Meb’s Reflections: January 2009

The following are Meb’s own words…

Reflecting on the Houston Half Marathon and my 17th USATF Championship in my 10 year professional career.

Jan 25, 2009. A week has gone by since my first race of 2009.  Let me tell you there is no better way to welcome 2009 than to have my first half marathon win and a personal record to go with it.  Now a new goal, I would like to win my first marathon this year.

Even though I was only ranked 3rd going into the race, it reminded me of 2004 Olympic Games.  No one expected me to do much to say the least.  But I knew the kind of workouts I had, and so did the people close to me. To those who were curious about my workouts, I provided them my workouts results.  They expected nothing less than 1st place in the Houston Half Marathon.  As one of my friends who was aware of my workouts put it, “I would only have been surprised if you finished in second place.”  I guess history does overlap sometimes.  As some where surprised with the Silver Medal I won in the 2004 Olympic Games, people who knew me well were not.  After all, it is what I do day in and day out.  I work hard during my training and when the day of competition arrives, it is time to compete against myself.   That is what I mean when I say and sign “Run To Win.”  Hey, even 2nd place is a winner if you gave it 100%.  As one of my role models, Coach John Wooden indicates, “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”

After a big struggle for the whole 2008 year, I committed to getting myself healthy.  If I couldn’t get healthy, I was ready to retire if it was God’s will.  I decided to go to Colorado Springs to get healthy.  I spent two months there dedicating from 7am to 8 pm to rehabbing and getting stronger.  As a professional runner, running is not the only part of the job.  Getting healthy and maintaining your health is actually a full-time job that involves the right training, drills, nutrition, rest and education.

I would like to thank God for allowing me to see the bright moment after a dark 2008.  I spent a lot time in physical therapy and doctors’ offices.  These are a runner’s least favorite places, but I was able to make great progress and friends.  Although there were many moments of frustration, I was okay with all of the rehabilitation because my faith and desire to be obedient on God’s will.  We all need to realize God loves us 24/7, not only when we are in the best of circumstances.  God has been there to support me through the bad times and the good times.  God cared for me and did not give up on me, unlike other people…but we’ll leave it at that ☺

As far as the Houston Half Marathon race, there was a lot of anticipation from me, fans and loved ones.  To be honest, I could not sleep the night before because it has been a long time since I last competed.  My experiences as a student-athlete at UCLA taught me that one restless night is not going to effect me in competition.  After all, I have been committed and dedicated for months to prepare for this race.  I was ready to roll.  Of all the athletes who I competed against in this race, I think only Brian Sell knew what I was here for… to really compete and “Run To Win.”  And that is what I did, I ran hard, and luckily I won, both by finishing first and running a new personal record.

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