"It wasn't a smart decision," Goucher said afterward. "It was just weakness. I gave myself an out ... It's something I'll be thinking about for a long time." The only thing keeping her from crying, she said, was knowing that compatriot
As silly as this sounds, all I could think about was how great it was that Goucher was crestfallen about a 10th-place finish, in 30:55.16, in the Olympic final, and that it happened because she was thinking about the other race she'd come to run.
So while she was right to be disappointed, it speaks volumes about how far U.S. women distance runners have come that Goucher, who won the first ever American distance medal at a World Championships when she took bronze last year in Osaka, was not content to just show up and be an Olympian.
But she had to be content with a personal best, right? "Yeah, it was a PR, but my PR was weak," she said. Oh, ok.
Still, 10th in the world is nothing to sneeze at. What were her expectations? "Well, I'm crazy," she said, "I thought I could win." But the heartening nugget is that she wasn't crazy at all to think she could win. It's that kind of "crazy" that has lifted U.S. distance running back to competitiveness on the highest level. If that's crazy, then would that we could all share in Kara's crazy pills.
But not yet. She needs them for the 5,000. "You'll see a different animal on Tuesday," she said. Different animals are precisely what we're seeing right now in the United States' distance runners.