Molly Huddle says winning the NYC Marathon is not a reasonable goal, had a great buildup
Transcript by ASAP Sports
Q. You've been talking about your marathon debut for a long while now. Now that it's finally within 72 hours, what's running through your mind?
MOLLY HUDDLE: It's so surreal. I'm kind of like what am I going to do? How is this going to feel? I have some doubts, but I'm also really excited for Sunday. I prepared but it wasn't perfect. Hopefully on race day I can take what I learned with me. It's a really hard course.
Q. [ No microphone ].
MOLLY HUDDLE: Like three miles or so.
Q. Where were you when you did the 3 by 3?
MOLLY HUDDLE: That was Phoenix.
Q. I'm sure it was pretty hot.
MOLLY HUDDLE: Yeah, it was a hot day.
Q. Have you allowed yourself to dream of winning? Has that crossed your mind?
MOLLY HUDDLE: No, I don't think that's reasonable, honestly. I will stick my nose in it, but I think there's three or four 2:19 and under women. I just want to have a good day and a good experience. I'll see where I end up. I'll never put it out of my mind, but I don't think it's reasonable for me to be unhappy if I don't win kind of thing.
Q. What would be a good day for you? What would you -- in terms of time or place, what would you be happy with walking away from this race?
MOLLY HUDDLE: I'm not sure. It depends so much on the weather. I won't be pushing for time. I'll be following people. Place-wise, I'd love to be in the top six or so, five or six. Studying the field, that seems like a good position to be in. Anything can happen in the marathon, so I just want to have a smooth run.
Q. Is it important for you to be the top American?
MOLLY HUDDLE: Yeah, that's important. I think that's a reasonable goal.
Q. How did you make the transition or how you made the speed for the marathon training? Do you think you still kept that or kind of lost it?
MOLLY HUDDLE: I've only been on the track maybe four times since Rio. So I probably lost some of that speed. If i were to do a 5K or 10K, it wouldn't be that good. It's not totally gone. I think starting from that fitness level helped me, but we still have a lot of work to do.
Q. What kind of mileage are you putting in weekly?
MOLLY HUDDLE: I think my average week is like 110-ish.
Q. Is there a particular part of the course you view as the most important to your race?
MOLLY HUDDLE: I think just the last 10K here sounds really difficult. My coach was saying the last three miles, in particular, in the park is going to be tough. It's going to be a survival type thing. So that's important. And then just trying not to go too hard at any point in the first 13 miles probably.
Q. [ No microphone ]?
MOLLY HUDDLE: I've run the last ten miles before, and I've seen the course elevation profile and stuff. Looks like there's a decent hill at 15. Kim told me it's pretty demoralizing. So she said be ready for that.
Q. Have you thought about the wind?
MOLLY HUDDLE: It sounds like there's going to be a bit of a headwind. It seems like the last few years it's been that way.
Q. On the last six miles?
MOLLY HUDDLE: Yeah.
Q. What's the most interesting piece of advice you've gotten about running your first marathon? Most interesting, funniest?
MOLLY HUDDLE: I've gotten a lot of advice. Probably Geoff Smith lives in Providence. He was the Boston winner. He didn't seem too big on drinks back then. He said just treat it like a long run. I think his advice is probably the most understated. He's a pretty tough dude.
And Kim just gave me more profile advice, when to hold back, when to go. I think I just have to dive in at this point. Ray told me to stop taking any advice at this point and just race. Too late now.
Q. You mentioned the final 10K as being important. Do you feel that as a 10K runner, that gives you an advantage?
MOLLY HUDDLE: I think, if I'm not spent by then, it does. So much of the marathon is are you alone then? Have they left you? Last year watching it, when it did break open, it broke open pretty dramatically. I do feel like I have an advantage if it's close and I'm still there, but that's the hard part.
Q. You did your training in Phoenix, part of the training was on the Cubs Spring Training facility. They won the World Series last night. Any magic from that?
MOLLY HUDDLE: I hope so. I hope some of that rubbed off, that magical miracle type luck. Yeah, that was pretty cool.
Q. Can you just talk about your training down there? How long were you there?
MOLLY HUDDLE: I was there about a month total. I think half my build-up was there. I got some pretty solid work in there. I worked with my chiropractor, John Ball. He was keeping me healthy during 110 -- mile weeks. So that was helpful. We had kind of some warm long runs. I had to get up pretty early.
Q. Can you explain what's so magical about John Ball. It seems like people are always going to him and getting these track injuries fixed.
MOLLY HUDDLE: He's a really smart guy. He has a good eye for the running overuse injuries. He's kind of good at assessing biomechanical things. He's pretty patient. If you have an emergency injury crop up, he'll fit you in. It's a combination of he wants to help and has the knack for it. Yeah, he works with a lot of the field.
Q. Sitting here with three days to go till the marathon, is this how you were hoping it would feel at this point, your build -up. Is there anything that you feel you maybe wanted to do that you didn't get to do or something that you missed out on doing?
MOLLY HUDDLE: I think ideally, like I had a bit of tendinitis in the beginning. So I missed maybe one long run and two workouts I would have liked to get in. My build-up was already on the short side coming from the Olympics. Probably get in like an extra week or two of workouts would have been a really good confidence booster. But the weeks we did do were good.
I'm definitely fresh. That's important. I hope it will go a long way.
Q. The adage is go in under trained rather than over trained.
MOLLY HUDDLE: I hope so.
Q. What kind of taper are you doing right now?
MOLLY HUDDLE: This last two weeks, I just ran a little less in my workout. My last workout was Tuesday. So just ease the running down.
Q. Where was the tendinitis?
MOLLY HUDDLE: In my knee.
Q. Which knee?
MOLLY HUDDLE: My left.
Q. Is this the first time you've ever experienced that, or has it been ongoing?
MOLLY HUDDLE: First time in a while. I had for just a few weeks after my race two years ago. I could run through it, but it just wasn't ideal. It's gone now, which is good.
Q. You said you missed a couple workouts. Do you like that you're coming into this off of a track season? This was what Kara Goucher didn't do. Shalane didn't have the World Championships when she debuted. Do you like coming off the Olympics, or would you like the full 16 weeks?
MOLLY HUDDLE: I wish I had a little longer. I wish I hadn't skipped so much of the track season after the Olympics. I would have liked to have run at least one 5K. That's the only reason I would have wanted more time.
Q. In training, how many times per week did you do the strength training?
MOLLY HUDDLE: I still did that. I definitely wanted to lighten up on it because I was pretty tired. I didn't want to injure myself in the weight room. I still did it after every workout, so like twice a week, but much lighter.
Q. Did you find your experience in Rio great?
MOLLY HUDDLE: It was bittersweet. It wasn't -- I hoped for more, but I couldn't have done much more, I don't think, that day. Maybe fifth, but not in the top three, I don't think. Yeah, I'm proud --
Q. You set a PR, right?
MOLLY HUDDLE: Yeah, I'm proud of the American record. It's a good record, but still wish it was a medal. So mixed bag.
Q. You still have time.
MOLLY HUDDLE: Yeah.