly my size 10 doesn't fit in those! So today another trip back to the Nike Store to get some new victories! Luckily, they had one pair, yes ONE pair left. Anyway that's that dealt with and now I really am ready to race, after getting back to my room and double checking I had all the correct race stuff!

Regarding my race, it is going to be a good race. I race at 3.45pm Pacific Time, for those of you back in sunny England it is now an 8hour time difference so 11.45pm for you. I think there will be a live free link for you to watch the races. I know my dad read somewhere that it was free, and im pretty sure its on goducks.com. I know for sure it is through Oregon's website and not Flotrack or NCAA. 

Thanks for reading. 
If anyone wants me to do a specific blog about one aspect of America or anything else you can think of, don't hesitate to leave a comment below, be reasonable, Im not going to have a blog where I post my training and workouts, pace and times from the past 6months!

Until Next Time. 
Go Pokes!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Summer Time

Some people may say that attending university in America is very much like being a full time athlete for 4 or 5 years. Well, right now, I am training, eating, sleeping and playing some Xbox too. I can now say that I do know what it is like to live as a full time athlete, and honestly I don't like it! Don't be stupid and believe that, I absolutely love it and there is nothing better in the world right now than just to run and chill and not have to worry about school work.

As I said in my previous blog my next race is the first round of the NCAA which is in Oregon this coming weekend. We are now within one week of the competition starting and exactly one week today (Saturday) until I race. As I said previously there are two regions and to make it in your event you have to be in the top 48 of your region. This year the times were roughly the same as they have been for the last couple of years. It is quite interesting to think that some of times you have to run just to make the first round are basically quick enough to put you in the top 20 in the UK! Its not that the UK is bad or that the NCAA is much quicker it is just that there is a lot more depth in the NCAA system. I always look at it and think how deep it is and how unbelievably good the collegiate system is over here. Here are the times that you had to run to make it into the west region.
800m - 1.50.11
1500m - 3.47.58
5000m -14.09.71
10000m - 30.01.31
3000m s/c - 9.04.98
The above times don't sound too crazy, but if you were to look at the other 47 times above those times you will see the depth. Find the West Region Entry Lists Here

This year we (Oklahoma State) have a good number of athletes who are traveling to Eugene to compete at the first round. We had 8 male athletes and 6 female athletes qualify.
On the men's side we have:
Raul - 1500
Stubbs - 1500
German - 1500
Shane - 1500
Taylor - 3km s/c
Me - 5km
Colby - 10km
Andrew - Discus
Taylor - High Jump
On the women's side we have:
Natalja - 800
Mihaela - 1500
Tone - 10km
Fliss - 10km
Brooke - Discus
Clarissa - Triple Jump

On both sides by far the luckiest athlete was Shane, who was sitting in 77th in the region, people dropped out like myself and chose to do different events. He ended up being 47th on the list and secured his spot on the plane to Eugene. I am extremely happy for him and being able to gain this much experience in only his freshmen year puts him in good stead in years to come.

Thats all I have really got for you this time. Next time I will give you more of an update regarding my training and what I have been doing recently.

Thanks for reading muggles (currently watching Harry Potter!)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The weekend of conference is always a weekend that everyone looks forward to, for more than one reason. Firstly for the majority of athletes it is the end of their summer season and secondly it's really the last time the the whole team is together before people disperse to their own parts of the world and enjoy their summer at home. For the rest of us, those who have qualified for regionals, our season has not come to an end. Regionals or as it is now called the "First round of the NCAA Championships" is where every athlete in the top 48 of their event in that certain region go to compete against each other and 12 from each region (24 in total if my maths is right) make it to the final round/ the big dance/ nationals/ NC's/ NCAA's.... the list goes on, whatever you want to call it, the climax to the American Collegiate Track and Field Season. For those athletes who are lucky enough to be in the top 48, for the West Region (any guesses on what the other region is called?) which is the region I am in, we get to compete at what we can arugably call the home of American Distance Running. No not Stillwater, Oaklahoma......Eugene, Oregon. Yes you guessed correct, the West Region First Round NCAA Track and Field Championships will be held at Hayward Field, the home of the Oregon Ducks and more famously Steve Prefontaine and Coach Bill Bowerman (Mr Nike!). More on the regionals nearer the time, but as you can probably tell I am quite excited that I get to compete at Track Town USA!

Here is a link to an interview that was taken with me mid way through last week: Click Here

Back to this most recent weekend of racing. It is the first weekend of the year where I have to race two 1500's in two days, that is if I make the final. The heat/ prelim was on the Saturday at 2.30pm and the final the next day at 6.30pm. So although it is two races back to back you do get a good 28hours recovery in between each race. You will find both race reports, results and some pictures below.

Saturday's Prelim
The aim of this race is to exert the least amount of effort to make the final the next day. The tricky thing with having to qualify for the final is that some people go into the race thinking it is going to be a breeze, and they get a shock and don't qualify! I was aware of this and as the gun went off I was very aware of what was going on around me. I did go straight to the back and assessed the race from there early on, the first 300 was very slow around 49secs and then an athlete from Kansas, Don Wasinger took the lead and made it a true race as we closed the last 1200 in 2.59. Down the back straight of the last lap I moved up into second and down the home straight I took a glance behind me to see that the three of us were clear of 4th and with three automatically qualifying for the final I eased off the gas and crusied the last 50meters.
I felt like the prelim went well, it wasnt easy as the pace was not that slow but I felt good and strong and I had done exactly what I needed to do, which was make the final the next day.
After the race I got a nice 20min cool down in and then sat in the ice bath for 10minutes, all for recovery purposes. Over the course of the night, after a good meal I made sure I stretched plenty and stayed active so I didn't increase the chances of tightening up.

Sunday's Final
I made sure I got my pre-race shakeout in and after my shakeout I came to the conclusion that I was feeling pretty good. I stretched again after my shakeout and then went back to chilling in the hotel room until it was time to leave for the track.
After my warm up I was stretching when my coach came up to me and let me know that it was quite windy on the track, from the finish line to mid way down the back straight, and hence told me to make any moves at 1000, 600, or 200 to go. We had spoken previously about my strength and that leaving a move to the last 200 unless the pace was blazing wouldn't be a great idea for me as I do not have that last 200 burn up speed but I can wind it up and roll from a good distance out. I followed my coaches exact plan that he "suggested" to me which was to go with 600 to go but to make it a decisive move and something that the other athletes in the race would be shocked by. The early pace was set by Don Wasinger again and we went through 400 in about 62 then 2.04 through 800. I took the lead with 600 to go and I dropped a 58 third lap and closed in roughly 42. The plan worked well, two athletes did come up on me with around 250 to go but I managed to hold them off and then kick again with about 90 to go to pull away from 2nd place slightly, just enough distance for a cheeky celebration (the standard fist pump). It was a very good race and I was pleased to come away with the win and it was nice to have two of my team mates in the race too, Raul and Stubbs who places 7th and 8th respectively.

Results from the Final
1 Thomas Farrell SO Oklahoma State            3:43.95
2 Patrick McGregor SO Texas                       3:44.55
3 Don Wasinger JR Kansas                            3:45.55
4 CJ Jessett SO Texas                                    3:46.34
5 Jacob Boone SR Oklahoma                         3:47.70
6 Robert Sorrell SR Oklahoma                        3:48.30
7 Raul Botezan SO Oklahoma State               3:49.62
8 Johnathan Stublask SR Oklahoma State      3:50.25
9 Will Barry JR Texas A&M                          3:50.66

 200m in

 500m to go
100m to go

 Finish Line!

Until Next Time. Go Pokes!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Week of Big12's

It has been a while since I last blogged, but really not much has happened. Since my race on Sunday I just ran all week and didn't do any workouts. After the race I actually felt quite good for the next couple of days, but there must have been a slow onset of pain as on the Wednesday my calves decided to tighten up and then the daily massages began with the trainer. Come the weekend they had eased up and I was now feeling pretty good. On the Sunday I just ran a light fartlek as we didn't want to press too hard too soon after the race.

Today I did a pretty hard workout on the track, which went very well and I felt pretty good while I was doing it. Although this week we have Big12s which is our conference I am trying not to ease down for it too much as I have to race after this weekend so I plan on training through it. Training through sounds like a big difference but really it just meant that today I did a normal workout rather than an easier one. It won’t affect the way I race this weekend, and I am going into this race with the same mind set I go into every other race with. To put myself in position to win and to put all I have into the race.

The next part of this blog I am going to dedicate it Casie, who for the last two years has been the Men's Track and Field Trainer. To those of you who do not fully understand the term 'trainer', it is a person who deals with anything and everything that happens to the athlete’s body. So Casie would do anything from covering up a blister, to rehab everyday with an athlete to aid recovery of an injury.
Casie worked extremely hard for us being there at every practice for the last two years and putting all of her time and energy into her job which in turn helps us as the athlete. My relationship with Casie was a very good one, most of the time I would be there in the training annoying her and making her job much harder than it was. I have had all kinds of treatment from her, from rehab for an ankle that I rolled, to getting stretched everyday sometimes twice a day!
I want to take this opportunity to thank her for all of her hard work and good luck for her future.
Casie, you better stay in contact with us and come to all the meets you can!

I will try and get a race report up after the prelims of the Big12s on Saturday then a race report for the Final on Sunday if I qualify on the Saturday.

Until Next Time, Good Luck to all of those racing this weekend, especially in your respective conferences. I hope you score as many points as your coach wants you to score!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

I fell in love....

Yes, as you probably wont have guessed correctly I have fallen in love with California. We flew out there on the Friday, spent Saturday there, raced on Sunday and then flew back to Stillwater on Monday. It was a really nice trip for quite a few reasons. Firstly because my parents were there so it was nice to be able to see them and for them to see me race too. Also just to get away from Stillwater for a few days was amazing and the weather in Palo Alto was perfect. There is no other word to describe the weather than perfect.

Race Report
I am still quite shocked with what happened on Sunday night. I wasn't expecting to run that fast at all. When I was discussing the race with my coach we spoke about going roughly between 13.35 - 13.40. So when I finished the race and look up to the scoreboard and see 13:26.59 I was very shocked and obviously extremely pleased.
My race plan going in was to go off towards the back and get comfortable and move up through the field as people started to drop off or as it got closer to the end. I actually felt really good and my race plan worked perfectly. I was running pretty even paced as I started at the back and slowly moved through the field. I couldn't really tell you what happened at the front of the race until the last 2km but after watching the race back the lead did change quite a few times. The race got down to the final laps and I found myself still in the lead group and I was feeling pretty good, so I just told myself not to worry about the time and just race. As you can see from the video of the race (below) I put myself in position to win with about 600 to go and looking back in hindsight I may have made my move slightly early but I'm not too bothered about it, as I still ran my last 600 in 1.26 so that was good. I finished up 3rd in the race with a huge personal best and there is very little criticizing I can do as I'm so pleased right now.


Watch more video of 2011 Stanford Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational on flotrack.org


Watch more video of 2011 Stanford Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational on flotrack.org

1 Brandon Bethke Quiksilver 13:25.82
2 Elliott Heath Stanford 13:26.14
3 Thomas Farrell Oklahoma State 13:26.59
4 Diego Estrada Northern Arizona 13:26.94
5 Mark Christie Unattached 13:28.21
6 Stephen Furst adidas Raleigh TC 13:29.05
7 Chris Derrick Stanford 13:29.74
8 Alistair Cragg Adidas 13:30.21
9 Ryan Hill North Carolina St. 13:31.67
10 Joe Bosshard Colorado 13:34.57
11 Diego Alberto Borrego Mexico 13:36.69
12 Dan Huling Reebok 13:38.72
13 Kazuya Watanabe Unattached 13:38.90
14 Tiidrek Nurme Estonia 13:39.10
15 Jake Riley Stanford 13:39.49
16 George Alex Oklahoma 13:40.73
17 Alfred Kipchumba Portland 13:40.98
18 Aldo Saul Vega Mexico 13:43.16
19 Geoff Martinson Prince George T&F 13:44.27
20 Yosef Ghebray Brooks Team 13:45.69
21 Scott Overall Adidas 13:48.83
22 Taylor Milne Speed River Tfc 14:01.96
23 Jeremy Johnson Brooks 14:03.68

I would like to say Thank You to everyone who wished me congratulations after my race whether it was in person, by email, text, twitter or facebook. I appreciate your support.
I would also like to say well done to all of the other Brits out at the meet. It was nice to see some of the guys come across just for the meet, and to see the other English guys who attend college out here running well.

Conference is up next, not this weekend but the one after. I just finished my final exams so that is me finished school for the summer. That is why there has been a delay in getting this race report up.

Thanks for reading,
Until next time.