I flew to Florida this morning to see my parents, who have rented a place for a month in Amelia Island, near Jacksonville. We drove to Neptune Beach to go to the Sun Dog Diner for lunch. We're about 10 feet from the entrance ... Joan Benoit Samuelson and a friend walk out.
I could not believe it. Honestly, I nearly fainted. I said something like, "Hi, Joan, is there any way I can get your autograph? You're one of my heroes." She's in town for a marathon in Jacksonville on Sunday, and we chatted for a few minutes. She told me that she, too, is considering Chicago this fall, as 2010 is the 25th anniversary of her setting the American record there in 2:21.21, a record that lasted 18 years.
I'm running tomorrow for the first time in 5 weeks. In 11 years, this is the worst injury I've had. Keep it in perspective: Samuelson got arthroscopic surgery 17 days before the 1984 trials.
Anyway, I'll write about this on my own blog soon, but I'm still kind of shocked that this happened, and I'd like to think of it as a positive omen -- not just for me, but for all of us heading out to Chicago in the fall.
Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dFgH_vDh6E