The Champion Who Almost Never Was

And will there be any adjustments to the Boston plan this year? "I am changing slightly at trying to build more speed, and an ability to hold a high pace in those types of intervals mentioned. Last year, I did a run of 15-K uphill, then turned and ran 15-K downhill, and the last few kilometers felt very tough, so I would try and pick up the pace to mimic the finish of the marathon. Also what helped was the lousy weather; that is the weather I had been training in all winter.

And if that is the hard work, then what about the grit? Where does the drive that takes this slight Russian lady who sits quietly sipping a beer and thoughtfully answering questions with a shy smile to a wonder woman who is headed to Boston to try and retain her title?

"I think my drive comes from self-belief, good race preparation, and then the drive? Yes, you can say my family. For my family, it is a big sacrifice for me to be running. If I commit to a race, it means the whole family lives around that event; that is what makes me give all. Each place I fight for because each place matters."

Her day begins at a leisurely pace; her husband, who is also her coach, rises at eight to make the breakfast for their daughter Victoria. Valery himself was a runner and his 2:19 is a goal Lidiya would like to aim for. She believes "2:15 is unrealistic for me. I think a man will break 2:00 before a woman breaks Paula's record!" However, more than a time, her prime goal is an Olympic medal, "That's what I would really like," she sighs.

Lidiya gets up typically around 9:30 a.m. and takes a cup of tea and a biscuit, then relaxes for 30 minutes before heading out for the training run. Showering and a lunch of soup, pilimini (like ravioli), or even crab meat salad and then she rests before tending to housework, and maybe reading with her daughter. Then it is time for the second day's training run, more house jobs, a light dinner, often chicken, and then early to bed. "A very quiet life!" she concedes.

Family life is intrinsically important for Lidiya, who married her teenage sweetheart Valery. "I don't want to be known as a fast runner. When I was younger growing up, it often took a stick from my mother to get me home, but nowadays it is the opposite. I don't like to go out, I like our home to be quiet. It brings less stress living this way, and that is what I like." She does not like to travel either. "I am much happier when training at home, that is the problem of racing; I have to leave." Her manager, Andrey Baranov who runs the Spartanik Running School comments, "I suggested to Lidiya to take a season out of athletics, but she said if she does she'll never start running again."

***

Related links:

Free Training Log: Track your Progress

Running Tips from Olympic Gold Medalist Deena Kastor

Boston Course Tips

Healthiest Chocolate for Runners There is a pause, the food has all been eaten, the restaurant is closing up, but Grigoryeva still has something she wants to say, "For me each marathon is difficult. I don't want to beat myself on the chest and say I am a great marathoner just because I have won Paris, Los Angeles, or Boston. No. Instead, each run I just learn a bit more." Grigoryeva has come a long way from a simple goose girl in the small village of Smitcha, Russia, and many have a feeling she will keep on running to far greater things.

***

Related links:

Free Training Log: Track your Progress

Running Tips from Olympic Gold Medalist Deena Kastor

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...