As previously reported, Keflezighi got a late start to training after running at the New York City Marathon on November 6 due to several hiccups – an infection on his left foot, a cold and knee swelling problem caused overcompensation.
Missing out on some early marathon period training forced Keflezighi to rely on prior fitness gained from his over 20 year long running career.
“I’m not starting from scratch,” he noted.
Keflezighi related his current situation to his less-than-ideal preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon when he suffered from a ruptured quad weeks before the race but managed to hang on to fitness and finish third behind Paul Tergat and Hendrick Ramaala.
When asked about his current fitness, Keflezighi said he feels strong but was unable to pinpoint specifics since he has not been able to complete key indicator workouts on the roads in Mammoth Lakes.
Keflezighi took exception to being labeled as someone who “runs from behind,” instead characterizing his race strategy as waiting and reacting to how others run, a tactic he feels is most apt in a championship race in which placing in the top three is just as good as winning.
Keflezighi forecasted a time in the 2:08 to 2:09 range to be needed to make the team.
Keflezighi admitted Houston will likely be his last shot at qualifying for the Olympics but still plans on running competitively for a few more years. He has even commissioned his shoe sponsor Skechers to design a pair of track spikes in case he decides to contest the 10,000 meters at this summer’s Olympic Track and Field Trials.