Listening to An Olympian

I saw Magda Boulet, an Olympic marathoner, speak at Pacers in Alexandria last night and loved it! My only brush with Olympic glory came when I won a raffle in the sixth grade to carry the Olympic Torch as it passed through our elementary school grounds on its way to Atlanta, so getting to meet a real Olympian was pretty cool. Her story is really inspiring. She actually became a U.S. citizen on September 11, 2001. Magda shared details about her experiences starting with a disastrous race at the Twin Cities Marathon that left her thinking about giving up on professional running altogether to the race of her life in Boston where she qualified for the Olympics. She talked about the devastation of dropping out of the race in Beijing due to a fluke injury and her hopes for London 2012.

Magda provides training tips and stories from her own experiences.

Robert Gillanders, a local physical therapist (PT) and marathon runner, also spoke at the event. To say that I’m not really one to go to a doctor for injuries is a bit of an understatement, but I actually really liked what he had to stay. He talked about how common running injuries are, but noted that physically being in pain doesn’t have to be a necessary part of running. He views himself like a mechanic that can assess where you are weak and how you can get stronger in those areas so you can be more efficient, take on higher training loads and see performance gains. Magda talked about using a PT for “pre-hab” rather than rehab. She said she needed someone to look at all the pieces and see what was missing so she could get better.

Going to events like this always gets me all motivated to get out and run, but they also get me excited about new gear. Despite my background in communications and marketing, I’m a total sucker for these kinds of things. My favorite from last night – the 008 hydration vest from Nathan designed with input from Magda. Like me, she hates running with anything around her waist, in her hands or in her pockets, so this backpack is perfect. It’s super light and has pockets in front for easy access. We’ll see how long I can hold off before making this my next purchase!

Check out video of the event at

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