I know that some of the people who regularly read my blog are not lovers of the Running Times magazine, which prides itself on being for “competitive” runners. I think the editors think that the competitive runners are only those who run 7 or sub-7 minutes, and hey that’s fine. They can think that. Some of us are competitive with ourselves, whether we are at the front, middle, or back of the pack. The important thing is that we are getting out there, off of the couch, and doing it.

I like reading it for the profiles of the elite runners in the world. They mentioned in the last issue (which of course had gone to press before the Olympics) and they mentioned that Afghanistan was going to be in the marathon. They said her times were not fast enough to put her in medal contention, but that it said a lot that she was going to be there at all.

So imagine how I felt when I was watching the recast of the Opening Ceremonies around 5:30 a.m. on Saturday (had to get up for our long run) and heard the commentators say that she had disappeared about a month ago. She had received multiple death threats, I believe for daring to want to represent her country. The commentators mentioned that she is believed to be in Norway seeking asylum.

While I’m sad I won’t be able to see her run in the marathon at the Olympics, I certainly hope she’s safe, wherever she is. Coach Dean (thanks to Alissa for telling me of his blog), recently had a post on not taking your running for granted. By the way, if you’ve not heard about Coach Dean, I find his blog really informative.

By the way, did anyone else hear the smack that one of the French swim team members has been talking about our guy’s freestyle relay team?! Why does it have to be like that?

And does anyone else question that a few of those Chinese gymnasts really do look under 16? I know ours have looked young in the past (our 1996 team, for one) but my God, those girls are TINY.