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November 1, 2013

Meb Keflezighi


Q.テつ General thoughts on the race?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ Well, foremost glad the weather is cooperating and glad to have it back to racing.テつ Last year's call was the right call, and I think everybody is relieved that's behind them and looking forward to a great Sunday.テつ Happy to be here.
Loaded field.テつ On this very special day today that I won the New York City Marathon.テつ Special day for me today and also a special day for New Yorkers also, a year from what happened last year.

Q.テつ How's your knee doing?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ I still have to, when I wear jeans, it's still kind of banged up, but knee's not a problem.テつ Just it's a wound.テつ It's healing.テつ It's a process.テつ But it's good to be back on this side.
I was very scared, terrified, first when it happened.テつ I sent a text picture to a doctor, and they figured out just do that.テつ Got back after that day in San Diego and just keep running.テつ That was great to hear.テつ I was on my way to run ten miles, and about 1.3 miles into it, really, really bad fall.テつ Nothing else happened but the knee.テつ I guess that was the thing that was sticking out most, I guess.
Scraped it, and my hamstring was this way, and the knee was just straight up.テつ I couldn't believe it just happened.テつ But it is what it is.テつ But it is healing nicely, as far as I'm concerned.
You take things for granted.テつ Sometimes hard to stretch.テつ Usually, the exercises that I do, I can't even‑‑ I have to have a different way of stretching for the quads because the little things with this wound is irritated.テつ You take for granted that you can just stretch, but I can't do that.

Q.テつ It's not restricting you from training or anything like that?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ Definitely not.テつ The knee is not restricting me from training.テつ It did the first couple of days because going up and down hill, the impact is on the knee so the muscles are tight around it.テつ So it's difficult.
I did some good workouts since then.テつ So it's behind me.テつ Training hasn't gone as ideal as I would like to have done just because I had a partial tear on my soleus for a long time.テつ That's one of those things where things will turn around, healing from the soleus, and then now the fall's like‑‑ my first MR run, I'm excited, and kind of visualize in my mind.テつ And then boom.テつ Can I get a break here?
The soleus is healed.テつ Is it going to be able to go 26.2 miles?テつ That's what racing is.テつ We'll see what happens on Sunday.テつ I'm very excited to be here.テつ Because I feel everything the last two weeks has been great.テつ Look forward to seeing what I can do on Sunday.

Q.テつ What were the dates of the soleus and then the fall?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ The fall was probably like three weeks ago, and the soleus was the end of‑‑ end of August, first week of September kind of thing.テつ But it took me out for a while.

Q.テつ What were you able to get up to with your training compared to how you usually prepare for this race?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ I was in phenomenal shape before the injury of the soleus, that is, and I was scared I was too much in shape and peak too soon.テつ So I had to bring back that fitness.
I've been doing a lot of elliptical rides, anywhere from 25 to 30 miles, uphills, climbs in San Diego.テつ So it's been great.テつ I'm just bringing that fitness back to where it was, and I feel like it's been getting there.テつ It's just now how far I can go on Sunday.テつ I definitely have been doing the long runs.テつ I've made 22.5 several times before the injury and about 16‑‑ 15 miles, actually, with this one, and the pickup and stuff.
It's coming back.テつ You can't buy time.テつ New York comes once a year, and I want to be here for the support of what happened last year, not just for me, but ING and New York Road Runners, what they went through last year and especially what happened in Boston.テつ I'm here to make a presence and hopefully give it a shot.

Q.テつ How do you feel cupping in?テつ You're obviously a little underprepared.テつ How programmed is your body to be ready to run this distance?テつ Is?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ Well, I was definitely not in great fitness control at London Olympics either, and I finished fourth.テつ Sometimes you can surprise yourself.テつ Or God has been watching out very carefully for me.テつ That was a miracle.テつ Especially getting the wrong fluid.テつ The road was very bad for running, more sandy than smooth.テつ My feet were beat up pretty bad.
One advice I wish I'd known was to take shoes or something because the gravel was really bad.テつ Nothing really went my way in London as much as I like to think it has. テつSo I dropped back.
Now I'm here.テつ Not ideal preparation for this, but I'm 38 years old, and I've been running for 23 years and counting.テつ I'm not starting from scratch.テつ Many people think, oh, you've got to start here, and you've got 12 weeks.テつ But when you've been fit for the rest of your life, you've just got to bring it back to that fitness and not lose the building up blocks.テつ The investment I've been doing on my body, and the mileage there brings you back.

Q.テつ Can London give that confidence to you that you never had, just being under prepared and doing what you did?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ I wouldn't say I never had confidence.

Q.テつ A different kind of confidence.
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ Yeah.テつ Gaining PR in trials and finishing fourth at Olympic games.テつ I thought I could have a bronze if everything went my way.テつ Nothing went my way, and I still finished fourth.
Runners are very strict about their times.テつ It wasn't like, oh, I was two seconds or five seconds.テつ He was not visible to me.テつ But when I met him here, which is the world record holder now, when he saw me here last year, he says, I was praying you wouldn't come catch me.テつ So we all have our confidence.
The race is like 2005.テつ I only had eight weeks of training, came back here and finished third. テつSo that gave me confidence I could finish this race, that I was able to do it.
London definitely gave me confidence, if I can stay healthy, there's more running to be done.

Q.テつ Usually, marathons aren't about time, but looking over your history here in New York, you run 2:09, I think, four times.テつ Three of those times put you in the top three.テつ Do you think that's a performance you would need to be in position this year?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ Most definitely.テつ When you come to New York, you don't come for a time.テつ When I run New York or Boston, I go for the title or the wins.テつ Or the Olympic games.テつ That's what has been on my resume.テつ That's what I've tried to accomplish.
I have accomplished my goal as a medalist.テつ I have accomplished by goal of winning the ING New York City Marathon, which was my goal when I came here.テつ My goal is potentially win Boston.テつ If I can run what I have run, it's going to be up there.テつ But you never know now.テつ You can run 2:06 or 2:07 and still finish fourth or fifth.
I ran a PR in 2006 and still finished sixth.テつ But you've got to be happy that you're here and competing against the best stage in the world, and New York does a phenomenal job to set up the field.テつ Look forward to Sunday and see what I can do.

Q.テつ What's the plan for the first half of the race on Sunday for you?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ It depends what everybody else does.テつ When the gun goes off, you just monitor your competitors and see who's up there, who's making a move.テつ You know, after like‑‑ you know, always run to win.テつ I'm always get can the best out of myself.テつ I could be running a PR and still not finish well.
But I need to be up there to measure who goes, who doesn't go, and make adjustments.テつ That's what you've got to use, that inch above the shoulder when the gun goes off and see what are they capable of doing?テつ Is it too drastic?テつ Then you have to measure.テつ In order to know your fuel, how much is that going to get you to the finish line?テつ It's not just about the first half.テつ So you need to monitor the ideas and energy, expenditures.
The gun goes off on Sunday, it's going to be a beautiful day, I think.テつ Chilly, but I think a lot of runners around the world are happy to see New York bounce back and keep it going.
45,000 or more people deep is going to be special.

Q.テつ You made a pretty impassioned speech to other elites last year after the cancellation.テつ You want to talk a little bit about that and how that figures into your decision to came back this year.
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ You know, that decision to go up to the stage was probably one of the hardest things I ever did.テつ My heart was pounding so fast, like a race, like getting in Central Park going up the hill.テつ Should I do it?テつ Should I not do it?
Internally, God was talking to me somehow, and I just said, you know what, I need to stand up and say something.テつ I had no plan to do it.テつ Afterward, it was such a reward because the wheelchairs came by, the females came by, a lot of males came by, a lot of agents came by and said, you were the right person to speak.
I mean, my heart told me to go there and say something.テつ I wasn't sure how everybody was feeling, but New York is special.テつ They treat everybody with respect and dignity, and I tell them we're going to come back as long‑‑ New York Road Runners are very loyal.テつ They've been loyal to me for 11 years.テつ As long as you're healthy, they will bring you back.
I think most of them have come, and they will come in the future.テつ That's what New York Road Runners are known for.

Q.テつ How have you seen the city bounce back for this year compared to last year?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ The city always bounces back.テつ If it was a month or two months later, it would have bounced back right away.テつ If you can bounce back from 9/11, you can bounce back from anything, and that's New York.
Last year, it was Tuesday when it happened.テつ You cannot expect to just do that in a flash.テつ So I see it same as normal.テつ The security is higher, obviously, since what happened at Boston.
Now to be in Central Park and see the people getting ready for Sunday.

Q.テつ Jason Hartmann said there's more life to the city this time.テつ Would you agree?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ Yeah.テつ I just got here last night.テつ So I'm not sure to evaluate all that.テつ It's just wonderful to be back, and people are very excited and going forward.

Q.テつ How do you feel about Ryan dropping out?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ You know, I'm always sad to see him drop out.テつ I'm a of his fans.テつ I'm a big supporter of his.テつ We train together, great friend of mine.
Before I read anything, I send him a text, I said, hey, keep your faith up.テつ Not in our time, but in God's time.テつ His life is so ahead of him.
We all go through slumps.テつ It's just how much can you take.テつ It's a test of time.テつ Mine was 2008, and now going to the Olympics, which I thought I would get a medal for our country‑‑ that was my prime time, but I didn't even make it there.
So we want to win New York.テつ We want to win Boston.テつ We want to win a medal for our country, but sometimes not what we want is what life has planned for us.テつ And I wish him the best.テつ He's able to do anything.テつ He's had some spectacular times.テつ Hopefully, he can come back in New York or Boston or in the Olympics with a medal or finish on the podium, and he'll be ready to go.

Q.テつ How often do you think back to your win here?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ Often, I think of that.テつ Every November 1st.テつ Today's special, and I haven't even told anybody, but I was in the middle of tweeting something, this is the very day that I made history.
It was my vision in 2002 to win New York, and I thought I would win in my first one, but it's not when you wanted.テつ After all the setbacks, finishing second and third, New York is my place.テつ To be able to come back, not just for me, but for New York Road Runners and the city.テつ They invested in me.テつ I invested in them.テつ We had a special moment three years ago, 2009, when I won on November 1st.
I think about it often.テつ I meet people yesterday on the plane, and the steward says, she got shocked, like I was in first class.テつ Meb?テつ You meet people on the flight.テつ You meet people in the store.テつ You meet people just riding elliptical, just around the city.
So New York makes it.テつ It has made for me.テつ And also what I've done in the Olympic games has risen my status of running.テつ So I'm delighted to look back.テつ It definitely reminds me.テつ November 1st is a special day.
I have a few friends who have their birthdays on November 1st, so I always can't avoid but to think about it.テつ It was a special day, not just for me, but for the United States.

Q.テつ This time last year you were saying you were going to run Boston or run New York next year, and maybe that was it.テつ Obviously, you weren't able to make it to Boston.テつ I know now you're thinking a little differently than you were at this time?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ A little subject to change contracts and other things.テつ But, no, I really thought‑‑ I'm always saying I'm not going to be there to hang on.テつ I want to have fun with the sport.テつ I want to get the best out of myself, and I want to get closure to my career.
And what happened last year and with the calf injury in Boston was tough.テつ So, yeah, my mind has changed, and I feel big confidence.テつ Somebody asked me earlier here, it was London, finishing fourth, and everywhere I go in San Diego, they see me.テつ People say, so 2016, 2016.テつ It's like it's more inspiration for others to be 41, can I still make the team?テつ It's a challenge.
Marathon itself is a challenge, but to be 41 and try to make my fourth Olympic team would be an idea, and I haven't completely set my goal for that year, but it's an idea that's been on my mind quite a bit.テつ If I can stay healthy and keep going forward, I think good things can happen.
And I pray, and if my sponsors are up for it and want me to keep going, I'm going to play year to year, but definitely this is not my last‑‑ as was originally planned, this is not going to be my last marathon.テつ Hopefully, there's a few more.テつ If I can run within my PR, personal best, then why stop?テつ As long as I'm still enjoying the sport.
I love training.テつ I love, working hard.テつ I love doing the small things that make the difference.テつ Some people you see maybe in Boston or New York to run, but there's so many other things.テつ It's a 24‑hour job, period.テつ From sleeping, from eating, and especially as you get older and gets challenging and challenging and challenging.テつ I'm doing the best that I can to‑‑ I feel like 99 percent of my goal has been accomplished.
There's one person that you see, can I squeeze a little more out of it?テつ Otherwise, I feel content where my career has been.テつ I would have been happy just to have one American record or one national title or just a medal or just a win in New York, but there's so many other things, wonderful things that have happened.テつ I'm so enjoying it.
As long as I'm enjoying it and my sponsors are content to what I'm doing, I'm happy to keep going forward for a few more years.

Q.テつ This is the first marathon buildup in a while that you haven't been in mammoth the whole time.テつ How difference has it been just being at sea level as opposed to being at altitude?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ This is my first marathon to be at sea level the entirety of it.テつ I did Boston 2006 in San Diego, and I went for three weeks at altitude.
But the original plan was to go to Mammoth, but my‑‑ there was a partial tear in my soleus.テつ You know, there's a little less oxygen at altitude.テつ So for me to get to the starting line here, if I went to altitude, that could have potentially cancelled me being here.テつ So I decided to just stick around sea level where I could get therapy at sea level and also cross‑train a lot more and just go to the house and ride my elliptical to the beach and out and back and climb hills.
So, yeah, the original plan was that, but it's an experience for me this time because first time not at altitude, first time not doing too many ice baths because of the injury of my knee.テつ Don't want it to get infected and keeping it dry.
There's so many not as ideal preparation for this one.テつ Like I said, I'm 38 years old.テつ I've been running for a long time.テつ I'm not starting from scratch.テつ We'll see what happens on Sunday.テつ Either thumbs up or thumbs medium or thumbs down and look at that and then look forward to the future.

Q.テつ Do you think it might open a new chapter of the type of training you're doing?テつ Maybe now‑‑ you've had years and years of just steady mileage and so forth now.テつ And not just you, the average athlete, as they get older, have to cross‑train and do more?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ No.テつ I have my training log from '93.テつ There have been times when I should have run a lot faster, closer to 2:06 or faster, but it didn't‑‑ it has to come together for you on race day, and for me it didn't.
Although when I'm in best shape, I never was on a flat course.テつ But, yeah, I'm 38.テつ I need to evaluate what I'm doing.テつ There's not many people who have done those.テつ I need to spread my days and intensity.
So there, I recover fine, but when you get a little bit of injury, it takes a long, long time to recover whereas before, two days off, three days off, I'm done and bounce back.テつ Welcome to aging, I guess.

Q.テつ Now, when you're running a marathon, are you constantly thinking about checking in with your body or split times, or do you let your mind wander off to other things, your family, kind of what's going on in your life?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ No, my mind changes frequently.テつ Yeah, whether it's my wife or my kids or my parents or my siblings, or sometimes I'm just praying.テつ I do praying in English.テつ I do praying in my native language.テつ And focus and just say, you know what, I just want to close the gap.テつ Constantly changing mile‑by‑mile goals and saying, I want to close that gap in 20 seconds.テつ And you're looking at the clock and saying that person ahead of me, how far ahead, and try to close that.テつ And also you're competing with others and say how much do I have from that person behind me?テつ So you're constantly checking your body and can you pick it up and mechanics, and check the hands and change to be able to go forward.
So constantly, there's no‑‑ the only time I wonder about it was at the Olympic games when I thought about dropping out.テつ I said, this would be a good place to drop out, and you have an option.テつ I'm like, well, you know what, it's not about you.テつ It's about USA.テつ And you say you're going to represent your country the best that you can.テつ No matter how many people pass you, just go to that finish line.
Obviously, my wife and kids were watching.テつ My parents were watching.テつ My brothers were watching, and I'm wearing the USA jersey.テつ I said, you know what, just keep going.テつ After that, every mile, changing periodically my goals, and just close the gap, and can I be one of these people?テつ Then we get two more.
And maybe until about mile‑‑ you know, 5K to go, he held up six fingers, and I said, I don't know if it's me or the Japanese guy in sixth place.テつ He didn't clarify.テつ I see one guy from Brazil with about two miles to go.テつ With 38 seconds to go, I looked back and saw that he was in front of me.テつ For whatever reason, some of them get caught, I said, I want to be the one to move into fourth place.
That's what kept me going.テつ I have to debate whether to get the flag or not just because the guy's right next to me, and I just passed the 500 meter and didn't have much room to spare.テつ I'm glad I did that.テつ It was a wonderful moment.
So your mind is constantly, constantly changing.テつ Whether it's about racing, whether it's about your competitors, mechanics, or praying or thinking about your family.

Q.テつ Is it fair to say that your family, that's a good motivational tool?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ Yeah.テつ I mean, it hurts.テつ I'm not looking for‑‑ sometimes I'm not looking for the special one.テつ My ideal training has not gone well.テつ It's going to hurt.テつ But there's 40,000‑some‑odd people run, it's going to hurt.テつ At some point, you have to say why did you start running?テつ What are you doing this for?テつ It's a temporary discomfort you're going to go through.
Once you get to that finish line, you're going to get great satisfaction that you did it, whether you run a personal best, whether you finish four hours or five hours, whatever it is, you're going to feel like I did it, and that's the beauty of the sport.

Q.テつ Is there any carryover from the shock of what happens in Boston, or does it matter?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ You cannot avoid what happened in Boston, but at the same time, you know, New York is New York.テつ The security has always been very tight here, and I just ran Central Park.テつ Last night I ran Central Park.テつ I can see fences where usually they're not.
So they always take security high, and it's just rises another occasion to just use your head.テつ Let's do more protocol, more checklists.テつ Let's make sure we've got this covered, police and security.テつ New York is doing that.テつ Boston was always tight security.テつ It's not just when some evil people did that, and it ruined it for everybody.
It's like 9/11.テつ It would be easy for them to say, every time you get on a plane, say good‑bye to your loved ones every time.テつ Unfortunately, incidents like that change for the worse, and high security now, where the loved ones you like to see them right immediately, but now you can't.

Q.テつ You got here late.テつ How has the training been going?テつ What are your hopes for Sunday?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ Training has not gone as ideal because I have a soleus injury, partial tear.テつ So preparation before that was phenomenal.テつ I was feared that I might peak too soon, but I'm at a fine age.テつ As an athlete, we're trying to push that envelope as much as we can because we want to win.テつ We're not here to jog or‑‑ I'm an absolute professional athlete.テつ I'm trying to get the best out of myself and go for the title.
Sometimes you push yourself at any age.テつ This injury, I don't know how it happened.テつ Probably just an uneven spot and tweaked a little bit when I was doing my tempo intervals.テつ It was just a misstep or something.テつ I took a few days off, and it wasn't getting better.テつ Eventually, I did an MRI, and it was a small, partial tear.
But the last two, three weeks have turned around really well.テつ I didn't do my usual, what is it called, cutback or tapering.テつ I've been playing catch up.テつ So the only tapering I did is probably not ride my elliptical as much and the cross‑training.テつ But the other stuff, I'm still running hard and putting in the effort.
Because you want to get that balanced cadence mechanic, and I hope Sunday will be a good show for me.テつ I always run to get the best out of myself.

Q.テつ When was your soleus injury?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ First week of September, mid‑September is when it was.

Q.テつ I was just talking to Martin Lel, and he was saying it's been ten years since he first won.テつ He was saying that the young guys are just so good.テつ He sort of amazes himself that he can still compete with them.
Did you ever think about that?テつ The world of marathoning is so much different now than when it started.
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ You always think you want to leave the sport better than this, but running has changed since I first started.テつ You think about those.テつ I think I won last year, the half here, and he's like how old are you?テつ 26.テつ It was 26 years ago I came to the United States.テつ To say also 11 years ago I did my first marathon here.テつ I was competitive then.
I worked hard and got it down.テつ I finished ninth.テつ 2004, which would be next year, where I was second also, ran a PR after the Athens Olympic games.テつ So, yeah, you are surprised the marathon has taken another level.
But people are skipping the 5K, 10K route, what it used to be, and now they're focusing on the marathon.テつ If you can train and stay healthy, imagine what I could have done when I'm 25 or 26 if you just focus on that.テつ But I was trying to probably‑‑ my wife talked me out of it, to say, hey, you need to go focus on the marathon instead of going to Brussels every summer and try to do something there.
So people are focused on the half marathon or marathon, and you can see the results, the times are dropping and dropping, and it's a great thing.
For us, for Martin and myself and others, the longevity means a lot, and we are happy to be part of this sport still.

Q.テつ How do you explain guys like you and Stephen Kiprotich as well.テつ Stephen yesterday, he said, I can't run 2:03, but yet he's won the world championship and the Olympics.テつ I think his PR‑‑ he must be able to run faster than the 2:07 he did.テつ Your PR is 2:09.テつ How is it possible you can beat these people, but your PRs are minutes behind them?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ When I won the New York City Marathon, James Comey was a 2:04:27 guy.テつ Is he going to run 2:04:27 that day?テつ Are they going to run 2:03 that day?
For us, yeah, my PR is 2:09, but what would have been if I ran on a flat course when I ran Athens or I ran New York, when things go really well, you wonder what you could have done.テつ But you know what, titles are nice.テつ I'm happy to get those off my shoulder, and they were my goals.テつ It's nice to get them off the checklist and just compete.テつ Competition is a different thing.
Coach Larsen and I have been working for a long time.テつ He says, just one third.テつ One third probably overtrain or undertrain and the other third is struggling.テつ So can you beat one‑third of the field?テつ I think that's the mentality that we have to do and get the job done what it counts.

Q.テつ When you win like the Super Bowl, you get a Super Bowl ring.テつ When you win New York, what do they give you, like tangibly?テつ Do you have a plate or trophy at home?テつ Is there some sort of memento of the actual‑‑
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ Yeah, the Rudin family gives you the tennis or so‑‑ like the trophy in tennis.テつ I also probably have like my win medal gold plated with the silver, I believe, which is pretty heavy.
Every time I go to Expos and give a speaking engagement or do my book signing on my book, "run to overcome," I have three medals.テつ I have the regular medals that they get for finishing.テつ I'll sometimes have my silver medal, and my gold medal from New York.テつ And they look at it.テつ They haven't compared it.テつ When I give talk to schools, I haven't compared it. テつThey go for the shiny ones.
It's great things to show off for.テつ I didn't get the silver or bronze in 2004 or 2005.テつ I wish I had those, but at the same time, I'm very happy to have the gold.

Q.テつ Who do you think is your biggest competition on Sunday?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ The biggest competition, it's a loaded field.テつ From Martin Lel or MEB KEFLEZIGHI.テつ You can't just say this person.テつ Are they on their "A" game?テつ That's the question.テつ We won't know until probably halfway, who's looking good, who's not looking good.
We don't know how the training is going.テつ I haven't talked to them.テつ They're not going to reveal that either.テつ Just this morning, when I got breakfast this morning, I was heading down to the lobby.テつ First two people I saw was MEB KEFLEZIGHI, and Stephen Kiprotich, world and Olympic champion, shake hands and say good morning and just head out.テつ You don't say how's training or anything like that?
You will know right away when you look at their faces or other mechanics.テつ I have my way of studying my competitors.テつ It's fun to be able to be in the starting line with those guys.テつ You know, New York does a great job of setting the stage.テつ Hopefully, when Sunday games we perform to the best we're capable of doing.

Q.テつ What do you think is the hardest or most tactical part of the course?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ The hardest part about the New York City Marathon is‑‑ for me is mile 17 through 20.テつ It's challenging and make or break it.テつ You know, you get separated from others, and you have enough fuel to keep going and how long they're going to pick it up because you've got that roaring, roaring sound from first avenue at 16 mile, and that kind of carries you sometimes.
Especially if the pace is too slow early on, they carry you for two or three miles.テつ It used to be one mile.テつ I did two miles in 2005.テつ Now they're taking it 2 1/2, 3 miles.テつ If you don't have the energy to keep going and finish strong in Central Park.テつ You've got to save something for Central Park.テつ Those are the difficult moments.

Q.テつ What's your favorite part of the course?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ My favorite part is two of them.テつ One is the starting of the race, and two is to see those flags and go into that Central Park finish.テつ To be able to say I'm done because sometimes, like 2009, I don't want it to finish because I want to savor every moment of it.
But then when you're struggling, when you are depleted and you just want to go to that finish line, like, oh, come on, get a little closer, little closer.テつ I'm pretty sure a lot of people feel that way.

Q.テつ How good does it feel running through the streets of New York wearing New York athletic club?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ Well, I'm very fortunate to have the New York Athletic Club.テつ That's a great pride just because I had roommates they always wearing that.テつ I was like, how do I get to be a part of that?テつ I was not allowed with my previous sponsor to have that on.テつ Now with Skechers, I can have those.
New York is my home in many ways, my second home, because I've done so many races here from the 5K to the 10K, 8K and half marathon and marathon, and year in and year out since 2001.テつ It's a great pride to wear that New York athletic club.

Q.テつ I remember Mary saying in 2009 we're not supposed to play favorites, but we're really glad that you won.
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ You know, I remember getting to that‑‑ the media is not supposed to do that, but I remember after I won, going to the post‑race press conference, everybody clapped.テつ Even the media got up and gave a standing ovation.
You're not supposed to pick favorites, but when you see somebody working hard, it's respect, and I acknowledge that.テつ I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart because it's not‑‑ you're not supposed to cheer for somebody, but at least aftermath, it's like, you know what, we're happy for you that you did it.
Especially the struggles that I had to overcome, couldn't have been a better opportunity that day to wear that USA jersey and what we've been trying to change with Coach Bob Larsen and Dana and myself, trying to get the group running to bring U.S. running back.
We had run USA taking on the world.テつ This is what brought memory to me.テつ This is the best stage in the world, and I'm actually winning.テつ And I didn't plan it, but it was a wonderful moment.テつ That's when you don't want the race to be over with.

Q.テつ You could have kept going?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ Yeah, yeah.

Q.テつ Ryan didn't make it this time again.テつ Is he all right?テつ Do you keep in touch with him?
MEB KEFLEZIGHI:テつ Yeah.テつ After I heard right away, I didn't read anything.テつ I just heard.テつ Somebody sent me an e‑mail.テつ Just sent him a text, hey, I'm praying for you, thinking about you.テつ It's not on our time.テつ It's on God's time.
Who would have ever thought, when I couldn't even walk after the trials, I was on elbows and knees and kind of bounced back and win New York.テつ You know, he has an injury, and injuries are part of the sport.テつ We knew that from the get go.
Just take the appropriate time off.テつ Take the right diagnosis.テつ Go see somebody that you trust, and take it from there because he will bounce back.テつ Just don't give up and surround yourself with good people that you trust.
If he can do that, everybody gives you a high five when you're winning and run your personal best, but you really, really get to know who your true friends are when things aren't going so well.テつ I went through that stage in 2008, 2007, from the trials to 2008.
I wasn't ready for New York in 2009.テつ 2008, I thought, I could run to '11, but I don't have a shot of winning it and just passed it.テつ I was watching from a room like this and thinking, oh, I want to come back next year and win it.
He has it in him.テつ I believe he can do great things.テつ He has to keep the faith and keep going, and he'll bounce back.

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