Running Past an Olympic Dream

He additionally started to re-evaluate his preoccupation with the Olympics: He, like so many others, had fallen into the notion that monitor and area really issues solely as soon as each 4 years. Why was he limiting himself?

“There are so many other great things in the sport that we don’t highlight,” he stated.

After bumping his weekly mileage from about 75 to greater than 100, Merber gauged his progress in May with a 10-mile tempo run. He set a blistering tempo, ending in about 49 minutes. “I could kick my pre-quarantine ass,” he stated.

It helped solidify his perception that he was on the correct path — a brand new path, however the correct one — and his coaches suppose he might ultimately graduate to the marathon.

“He’s just getting stronger,” Nohilly stated, “and he’s enjoying the whole process.”

Over the previous 4 months, Merber has run greater than 1,500 miles — nearly all of them alone on the quiet roads and trails close to his house in Hastings-on-Hudson. In a uncommon exception, he lately retreated to rural Vermont to coach with a few buddies. It was a pleasant change of tempo, Merber stated. He had missed the camaraderie.

But even now, after having elevated his mileage and reconsidered his priorities, he feels conflicted. He can be grinding via a monitor exercise, he stated, and his thoughts will wander to a LinkedIn message he had despatched a few job opening. It is usually tough to pay attention. He is torn between his previous and his future.

“I’ll always be competing, but maybe it doesn’t need to be a full-time gig anymore,” he stated, including: “Now that I’m older, I just have a craving to explore more, to do things outside of running. I want to develop my full person.”

At the identical time, he can not assist however daydream about his subsequent race, probably within the 5,000 meters, at a time and place to be decided, and the acquainted emotions — anticipation, pleasure, stress — come flooding again.

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