An 8 mile run and how I really feel about Mary Decker Slaney

This morning Fiona and I ran the Upper Tampa Bay Trail. I ran 8 miles, Fiona ran a bit more but I walked a bit because I didn’t want to stress my knee.

running with knee pain

I was a good girl, I played it safe and I wore my knee brace just for good measure and I had no problems.

The Upper Tampa Bay Trail is a great place to train for a marathon. You can get quite a few miles on it if you run the entire thing and loop back. We only ran a small portion of it so I’m excited to see what the rest of it looks like as the weeks go by and we run it more often.

Upper Tampa Bay Trail

The Upper Tampa Bay Trail

One of the nicest things about this trail is the ice cold water boxes. I didn’t bring my hydration belt because I knew they were located in several locations along the trail but we missed the first one and by mile 4 I was seriously in need of water and had to stop and drink, for like 5 or 6 minutes. I will not be making that mistake again! But other than that it was a great morning.


Did anyone catch the ESPN movie “Runner” last night? It was a documentary about Mary Decker Slaney. I had heard about it several weeks ago and was really looking forward to watching it and although I wasn’t disappointed, I really wished it had changed my opinion of her.

Don’t get me wrong, Mary Decker Slaney is an awesome runner, probably one of the best ever and I would never even try to understand what it must feel like to suffer some of the disappointments that she has had to endure. That being said, I have seen quite a few of her interviews over the years, before and after the 84 Olympic Games and it’s my opinion that she has not always exhibited sportsmanlike conduct and I’m not talking about the fact that she cried after she fell in the 84 Olympics. I would have probably cried too, in fact, I’m certain I would have. What I’m talking about is how rude she was right after the incident and for many years after. In fact, I think she was rude even before the 84 Olympics.

I get that she’s an elite athlete and has trained her whole life and has had some major upsets that were no fault of her own, I do get that, but what I don’t get is her attitude and her smugness.

I’m all for being self-assured and competitive but I personally don’t feel like that’s the place she’s coming from. I have also watched interviews with Deena Kastor, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Paula Radcliff and many others, (including Zola Budd), and what I got from those ladies was mostly inspiration.

I wanted to get that from Mary Decker too, because I think she is one of the strongest runners I have ever seen and has had to endure so many injuries and heartbreak, but I didn’t get inspiration from her, what I got was just a good story.

Did you watch ‘Runner’ and did you like it? What do you think of Mary Decker Slaney?

8 thoughts on “An 8 mile run and how I really feel about Mary Decker Slaney

  1. Despite what some of you have posted about Mary and her reaction subsequent to the tragedy at the 84 Games, you will never know how she felt and most people would have reacted much worse than she did, what she said was in the heat of emotion after training for so long to garner an Olympic medal, so who are you to sit on top of Mt. Olympus and judge her, call her names and say that she is rude? There is not one interview prior to the 84 Games where she was ever rude, she was a highly motivated athlete and when it was time to compete she wanted to do well, there is nothing wrong with that. If you want to blame anyone it was her now deceased Coach who told her to do the post race interview, it was too soon and she should have avoided it at that time, she spoke from emotions, I’m a nationally ranked runner and can definitely understand where she came from, her and Zola have met, corresponded and rectified the issue, stop bashing Mary, she remains the greatest middle distance runner in the US to date.

  2. Yes, I watched the show (I had my DVR set up so I wouldn’t miss it). So I may be aging myself here, but I loved watching TV on Sunday afternoons to see Mary Decker race when I was a little kid about the same age as her. I lived out in the country with no organized running program available to me until high school track, so I just idolized her and her opportunities! My brother and I always followed her throughout her career. I was so bummed when she and Zola bumped and Mary fell in the ’84 Olympics, because I was pulling for Mary to finally get her Olympic gold medal. Let’s just say that after the fall I wish she had taken the high road instead of acting the way she did…

    • I agree with you but I can’t say that I didn’t expect her response. I had only started watching her a few years before the olympics but I remember someone telling me that she had a temper and after being elbowed by a Soviet girl during a relay race, she threw her baton at the girl, not once, but twice. I had also heard that not many of her teammates were too fond of her. I think that made me want to believe they were wrong and root for her but she didn’t deliver…That being said, I still think she is one of the best runners I have ever seen and I too loved watching her when I was younger.

      • I didn’t know (or possibly didn’t remember) about the baton throwing incident until I saw it on the show Tuesday night. I know that she was young, but still…. Also, I was disappointed to hear her say things like, “Zola who?” in interviews. Who knows how any of us would have acted with that kind of pressure and spotlight, though.

      • Most of what you heard were unsubstantiated rumors, Mary threw the baton once, how could you throw it twice during a relay, the Russian cut Mary off forcing her off the track, Mary was young and inexperienced, it’s all on tape. Mary wanted to win she had a lot of anger from a terrible childhood and running helped that, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be the best, if her team mates did not like her it was out of pure jealousy, it’s not a popularity contest.

    • Well Debbie you’ll never know will you how you would react after all the publicity and pressure placed on these 2 athletes like they had placed on them, her now deceased coach took the blame so let it go, Mary is a fine person, content with herself and she and Zola rectified things.

  3. I didn’t watch it, but I have read some about her & especially the Zola Budd incident. I read one more recent interview with her (can’t remember where) where she totally admitted that the fall was her fault, that she recognizes that she was a total bitch about it for years because she was bitter & immature, & and that she really regrets how she acted during that time. Better late than never, eh?

    • That is true and regardless of how she handled the situation it doesn’t take away the fact that she is an awesome runner. Thanks for the comment, I’ve actually been reading your blog for quite some time and I love it. 🙂

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