Quote

Because Quotes Are Fun

My race only takes about four minutes, but the difference I can make for other people lasts much longer than that.

Marla Runyan, legally-blind runner, five-time Paralympic gold medalist, 3-time national champion in the 5000m, 1500m finalist in the Sydney Olympics.

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Weekly Recap #6/ Olympic Thoughts

I have little to say about my own athletic endeavors this week. I went on a couple of bike rides, not super strenuous. My foot is recovering. Finally. It took me awhile to get to the point of not doing anything. To wait. To be patient. To do what I should have done months ago. Don’t mess around with broken bones people! Let them heal.

Since I have little to say about my own athletic endeavors this week, I’ll share with you my highs and lows of the Olympics.

Lows

U.S. Marathon Woes. I woke up at the crack of dawn to watch our greatest women’s Olympic marathon team ever assembled compete.

It’s all smiles for the ladies in Houston

Before the race, I knew that Desiree Davila (check out this thrilling finish to the Boston Marathon 2011!), with Hansons-Brooks was struggling with a hip flexor injury and was doubtful to even start. She did start, but was never in the race and was forced to drop out. She is an excellent marathoner though and she will be back! [Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher finished 10th and 11th. Not too shabby for the former 5,000m AR holder Flanagan running in her third marathon and Goucher who in the last two years has had a baby and switched coaches.]

I was bummed a little by the women’s race, but picked myself back up for men’s race the following week. I had high hopes for Ryan Hall the AR holder in the marathon who despite never winning a major marathon has always been in the hunt. He has also created quite a stir in the running community for being very outspoken about his faith and looking to God as his coach. Watching, I was concerned from the beginning when I didn’t see him up in the front of the pack. He is typically a front-runner, especially in the early goings, and I knew that if he was being cautious there was a problem. I didn’t have to wait long because around mile 10 he dropped out. Hamstring. Olympics over. Lame. Abdi dropped out right after, too. We only had one guy left and he ran in Sketchers…

When Hall dropped out, I knew the jabs about God were going to start and I was right. One of the first things I read: “Where is Ryan Hall’s god now?” I’ve never had the chance to sit down and talk with Ryan or his wife, but they are very open about their beliefs. It doesn’t seem like an act and I’m relieved to say I don’t think he’s bought into the health and wealth crap gospel. I don’t agree with everything he says, but he seems like he’s seeking the truth. He’s out their representing the name of Jesus Christ in a not-so-kind environment and needs prayer. Hopefully, this disappointment will draw him closer to God and that God will be glorified. Not Ryan Hall. He’s hoping to run the NYC marathon in November so be on the lookout!   

Down goes Uceny! Morgan Uceny is a U.S. women’s 1500m runner. She exploded onto the scene last year (she was no slouch beforehand finishing 4th at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2008). She captured the #1 ranking in the WORLD at the distance last year and was poised to win a title at the World Championships in Daegu. In the final of that race with 500m to go, she fell. Everyone gasped and then Jenny Simpson, also from the U.S. shocked the world with a victory. Uceny sprang up and finished the race, but there was no coming back after a fall like that. She was bummed. But, at least she had a #1 ranking and the Olympics in 2012. Fast forward. She is running comfortably on the outside. Staying out of trouble. Looks great. Perfect position. Ready to move when the bell rings. Everyone is still in it thanks to a slow pace. Bell. Final lap. The pack surges forward. Down goes Uceny. I barely remember the last lap because I was in shock that Morgan Uceny fell, again! This time she didn’t get up. She slammed the track with her hands. She screamed. She cried. A lot. It was very traumatic.

That’s not where you want to be…

Drama. Drama. Drama. Get a bunch of competitive people together and there is sure to be drama, but it bugs me. I don’t even want to say names and events because that’ll just feed it. 

Highs

U.S. men’s distance runners. They’re coming back! Galen Rupp takes silver in the 10,000m. Kenyans don’t even medal. I wouldn’t have thought it possible before this, but Rupp was looking good coming in and his training partner Mo Farah (GB) was also something special. Alberto Salazar, their coach, is a happy man.

I still think he looks like Peter Pan

Then, Leo Manzano kicks like a banshee in the last 100m to nab silver in the 1500m. Woot! He may have a strange pre-race ritual, but he is a silver medalist for the U.S. Also, of note, Matt Centrowitz of the U.S. finished 4th. He was the bronze medalist at Worlds last year. The young runner is consistent. Let’s hope he consistently gets better! 

Remember the only guy we had left in the marathon running in Sketchers? He finished 4th! A surprise for the 37-year-old Meb Keflezighi? Not as much as you would think considering the year he has had (in Sketchers! I still can’t get over that). He ran his personal best at the 2011 NYC Marathon and celebrated on the streets of Houston with a win at the Olympic Trials in January. A former silver medalist and NYC marathon champion (2009) should never be counted out, but I’ll admit that I didn’t really think he’d do much since the medal came 8 years ago and well, he is getting older… But, he surprised me, and a few others, kept churning after being dropped by the leaders, and worked his way to fourth. Congrats, Meb! Let’s go to Rio!

He hadn’t even crossed the finish line yet!

Finally, meet Guor Marial. 

Doesn’t he look like a nice guy?

He competed in the men’s marathon. It was his first Olympics and he did so running under the IOC flag because he doesn’t really have a country. He fled what is now South Sudan when he was young, growing up in the United States. His family was devastated by the war torn country. He lost 8 of his siblings and 15 other family members. When he qualified for the team, he was asked to compete under the Sudanese flag. But, he refused. He is also not a U.S. citizen, leaving him without a country to represent. I hear a lot of negative press about the IOC so it was nice to hear of something positive for once. They allowed Guor to run. Props to them, but I was most impressed with Guor, devoid of bitterness, smiling and humble during a pre-race interview. By running on the biggest stage, he has given children in Sudan something to run toward rather than away from.

I know a lot of other things happened at the Olympics, but I can’t cover it all!

For those interested: 7 of the 8 men in the Olympic 100m finals will be racing Aug. 23rd  Rematch! See the announcement. Track and Field still exists even when the rest of the world doesn’t watch. 

Weekly Recap #5

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 10.3 hilly miles on bike. I forgot how comfortable my bike is. Not. I haven’t ridden it since my days on Ackerman Ave. It felt good to be back on my trusty steed even with his crumbling seat and squeaky breaks.

I can’t remember the combination to my lock. Whoops.

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 4.6 miles on bike with Ryan. Hilly. We parked in the library parking lot even though we weren’t using the library and it felt so rebellious I almost couldn’t handle it.

Friday: 9 miles on bike with Ryan. Flat. Still made me tired.

Saturday/Sunday: Partying it up in Allentown, PA where I found a little piece of home.

It’s an antique! I don’t think The Rensselaer Valve Company exists today.

Weekly Total: 23.9 miles of biking, 0 miles of running 😦

Turns out, not running for a bit made my foot feel better. That being said, my tentative race plans are proving their tentativeness. I’m already scrapping the idea to run in the Southern Saratoga YMCA 5k mostly because paying $25 today to possibly take a few steps backward in recovery doesn’t seem worth it. I can just go out and do that for free. I’m disappointed, but not  that disappointed. I think I was a smidge too optimistic to think that a week off would take away all aches and pains. Two weeks, though, now we’re looking good!

Look out for some thoughts on the Olympics coming later this week. I know the wait will be tough, but enjoy the week anyway! 😉

Weekly Recap #4

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 31 min. (3-ish mi) First 24 min. with Ryan then finished up with a few laps around a short track in East Greenbush. Easy run. Foot a little sore.

Wednesday: 35 min. on elliptical +GS workout. 30 min. hard. 5 min. easy cool down. Got my heart rate up.

Thursday: 30 min. on elliptical.

Friday: Carl and I went for a walk at the hottest time of the day. Whoops. Wouldn’t normally count that as exercise, but we both got so hot I decided that it should count.

Saturday: Off (walked around The Great Escape all day)

Sunday: Off (with a 4 hour nap)

Total: Eh…? Only 3-ish miles of actually running 😦

Can you tell I backed off a lot this week?

In Olympic distance running news…Galen Rupp earned the silver medal in the 10k, just behind his British training partner, Mo Farah. Fun fact: It is the first time an American male has won an Olympic medal at that distance since Billy Mills shocked the world in 1964.

It’s like it was a big deal or something

Tentative Race Plan

Southern Saratoga YMCA 5k 

I think this was my first 5k race. I was young (elementary school age), eager, and charged off the line only to die later. My family cheered for me from our front yard around the 2 mile mark and I could tell they could tell I was fading. Hopefully, I’ve learned a little since then and I won’t go out too fast. It helps that I’m VERY familiar with the route since I grew up in a house along it.

Fast facts: August 14 (Tuesday) at 6:30 PM. Day of race registration available until 30 min. prior to start. $25. FLAT

Helpers Fund 5k

This race is part of the Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival. I remember it as a small, intimate race, but it could have grown in the last 5 years. At the time, I had what was probably an undiagnosed stress fracture, but I never had to get it checked out because I got real sick about a month after this race and couldn’t run for a long time. Oh, the memories…

Fast facts: September 22 (Saturday) at 9:30 AM. Day of race registration available 7-8:30 AM. $15 by Sept. 18, $21 starting Sept. 19. The awards were wooden carved bears holding a bottle of maple syrup.

12th Annual Great Pumpkin Challenge 5k

I’ve never run this, but I want to race in Saratoga this fall. Unfortunately, it isn’t the same course I grew up racing, but I think it would still be nice to be racing at the Spa in fall. I’m considering this race instead, but I wish it wasn’t a Sunday. I’ll decide when the time comes.

Fast facts: October 20 at 9:30 AM. No day of race registration. $22 before 10/1; $25 before 10/20.

The Foundation for Ellis Medicine’s Cardiac Classic 5k

This is the race. This is the race I’m looking to run well. I ran it last year and really enjoyed the course. My family decided that everyone would run it this year. I hope they’re still looking forward to it…

Fun facts: November 22 (Thanksgiving Day!) at 9:00 AM. No day of race registration. It does have a gradual hill about midway, but it races like a fast, flat course.

Well, there you have it. My tentativerace plan based on my tentative training plan. I have no idea whether the plan in my head is really going to work out. I’m giving my foot another month to heal before I really start training. Should I call the doctor? Probably. I keep telling myself that he’s just going to tell me what I already know. To rest it. Don’t run. Don’t do anything that makes it hurt. He barely looked at me during my last appointment. I was in the office for almost 1.5 hours and I saw the doctor for maybe 2 minutes. I’m not eager to go back there and the thing is…it doesn’t hurt that bad. Are those good excuses? 😉

I’m antsy to be pain free again. It’s really throwing a kink in my ability to pretend to be a gymnast. But, huzzah! Track and Field starts TODAY!! Don’t know anything about track? Check out The Non-Track Fan’s Guide to the Olympics for some pointers.

Reflecting on this today: “…for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” ~I Timothy 4:8