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November 4, 2007

Lance Armstrong


THE MODERATOR: We have Lance Armstrong with us here today. I believe it was 2:46:43, and that's about a 13-minute improvement over last year, which was 2:59:36. Do you want to say a few words about today's race and your effort today?
LANCE ARMSTRONG: I definitely did better than last year. I think I came in better prepared, but I perhaps started faster than I wanted and I sort of got out there and realized I was either going to finish okay or be crawling home. I decided to take the chance and settled into a rhythm, and it went pretty good. I enjoyed it much more this year than last year.

Q. Talk about preparation. How did you prepare this year differently? Did you talk to runners in training?
LANCE ARMSTRONG: I think three things. I think number one, I came in relatively pain-free. Last year I had a lot of nagging injuries before I came in with the shin problems, which just got worse halfway through the race, first thing. The second thing is I had the experience of having done last year's marathon, so you know what -- all these things that you're told and taught, how to run a marathon, and you actually believe them this time.
And then the third thing is I actually trained more this time, which I should have done last year, but I didn't, so I trained more consistently, did some longer runs, did some faster paced 18, 19-mile runs. So I think just in general I was in better shape. I guess I was about seven pounds lighter than last year, too, so that makes a big difference.
Just like in cycling, your body weight is a huge factor. It's no accident that the best in the world weigh 120 pounds. The body has to be light. I was about 173 pounds, whereas last year I was about 180.

Q. When is your next one?
LANCE ARMSTRONG: You know, I tried to make predictions last year about marathons and will I ever do one again, and I'm not going to get into that trap again. I'd like to say that I'd come back here every year, but I don't know. It is a beautiful race, and I think if I am going to continue to do a marathon every year, this is probably the best one to do -- not probably, it definitely is, just based on the level of support and the motivation out there to run. Also I think this is one of the greatest cities in the world, and it's a nice one to run through. But I don't know, next year could be another challenge, another sports challenge, so give me a few months.
I feel better than I did last year leaving here. Last year it took me about four or five months to actually be able to run again because of the shins. I'm more excited about doing another one than I was last year.

Q. How does doing some shorter races appeal to you?
LANCE ARMSTRONG: I think to do that I would need to train more specifically, sort of do more track work and do more specific running workouts. My life and my lifestyle doesn't lead to that right now because I travel all the time and I hang out with my kids and work with the foundation and still like to go out and have fun and eat what I want and have a beer every now and again. I don't want to cut that out in order to run faster. I've done a lot of things in my life fast, so it's now time to do them just for fun and recreation. To me 2:46, I consider that fast for me, and it's faster than I thought I'd be, so I'm happy. But if you said do you want to run 15-minute 5-K, which I suppose I could do if I tried very, very hard, focused on that, but I then I wouldn't have any fun. I have to find a balance. I think everybody in this world needs to find a balance in their life, and I seem to have found one right now.

Q. Given that it was a tough race last year and you apparently even came out of it with injuries and you've got this big life, why did you decide to focus and come back this year?
LANCE ARMSTRONG: It's a good thing to -- for me it's a good goal to have every year. If you know you have a marathon in six months, three months, one month, you know that you have to prepare for that. So there's no -- it keeps me training, it keeps me inspired on a daily basis, keeps me out there on the roads. You can't take two weeks off and gain ten pounds because you have a marathon coming up, so it puts a little pressure on you, which I like to have. I fully believe that exercise should be an integral part of our lives, and in order for me to do that I have to have these little goals. They don't have to be performance goals, but they certainly have to be some kind of goal. Maybe it is a performance goal. My goal today was to break 2:50 so you know you have to do some definitely of training to do that.
But I think that by and large, the most important thing is just a consistent regimen of exercise.

Q. How many people in your group?
LANCE ARMSTRONG: Livestrong Group?

Q. How many donate to the foundation.
LANCE ARMSTRONG: We're 140 people, 130 or 140.

Q. Last year I think I asked you if you trained seriously for this race, for the marathon, what you thought you could do, and you said somewhere in the 2:20s. A year later and another look at that, what do you think?
LANCE ARMSTRONG: How much is that per mile?

Q. 5:00s, 5:30s.
LANCE ARMSTRONG: Yeah (laughter), I have no interest in -- you would have to give up so much. You would have to do big weeks, week training blocks, and I did that for 15, 20 years as a professional athlete. I don't see that happening. But I guess theoretically you could say I possibly could do that.

Q. Did you have fun training for this one this year?
LANCE ARMSTRONG: I did because I had less pain and less little nagging injuries along the way, so definitely enjoyed it more. And at the same time it's nice to know what to expect. Last year I had no idea what to expect with 26.2 miles, and I paid for it. So just knowing how the race feels and that mile 20 really is where the race starts, it helped me and so I made my training in effect more enjoyable. I'll continue to run. For me running is the best type of workout right now because with a busy lifestyle and travel, all you need is a pair of running shoes and you can do it in any city in the world.
In the last three months I've been all over the United States and Europe, Korea, all over, Mexico, Canada. So all you need is a pair of running shoes, so it works out good.
THE MODERATOR: I'd like, again, to congratulate and thank Lance Armstrong.

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