What the hell is Ditch the Tiara?

Redefining the word beautiful...one dirty, sweaty, bruised up mile at a time, with a few downward dogs along the way...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

In the presence of greatness

Every 4 years, we get to witness spectacular and inspiring athletes at the Olympics. I, like many, have been glued to my tv, scouring the web and talking to friends and family about all of the amazing things that have been happening. Since there are very few sports I have participated in that are actually featured in the Olympics, there is nothing more that I love to watch then the marathon!

It was heartbreaking to watch Deena Kastor drop out at Mile 3 as she actually ended up breaking her ankle. I was really rooting for her. There were a few others I was really pulling for to medal too. I love Paula Radcliffe from Great Britain and adore Constantina Tomescu-Dita from just a few miles up the road in Erie, CO as she ran for her home country of Romania.

For the first half of the race, the pace was slow and cautionary and NO one wanted to break out of the pack but in usual guts and glory fashion, Constantina stepped it up, increasing the pace and eventually the distance between herself and the chase pack. She never even looked back until 40k. She won her first Olympic gold medal as she crossed the finish line in 2:26:44 - looking larger than life.

In reality, she can't weigh more than 90 or 100lbs but with her gold medal draped around her neck, I'd say she weighs about 105??? Have you ever held an Olympic medal, a gold medal specifically? It's heavy, really heavy... and now I know. Tonight, I was lucky enough to be invited to a celebration at Constantina's home, toast champagne to her victory and congratulate her in person. There is one other person I know that is as obsessed with the marathon as much as I am (hi Dee!!) and I wish she could have been there with me...

I actually teared up when I put that medal in my hands... all I could feel was the thousands of miles and the past 4 years she spent to get to this moment. Yet one more thing to tuck in my back pocket now and pull out when I get to the marathon start at Ironman...I will get my own version of gold and bask in my own glory at the end of that day...it's all relative to the goals we set for ourselves. I told her I was doing an Ironman in 2 weeks and she kind of laughed and said, "I'm scared of the water." Hm. I found that so amusing.


Michaelson Family said...

That's so awesome. I wish I would have known you knew her. I watched the race, but would have rooted for her more.
I miss ya like crazy!

Go.2.Belle said...

Im in AWE sis! You didn't even say a word! Congrats on the inspiration. Thanks for sharing. Love M

Deanna said...

That is so cool. What a neat experience. Super jealous. I was glued to the TV during the marathon. I heart running. Ditto on the water! :)