Monday, April 04, 2011

Jason Lehmkuhle is Ready for London

Down the Backstretch: Most people run London for a fast time. Aside from a lot of turns, it’s a pretty flat, fast course. Is that the reason you chose to run London?

Jason Lehmkuhle: The goal this spring was to run a flat and fast marathon. Since the 2004 Olympic Trials, I've been exclusively on somewhat difficult marathon courses, or, maybe more accurately, not courses that people generally seek out to run fast (Boston, New York, Twin Cities).

I'm getting a little older and PR's are going to be harder to come by, but I really believe I can run faster in the marathon. I wanted to get on a course that gave me the best chance to run in the 2:10 to 2:11 range, and something that more would more closely simulate the flatish course that the 2012 Trials will be run on.

DtB: What did your New York half tell you about your fitness, your progress for London?

JL: I was just alright with my run in New York, not disappointed but not especially excited by it either. I felt a little flat during the race, but I was coming off of my biggest few weeks of training. It's not uncommon for me to have a less-than-inspiring final tune-up pre-marathon. I think I'm right on track. Overall, my training during the buildup has been very solid. That tells me more about my readiness for London than the NYC Half did.

DtB: Do you have a time range you’re hoping to run in London?

JL: 2:10 to 2:11:59

DtB: The Brit, Andrew Lemoncello, was close to you in New York and is running London. Did you guys run together? Are there any plans by the race organizers to have pacers for those trying to run certain times other than the front runners? Have you, Smyth, and Trafeh talked about the race, sharing the pace, any sort of joint effort?

JL: I actually didn't run with Andrew until the final 300-400 meters. He ran just off of the group I was running with for most of the race and closed really well. Andrew (Lemoncello), Patrick (Smyth), a small group of Aussies and myself will likely run together with a couple of rabbits in London aiming for 2:10 pace.

DtB: How does running London fit into your plans for the US Olympic trials, attempting to make the team?

JL: With the timing of the Trials in January, it really made sense for me to only do a marathon this Spring. For me, there's just not enough time to recover from a Fall marathon and do a good buildup for the trials. As I mentioned, I also wanted to run on a flatter course that might better approximate what the Houston course is like. London works perfectly.

DtB: Are you going to hang around London after the race to see some of the sights, visit the Olympic site?

JL: Unfortunately, I leave the morning after the marathon. In all likelihood, I won't do much sightseeing. I was in London for the marathon in 2008. I was a rabbit for a 2:11 pace group. I did a little touring around the city then. London is very cool. I'm excited to go back.

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