Tuesday, September 28, 2010

25 Years Later, Here Comes Joanie

The woman who pioneered women's marathon running has not completed her competitive days. Joan Benoit Samuelson has done countless things to better our sport. Among her major accomplishments was a victory in the 1985 Chicago Marathon in 2:21:21, an American record that stood for 18 years until Deena Kastor finally broke it in London with a 2:21:16 in 2003 and broke it again with a 2:19:36, also in London, in 2006. Anyway, Joanie will be running Chicago this year at the age of 53. She has been training hard with 80-mile weeks and wants to break 2:50, something she already has done at Boston and New York since turning 50. In a wonderful interview with David Leon Moore of USA Today, one quote really caught my attention. I've been experiencing longer recoveries etc. for quite a while as I have become an older runner. Here is the quote from USA Today:
Q: What should runners know once they turn 50 and want to keep running competitively?

A: Everything in moderation. I'm certainly not doing the mileage I once did, though I'm still running around 80 miles a week, at least in preparation for this race. It's really a fine line sometimes. Recovering becomes more difficult as you age. It's important to remember to run your own race. I run my own race. You can't run anybody's race but your own.

Steve Jones, who won the men's race at Chicago in 1985, also is running Chicago again this year.

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