Lately, because I've been running, I've really enjoyed watching the elite female distance runners. It is even more unbelievable to me that they can bang out a marathon at a pace that I'm not sure I could run for a single mile, much less 26.2 of them back to back. So, it shouldn't surprise you that I was stuck to my computer screen for parts of Sunday morning watching Paula Radcliffe and Kara Goucher at the New York marathon. (I managed sandwich my run between seeing the start and the finish)
For different reasons, both of them almost make me want to give the marathon a try.
Paula because she has had some pretty huge disappointments, and seems to pick herself up and shine brighter than ever afterward. She's had injuries, intestinal incidents on the side of the road, and she seems to handle each almost as gracefully as she wins a race. (ok, so her running isn't all that graceful, but her manner is) Oh, and I think she's won 80% of the marathons she's started or something stupid like that.
Kara inspires me because I think it is pretty wicked to place 3rd in a race where you get to 23 miles and think "hey, this is the farthest I've ever run". Seriously?? I wish I had even a smidgen of that talent. I've seen a few interviews where she unapologetically states: "I want to be the best." I really respect that. She knows what she wants and she'll do everything in her power to achieve it. That, and I was really impressed with her composure at the press conference after the race.
Will they inspire me to run the marathon? Maybe one day. But for now, I'll use that inspiration to beat that 2hour mark in the half. As I'm pretty sure it should happen next time I run a half, I might have to revisit this post after that.