run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Coffee Talk: NYCM

When I first got into running, I was a Runner's World subscriber. After about 3 years of the same articles regurgitated over and over again: (Your fastest 5K yet! Lose weight to Run Faster! Winter Gear that is too Expensive to Actually Buy!), I cancelled the subscription. But, honestly, Runner's World was my only resource for goings on in the Track and Field world. As such, I became a pretty big Kara Goucher fan.

She had it all... she was fast, pretty, and had a "fit" body. She was the girl next door elite runner. And she was kind of the face of Elite Women's Marathoning.

Fast forward a few years and now I pretty much can't stand her. First of all, I am disgusted by Oiselle and it's CEO Sally. That's another discussion for another day, but, because of her sponsorship with them, I was quickly turned off of her. Second of all, I just stopped getting a vibe from her that she's passionate about racing anymore. This is purely subjective, but it just feels like she's all about the $ and the fame.

That being said, I actually find myself kind of sticking up for her after the NYCM this past weekend. WHICH MAKES ME WANT TO TAKE A SHOWER AND HANG MY HEAD IN SHAME. Yes, she cried on camera. Yes, she didn't live up to the hype that she created, and Yes, she had a bad day, and even without that, I don't think she would have ran the race that she claimed she was ready for. But, I kinda want to talk about all those things.

Crying after the race in an interview:
Okay, so, Yes... running is her JOB. Crying on the job is unacceptable and unprofessional. I completely agree with that. Have I ever cried at work? Not at my desk, but, I have excused myself to the bathroom and burst into tears MANY TIMES. Thankfully, I have that luxury of being about to jet off into the ladies room and compose myself before going back out to work. I don't have someone sticking a microphone and a camera in my face asking me about the terrible thing that JUST happened.

Is it inspirational that she cried? HELL NO.
But, is it something to criticize her for? I don't think so.

She didn't live up to the hype that she created:
We live in a hype-driven world. Pre-race should she have tempered her expectations? Absolutely. Should she have just said something like... "Oh, I really hope that my training has put me in a position to race well on Sunday, blah blah blah" without actually predicting finish times? Yup. Absolutely. But, again, this is her JOB. People (sponsors) want to hear that she's confident that she can do it. When a potential new client tells me, "I need this by 2pm on Thursday. Can you do it?" I don't say, well, with my education and experience I hope I can fulfill your needs. No. I say, "You bet. Let's do it." which brings me to the next point...

She had a bad day:
I don't know about you, but occasionally, I fuck up at work. Sometimes I tell a client that I'll have something for them by a certain day and it just doesn't happen. Or sometimes I just make a mistake. And as a professional, I have to man up and tell them that I didn't meet expectations and explain how I am going to fix it. IT SUCKS. But, it happens. And sometimes it's because I bit off more than I can chew, or because I promised something that just ended up not being doable.

I get it. She's an elite athlete, she gets paid to run. She has more natural talent in her pinky toenail than I have in my entire body. We want to think that she's just going to be able to bust her ass, keep her mouth shut, and perform. But, life doesn't always work like that.

I don't think she's an inspiration. I just think she's human. And even though I respect some other runners more... (DESI), her performance and post race interview from Sunday don't really affect the way I feel about her one way or another. And I'm kind of surprised by the hoopla that it's created.

Anyway, to reiterate. I am not a Kara fan and haven't been for awhile now. But Sunday didn't change that one way or another.

What do you think? Did Sunday change the way you feel about Kara? Do you like her? Have I missed the essence of the discussion entirely? Have you eaten as many fun-size Almond Joys at your job this morning as I have?

Let's Discuss.


Jessica said...

I haven't seen any hoopla around her crying at the end, and I don't have any strong feelings for Kara either way. When I watched it, I didn't think anything of it (and maybe that's because I'm a super emotional person who cries at the drop of a pin). I just thought she was being real, which actually is kind of inspirational to me: even elites have bad days, so I shouldn't let one bad race make me feel like I'm a terrible runner.

Dolly said...

I was a big fan girl of Kara's until she went to the flock. It's great that she wants to rub shoulders with the everyday folks at bird camp, but I think it may have taken her focus away from her goals.

She is an extremely talented racer, but I think her career is on the downswing.

I think because she set the bar so high when she first came storming on the scene. She beat Paula Radcliff at the Bupa Great North Half marathon, and then a few months later she places 3rd at NYC.

I thinks we (at least me) expect so much from our superstars, that yes it is hard to remember that they are human.

And even the great Paula Radcliff has had epic failure days too. (Crying on the side of the road, DNF days)

LAPT said...

I want to hear your opinions about Oiselle! I feel like the flock bloggers are SUPER annoying and clique-y, but that's also probably because I'm not so much in the blogosphere anymore.

PS - I started following a bunch of style blogs you might like. The end.

Carina said...

This was a big topic on my run this morning actually. I've never been a Kara fan. I said it was because she just never seems to live up to the expectations, she's always injured, and she just seems like a fame whore. And one of my favorite running buddies basically said she liked her for all those same reasons -- she liked that she deals with injuries like a regular runner, and she likes that she seems so real and approachable and has brought positive attention to US women's distance.
I can't say NY changed my feelings about her at all. I watched her interview (I was actually totally pissed at ESPN about so much coverage of the women's finish and awards because we were missing the big move that happened on the men's side during that time), and I felt sad for her and I loved it when her son gave her a kiss, it was so sweet. I agree with all your points -- totally excusable, and completely understood she has to forecast big because that's how she gets sponsors and attention. But for me, she and Ryan Hall are in the same "blah" bucket. I'm with you in camp Desi.

Amy said...

Jessica: Well, I frequent some internet forums where lots of discussion has been happening about her race and her interview. Thanks for commenting. I like your point of view, that it can be comforting to know that even those on who get paid to run have crap days. It's like in golf, I LOVE the US Open, because it's always (hopefully) a tough course. I love to see the players out there struggling. Makes me feel better about my bogey/doublebogey golf.

Dolly: I'm with you. I think she's on the downswing, too. Bird camp. haha, what a freaking joke.

LAPT: OMG, I cannot stand Oiselle. STYLE BLOGS: SEND LINKS! And... I miss you! Let's catch up soon!!!

Carina: Speaking of Ryan Hall. He's finally being coached, right?? I wonder how that will work out.

Thanks to you all for commenting! I love hearing what everyone has to say!!

Gracie said...

If she had "a bad day" it would be one thing, but let's face it - she's had nothing but bad days for years. She ran a 1:11 at Rock N Roll NOLA 1/2 back in 2013, when she was all, "I could PR! I could do great!" She had no injuries or excuses then. Her career is continuing its decline, and her joining Oiselle really highlights that.
She used to be a great runner; her winning days are probably over. It's time for the media and sponsors to show some love to some other racers out there.

Amy said...

Gracie: I don't disagree with you. I think her glory days are behind her.

I guess, my point is that it's not her fault that the media loves her. And since that behooves her, then I can't fault her for playing into the media.

I hate to keep using golf analogies here, but it's like... my parents are HUGE PGA fans and they always hated, hated, hated Tiger Woods in his heyday because that's all the media would ever talk about. Even if he had a shitty day. But, I used to get so frustrated with them, because it's not his fault that the broadcast would show him sizing up a putt for 10 minutes while other guys were making putts/missing putts, whatever. (Not a completely fair analogy since Tiger Woods was admittedly an absolute BEAST at his sport).

But, I am frustrated (just like you and I think everyone else) that the media just latches onto whomever they think is prettiest or whatever. It would be nice to be in a world where TALENT and HARD WORK were rewarded in the media and with sponsorships.

René said...

Wow, I must have missed that! I was too busy following my friends doing the NYCM instead.