Shalane Flanagan is Running 6 Marathons in 43 Days


This weekend’s double has loomed over her coaching. She hunted for coaching spots in sweltering Tokyo throughout the Olympics, the place a number of of the athletes she coaches had been competing. She was not allowed outdoors the Olympic bubble, although she might run on the warm-up observe along with her athletes outdoors the Olympic Stadium — till it was clogged with hurdlers and sprinters. The U.S. crew’s coaching facility was a 45-minute bus experience away. She missed a number of days of coaching, and by no means had a run that lasted greater than 10 miles whereas in Japan.

She tried to imitate a shorter model of the Chicago-Boston double final month, operating 20-plus miles on a flat course someday, then 21 miles at a (*43*):40 per mile tempo on hilly terrain the following day. (*(*43*)*) her 17-month-old son’s diapers and dealing in her backyard after the primary run served as a stand-in for what could possibly be a busy journey from Chicago to Boston.

In Berlin, the place she began conservatively, Flanagan averaged about (*43*):40 per mile for the primary third of the race as she ran along with her bodily therapist, Colleen Little, a sub-three-hour marathoner in her personal proper. But on Berlin’s flat course on a not-too-sunny day, she hit the fuel in the second half, clicking off a 5:30 mile at one level.

Speaking from London days later, she mentioned her again was sore, in all probability from lugging her son round. Otherwise she was superb. Still, she mentioned, she was planning to decelerate for London.

She didn’t.

She landed in a corral with the sub-elite males, received caught in their wave of pace, misplaced observe of her splits and ended up passing the midway mark in 75 minutes. Whoops.

She advised herself it was time to again off, however barely did, although she knew the door to the ache cave could be simply across the nook. Her physique began to give up across the 20-mile mark. Her quads had been on fireplace, and she or he might barely raise her legs. She even began strolling in the final mile as a result of she thought she was going to fall over. She completed in simply over 2:35.

“That last five kilometers was absolutely brutal,” she mentioned on Tuesday.

Her legs had began to recuperate, she mentioned, however her proper foot was a bit janky. It felt as if she had rolled her proper ankle although she knew she hadn’t.