January 26, 2008

Pushing towards the finish line

10 mile run this afternoon. It was drizzling most of the way, and the rain at times thickened up like it was going to turn into snow. Fortunately it didn't quite get there. The run went OK, some problems with my leg but nothing too painful.

My training for the last month or so has either been outside in the rain and wind with the temps in the 30s, or inside on a treadmill with the temps in the 70s. Freezing or soaked in sweat. My next event should have temps from the mid 40s to mid 60s. That kind of weather will be much more tolerable. Hopefully that means a good time!

Watching The Spirit of the Marathon the other day, I was reminded what inspired me to attempt a marathon. The final push was the challenge put out by Cherie, but the inspiration came six months earlier. I was watching the women's marathon at the summer Olympics. I don't watch much of the Olympics typically, but I must have had some seeds of interest in marathons developing.

I remember watching the marathon and seeing Paula Radcliffe slow, stop, try again, and finally succumb to the Athen's heat. Deena Kastor patiently worked her way through the field; at 25K she was 11th, at 30K 8th and at 35K 6th. Four minutes from the finish, she decisively passed Elfenesh Alemu of Ethiopia to move into third. When she crossed the finish line to earn a bronze medal, she looked like she had left everything out on the course. She broke down and wept with joy. I thought - I need to push myself like that and find out what my limits are.

I've been trying to find a video of her finish on the web somewhere, but the Olympic Committee is notorious in protecting their copyrights. It was great seeing the finish again on Thursday.

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