Sunday, October 23, 2011

After 6 Year Absence, Jen Rhines Is Back in the 26.2 Business

From Runner's World Racing News, October 21, 2011

For Jen Rhines, there was a time not so long ago when she thought she was done with the marathon, despite making the U.S. Olympic team at the distance in 2004. The 37-year-old, who trains with the Mammoth Track Club in Mammoth Lakes, CA, went back to the track after her last marathon in 2006 and earned a spot on the 2008 Olympic squad at 5000 meters, making it hard to argue with her decision. So, there was much surprise when she decided to run the ING New York City Marathon this year. Rhines said this week that her training has left her both excited and confident about re-tackling the distance.

"For a few years, long runs had become very difficult for me and it left me with no desire to race for over 26 miles!" Rhines wrote earlier this week in an e-mail. "However, last winter [training for the Chevron Houston Half-Marathon, which she won in a personal best 1:11:14] was a turning point for me and I've been getting stronger ever since."

Rhines competed in late August at 10,000 meters in the IAAF World Championships, placing ninth, then jumped right into training for the marathon. "The transition from peaking for World Champs into training for New York went more smoothly than I thought it might," she says, adding that she hasn't raced since Daegu. "I've done a lot of quality training in a relatively short amount of time," she explained, adding that she's heading down from the altitude of Mammoth to San Diego this weekend to put on the finishing touches before heading to New York. "As someone who's struggled in more than one marathon I think I understand what I'm getting myself into and I've left no stone unturned in my preparation for New York this year."

What's next after New York? A well-deserved post-race trip to Maui with her husband and coach [and former Villanova All-American -- BC], Terrence Mahon.

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