With less than a month remaining before the Men’s Olympic Marathon on August 12, U.S. Olympian Ryan Hall said on Monday that the plantar fasciitis in his left foot has finally healed.
“A couple weeks ago when I was up in Eugene at the Trials, things just really turned the corner on that and my foot seems to be in the clear now,” he said in a live video chat during a Google + “Hangout.” “My training has really picked up significantly.”
Hall had been battling the foot problem for months, even before he finished second in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in January.
The “Hangout,” hosted by deputy sports editor Jason Stallman of the New York Times, was the second of three scheduled this week that will feature U.S. Olympic Marathon athletes. In addition to Hall, the chat included Jeré Longman, a Times reporter who chronicled Hall’s commitment to faith-based coaching in a major story on Sunday; David Willey, editor-in-chief of Runner’s World magazine; Eric Johnson, senior leader of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, which Hall and his wife, Sara, attend; and Hall’s brother Chad, a distance runner. It can be viewed here.
Wednesday’s “Hangout,” at 6:00 p.m. EDT, will highlight Kara Goucher.
In his video interview, Hall elaborated on the Times story, in which he said that much of his early training for London was done at world-record pace.
“I had a pacemaker, Billy Herman,” said Hall. “He’d be on the bike and I’d just tell him, ‘Set your watch to 4:40 pace; put it on that and I’m going to hang on as long as I can.’ So we did that, workout after workout after workout, and I was really going after this goal. And the thought of going after a world record in the Olympic Games in London of all places was, like, super exciting to me. I went after that for about three months and what I found is that I was pushing and striving and trying too hard.”
But that doesn’t mean that he’s ruled out setting a world record.
“Anything is possible,” he said. “I still believe I can run 4:40 pace. I believe that if it doesn’t happen in London, then I’m going to go back and I’m going to go after it again in my next marathon out, which will be the New York City Marathon [on November 4], and if it doesn’t happen then, I’m going to keep going for it.”
Hall said that with God coaching him, “I’m not afraid to fail, and I think that opens up a whole world of possibilities and things to try.”
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg