Monday, January 16, 2012

Olympics, Motivation, Long Run, and Hills - Oh MY!

This past weekend was the US Olympic Marathon trials in Houston.  Since Track and Field doesn't get a whole lot of coverage, we had to settle for a two hour condensed version on NBC from 3-5.  (Even though a hockey game went in to overtime and delayed the televised start - sigh).  I love watching any marathon, but I especially love watching elite runners.  Their movements are so fluid and most of them look like they are just going for a relaxing run.

By now you should probably know that Meb Keflezighi (2:09:08), Ryan Hall (2:09:30), and Abdi Abdirahman (2:09:43) made the men's Olympic team and Shalane Flanagan (2:25:37), Desi Davila (2:25:55), and Kara Goucher (2:26:06) rounded out the women's team.  Here cute/funny photo of the final six (when in Texas...):

As inspiring as it was, it was also heartbreaking to see the men's runner who came in 4th place.  Dathan Ritzenhein finished less than 10 seconds behind Abdi and his reaction at the end was obviously emotional.  I can't imagine the magnitude of realizing that 10 seconds cost you a place on the Olympic team.  It reminded me of this video I saw on my buddy's Matt's Facebook last week about second place and motivation:

The video is a little intense, but excellent motivation for sure.  After watching the Olympic Trials, Ben and I decided we were going to try to squeeze in a long run.  Luckily, the Upper Tampa Bay Trail is only three miles from our place.  We decided that if we ran there, ran on the trail, and then ran back it would be about 10 or so miles.  The great thing about running the Upper Tampa Bay Trail is there is water about every two miles and plenty of shade.  

I'm not sure what the heck got in to us, but we were both feeling good on the way out to the trail and on the trail.  The way back was a little rough, but still managed to pull off a 8:47 average for the 10 miles.  

Avg Pace
My scheduled run for today was an easy 3 miler with two hill sprints.  Anyone who has ever run on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail is also most likely familiar with the overpass at Citrus Park Drive.  Looks sort of like this from the bottom:

Let's just be honest, there aren't a whole lot of hills around these parts and when it came to doing an easy run this is where my mind went.  So I went out there and ran my hill sprints on the overpass for all to see.  Here are the splits from my easy run with the hill sprints:

Avg Pace

Glad that one's over!

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