Back To The Edge: Exclusive Interview With Adam Goucher

In 2006 Goucher won his second national cross country title at the 4K distance, re-assertinghimself as one of the top distance runners in the U.S. Photo: PhotoRun.net

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Interview With Adam Goucher, Page 2

Goucher (#7) said, "My last few races were just really not competitive races in my mind looking back." Photo: PhotoRun.net

Competitor.com: Adam, this weekend’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon will be your first race in a year-and-a-half. Does it feel like it’s really been that long?

Adam Goucher: Yes it does. It feels like it’s been longer sometimes [laughs]. It’s one of those things where I’ve been out of it for so long and I’ve seen so much happen. You know, I was telling someone earlier today as well, it’s kind of like even though I may have “raced”, my last few races I really just wasn’t in it mentally. I was kind of in a bad place. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t really racing to race. I was just kind of off all around. So, for me, it seems even longer because of that. My last few races were just really not competitive races in my mind looking back.

How’s your competitive mindset heading into this weekend? Do you feel like your old self again? Are you hungry to get back out there?

Absolutely. I’m definitely anxious to get back out there. I’m nervous. I don’t know what to expect but I’m hoping that when that gun goes off I’ll kind of remember what it’s like to race again. Obviously there’s a lot of rust to be blown off but I just want to get out there and compete. But I’m excited. I’m really excited to be back at it and things are going really well. It’s been a fun journey.

For most of your competitive career you’ve competed primarily on the track and in cross country, and only in a few longer road races. How is the mentality different, if at all, heading into a road race as opposed to a major track meet?

I would say in my past road races it’s much more low key, like laid back. But this one, for me, I think that because it has been so long, and because I’m really looking to run a good time and at least get my Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier out of this, I put some pressure on myself. I know there’s going to be people watching and people ready to ridicule if necessary. But really I’m kind of looking at this as the pressure’s all mine. I’m doing this for me right now. That’s the bottom line. I think that really the pressure is what I’m putting on myself and my own expectations.

I don’t think racing on the track versus the road is much different. I’m just going to go in and race as competitively as a I possibly can. I know for me, for a fact, the worse thing I could do is go out in 4:25 or 4:30 for the first mile, which I know is where the leaders will be. So I have to be a little defensive and be smart about things. But overall I’m just going to go into this just like it’s any other race I’ve ever gone into. I’m going to be as ready to compete and strategize along the way as much as I possibly can to run the best race that I can.

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