A. Speed is not my focus; getting to do lots of marathons around the world is. One thing seems certain, though, that a) getting older and b) doing constant running does tend to slow things down over time.
At one point early on, I trained with my coach Greg Close to become really fast and run near constant 7 minute miles. We trained for six months with a goal to finish under 3 hours at the Miami Marathon. I came close that day, but a stomach flu that weekend also took its toll and I ended up with a disappointed 3hrs:11 min – enough to qualify me for the Boston Marathon, but not what I had hoped for. I think I decided then that there were just too many variables at play for me to get myself all worked up about something that never really mattered to me all that much.
All in all, that was my fastest race, and my slowest one may have been when I was just starting out, in London at 4hrs:35min. But I have also run everything in between. Sometimes, it just because I’m doing too many races back to back and I’m not as well rested as I could be; sometimes I have a persistent injury that makes the process harder and slower such as when I ran through a persistent calf tear during races in the fall of 2014. Mostly though, it’s other things you just can’t control like the weather (ex. in Asheville, NC, when it poured constantly making the course slippery and covered in inch deep red mud!); or temperature extremes (ex. in Paris of 2011, and Boston 2012 when there were unexpected 90-degree heat waves in April that, in the case of the latter, sent many runners to the hospital with heat stroke). My health on the day of the race, or even just the terrain of a race (ex. Salt Lake City, with a constant downhill descent down a mountain from 10,000 feet to 2,000 feet, which is treacherous on your quads). For that reason, I am not focused on my times. I train to be able to run a lot, as opposed to just a few really good, fast races each year. That said, all of times are posted here in Athlinks.com.

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