US Star Not Sure If She'll Focus on 1,500, Steeple Or Even The 5,000

By David Monti.
(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

January 22, 2011

NEW YORK -- After running the invitational mile in today's New Balance Games here at the Armory, Jenny Simpson said her 2011 schedule is completely open after she runs the 3000m at the New Balance Boston Indoor Grand Prix on Feb. 5., and either the mile or the 3000m at the USA Indoor Championships in Albuquerque on Feb. 26-27.

"I know a lot of people are opting out of the national meet because of the elevation," Simpson told Race Results Weekly in an exclusive interview yesterday in the lobby of the Hudson Hotel.  "Yeah, I'm going to do it.  I'm not positive what event I'm going to run there.  It would kind of be a toss-up.  The mile is not as challenging to run at elevation, but I'm not as worried about it because I train at 7000 feet (about 2000m)."

Moving outdoors in the spring, Simpson, the fastest American ever at the 3000m steeplechase with a 9:12.50 personal best, said that she and coach Juli Benson are keeping their options open.  She would be a shoo-in to make the national team at the steeplechase, but Simpson also excels at 1500m (3:59.90 PB), and 5000m (15:01.70i PB).

"You know, I've been away from the steeple for a while, so I'm excited to race that again and see where I am," Simpson said.  "Can you pick it up again?  Is it like a bike?  Can you pick it up where you left off?  Or, do you get really rusty?  I sincerely don't know."

Because of her rehabilitation from a stress reaction on the head of her right femur she suffered last June, she hasn't done any steeplechase training in nearly a year, which requires a lot of drill work and plyometrics.  Also, her tastes may have shifted.

"I have really, really learned to love the mile," Simpson said excitedly.  "And, there's a depth of competition in the 1500 in the United States that really attracts and tempts me to go after it."

But Simpson hasn't ruled out the 5000-meters, either.

"But, when it really comes down to it, I'm a strength person.  I do aerobic runs.  The 5-K is something that I know I've never had a chance yet to show how good I am at it.  It's something that I really want to do."  Sounding like a contestant on "The Bachelorette," she continued: "All three are attractive to me for different reasons."

Simpson said that she had not yet decided where she would open her outdoor season.



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