Sorry, Geb!

Was it the way I waved? Or the tone in which I yelled out “Go Geb!” Or was it just a coincidence?

The odds are overwhelmingly in my favor that it was a coincidence, so I’ll go with that.

What I’m referring to is the 2010 New York City Marathon, in which world record holder Haile Gebrselassie dropped out due to a knee injury. I saw him about a mile before that, and cheered him on. While my cheer may not have caused Geb to drop out of the race, it is still pretty cool that I got to see him. And if it’s true that he’s really retiring from running (as per his announcement following the New York City Marathon), then I saw him before the last competitive mile in his incredible career.

And an incredible career it was (or, hopefully, continues to be). If you check out his Wikipedia page, you can see the ridiculously long list of records he has held. And in the case of the marathon, still holds. 2:03:59 is probably not going to be broken all that soon, unless of course Geb comes out of retirement to astonish us all (hint, hint, Geb).

But if this really is the end to his professional running career, then I would like to recognize one of the greatest runners who ever lived, Haile Gebrselassie.

Oh, and Geb, if it was that guy at around mile 25 who somehow caused the injury that ended your career, sorry about that. But can I still get your autograph?

Breaking News: Geb may not be retiring! According to The New York Times, he is reconsidering and may run in the 2012 London Olympics.

By the way, this is not actually breaking news at all. Well, it’s breaking news for me, because I just read it, but Geb actually said this just a couple of weeks ago.



Return of the Five Fingers!

That’s right, I am back to the Vibram Five Fingers. After a month-long hiatus due to an injured knee, I have done my first run with the Five Fingers. And wow, it felt good.

The run was a short speed-work session (getting ready for my first time racing the Fifth Avenue Mile!), and I’m just getting over a cold. I wasn’t particularly fast, and the shoes were fine, not bothering me but not feeling amazing either. And then, as I began to cool down, I decided to do a few striders (100 m sprints, useful for learning good form). It was in these that the Five Fingers shined.

As I headed into the straightaway, I began to accelerate to sprinting speed and had to hold myself back from accelerating too fast (these shoes are great for accelerating, you can grip the ground so well in them). But by the time I hit full speed, I felt the weirdest thing: my feet.

Yup. I felt my feet. But think about it, how often do you think about your feet when they’re not injured? I know I take them for granted. But not tonight. As I sprinted down the track at full speed I could feel my toes gripping the ground and pushing off, I could feel the turnover of my feet, I could feel the track in my soles. And it felt good.

Hopefully this will be the beginning of something new: a time when I can consistently train in the Five Fingers without month-long breaks. And if I train in them enough, I might even wear them to my next race. They might be clothes with a ‘speed limit’ (read my post “Dressing Fast” if you have no idea what I’m talking about), but that won’t stop me. After all, how often do I have the opportunity to look utterly ridiculous in something that also helps me run faster? On second thought, don’t answer that.

I’m Back! Cheer for Joy!

It’s been too long since I’ve posted. I’d apologize to all my dedicated readers, but I don’t think I have any.


Well, my life has been busy these past few weeks, and while I’ve kept up with the running, I just haven’t had the time to talk about recent developments. And there have indeed been developments. Unfortunately, most are not of the good variety.

The first major development is an injury. It occurred around the time I started out the Vibram Five Fingers, but I’m not pointing any fingers (pun intended). That knee was giving me trouble well before I started with them, so if anything it just hastened the inevitable injury. Also, it really started hurting after a race, so it may not have been the shoes at all (and no, I did not race in the Five Fingers).

Of course, I took it nice and easy once I got this injury. Meaning I kept up my regular running schedule as much as I could and didn’t let it interfere with my racing plans. Oh, what’s that? I’m an idiot? Well, you may be right. But I still PR’ed, so I’d like to think it was worth it.

I did eventually let my knee rest and I’m on my way to recovery, only long runs hurt it now. But I’ve kept off the Five Fingers as a precaution, because even if they didn’t cause the injury, they definitely would irritate it considering how hard they are on the joints.

I promised you developments, in the plural, and so far I have only complained about my knee injury. I don’t have too many more personal running developments, but in the running world at large I’m sure there have been many. The one that comes to mind is Tyson Gay beating out Usain Bolt in the 100 meters in early August. Sure, Bolt wasn’t in top form, but impressive for Gay nonetheless. In other somewhat-running-related news, the U.S. Open has been going on for the past few days (it’s a stretch, I know, but there is some running). There have been some great matches so far, and the Watch Live function on the U.S. Open website is great.

I realize now that I alluded to multiple bad running developments earlier, but there really aren’t any besides my injury. It sounds interesting though, so I’ll leave it there, even though it’s bad journalism.

Also bad journalism is discussing journalistic errors in the same piece…