I have been saving some of these stories with an eye to writing about them, but I'm just swamped. So here's a link and a mini-caption to whet your palate.
US runners finally going the distance -- An article at Boston.com profiles the "resurgence" in American distance running on the world stage. Matt Tegenkamp (aka "The fastest American Distance runner you've never heard of") has a nice quote about the "resurgence": "It's contagious," said Tegenkamp, who's ranked 10th in the world in the 5,000. "You don't put up any barriers. Anything's possible."
Meet Alan Culpepper -- Alan talks about his career, his training and his ability to balance a family life and his running. He says: I think sometimes there is a misconception about elite athletes that they are consumed by their sport and that they are defined by it. I am very proud that we have accomplished a lot in the sport but also that we have a life and a family and balance it both. I am not one of these anomalies that live a freakish lifestyle that no one can relate too. Perhaps I was wrong.
Shalane Flanagan's got the passion and the parents for distance-running success -- Besides having a long title, this article balances out my rant about obsession being the key talent required for success with the more commonly accepted view that your genetics and passion are 50-50. Maybe. If nothing else, more Americans should read this so they know who Shalane Flanagan is. 'Cause she's a beast. (In a good way.)
Ryan Hall interview on Flotrack -- This is the best interview I think Ryan's ever given. My favorite line (referring to his first international experience running the 5k at the World Championships): "I was definitely like that in Helsinki, too, I was like, 'I'm here, this is it.' And then I was there and I sucked and it wasn't that fun to suck and I don't want to suck in the Olympics." It's refreshing to see this side of a guy with Ryan's success.
Monique Hennigan: motivation to excel -- I love Monique's quote illustrating the importance of "social persuasion" in developing one's self-efficacy. As Monique says: “That was really important, all the things that they said to me, about me, around me, because those words get inside you,” Hennagan said. “Those words continue to talk to you.” Next time you see one of your runner friends, take a moment to tell them you believe in them. It helps.
There you go. Hope you enjoy them!