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October 31, 2013

Shalane Flanagan


Q.テつ Coming back to New York City.テつ What are your thoughts?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ It's a bit nostalgic.テつ I haven't been back‑‑ I had intentions of coming last year and running the 5K.テつ It obviously got cancelled.テつ Coming back, very exciting.テつ It's a lot of good energy.テつ Running in the park last night and this morning, I had flashbacks of my marathon experience.テつ It's hard to contain the excitement.テつ It's a great weekend.

Q.テつ What are you hope to go get out of this 5K?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ To hurt really badly.テつ Kind of kick start my fitness.テつ I took‑‑ I ran in Moscow at the World Championships and took a much needed break.テつ I'm rounding back into shape.テつ By any means, not in fabulous shape.テつ To just go in and run hard and enjoy the weekend.

Q.テつ Do you think anything you do here will be an indicator of what's to come in the coming seasons?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ I mean, I don't know if it's necessarily an indicator.テつ It's just like a good kick in the butt to get the competitive juices flowing again.テつ I have a big overarching goal more related to the marathon.テつ So the 5K doesn't necessarily apply.テつ It's just a fun way to get back in shape and to celebrate more so the marathon and kind of the hardships that the marathons have had this past year, I just kind of want to come back and celebrate the fact that what happens last year is kind of a celebration that the marathon is back on and strong.

Q.テつ Last night I saw a tweet, Red Sox won the World Series.

Q.テつ Talk about that.テつ Are you a big Red Sox fan?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ You know what, I'm a sports fan in general.テつ I can't say that I follow the Red Sox all season.テつ I was in Europe over the summer.テつ So it's a little bit harder to keep track of things.
But I think just in general, how can you not be, given the events of the past year.テつ I mean, I've been to plenty of Red Sox games growing up and what not.テつ Just kind of the city needed it.テつ I think the nation needed it.テつ And I think Cardinal fans would say, you know what, it stinks that we lost, but it couldn't have happened to a better team and a better city.
It just was a really feel good moment, I think, for a lot of people.テつ Yeah, I was fired up last night.テつ Coming from the west coast, it was only‑‑ it wasn't very late for me.テつ So I literally didn't go to bed until 1:00 because I was jazzed watching the game in my own hotel room by myself.テつ It was fun.

Q.テつ There was a sense after Boston that sports would change somehow.テつ We don't know how, for better or for worse.テつ Six months later, what's your thought on it?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ I think there's just more intensity, especially around the marathon world.テつ Obviously, you can see it applied to major league baseball.テつ I feel like there was a sense of purpose behind their victory.テつ There was‑‑ I mean, they talked about‑‑ I don't know if this was true.テつ I heard a rumor they actually went to the finish line of the Boston Marathon.テつ I'm not sure.
I think it just gives everyone a sense of purpose and passion that's elevating.テつ I don't think it's changing the sport for any worse.テつ If anything, it's bringing people closer together and sharing their stories.テつ It's a good thing in a way.

Q.テつ Have you thought of a heightened awareness, or do you feel any different from start to finish than you used to?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ You know what, there's just, in general, there's more security.テつ Like for example, I can't recall ‑‑ I did this press conference before.テつ I can't recall there being security like there is today.テつ So there is a heightened awareness.
But so be it.テつ I don't think it affects things in a negative way.テつ I think it just makes people on their toes and appreciate when things run smoothly.テつ Just there's an appreciation behind it.

Q.テつ And what are you planning for next season?テつ What kind of mix of track and marathons?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ I think maybe a little bit less track.テつ I think it's really hard to do it all and do it well.
I think like going‑‑ like when I was in Moscow, I just felt really tired.テつ So I think that's a testament to the hard training I did in preparation for Boston.テつ It's hard to extend this that long.
I started January 1st training for Boston and literally didn't take a break until after Moscow.テつ I was planning to run even more races, but I was tired.
I think next year I may downplay the track and focus on really honing my skills on the road.テつ It's always fun to mix it up, but I think I just‑‑ I really want to make a statement the next couple of years, and that's what my passion is right now.

Q.テつ Forgive me if this is out there, what marathons are you committed to?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ I don't know if I'm at liberty to say.テつ I think maybe some people could guess where I'd be.テつ I'll be running a spring marathon.

Q.テつ You said next year you would take less focus on the track, next year meaning 2014?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ Yes.テつ I think upon reflection of this year, I was all over the place.テつ I did cross country, I did a marathon, I did a half marathon, and I did some track races.テつ While that's great, I just want to, I think, focus on my skills a little bit more next year.
I just was really fatigued by the end of track season, and it's kind of not fun to be running when you're so tired.テつ So I think I'm just going to focus on the roads and enjoy that next year.

Q.テつ Is that hard to like‑‑ like I'm not saying you're saying good‑bye, but it's kind of like a phase of your career that you're changing the focus.
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ Totally.テつ That's exactly what I said to Jerry, my coach.テつ Maybe it was a week ago.テつ I just had this epiphany, it's not like I won't do track anymore.テつ I don't think I want it to be my focus anymore.テつ It's kind of sad, but at the same time, it's a relief because I feel like I've tried to do both.テつ I tried to do track.テつ I tried to do marathoning.テつ They do complement each other.
I really want to‑‑ where the rest of my goals are headed and where my statements I feel like they need to be, they're going to be more in the marathon and on the road.
If I had to pick and really work on some skills, then I need to be really working at my craft, and that's in the marathon.テつ I think I'm going to have the track be less of an important phase.テつ It will complement it.テつ But I think I tried to do both where they were both really important.

Q.テつ How do you view this year?テつ You think back to high school, college, professional, there's been so much track, very little marathoning.テつ Do you see it as almost two different sports in a way?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ At the basic level for running, but it really is‑‑ it is two different sports to me.テつ The marathoning world, it's celebrated with‑‑ I guess much more people.テつ It's just much more encompassing, and the track world is very, very limited to reaching people.
So it's just‑‑ the preparation is somewhat the same, but at the same time, I'm not nearly as exhausted as when I'm preparing for a marathon as I am the track.テつ It's just different in some ways.テつ Both are very enjoyable, but my passion is leaning more towards the road.

Q.テつ How does this weekend fit into it all now?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ This is a good kick in the butt, as I was describing it earlier.テつ It's going to hurt really good.テつ I took a much needed break after Moscow, and so I think most of my team is just kind of slowly getting back into shape.
But I feel like it's important to get back out and race, and even though I may not be at my best, just get fit again and motivated to just being back out in sports.

Q.テつ What was it like coming off Moscow?テつ How long did you take a break?テつ What were you thinking of?テつ Was it more of a mental break or a physical break?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ I think both.テつ I was really tired.テつ I think I didn't allow myself to admit I was really tired until after, just because, like I said, I had from January 1st to build up for a marathon and try to carry all that fitness over all the way until August without really any significant break.
I think most marathoners don't‑‑ I don't know many marathoners internationally that will do that, will make that switch.テつ No one in the 10K‑‑ maybe there was one woman that ran a marathon that year, but it's hard to do all of it.
So I needed it mentally and physically.テつ I just felt like toast.テつ So I took two full weeks off, and then just gradually building up to this point.テつ So yeah.

Q.テつ Do you have like a motivation or like an excitement when you start training again?

Q.テつ What is that?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ My motivation is next year's Boston Marathon is super important.テつ If I'm racing there, that's what's important to me.テつ There's a lot of fire, as you can see, with other sports, like the Red Sox, the importance of just having to make a statement.テつ I just want people to be proud of this next year and what I do.
So there's a lot of motivation.

Q.テつ Did you watch the game last night?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ Oh, yeah.テつ I couldn't go to sleep.テつ I'm actually really tired.テつ I was fired up, yeah.テつ It was good.

Q.テつ Best of luck this weekend.

Q.テつ What do we expect this weekend?テつ What are you thinking?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ I don't know.テつ I'm just glad to have my teammate Emily not beat me by more than 30 seconds.テつ That's my goal.テつ I have a really fit teammate.テつ So trying to keep up with her.

Q.テつ Getting back to Boston, six months later, is there like a lasting image that is never going to go out of your mind about that moment?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ I think just more than anything it was a very personal‑‑ a personal moment and a personal attack on the people in the city that I love and the nation that I love.テつ So more than anything, I think there's just a lot of purpose to what I do in the next year to make sure that like I show strength of the running community.
So I wouldn't say there was a lasting image per se, just more of a feeling and a sentiment within me.

Q.テつ I know Mary was there too.テつ Did you run with her at all in the time after everything happened?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ I'm trying to recall.テつ It was a bit hectic because my sister finished right before it went off.テつ It was mainly a concern of getting my sister into the hotel because there was a lockdown and stuff.
I don't believe I saw Mary.テつ I saw Joanie.テつ I saw obviously a lot of the athletes.テつ I don't know if Mary was actually at the hotel I was at.テつ So I don't know if I saw Mary.

Q.テつ Did you remember seeing Joanie, what you guys said in exchange, just passing by loved ones?テつ
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ Yeah.テつ We both had our families together, and we were‑‑ finally, I think everyone had found their family members, and we had gathered in the restaurant that was at the hotel, and she was just clearly visibly upset.
She's really good at giving hugs.テつ She gives a really good, mean hug.テつ She just gave everyone a hug.テつ I think both she and I‑‑ I don't know if it's a New Englander thing, but we were both pretty pissed off that someone would ruin such a wonderful day.
I remember being in it drug testing and finishing, and there were‑‑ I think John Hancock, the BAA volunteers, and they were giving each other high fives because the year before, it was really hot.テつ So they had a lot of issues with the heat.テつ They were like, you know what, we pulled it off.テつ They were giving high‑fives.テつ They were so excited.テつ It was a great day.
And literally maybe a half hour later the events unfolded, and all I could think back to is these guys who worked so hard to have this spectacular event be perfect.テつ In their minds, things were going.テつ There was no more concerns.テつ It just bummed me out to think everyone working so hard and have happened what happened.

Q.テつ And when you were talking and Joanie was there, kind of an emphasis, we've got to come back here next year?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ I don't know if we ever like actually spoke about coming back or anything, but we're both New Englanders, and we hold Boston very dear to our heart.テつ So it wouldn't surprise me if both of us were back there, yeah.

Q.テつ Was it hard at all after that to just get back into training and all that?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ Yeah, but at the same time, it's somewhat‑‑ I think runners, the best way to like‑‑ a healing process, I think, for a lot of us, it's cathartic to run.テつ Right after Boston, Joanie and I had an event in D.C. together, and we ended up running a half marathon very slowly, recovering from our marathons, and we both made it a point to have Nike provide us with some Boston gear.テつ We just felt like it needed to be done.テつ Like we both wanted to run this half marathon in D.C., and we both wanted to be wearing Boston gear, just to show our strength.
So, no, I think it gives‑‑ for me, it's extra incentive to get back at it and to‑‑ I don't‑‑ to me, it's not like, oh, I want to go hide.テつ It's like, wow, this is even more poignant, more important, more than ever.

Q.テつ So Boston Strong is the big phrase lately.テつ What's that mean to you?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ You know, it's Bostonians are tough.テつ They're really tough people.テつ Just it encapsulates the community and the strength and the ability to persevere.

Q.テつ Did you hear about the yellow line that's going to be on the course out there, or have you seen it out there yet?

Q.テつ We're doing a yellow line for Boston Strong, and it represents our affiliation with Boston, the community, and everyone in running coming together.

Q.テつ So toward the end of the finish line, it's like the last 500 yards or 500 meters, there's a yellow line next to the blue line to represent Boston.

Q.テつ Which is like another cool, motivating factor for everybody.

Q.テつ Will that mean something to you as you're coming in and running toward the finish line on Saturday?
SHALANE FLANAGAN:テつ Yeah, I mean‑‑ I think just having people remembering the events is always a positive.テつ You don't want to just forget about it and be appreciative for the moment and the day that we have.テつ It's just more a show of an appreciation, I think.テつ So, yeah, I'm very appreciative of that.

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