It's hard to believe Ron Clarke is dead...okay it's been 3 years...anyway I'm reading this little book by Track and Field News, 'Ron Clarke talks Track' (hard to believe they went out of business!...as far as printed magazines) where he answered questions about 1970...yesterday he talked how he rarely had a day without some sort of bothering ache or pain that was on the verge of injury...I remember reading that before because he commented how some guys were always complaining about them (aches, pains, minor injuries) as if it only happened to them...he just pushed through them.
That was exactly the way I thought in the old days and exactly what I did most of the time. Rub some sort of heat stuff on it and go out and get after it.
Now thats pretty much suicide although I actually still do that but its on much less training with much less fearsome attitude (actually I'm taking each step with trepidation...thats where training partners would be a distraction and help a lot).
One thing that I did not remember and perhaps it planted some sort of dormant seed...he talked of having to go out a few weeks before the Olympics with a injury and just walk and trot along and every so often suck up his guts (my word) and run 50 yards or so and then start all over again. That is what I do now days on 90% of my 'running' days...still rarely run without stopping and when I do manage a few days a week it rarely goes more than a month or 3 before I have to shut down and start the training cycle all over again with walk and trotting only.
I did not realize he damaged his heart running at altitude. In the 10,000 he was with the leaders until lap and a half to go...he made a push and it was as if he could not breath after that. He somehow finished but he was turning greenish grey. A trainer was in the stands and jumped down and made it past security to help him. He was unconscious a long time and he was not able to speak clearly for TWO days. He had to take heart meds after that.
He still ran the 5000...he was fifth and sixth...ole Ryun's 3:37 1500 for silver actually was an incredible time for a non-altitude runner.
I finished the short interview book with Ron Clarke. It made me kinda sad or nostalgic thinking he was dead...ironically Emil Zatopek's wife (whom Ron met) is still alive and nearly 100 years old. There's just something about seeing these champions age that is sad in and of itself and their deaths just adds to the feeling.
The little country cemetery of Warren, OK is full of people that I knew...it's a weird feeling in a very bad way to stand over my brother's grave. It bothered me more than my grandparents whom I really cared for, but it just does not seem possible he is gone and buried too.