It has been a tough road back for me since my 5th place finish at the Boston Marathon. Going into the race I didn’t have a perfect training buildup or a tune up race. As you may recall, I didn’t have any races between last year’s New York City Marathon and the Boston Marathon this spring. I recovered quickly and well after the New York City Marathon victory. I was getting in shape very quickly for the Boston Marathon. I had a few setbacks during the Boston Marathon build up, and at a critical time. It was right in the middle part of my build-up. Some people thought I was too busy making appearances to train for Boston, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I was committed to end the streak of non-American winners at the Boston Marathon, and was glad that Ryan Hall and I were both given the opportunity by John Hancock.
But as all athletes know, injuries are part of the game. The setbacks kept me from having the ideal training cycle for the Boston Marathon, but I had enough under my belt to give the race my best effort. I would never enter a race if I didn’t think I could be in the mix. The fans, organizers and sponsors deserve our best. My best on that day was within 11 seconds of my career best in the marathon. This result is very encouraging, and I know that given the right opportunity, training and execution, I can run a personal best on the Boston Marathon course. I could probably run a significant person best in the London Marathon also.
But a consequence of running so hard with my limited training left me with an injury after the Boston Marathon. I had Longitudinal quad tear, which was identified by Dr. Maharam. That and a few other setbacks kept me away from racing at some of my favorite summer events, Bix and Falmouth. Well that is all behind me now. I am excited to race again as I prepare to do my first and last tune up race for the ING New York City Marathon, which will be held on November 7, 2010.
The Rock N Roll San Jose Half Marathon gave me good confidence last year and I hope it does that this weekend also. I have had a lot of family and business obligations this summer, which kept me busy and constantly balancing priorities. To name a few: I had a few family weddings to attend, and since they were not in Mammoth, I had to travel a lot. I was working very hard and on tight deadline on my book, Run To Overcome, with Dick Patrick, which will be released on Nov. 1. I have also been working on developing the MEB Foundation, and will host a launch reception in NYC during race week. I feel my training has gone well since many of the obligations are now complete. I was disappointed not to run few races that I was committed to, including the inaugural Rock N Roll San Diego Half Marathon, BIX 7 and Falmouth. However, by skipping all of these races I hope to finish strong for the year.
Nonetheless, before my test on Sunday in San Jose, I have a big honor to receive. I am getting inducted to the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame. I always worked hard and dreamed of the day I would graduate from UCLA. To get inducted to the Hall of Fame is beyond my dream. Thanks to the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame selection committee who chosen me to represent UCLA Track and Field and Cross Country in this exclusive group of Bruin greats. I mean it is UCLA, one of the most powerful athletic and academic universities in the world. I am honored.
With every honor comes responsibilities and obligations, so here is my busy schedule for the weekend:
Thursday fly to LAX (Yordanos and my daughters will drive to LA with Coach Larsen- a big sacrifice on their part.)
Friday Evening, attend the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Saturday Afternoon fly to San Jose. From 3-4:30 Sign autographs at the Sony Booth at the Rock N Roll San Jose Half Marathon .
Sunday Race- I hope to run within 30 second of my time from last year.
Sunday afternoon- meet with the Eritrean Community of San Jose, of which my brother Fitsum is an active member.
I hope to see some of you in San Jose on Saturday and Sunday.
Monday back to Mammoth for the last tune-ups for NYC!