Sunday, November 22, 2009

Catherine Ndereba: Yokohama

Stefani Weis reports

The internet never stops amazing me! Here I was, sitting in my Pennsylvania home, watching the Yokohama Women's Marathon LIVE online via a player called Keyholetv that allowed me to watch the Japanese TV Asahi, while chatting on Facebook with a friend from Chile and talking on the phone to a friend in PA and watching the Pittsburgh Panthers football game on the tv :) The resolution on the marathon online was not great, and I couldn't understand a word of the commentating, but what was important was that I could actually WATCH Catherine run a race on the other side of the world!

[check Stefani's blog for some blurry but cool screenshots.]

I spoke with Lisa, Catherine's manager, last night. Ahhh, the wonders of the internet! We chatted briefly via facebook before she had to leave for the airport to fly back to Philadelphia. She has been traveling with all of her athletes on and off for the past six weeks and is very anxious to get back home! Catherine will remain in Japan with her coach, Mostafa and travel to Chiba for next weekend's Ekiden. Catherine's husband, Anthony, left Tuesday night (they are 14 hours ahead of where I am in Philadelphia, PA)

Since Catherine had not seen Anthony is many months, I did not want to call her and take up time she could be spending with hubby so I asked Lisa how Catherine was feeling and how she felt the race went. She said Catherine was extremely pleased with her run in Yokohama, especially since she had not been able to conduct her speed workouts in the weeks leading up to the race due to a nagging hip flexor problem. She was being treated for it by her amazing chiropractor (Dr. Johnny King-Marino) and through massage therapy but had to back off of the speed work. I am happy to report, however, that she was pain free throughout the race and feels great afterwards! Many people wonder, and many also ask if she is disappointed if she does not take first place in a marathon, but those who know her know that she is never disappointed as long as she runs well and is healthy. She is always happy for whoever wins and is content to know that whatever happens was Gods plan for that day. This is what attracted me to Catherine's story in the first place. She doesn't just "say" those words; she BELIEVES them and you can tell it is completely genuine! She also never uses excuses and has never dropped out of a race; she listens to her body and adjusts. Rather than look at her hip problem as the reason she did not take first place, she is pleased that she has recovered from a common problem among runners, was able to run well and pain free and still take third place. Not too shabby in my book! (notice I did not say she didn't "win", I said she did not "take first place" because first, second, third or 100th, she is still a winner in that same book of mine!)