Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"That's all", she wrote.

Joan "O" has stopped writing. Well, she's only stopped writing for us — the readers of her blog. I'm feeling a little melancholy about this, as I enjoy how Joan uses words to convey a love of running.

At Calwell I've always done the longer winter warm-up runs with the kids. In pre-ancient times, I would chat to them during the run (these days I need every breath just to keep them in sight). Sometimes I'd say "What are your goals?", or "Can you see where running might take you in ten year's time?". I remember a couple of the girls replying "I want to run in the Olympics". I said "You have the talent to do that". They really did have the physical talent. Maybe they'll still run in the Olympics. I want to show them (and other young runners with similar goals) something Joan wrote in May 2005 about "doing your best": Pinball Wizard.

Joan started running seriously in 1980. In 1996, at her fourth attempt to make an Olympic team, she was successful. As was her habit in every race, she tried her very best, and on that day third place was enough. She became Joan, "O"lympian. Every race forever after was like a bonus game in pinball.

I sat up late on Sunday night to watch the US Olympic Trials Marathon for women, held in downtown Boston the day before the famous marathon. There was no video, just an intermittent text update of each mile split for the runners. As expected, Deena Kastor won, catching Magdalena Lewy Boulet in the 23rd mile. Blake Russell placed third — two minutes behind, but her best, on that day, was good enough (at her second attempt) to become Blake, "O"lympian.

Ancient geese
On some days I run with ancient friends. It's still not easy to keep up. They're fast!

The right 'tude
Having the right 'tude is important if you wish to run well. Here I emulate CJ while Mark just smiles. [Katy photo]


Blogger speedygeoff said...

Any prizes for guessing who the runners are in the first picture? Bars first go.

Can we now call you "lead goose" for getting in front of Kelley in a training run? No mean feat/feet, that!

5:27 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

Hope you're not calling Kelley ancient!

Enjoying the cold snap?

6:11 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

When is Mark not smiling?

9:14 pm  
Blogger Scott said...

I've been reading Joan's blog for a year or so and if that was in fact her final post I'm sorry too. Frankly I didn't understand that post but I know she is a great writer and I'll miss reading her.

10:39 pm  
Blogger Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

I was actually able to watch the race live. NBC had a web feed of the race on their site. Unfortunately, I don't think they have it archived.

8:12 am  
Blogger Robert Song said...

Where are the long distance runners who want to go to the Olympics these days?

Currently, no Australian man or woman will represent Australia in the 10,000 or Marathon in China.

1:11 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Cold snap? 6C is a refreshing change, that's all. Minus 27C is a cold snap.

Scott, I'm hoping Joan's just "logged off" to write the next great American novel.

Chad, that would have been a great race live. Wets the appetite for the Olympics! Robert Song, I think Lee Troop is in the 'thon. They should select Kate Smyth after her 2:28 in Nagano.

8:26 pm  
Blogger Dusty said...

Thanks for sharing Joan O's blog - I'll have to go back and read old posts!

2:27 am  
Blogger Eric said...

Hey, thanks for sharing that link. I'll never forget that day. I've run in colder weather, but I've never seen so many other stupid people out doing it with me!

Enjoy the cool breezes!

9:41 am  
Blogger Lulu said...

I'm definitely in the ancient category and I never had any sprint speed to lose...

11:04 am  
Blogger strewth said...

Love that 'tude' from you and CJ! And you won't catch me running in minus 27deg - I'm dreading the minuses - geez Ewen, you run in a tracksuit when it's plus 6deg. Will you wear your thermals and a beanie on Wed runs when the temp drops to zero??

8:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ooooweee! strewth just smacked you silly.

if australia has no one, can we just volunteer? the eddie the eagles of the running community? if so, i put up your hand.

12:12 am  
Blogger Stephen Lacey said...

Hope you don't log off..

3:17 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Nice photos.
I wanted to go to the Olympics when I was (really) young, I still have moments of delusional grandeur, guess its not impossible yet, still have another 5-10 years to entertain such thoughts.
US trials sounds interesting...

2:10 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

yeah and keep that blog coming its of great interest and motivation to many!, not to mention various other reasons...

2:11 am  
Blogger jojo said...

Oi demanding...who me??????? lol

7:11 pm  

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