Sunday, August 5, 2012

Funny how things change

Four years ago I didn't really eat healthfully. And I definitely didn't work out. I sort of watched the Olympics, but mostly was interested in the swimming and Michael Phelps like just about everyone else. I didn't watch or care about any running events because I didn't know any of the people, I didn't really know any of the events, and I didn't run. The marathon wasn't even an item on my bucket list.

Four years later...I've run two marathons and am training for my third. I woke up today (a Sunday!) at 7:20am to watch the Olympic women's marathon. I missed the first hour but watched the last hour and was actually incredibly excited. Sure, like the last Olympics I didn't really know any of the runners (other than the incredible US women), but this time around, I am a runner and a marathoner.

Twitter on the left, marathon on the right.
Oh and it was also playing on my phone in case there were commercials.
These women are an inspiration. While I will never be an Olympic marathoner, it is incredible to watch them and see what you can achieve when you dedicate time, effort and a whole lot of guts to an event - not only on the day of, but in the preparation leading up to it. I might not have all the time in the world to train, but if I put in effort and guts into every run, workout, and rest day (yes, sometimes those also take effort and guts...), I'll be able to say that I did my best when I cross the finish line on October 7.

After watching the marathon, I had 10 miles on the schedule at marathon pace plus 15 seconds. I'm aiming to break 4 hours, so I wanted to stay around a 9:24 pace. It was so hot and humid out that I made a deal with myself: run 5 miles sub-9:24 and then you can run whatever you want for the rest. I did that - ran 5 miles sub-9:24, then ran 2 miles in the 9:30s, but then ramped it up again for the final 3 miles for an average pace of 9:20 over 10 miles. It wasn't the prettiest (literally, as I had to take off my shirt 2 miles in), but I'm pretty damn proud of today's run.

I chased that run with some Ikea assembly, which I did while watching the men's 10k (AMAZING race!) and women's triathlon - two other events I didn't care about at all four years ago. Yes, I've also watched gymnastics and swimming like I did in 2008, but it really struck me today how much things have changed in four years. Seems to me they are headed in the right direction.

During the marathon today, the announcer quoted Alberto Salazar who had said something that stuck with me, something that I think I need to have framed and put on my wall: "What does it take to be a good marathoner? The willingness and capacity to suffer." Well Salazar, just call me willing and capable...hopefully this will turn me into a good marathoner, too.


  1. GREAT way to bargain with yourself on Sunday! That heat was absolutely brutal (enough to make me ALMOST wish I hadn't finished watching the Olympic marathon in order to start earlier), so that is a huge accomplishment to run so close to goal pace for all of it. That is awesome!

    1. Haha YES, it really did help me get through it. The mental part is the toughest! I totally know what you mean about the was SO hot out by the time I got going!