The Day Before
Today is Sat July 5 – the day before a date I have had on my radar
for quite some time. Malinda and I got up early today and went to a
distance coaches clinic. Yes, my wife got up before 8am to go with
me to hear a Q&A session with some top distance coaches. I know I am
quite lucky. Last night some of the other coaches were impressed
that Malinda was there with me (all the rest of these guys were
flying solo, happy that their wives/girlfriends let them go to
It was a day for SWAG. Both Malinda and I won Saucony shoes in a
raffle. There were about 40-50 names in the raffle and out of the 8
tickets that were drawn, we were 2 of them. I hope that’s a sign of
good things to come. We also got about our 9th free shirt of the
trip at the clinic and I added to my lapel pin collection.
Clealy the best shirt we got so far is a special made “Team Cook”
(Cook for Shannon’s coach, John Cook) Nike dry-fit shirt. It has the
Olympic rings on it (don’t tell the IOC) as well as Shannon’s name
and the other 2 women Cook coaches: Shalane Flanagan and Erin
Donohue. But the best part of the shirt was a little saying on the
bottom of it. For those of you knowledgeable in my SHC coaching
stuff, you know I have a different theme and motto every year.
Shannon’s senior year track & field theme was “Just Lookin’ For
Opportunities.” The logo was some clip art that I found online…a
rock, a caveman, and some rodent-looking squirrel or something.
Under the rock was the saying “Leave No Stone Unturned”….as in: we
would look under every rock for these opportunities. The majority
opinion is that this is the worst looking logo and dumbest theme in
my 10 years. I actually made a bet with Shannon, saying I would buy
her dinner the first time she works “leave no stone unturned” into an
interview. Anyway, I was QUITE exctied to see “No Stone Unturned” on
this shirt that Shannon’s mom gave me yesterday.
In addition to the clinic, we walked around the Eugene Festival
collecting as much free stuff as possible…because that’s what I
like to do to pass the time. We also went to the film festival and
saw Spirit of the Marathon. It’s been quite flattering to be
introduced/recognized around town as “Shannon’s high school coach.”
But now it’s the night before the big one. I’ve seen and talked to
lots of people all week and they all seem pretty sure that Shannon
will make the team. She does look very very strong out there
compared to the others. I know she can do it but the coach in me
can’t help but be nervous. The training is done. The trial races
are over. Now it’s just the big one. The race that’s been on both
Shannon and my mind for a long time.
I am not sure if the race is going to be shown live on NBC.
It’s at 4:05pm on Sunday. But here in Eugene, NBC is not going on
the air with coverage until 7:00pm so I guess they are showing it on
tape delay. I recommend the USATF website for official results or
letsrun.com or trackandfieldnews.com for during the race updates on
their message boards.