I've mentioned in previous posts about how training for ultras involves equal parts mental and physical training. Well, I forgot about the most important part, the "Third Half" of training, if you will:
We all find Inspiration in our own ways, and back when I was training for my very first marathon in college, this video of Billy Mills competing at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games turned my inspiration knob to '11'. When I stumble upon "Chill-Factor" Inspiration like this, I'm filled with the kind of energy and motivation that makes me want to strap on my shoes and run for hours on end. We all need something to get our butt off the couch every day to train when we're tired and sore, and this video certainly did the trick for me.
Here's a little background on the race:
No American had ever won the 10,000 meter race in the Olympics (and no one has since). Billy Mills' qualifying time was almost a full minute slower than the favorite's, Australia's Ron Clarke. The pre-race media coverage focused on Clarke and his expected duel with Mohammad Gammoudi of Tunisia. Mills went largely un-noticed, mostly because the field for the final included many Olympic Gold Medalists and world record holders. The video is grainy, but once the race starts you can follow the action by listening to the announcer rather than trying to read the runners numbers, etc. My favorite part is the pure shock/joy of the color commentator when Mills makes his move at the end: "Look at Mills! Look at Mills!". Chills, anyone? I love it!!