Decision Time for Trials Runners

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With the Olympic Trials only a week away, it should be a time brimming with excitement for with their ‘golden tickets’. Unfortunately for Andrew Huebner it’s a little more stressful than that. Andrew earned his place at the Trials by way of his 2:17:05 finish at Grandma’s Marathon way back in 2014. Here’s an excerpt from his Jan 12th blog entry:

The night before we left Portsmouth I was out on a 90 minute run. Fairly routine minus the fact that I’d run a hard two hours earlier in the day. That week was one of the biggest of my life. I’d run about 125 miles in 6 days. No doubt I was teetering on “the edge,” and whether or not I was aware of that, running that afternoon really tightened up my right hamstring. I stopped and stretched and it seemed to get better as I finished up the run. After the run I was a little hobbled and had a slight limp, but hey I had just run 33 high quality miles in a day. Little aches are customary. I got a massage from Shawn and felt better.

I woke up the next morning and was in a lot more pain. Tuesday was even worse. The ache went from being a general ache in my upper hamstring to a sharp, stabbing pain right where it connects up into my sit bones. Not a very comfortable place to have some pain during a drive across the ol’ USA.

That’s horrible to see, especially for someone so fit and who earned one of those prestigious spots on the line at the Trials. His latest update sadly pretty much rules out a competitive showing in LA, but with a little luck hopefully he’ll be able to finish the race. Here’s Andrew’s latest update on the big decision at hand:

I got an email over the weekend asking trials qualifiers to officially “declare” for the race. I wasn’t sure how to react to seeing the email at first, and sort of avoided it for a few hours before finally reading it. These kinds of things are exciting when training is going well, but quite the opposite when they haven’t been “going” at all. At the time I still hadn’t been able to run more than a few minutes here and there, and the idea of declaring for a marathon seemed ridiculous and impossible. (Well, that’s because it is both those things!) I knew I wouldn’t be able to complete the race, but I decided (with some help and encouragement from friends) that being on the starting line is something that I’ve earned; it’s important even if I have zero intention or ability to actually cross the finish line. My goal is to get as much experience out of the weekend as possible, and being on the starting line should be a part of that. I ran the time to deserve to be on the starting line. Even if I know completion is more than a pipe dream, I now have every intention and every motivation to get up that day, put on my singlet, treat it like any other race morning and get my ass to the starting line with everybody else. It was a nice conclusion to come to and I find myself looking forward to the race more now that I’ve got that figured out in my own head.

In other news I was able to run for 30 slow, nonstop minutes today. Probably 7:30-8:00 pace. It wasn’t without significant pain in my upper hamstring/butt, but it was tolerable today. The injury itself seems to be staying pretty much the same- the other conditions of my body (flexibility, strength, motivation) being in alignment seem to at least allow me to get out there and run for a reasonable distance at a reasonable pace. It did wonders for my mental state, no doubt about that. Hopefully I can keep things consistent and be in a good spot for the start of the race in about 10 days!

Level Legion, this is a call to take some time to send some good vibes over to Andrew! Tough to see a guy in a predicament like this. All excerpts here taken from Andrew’s blog: Run Andrew Run.

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