Friday, July 1, 2011

[53] Another Pantheon Goddess

Being F-AB-ulous in Osaka! 2007
Had I followed the United States' Track Team's success at Track and Field World Championships in Osaka, Japan (2007), I would have known who Kara and Shalane were long ago. Admittedly, at the time I had just spent four days interpreting for the Jamaican Team, so I was obsessed with watching them crush the US and Japan! The following summer, I moved to Tokyo and a week later, the Beijing Olypiad took place. Again, I followed Jamaica with wild interest and my own country and country of residence with mild interest.

Earlier in the year, I talked about Nike TC elite runner and 2010 NYC Marathon Debutane, Shalane Flanagan. While Shalane was rocking the streets of the Five Boros, Kara Goucher was reveling in her debut as a mother. However, as the Apple of the Big Apple's eye started to fade and spring rolled in with the Boston Marathon in tow, Kara's name started cropping up everywhere as the recent mom in the midst of a comeback. Looking at pictures of Kara during her pregnancy and postpartum, she still looked better than I have in years. By the time she trotted into Boston, she was in racing shape and ready to smash Bean Town to tiny bits.

Neither being an elite athlete or a mother is easy, and within weeks of giving birth to Colt, Goucher was getting back into the swing of things and now she's on the fast track to the Olympic Trials. Talk about a great way to shed baby fat! Like Shalane, Kara is a member of the Oregon Track Project by Nike, and also debuted at the New York City Marathon, but two years prior (2008). What gives Kara an extra mark or two in my books (besides having a name that starts with Kar-) is that she's only a year older than me. Granted, Kara's been running since she was a child, but I can identify with her more as she is a runner in her thirties.

Lookin' great, Girl! (c) RW
As for my obsession and quest for the Nike SportWatch+ GPS, I am completely throwing Kara under the bus with her May 2011 cover of Runner's World. Being a Nike+ geek (nearly two years running, ha ha), I've been pining for this hot ticket item, but with the mixed product reviews, I firmly remained on the fence for a months or so. Then this issue of RW found its way into my mail box, and that was the end of it. Kara, I adore you, but you owe me $179.99 + tax!

What has me really curious is what the Nike Campus in Portland is like. It isn't exactly a place one can go on a vacation or tour (or can they)? Initially, Kara was an elite track runner who later expanded her scope to included halves and fulls. I wonder how she passes her day. While I'm chained to a desk, how many miles is she running? What's her training menu like? What kind of music populates her playlists? Does she commute to work by running (or does she drive)? I've never been to Oregon. Maybe I really should have applied for that Nike Run Reporter casting after all... Hmmm..

Recently, Kara released her own take on running for women. I am so excited to delve deeper into the psyche of an elite runner, and learn to improve myself as a runner. Honestly speaker, I've always leaned toward the fiction genre over nonfiction when it came to reading. However, in the last year, I've taken to throwing non-fiction into the reading mixture. Looking over my ever evolving reading list and my goals as an individual who runs, I decided that if I am ever graduate from novice level, I need to read more books (not limit myself to magazines) about the sport. Flicking through, it looks light which is always a promising sign for summer reading. 

Read Up on Kara
Love her laughing with her baby bump & hubby, Adam! (c) AMR
If I ever become a lean, mean mother runner, I hope I can an ounce or two of Kara's positivity to keep running (jogging, ambling, crawling) as much as I can!

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