The day after the NYC Marathon, I got the opportunity to hear Meb Keflezighi, the winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon, speak at a UCAN event (still haven’t tried it, but will when I start my next marathon training cycle in June).
It was the icing on a very cold cake that was the TCS New York Marathon, I still shiver when I think about the run over the Verrazano bridge where it felt like my pants had blown off. I was so worried that I was baring it all for the TV crew hovering above in the helicopter. But it was just that cold and my wimpy shorts were no match for the wind and cold. It took a lot of discipline to avoid picking up my speed just to get off that bridge, but I knew that I’d pay for it later if I did. I didn’t want to run out of steam towards the end. It worked,I felt much better than the year before running to the finish-progress!
So, it was inspiring and reassuring to hear Meb talk about hitting the wall in the NYC Marathon in 2013, he too had fears of being picked up by the sweep bus (I guess there is a separate sweep bus for elite runners). He hit the wall around the same place that I hit my wall in my first NYC marathon (I’m just like Meb!-not really). Mile 19, on 1st ave right before heading into the Bronx up over the little bridge, then on to the little twists and turns, before heading into Harlem. He finished 23rd that year, I finished- maybe 30,999 or something. Anyway, it was reassuring that the “Wall” can happen to anyone, even with proper training, even to elite runners, to walkers and everyone in between.
My biggest takeaway from the talk with Meb is that he always runs to win. Some days that may mean overcoming your personal struggles and for people like Meb, it can mean winning the whole damn thing!