I was not there for it, but I read on logarun that Michael Chadwell coined a new word today: “wintervals,” defined simply as intervals run in wintry conditions (it calls to mind the word ‘snicy’ which was invented by Billy Fayette back in the day for that peculiarly midwestern condition of icy snow.)  We certainly tackled some wintervals at practice today.  Thanks to the hard work and foresight of Chris Brenk, Emmett Grundberg, Ryan Doorhy, and Ben Schieders, lane one of the outdoor track had been shoveled clear.  So, this afternoon, the long distance members of the red and white groups headed out there to run 16*400 under the watchful eye of Coach W, while I took the ‘black’ group over to our secondary ‘track’ of the roads just South of 63rd.  We started the workout there as snow lightly fell on the the roads, but by our final intervals we had to literally ease our speed around each curve to maintain our balance.  Sean O’Connell led the first few intervals for black, Neil Cumberland took over during the middle, and by the end it was Zach Sayre who was in the lead.  The day was challenging but felt productive.  Tomorrow the mid-distance guys will get their chance.

First though, I returned home this evening to find several exciting social media posts.  I am sure most readers will have encountered this first one already, but in case anyone hasn’t seen it yet, there was a wonderful article featuring our team published on the Running Times High School website:   The article details, briefly, some of the steps we took over the last decade to build the program from a team that had never finished higher than 5th in state (way back in 1955) to a team that has won back to back state championships.  Needless to say, every member of the team from the past decade played a role in this process, even if only a select few got to be up on the trophy stage.

Another link to share is an interview Chris Brenk and Andrew Irvine conducted with Coach Westphal and I about our thoughts on the upcoming season.  As always, Chris did an excellent job editing so he makes Coach W and I sound wiser and more fluid than we actually were.  Coach W and I highlight a few guys on the team, talk about what we are looking forward to, and discuss why we coach:

Finally, though it is not related specifically to HC, I was thrilled to learn tonight that John L. Parker Jr. has announced he will be publishing a prequel to “Once a Runner” this summer:

On a day when the big literary news was that Harper Lee has at last announced she will be publishing a sequel to the classic “To Kill a Mockingbird” it was Parker’s news that most surprised and delighted me.

One thought on “Wintervals

  1. Hi: You might be interested in an e-mail I just mailed to Billy:
    Hi Billy:

    After Grandma discovered that she was half Finnish, she read a book called “Finnish Touches.” On page 37, there is a page devoted to “Paavo Nurmi”-“The Flying Finn.”

    Nurmi (1897-1973) was given the title as he was at that time the world’s greatest long-distance runner. He won six Olympic gold medals: at the 1920 games at Antwerp–the 10,000-meter run and the 10,000-meter cross country race; at the 1924 games in Paris–the 1,500-meter run, the 5,000-meter run, and the 10,000-meter cross country race; at the 1928 games at Amsterdam–the 10,000-meter run.

    On an American tour after the 1924 Olympics, he spread the fame of Finland and set thirty-eight indoor world records. From 1920 to 1932, he set twenty outdoor world records. His 1923 world record run of one mile in 4 minutes 10.4 seconds stood for eight years.

    We were not aware of your Finish heritage when you ran at Hinsdale Central but now you can use it as you begin your U of I track and cross country competition.

    Grampa Vern


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