I had the pleasure of speaking with marathoner Kara Goucher, 30, yesterday, and she is one sweet runner. Kara placed third in the Boston Marathon on Monday, coming in just nine seconds behind the winner. Her frustration was visible as she crossed the finish line. When I asked her which part of her body hurt most the day after the marathon, Kara said, "Honestly, still my heart just hurts the most."
Although heartbroken, Kara explained that her body didn't feel that beat up from the race — explaining that this race was like an easy 20 miles followed by a really hard 10k — so just her hip flexors felt tight from the running downhill. Her disappointment with not winning combined with a lack of aches and pains led her to consider running the London Marathon next week. She wanted to put the tactical lessons learned in Boston to work immediately, but ultimately decided racing a marathon again that soon wouldn't help with her long-range goal: competing in the 2012 London Olympic marathon to win.
To learn Kara's favorite Pilates exercise, the last movie she saw in a theater, and what she did after finishing the marathon,
Kara switched coaches about three years ago and began working with former marathon star Alberto Salazar, and with this change came regular cross training. Salazar, who also coaches her husband Adam Goucher, wanted the running couple to become better all-around athletes, and to do so, Kara started Pilates. Although she hates them while doing them, Kara loves the ab series of Pilates, including the 100s, as well as the back stretch saw off your toe. Her favorite core exercises: "I like plank and lunges. In the plank position lifting up one leg is good core work. I like basic stuff that you could do anywhere: in a hotel room, at the gym, on the sidewalk if you needed to."
After running the Boston marathon, Kara went out to dinner with a group of family and friends. Although the party drank many bottles of wine, they are waiting to pop the champagne cork when either she or Adam wins. She admitted that it was nice to "act like normal people" for the evening, not having to worry if the food might upset her stomach and interfere with running or if she should be getting to bed. Speaking of "normal," I also asked Kara the last movie she saw in a theater. "I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button around New Year's, but I have no idea of what I saw before that," she told me.
Kara is one busy runner. She trains hard, loves racing, and won't be giving up track events anytime soon. She and her husband have both publicly stated that they would like to start a family — just think how fast those little Gouchers could be. I for one am looking forward to seeing Kara run in London, be it next week or in three years!