Saturday, June 28, 2008

Never Give Up

I was watching the opening night of the Olympic Track and Field Trials late last night and was again motivated by the sight of an athlete giving her all at a time when few gave her a chance to make the Olympic team. During the women's 10,000 meters final the first half of the race went out so slow that no runner was given a chance to make the Olympic A standard time. That meant that only 4 runners had a chance of making the Olympic team in the race as they were the only four to have a qualifying time. No one told Amy Yoder-Begley.

Eventually the two favorites Kara Goucher and Shalene Flanagan picked up the pace. Only one runner went with these two. That would be Amy. Amy started pulling and keeping the pace fast but the announcers still gave her little chance of making the cut-off time. With two laps left she got dropped by the accelerating two frontrunners. After they finished the announcers started remarking about the terrific sprint of Amy on the last lap and the cameras picked her up. She was told by her coaches she needed to run a last lap under 70 seconds to make the time. She ran 67.3 for that lap and finished the race 1.4 seconds under the Olympic A standard putting her on the Olympic team. Never Give Up!

A couple of years ago when I first met Steve Wolfe we had a great summer of racing against each other. We showed up at race after race and we had some fun competitive races and finishes (usually with Steve going by me in the last mile). Then he started having knee problems and eventually surgery and while he made it back into running, the fast times just weren't always there. He stuck with it and this year he is running up a storm. He is fast and furious (running all these relays, mountain and trail races, and half marathons). Never Give Up! He has a blog and it reminds me my why I don't do trail racing but it is fun to read about his adventures!

I had a very good run today. As I wrote yesterday, I am going to experiment with lifts in my right shoe. Today I cut of the front end of an old Posture Control Insoles and placed it in under my right foot's insole. I felt so much better running than I have been. My hip didn't hurt, I had better posture and a more even stride. I could accelerate and didn't feel my hips wobbling or going off balance. My chest and shoulders felt more level and balanced. The right side didn't feel inches behind my left. I also felt like I was rolling off my feet and pushing off in my stride. It was not perfect but it was an improvement. Whether it is just a good day due to the distraction of a new running position or if I am on to something, only time will tell. Whether it sets off other problems. who knows, but I think I have thought this through and it makes sense to me to try. Anyhow I was happy running today and remembered the good feeling of a strong run that I had lost. Never Give Up!

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