Olympic Training Log (Intro)

Running in the 1988 Olympics

The 10,000m final in Seoul, South Korea. The photo shows me, Carole Rouillard of Canada and Anne Audain of New Zealand.


Please Note: all future entries to my Olympic Training Log will be found on the Home Page of this blog, under the category “Olympic Training Log.” Makes sense, eh?

1988 10,000m Olympic Final, Seoul, South Korea

This page is going to be a copy of my training diary leading up to the 1988 Olympics. It was an historic time for women’s running. The first Olympic women’s marathon was held in Los Angeles in 1984 (who could forget Joan Benoit’s beaming face as she cruised into the stadium?) and the first women’s 3000m was also included that year.

My best distance, the 10,000m, would be making its debut appearance for women in the 1988 Olympics. In the summer of 1987 I won the 10,000m at the Canadian Championships in a time of 32:15. However,  severe Achilles tendonitis led to a lacklustre performance in the World Championships in Rome. Unable to do any speedwork, I finished 16th in the final with a time of 32:30.

I took a short break from running to let my Achilles tendons heal. In the fall of 1987, I trained with my husband Paul in Brussels, where he was doing his engineering Ph.D. in a small institution on the outskirts of Brussels. Right across the street from this place was a huge forest called Le Forêt de Soignes, where we could run to our hearts’ content on perfectly groomed trails and wide gravel paths.

I trained like a maniac that fall. Although I didn’t know it then, I would never be as fit again in my life. By the end of 1987, I had serious injuries that would plague my preparation for the 1988 Olympics. In part, the purpose of showing this training log is to demonstrate that it’s possible to prepare for high-level running competition when running training is limited by injuries. I did it by focusing on the quality rather than the quantity of my running workouts, and by adding cross-training to my program.

To write this page, I rummaged in a desk drawer to find one out of about thirty 3″ x 5″ little notebooks in which I’ve recorded every workout I’ve done since 1979. I found the appropriate notebook: pale blue, the cover labeled “Oct ’87 – Dec ’88”. I will start with today’s date: November 20. The year: 1987.

Setting the scene

On November 20, I was in Monte Carlo, Monaco, with my coach George and my two Canadian teammates. We would be running in the IAAF Women’s 15K Road Racing World Championship the following day—I hoped. Two days before, after running circles inside a stadium on a grass field, I had developed severe tendonitis in my left ankle. I had been in pain and unable to even jog since then. So this journal starts with a whimper rather than a bang—but wait till tomorrow!

November 20, 1987

AM: 43-min continuous swim in pool (2K). Tendinitis just as bad. Got “mesotherapy” needle treatment.

7 Responses to Olympic Training Log (Intro)

  1. George says:

    Awesome Nancy, had me on the edge of my seat, can’t wait for the rest of the story.

    • nancytinarirunswrites says:

      Do you know what happens on November 21, George? If not, DON’T cheat and google it! Thanks for your comment and sharing.

  2. sharon says:

    yes nancy this is great. Cant wait for the next installment

  3. Kit says:

    Nancy, great idea! I’m really looking forward to reading your journals. This will be really informative to those of us who wonder just what world class running takes.

  4. Hi Nancy,

    I am helping to write a book about the 40th anniversary of the Ottawa marathon. Did you run the marathon in Ottawa? If so, do you have any photos of it? Any memories of the experience?
    Would love to hear from you.


    • Hi Sarah,
      I’m sorry I can’t help you because I’ve never run the Ottawa marathon. I only ran one marathon in my competitive career, the Toronto Marathon in 1983, which is described in one of my posts on this blog. Another post explains that a terrible knee injury struck me only three weeks before the 1984 Olympics Trials Marathon which was held in Ottawa. The Ottawa Marathon is a beloved marathon of many Canadian runners, and I’m sure you will be able to find many past Canadian Olympians who have run it.

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