Former 2:24 marathoner, now in my late 40s and hoping to maximally flatten the curve of my slide into senescence and mediocrity • Magazine writer, book editor and author, and commentator on the sport of distance running since 1999 • Adviser and confidant of other perambulators • Paradoxical hater of exercise fanatics • Chihuahua whisperer Sentence-fragment impresario

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Putting clothespins on athletic genitals

First, quick hits from the recent freelance files: I recently talked to Shalane Flanagan for the second time in nine years, this time concerning strategies for getting past mental barriers in racing once you've blown up once or twice in high-pressure situations. Shalane is as immune to sub-par races as any elite runner on the scene today, but such was not always the case.

Shalane may be known as a world-class runner but she should really be lauded more for the thoughtfulness with which she gives interviews. In fact, this trait seems more characteristic of women elites than male elites -- not sure why, but I'm already off track in the first paragraph, so please visit Motiv Running and read the article. (I was going to borrow from Nicholas Kristof and just write "read!" but he gets flak for that.)

Also, this piece has nothing to do with running, but it's my first foray into local journalism and it concerns a topic that's important to me. (In case you're wondering, Boulder Weekly pays freelancers as well as most mid-sized daily newspapers do.) I wound up going down a lot of research rabbit-holes and changing my initial ideas somewhat by the time I was done with this 3,000-word opus, but it was well worth it.