Two part entry here which lead hand in hand. First, Sunday I headed up to Riverbank with AB to get a good hardy track workout of 400m repeats before the Fifth Avenue Mile this Saturday. After the third 400, the skies decided to open up and absolutely DUMP sheets of rain on us as we ran. It was pretty fun actually as I thought to myself, what a fantastic way to spend my Sunday evening! LOL. I ended up maintaining a 1:29-1:34 pace the entire time (even with the rain and hefty crosswinds...oh and random children running in the middle of my workout of course!). We shall see what happens Saturday but I have a few numbers in mind...and with the weather predictions...it should make for excellent racing, throat burning conditions. Weeeeeee!
As for part two, it has to do with the article posted to Slate earlier this week. After reading this, I just was left well...speechless! I just find it so hard to believe that there are still people that bitter and feel that running is only meant for a select few. Actually, I think that is one of the huge benefits of this sport. It is one of the only ones where you can start on the same playing field as the best in the world. Where else can an athlete say that? With the way our country has weight problems, I hardly think telling people they can't do marathons because they don't make the grade is the solution. Perhaps he should consider taking up ultramarathons or something to fill that void. I hear the Badwater race is for the hardcore...ha! In addition, turns out his marathon PR, would not be enough to make the Boston 'A' list back in the days he speaks of....hmm..
This made me think about my situation as a relative newbie to the sport. I started running seriously 2 1/2 years ago because of the marathon.. There I said it. I watched my mom and dad complete countless marathons and thought...hmm I haven't given myself a serious challenge yet. So 2003, I started working out on a regular basis before finally joining NYRR and the racing scene in early 2004. My first 5k race came in over 9 minutes a mile and I couldn't have been prouder...heck, I just wanted to finish under 30 minutes! In March I found a similar female looking to get into the NYC Marathon as well. As luck would have it, we both won the lottery and trained for the marathon together that summer. After running the marathon, she ended up getting pregnant so I was at a loss and definitely did not want to ruin the base I started. From there, that's where TRD came in...and the friendships...and the speed...and well my life in NY. Well, good thing I took this path because honestly...without it...I have my doubts I would still be in NY...
Each one of us has a right to run the marathon and to run in general. Mr. Sherman's generalizations are so out of touch that it just is so hard to comprehend. I actually asked my dad about it this weekend since his best days of running were in the time period given in that article. My dad pretty much said it couldn't be more farfetched. I have the utmost respect for the elite but everyone that gets to the startline had to do something to be there...whether you run sub 5 minute pace or 10+ minute pace (or in my case somewhere in between!).