I woke up leisurely yesterday morning preparing to leave my hotel room and thought I should turn on the TV to see what was up on Olympic sportage. To my extremely pleasant surprise, it was the last 5 miles of the women’s Olympic marathon!

I squealed as soon as I saw Shalane Flanagan towards the front, recognizing Kara Goucher not far behind her. Unfortunately, neither lady was in the top 4 pack that seemed to be dominating. And, Desi Davilla had dropped out with an injury earlier in the race 🙁

Though it didn’t look like our Americans were going to medal, I was no less excited to be watching the last leg of my favorite sporting event of all time.


It was Ethiopia, Kenya and Russia at the front (I believe) and I was with them in spirit. Sitting on the edge of my seat, senses alive, willing these badass women to slay it to the finish. I remembered every moment of those last marathon miles, knowing they were feeling it times a hundred.

As they rounded toward the last 600 meters, the ladies pushed it like they never have. One of the top four fell off and quickly the top three spread apart (but not by much.) With the finish line in sight, Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia stepped up her game to cross the finish line for the gold in 2 hours 23.07 seconds for a new Olympic record.


Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya crossed five seconds later, followed by Tatyana Petrova Arkhipova of Russia. Flanagan and Goucher came in 10th and 11th place. Almost all the ladies hit the ground right after crossing the finish line — exhaustion, relief, joy — whatever it may have been.

My favorite scene just after the race was a video stream of Kara and Shalane helping one another up and walking with arms around one another. The two are training partners and friends and I can’t imagine how they’d want to have been with anyone but the other at that point. Coming in 10th and 11th…the glory and pain of that moment must have been indescribable.

What did this whirlwind watching do for me? Well…you guessed it — gave me marathon fever! After my nearly 10-mile run last weekend, I realized long runs have not lost their appeal to me.

This morning, I realized running away from running is not what I should be doing. I remembered the joy and the pain of the training — and the absolute elation at the finish.

I guess the Olympics have a way of doing this to you. For every athlete — beginner and elite — the thrill of the crowd and the possibility of a victory (personal or actual) draws us back. With the big marathons, you feel like you ARE an Olympic athlete at the end….so many people cheering you on –YOU!

Me, pretty happy after my third marathon: 2010 Marine Corps

So…while Chicago may be canned, I still have Philadelphia with plenty of time to spare to get into shape. My 6 months of Crossfit are almost over so I might take a Crossfit break, focus on marathon and then jump back into Crossfit after the marathon.

I just went back and revamped my training plan on Runners World Smart Coach. It had been planned for Chicago but I switched it to Philly, aiming for a 3:44 finish — hoping this will get me below 4 hours.

The thought of running a full marathon at an 8:34 pace seems like of ridiculous but…then I remember I did conquer holy hell hilly Baltimore in 4:11. Plus, my half marathon PR is 1:51, which does make it seem like sub-4 is well within reality.  After this, I’m going to try not to talk TOOO much about this sub-4 goal for fear I’ll be humiliated if I don’t attain it.

I’ll certainly be raring to go by race day, though, because I’ll be heading to New York to watch my Mom and my friend, Brooke, (and other blogger friends no doubt) run NYC. Oh how I desperately wished I would have hit the lotto so I could run with my Mom but…no such luck.

Why yes, I DO want to be on that bridge with thousands of people!

As much as I wish I could combine Crossfit zeal with marathon fever, it’s almost impossible to focus on both. I still haven’t gotten a confident recommendation for Crossfit Endurance marathon training. It kind of scares me. But…if you have a success story, please tell me!

QUESTION: What did the Olympic marathon do for your running mojo? Also, what marathons are you running this year? Want to meet me in Philly? 🙂
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