”I’m just like anybody else. I’m not a machine.” ~ Björn Borg
I watched a movie on Hulu called Borg vs McEnroe. It’s about Björn Borg and John McEnroe competing for the 1980 Wimbledon tennis championship. That match is often said to be the best Wimbledon final ever played. Although this isn’t a running movie, it’s inspiring to watch these actors’ reenactment of the drive of two of history’s greatest athletes. I played tennis many years ago but never beyond the level of a beginner. I enjoyed the movie and found it exciting; however, I’ve read that true tennis aficionados find the movie lacking. Borg vs McEnroe dwells primarily on Borg’s psyche and his upbringing as a child prodigy, but comparatively little of McEnroe. A large percentage of the movie is in Swedish with English subtitles.
"Quit making excuses, putting it off, complaining about it, dreaming about it, whining about it, crying about it, believing you can’t, worrying if you can, waiting until you are older, skinnier, richer, braver, or all around better. Suck it up, hold on tight, say a prayer, make a plan & just do it.” ~ Nike
Training log (past week)
Sunday: 4.10 miles (9:53); ran in the park, sunny, 84° F, 57% humidity.
Monday: 3.22 miles (9:23); ran in the park, sunny, 84° F, 50% humidity.
Tuesday: 4.20 miles (9:34); ran in the park, sunny, 84° F, 53% humidity.
Thursday: 3.21 miles (9:58); ran in the park, partly cloudy, 84° F, 69% humidity.
Saturday: 6.20 miles (10:35); ran the hilly country road training route, cloudy, 73° F, 95% humidity.
Week total running: 20.93 miles.
Week total stationary bicycle virtual mileage: 0 miles.
"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence." ~ Vince Lombardi
I watched a program on Netflix called Chasing Perfection. The series stars Olympic gold medal-winning sprinter Michael Johnson interviewing leading high performance experts and sports scientists. The show explores what it takes to become a sports champion and demonstrates how sports science technologies are being used to improve athletic performance. The program is supposed to be a series, but it appears there's only two episodes.
”I believe in what I am doing. To run a big marathon and win takes five months. When I’m on the starting line, my mind starts reviewing what I have been doing the last five months. I believe in my training, and I treat myself as the best one standing on that line.” ~ Eliud Kipchoge
I watched a video on YouTube called The Science of How Nike Nearly Cracked the Two-Hour Marathon by WIRED. It’s a short, but very interesting video. Prior to seeing this I was under the impression that the pace car used in the Breaking2 experiment had provided a significant wind break for the runners. According to this video the effect was negligible.
”The 2018 Barkley Marathons will be my fourth attempt. I’m feeling the most prepared I ever have both physically and mentally, but I will soon find out that means absolutely nothing to the Barkley.” ~ Jamil Coury
I watched a video on YouTube called The Year The Barkley Won. It’s about Jamil Coury’s attempt at the 2018 Barkley Marathons. I’ve blogged about the Barkley Marathons in the past. It’s an annual ultramarathon held at Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee. The course is so difficult that no one finished the 2018 race. The video is interesting and has some amazing footage. Most of the video seems to have been recorded with a GoPro, as a large portion of the video is of Jamil Coury looking down at his feet as he’s hiking the race course. The Barkley Marathons look exciting, but as I’ve said before I will not be seeking entry into the Barkley marathons.
”Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're the lion or a gazelle—when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.” ~ Christopher McDougall
Training log (past week)
Sunday: stationary bicycle 10.31 miles.
Monday: stationary bicycle 10.56 miles.
Tuesday: stationary bicycle 10.53 miles.
Thursday: stationary bicycle 10.70 miles.
Saturday: 3.24 miles (9:06); ran in the park, sunrise, 58° F, 97% humidity.
Week total running: 3.24 miles.
Week total stationary bicycle virtual mileage: 42.10 miles.
”Analysis revealed that the guilty pleasure of watching a group of exhausted, miserable human beings painfully push their bodies to the limit in a 26-mile race is the primary motivation of every four out of five observers at the event.” ~ The Onion
Study: 83% Of Marathon Spectators Only Attend For Sick Thrill Of Watching Fellow Man Suffer
CHICAGO—In a new study released Monday by Northwestern University, researchers found that 83 percent of marathon spectators only attend to relish the sick thrill of watching their fellow man suffer. “Analysis revealed that the guilty pleasure of watching a group of exhausted, miserable human beings painfully push their bodies to the limit in a 26-mile race is the primary motivation of every four out of five observers at the event,” said lead researcher Dr. Philip Sharp, noting that a large majority of people who watched marathons were there for the deliciously sinful delight of witnessing the pained expressions of struggling, out-of-breath competitors as they lose all control of their bodies and collapse. “Data found that scores of observers would even bring signs, air horns, and bells to encourage the runners to continue the parade of human misery just for their own perverse entertainment. Even the 17 percent of the audience who are primarily there to support a friend or loved one in the race admit they can’t help but savor the intoxicating, depraved*rush of satisfaction they feel when watching a runner puking on the side of the road as their digestive system shuts down due to the intense level of exercise.” Sharp added that marathon officials were already citing the study as they considered plans to extend the length of races and ban water and carbohydrate-based energy gels in order to improve attendance and the overall enjoyment for spectators.
”When you are running, there is a little person that talks to you, that little person says, ‘I’m tired, my lungs are going to pop, I’m so hurt, I’m so tired. There’s no way I can possibly continue.’ And you want to quit. If you learn how to defeat that person when you are running, you will learn how to not quit when things get hard in your life.” ~ Will Smith
Training log (past week)
Sunday: 3.21 miles (9:40); ran in the park, sunrise, 35° F, 100% humidity.
Monday: stationary bicycle 10.24 miles.
Tuesday: stationary bicycle 10.05 miles.
Thursday: 3.25 miles (9:19); ran in the park, sunny, 46° F, 71% humidity.
Saturday: Spring Hill Turkey Burn half-marathon 13.1 miles (9:58); cloudy, 48° F, 92% humidity.
Week total running: 19.56 miles.
Week total stationary bicycle virtual mileage: 20.29 miles.
”And thus began a cruel cycle in my life. The more obsessed I became, the faster I ran; the faster I ran, the more notoriety I received; the more notoriety I received, the more obsessed I became. Soon, even winning wasn’t enough.” ~ Suzy Favor Hamilton in Fast Girl.
I finished reading Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness, an autobiography by Suzy Favor Hamilton. The book is a true story about mental illness. Hamilton was a three-time Olympian in woman’s middle distance running. She was a successful runner but inwardly she was very stressed because she felt she had to be perfect, keep winning, and please everyone. Throughout the book she tells of her lifelong private struggles with suicidal thoughts and bulimia nervosa.
Hamilton’s mental illness was somewhat beneficial to her running career because her obsession with winning made her a strong competitor. She competed in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona Spain, 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and the 2000 Olympics in Sydney Australia. After the 2000 Olympics she retired from competitive running and had a child. The combination of quitting competition and postpartum depression put her illness into high gear. She started craving adventure and fulfillment of fantasies, beginning with skydiving and hiring escorts. Ultimately she was working as a high-end escort in Las Vegas and spending money exorbitantly. She continued spiraling until she was diagnosed bipolar disorder.
Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness is a good book and very well written. It tells Hamilton’s personal story as well as explaining the self-destructive activities engaged in by those with bipolar disorder.