Monday, August 18, 2008

Broken dreams... or bones.

It shouldn't be too hard to believe that the Olympic event I was most interested in was the Women's Marathon. My main interest? Deena Kastor. I love Deena Kastor. My laptop's wallpaper is a photo of Deena during a tempo run. I find her both incredibly intriguing and motivating. 

The recent documentary "Spirit of the Marathon" included her in it's feature on the Chicago Marathon. She was warm, friendly and funny -- the sort of person you want to be friends with. At the same time, she is this elite distance runner with an insanely demanding training schedule. 

When I first saw the film, (in the beginning stages of training for my first half) I laughed as a massage therapist stretched her out after one of her training runs. "Oh, those silly elites," I thought, "won't even bother stretching on their own..." NOW, I get it. Reaching your toes becomes nearly impossible after long runs -- and I'm sure that goes double with the kind of training folks like Deena face.

ANYWAY, back to the Olympics... I wasn't able to watch. I was busy practically all day Saturday. Sunday morning, I started bugging everyone I saw. 
"Did Deena medal?" 
"Deena Kastor -- she's American."
"Uh, no, I don't think so..."

And then I started hearing sad reports.
"Yeah, one American had to drop out."
"It wasn't Deena Kastor, was it?"
"I don't know... might have been..."

It was. She apparently broke her foot. The report from her coach, Terrence Mahon (according to Runner's World): "Deena suffered a broken bone in the distal head of the 3rd metatarsal in her right foot. It is a clean break all the way through. The doctors did not have to set the bone since the X ray showed that it was lined up where it should be. They have immobilized her foot and she is now on crutches. We will do further tests when she returns home to the U.S."

The Runner's World report of the marathon mentioned that Deena limped away, wiping tears from her face. I wonder how many of those were pain related and how many were from dashed dreams at Beijing. To have trained so hard to end up injured around the 5k mark... 

May you have a quick recovery, Deena. The running community is cheering you on!