On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Monday, January 23, 2012


You might notice some changes around here from now on.

Last Saturday, like most people who follow distance running, I sat glued to my computer for a few hours in the morning, following the Olympic Trials. Then, later that afternoon, I had a few friends over and we sat glued to the television, watching the race unfold. Later in the evening, and there is a chance I may have had a glass or four of wine and was possibly egged on by my friends, I declared my intention to compete in the 2016 Olympics, running the marathon.

The good news: MarathonGuide has a history of the women's Olympic Trials. Since 1984 when the women's marathon was introduced, the time needed to qualify hasn't changed as much as you might think - it's mostly been between 2:28 and 2:33. (This year saw an exceptionally strong field and perfect conditions, and the winners came in around 2:25.)

The bad news: my current (and sorely outdated) PR of 4:43 has to fall... like, a lot. In fact, I'll pretty much have to run twice as fast.

Anyone have any training tips for me?

Here is my plan so far:
  1. Lose weight. Probably at least 30lbs - those pros are small. Therefore, I must finish the ice cream in the freezer so I'm no longer tempted by it (DONE).
  2. Train at altitude. No big deal - my neighborhood isn't called Hamilton Heights because I live at sea level, you know (DONE).
  3. Scope out the competition. I went with a friend to the Armory this past weekend to watch some high school track at the New Balance Games. (Actually, we went to watch some elite track, but, ahem, we kind of were late, so we saw a lot of high school relays.) So, high school ladies: in 15 years when you've peaked - I'll be ready for you.
  4. Run. Like, a lot more. Like, maybe even upwards of 40 miles a week. (I fully expect this to increase as I get better. To, like, maybe 50mpw? 60? Surely no elites would ever run more than that, right??)
  5. Get a sponsor. I figure, barring actual sponsorship, I'll just pick a brand and wear a lot of their clothes. Then when I start winning, I can ask for a retroactive sponsorship. Unless Nike finally answers my emails. Can anybody hear me?
The Armory. Picture me out there running, but in shorter shorts and way faster.


  1. Good luck :) Don't forget me when you become a super famous Olympian!!

  2. You can totally do it! I BELIEVE IN YOU.

  3. Seems like a reasonable goal. And totally doable. You've got the plan down. Olympics 2016, baby!

  4. I officially volunteer to be part of your crew, because I believe in your goal. Go forth and prosper, um, conquer, hell. BRING IT, TRACY!!!

  5. Can I be on your crew as well? I can be your water girl.

  6. Yes yes yes!!!!! So glad this is finally officially announced for the world :)