Therrian motivated by girlfriend's Boston run
KINGMAN - Frank Therrian was in Boston a few weeks ago to watch his girlfriend Lesley Jones compete in the Boston Marathon. He was there to return the favor of supporting her the same way she supported him in his last marathon.
Then something happened when he returned to Kingman - the running bug bit him.
Therrian's last marathon was in January in Phoenix, and since then he's been taking it easy. But after seeing the crowds and experiencing the spectacle of the event, the drive to run a marathon and work towards his goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials was back.
"It really got me excited to race again," Therrian said. "I got back from that and emailed my coach and told him I was ready to race again. Let's pick a fall marathon and let's start training, and after a couple of days we had one picked out and set to go."
The race that Therrian picked is the Twin Cities Marathon Oct. 2 in Minneapolis. The reason for this race Therrian says is because it will be the last chance to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Trails, and because people tend to get sucked along and end up with a good time.
"When you get a lot of fast guys all running at the same time, you feel like you're not competing. You're in the pack," Therrian said.
The best way Therrian describes this is like driving on the freeway with lots of traffic. Everyone is going 70 mph, despite the fact the speed limit is 65. You're just going along with the traffic.
"You end up not even paying attention to the miles that are ticking by," Therrian said.
In order for Therrian to qualify for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, he needs to run a 2 hour, 19-minute marathon. He says it is likely out of his reach for this go-around but plans on going after it in time for the 2016 trials.
"We are really thinking 2016, because after the first marathon, I lost two months (to recover), and that's a lot," he said.
Therrian ran the Las Vegas Marathon in December 2009, but after that he hurt his Achilles tendon, an injury that has plagued him since high school.
"I took a week off after Phoenix, then I came back real slow," Therrian said. "I was trying not to have that reoccur. I was lucky to get through it without any significant setbacks."
The injury is minor in the sense he doesn't have to have surgery, but Therrian still has to treat it every night by sleeping with a splint and icing it. He also visits a physical therapist at Kingman Regional Medical Center who does a deep massage to break up the scar tissue.
Despite the setback, he's still focused on qualifying for the Olympic trials.
"If I can hopefully stay healthy, keep the training high and be able to run a personal best in the Twin Cities," Therrian said. "If things are really going great for me, then I might take a shot at the 2012 trials, but realistically it's probably 2016."
Currently Therrian is running a 2:28.15, nine minutes over the time needed to qualify for the trials.
While shaving nine minutes off his time may look easy, Therrian says that's not the case.
"It's a lot of time," he said. "I know it doesn't seem like it, but it is. I took off a 1:58 from my first marathon to my second. I had great support from Lesley and it was a good course, it was a good day. But there are so many things that could go wrong."
While the 2:19 mark to qualify for the Olympic Trials is a tall mountain to climb for Therrian, an even taller one would be matching the qualifying times for either the 2012 London Olympics or the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Games.
"I'm not delusional enough to think I'm going to make the Olympic team," Therrian said.
Currently, the top runners in the country are running anywhere from 2:07 to 2:09 range.
"That's not something I'm going to be able to do," Therrian said.
In the meantime for the 26-year-old Therrian, who started running at age 12 in seventh-grade cross country in Michigan and continued through high school and at Central Michigan, the thought of qualifying for the Olympic trials in the marathon would be the pinnacle of his running career.
"It's huge. It would be great if I could say I ran in that race," Therrian said.