Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Motivators - The Elites

 As an athlete in any sport, one of the things that motivates you is the pros in your sport. For running, the pros are called "elites". They are the female runners who line up in sports bras and running briefs at the very front of the pack. They are the female runners who have approximately 2% body fat and long, lean legs.

Elite female runners like Deena Kastor and Shalane Flanagan are inspiring to watch. But, my favorite elite runner is Kara Goucher.

To me, when I see Deena and Shalane - I think they are inspiring and fast and hard working and awesome...but I also feel like they are in a whole different class of runner from me.

Obviously, Kara Goucher is in a whole different class of runner from me too (Hello - she ran the Philly Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon a full hour and 20 minutes faster than me!). But, Kara seems like the kind of person I could sit at Starbucks with and chat about running and not feel like a total amateur. I feel like Kara Goucher is real. She is strong, and not the skin and bones skinny of Shalane and Deena.
 
(Kara and her son Colt after the Philly Half.)

(I snapped this shot of Kara - in the red - during the Philly half when the elite packs passed us! It was my favorite race moment!)
 
Plus, Kara is kind of an underdog in the marathon world right now. Philly was the first race of her racing comeback. Due to injuries, she hasn't competed in a race since the 2013 Boston Marathon. Previously, she was a two-time Olympian (Beijing and London). Kara is also one of only 7 women in the US who hold a 10K time under 31 minutes (4:59 miles!) and ran the unofficial fastest half-marathon by a US woman (01:06:57).  Kara will be running the New York City Marathon in November. I can't wait to see how she performs!

 
(one of my all time favorite running quotes)

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