Posts Tagged With: advice

What I Learned From Meeting Meb

If you saw my Dallas Half Marathon Recap, then you know I got to meet running royalty – Olympic Silver Medalist and Boston & New York Marathon Champion, Meb Keflezighi!

Me n Meb

Me n Meb

I actually got to run into him three times. First was in the race corral, second was on the course when he was high-fiving the runners, and third was at a special meet n greet I was fortunate to be invited to.

My friends took a selfie while we waited to meet him.

My friends took a selfie while we waited to meet him.

Not to be outdone, I took a selfie with Meb in the background.

Not to be outdone, I took a selfie with Meb in the background.

After the meet n greet, he did a Q n A. This is where I learned a lot of stuff, but I gotta say, all three run-ins taught me stuff.

My elf friend took another selfie during the Q n A.

My elf friend took another selfie during the Q n A.

So for everyone that couldn’t be in Dallas this weekend, here is what I learned from Meb:

1. He’s a great ambassador for our sport. He was so giving of his time to be on the course high-fiving runners, then hand out medals at the finish, then do a meet n greet with fans.

2. He’s very nice and sincere. When I got his autograph, I thanked him for the high fives. Later during his Q n A, he remembered that and actually mentioned my by name in his talk!!! Meb remembered me!

3. He really believes in his sponsors. He called them partners. I had no idea UCAN was originally created to help a child with a rare illness stay alive.

4. His motto is “race to win”. He wrote that on every autograph. You may not win each race (or any race), but you should give it your all no matter what.

5. He’s very quiet and humble, but also funny. They had a moderator leading the Q n A. His job was to get Meb to open up, and he did! He has some great stories!

6. He’s training the next wave of super runners. He has little daughters at home who ask to go on runs with him, and he takes them on them. Look out Boston 2036!

7. He runs smart. He was the 15th fastest person in the field at Boston, but finished 1st. He did so by following a good race strategy. We should all do the same.

8. He has bad days too. He said there’s days when he doesn’t want to run, but does it any way. Make it a habit and have an accountability partner, was his advice.

9. He’s had injuries too. But unlike most of us who get things like IT Band pain or plantar fasciitis, his were more severe. And they came from pushing too hard. Like so hard that he tore his leg muscles.

10. He loves being American. He said during Boston that he couldn’t help but chant along with the crowd at times, “USA, USA, USA!”

11. Boston was personal for him. He said the year before, he left the finish area 5 minutes before the bombing. He wanted to win for America and the victims. He even had the names of the victims who died in the attacks written on his race bib. That’s awesome.

12. He works really hard, like totally super outrageously hard. This is what stuck out most to me. He said during the last few miles of Boston, he was pushing himself so hard that he started vomiting. He didn’t want his competitors to know this, so he covered his mouth with his hand and kept running hard. Wow.

Meb dropping some knowledge on us.

Meb dropping some knowledge on us.

I will take these lessons with me. I mean, if he can win the Boston Marathon while puking at the same time, I can surely suck it up and skip a walk break on one of my little runs.

One thing I’ve thought for a while now, Meb was the ultimate storybook story hero for the Boston Marathon 2014. Nobody else should have won that race. And nobody else did. As I kept yelling at the TV during the Marathon broadcast back in April, “Go Meb Go!”

How bout you? Someone inspiring that you’ve met? What’s the hardest you’ve pushed yourself in a run? Do my friends and I take too many selfies?

-Scott

Categories: fitfluetial, Fuel (food), marathon, run, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Don’t be an Embarrassed Runner

There’s no reason to be.  I bring this up because recently I’ve had a few interactions with people, who for whatever reason, are embarrassed to work out.  I guess I didn’t really know that so many people feel this way.  But I hear that they think everyone is judging them (either in the gym or on the roads) and they don’t want to be embarrassed by how they look working out.  They tell me that they are self conscience about their bodies, their running pace, their lack of knowledge around gym equipment, their age, etc. etc. etc.

I have never felt that way.  Well, except for once.  I had just had wrist surgery, and once I was cleared to start rehab, the only weights I could lift were 2-3 lbs.  So I hid in a side room at the gym so nobody would see me doing curls with baby weights.  But then a group of body builders came in the same room and stripped down to g-strings and started critiquing each others poses, as they were preparing for a competition.  I was trapped in the room, surrounded by giant men in tiny banana hammocks, lifting 2 pound dumbbells – so yes, I was a little embarrassed.

But anyway, I seem to recall in college someone telling me they were intimidated being around buff dudes in the gym, so they didn’t go.  Now I’m not saying I was buff, but I was on the cheerleading team and we had to lift weights…a lot.  The gym was our second home.  And yes, we had a strength and conditioning coach, just like every other sports team on campus.  Here’s photo proof of my involvement:

Here's my fav cheerleading photo (Hint--I'm the one on the bottom)

My fav cheerleading photo (Hint–I’m the one on the bottom)

I remember talking to some of the other regulars at the gym and asked if they ever judged anyone else, and they all said “No.”  They were too busy focusing on their own workouts.  In fact, they said they actually respect the out of shape people they see in the gym.  They respect how their in there working to get better.  The only time they don’t is when someone just shows up one time and quits.  Or people who are just there doing things half-butted.  But if you are there and committed, then others respect you, no matter what your fitness level is.

This goes for people running too.  Whenever I pass another runner, I don’t say to myself, “They should not be out here.”  Instead I think, “Hey, another runner trying to get better, just like me.”

And when I’m in my car and pass by someone running, I’m always jealous.  I’d rather be out there on my feet than on my vehicular wheels.

So to sum up:  lift the weights, run the roads, swim the the pools, bike the streets, yoga the yoga mats, do whatever it is you like to do without fear.  Nobody is judging how fast you run, how much weight you can lift, how unflexible  you are, etc, etc.   Chances are, you are actually being respected or envied……Unless of course you’re doing something weird, like stealing all the paper towels and putting them in her giant purse, like I saw an old lady at the gym do the other week.  If that’s the case, then yes, I am judging you Mrs. Paper Towel Stealer.

Categories: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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