Alright, who watched the Olympic marathon this morning? Was anyone else on their feet cheering at their top of the lungs at the end? Just me?
As I stated last week, the marathon is my favorite Olympic event and, once again, I was reminded how much I love the marathon (I guess you really have to love it to sit through the entire race and – even better – you really have to love your fiance to sit through the entire race while she provides commentary regarding the each runner’s racing strategy – love you babe! ).
Anyways, I was instantly inspired as soon as the race was over (AWESOME ending – especially Meb coming in 4th!) and wanted to give my takeaway from this morning’s race.
Stu Forster/ Getty Images
1. Age is just a number
Back in January – at the ripe old age of 37- Meb took first at the Olympic trials, making him the oldest male ever to win the trials. Today he held his own, not only as the only American left standing at the finish line, but placing 4th as one of the oldest competitors in the field. Watching him run was inspiring – 37 (young by most standards, but not by elite marathoner standards) and still at the top of his game, competing against runners who were 10-15 years younger than him.
On the flip side, Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda, won the race at the young age of 23. Further proof, that age is just a number in the marathon. A lot of critics thought he was too young and inexperienced to be a threat, but he pulled through and took home gold.
Stu Forster/ Getty Images
2. Listen to your body, if something isn’t right – stop
This is a critical lesson for all athletes, but especially marathoners – if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Ryan Hall had his first DNF this morning when he pulled out of the marathon in the first half of the race. He was almost speechless in the interview he gave as soon as he dropped. He was still in shock, not believing he pulled out of the Olympic marathon, but he knew something was wrong with his hamstring and trying to push any further would have been bad. He swallowed his pride, listened to his body, and made a smart decision.
Elite marathoners dropping races because they know something isn’t right, is not a new concept. Just this morning 20 marathoners dropping, including Hall’s teammate, Abdihakem. They know it’s better to avoid further injury – and potentially ruining their running career – than to push it for one race (even if that race is the Olympics).
3. There really is a strategy to marathons
If there wasn’t, then a Kenyan might have won the race today. The announcers had pretty much given up on the Ugandan runner at mile 20. The two Kenyans were holding strong to the lead, and the Ugandan was beginning to fall behind. Then, on the turn of an uphill, the Ugandan saw his moment and took it. As the two leaders took the uphill at a steady pace, Kiprotich pushed it hard and continued the slightly faster pace on the downhill to the finish.
Kiprotich ran a smart, strategic race. He stayed with the lead pack, but didn’t push past them until the end. He conserved just enough energy to push it when it counted and now gold has to show for it.
4. Don’t give up, you might surprise yourself in the end
This one goes out to all of the marathoners this morning, who proved once again why I love the marathon. It’s 26.2 miles where you’re giving it all you have, and just when you think you have nothing left to give, you find a second wind, you remember that goal you had set for yourself, and you soak in some of that energy of the crowds cheering around you. In the end, you always surprise yourself, whether it be an unexpected gold, taking fourth, or even a new personal best – that feeling can be matched by no other.
Alright, who’s ready to run the London Marathon now? I know it’s a totally different course, but I still want to run it.
Derek and I had french toast and coffee while we watched the marathon.
I topped mine with black cherry Chobani, fresh cherries, and granola.
Maddie had some energy to burn off, so we took her to the dog park after the race.
She made a couple of new friends
But mainly kept to herself (typical)
We brought turkey Publix subs to munch on for lunch.
Then, Maddie went back home and we headed to the mall to purchase all the suits for our wedding. We ended up scoring a GREAT deal, which I can’t wait to share it on the Wedding Page this week.
Dinner was enjoyed at home.
Triscuit chicken nuggets <– recipe HERE
Sweet potato fries
No-bake chocolate peanut butter cake for dessert
There was also an equal sized piece of cake enjoyed earlier in the afternoon, as well as some peanut butter filled pretzels at the store.
Alright, time to turn on the closing ceremonies and say good-bye to the Olympics. I already miss them. *sniff*