Friday, January 28 2022

By Seth Rubinroit

NEW YORK – Abby Wambach hopes to add “marathoner” to her decorated athletic resume Sunday at the 2021 New York City Marathon.

“Running in many ways has given me a beautiful life,” she said. “It has also really made my left ankle hurt.”

Wambach started running, sans soccer ball, shortly after retiring from the sport in 2015. She initially planned on pausing her exercise regimen to let her body recover, but the break did not last long.

“One of the things that I now understand,” she said, “is how much self-esteem [physical fitness] gives me.”

The two-time Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion ran plenty of miles during her 15 years on the U.S. Women’s National Team, but running marathons requires an entirely different level of endurance.

“I was never shocked at myself that I could play 90 minutes of soccer,” she said. “What will be shocking to me is that I can run for four hours straight and not stop.”

After more than 30 years of competitive soccer, Wambach was ready to transition to an individual pursuit.

“Running is a very personal thing,” the 41-year-old Wambach said. “It’s not me against you. It’s me against myself. It’s me against my yesterday.

“This might be the first time in my life that I’ve ever done something not for an external reward, but for an internal reward…I’m doing this because I set a goal, a personal goal for myself that didn’t have a lot to do with anyone else.”

ALSO FROM ON HER TURF: The impact of climate change? These winter Olympians have seen it

During her soccer career, Wambach trained with the best coaches from around the world. But she chose a running coach much closer to home.

“One of my kids’ middle school cross-country coaches gave me the program,” the mother of three said in an interview on behalf of her sponsor, Gatorade’s Gx Sweat Patch, which she wears on the inside of her left arm to measure her hydration levels.

Wambach recently completed 20 miles, her longest-ever training run.

“I felt very impressed with myself,” she said. “I kept saying, ‘I can’t believe I just did that. I can’t believe that my body can do that.’”

Several other Olympic soccer players are expected to run the 2021 New York City Marathon, including Lauren Holiday, Kate Markgraf and Leslie Osborne.

Wambach’s goal is to run the 26.2 miles in under four hours.

“The respect that I have for marathon runners is so through the roof right now,” Wambach said, pointing out that Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei won the 2019 New York City Marathon in 2:22:38. “I am going to be running twice as slow as the people who are going to be winning the marathon. They will be running twice as fast as me and I will be running as fast as I can.”

ALSO FROM ON HER TURF: 2021 NWSL Playoffs: How to watch, full schedule, TV channels, and more

More from On Her Turf

The impact of climate change? These winter Olympians have seen it 2021 NWSL Playoffs: How to watch, full schedule, TV channels, and more Gender inequity report: NCAA spends far less on women’s championships,…

Abby Wambach ready for her first marathon originally appeared on NBCSports.com

Previous

Celtics win, but all is not well in Boston

Next

Newcastle in talks with Howe: reports

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

PHT Morning Skate: Flyers’ want to ‘aggressively retool’; Lundqvist on Fallon

Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from the NHL and around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports. • It’s more of plan to “aggressively retool” than a rebuild for the Flyers. [NBC Sports Philadelphia] • Jeff Carter signs a two-year extension with the […]

Read More

United States men’s national soccer team Concacaf World Cup qualifier vs. El Salvador: Live stream and TV info, USMNT roster

The USMNT continues its quest to qualify for the 2022 World Cup when it takes on El Salvador at Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday night. Columbus has long been a comfortable home venue for the U.S. men’s national soccer team. The USMNT has a 8-1-2 record in World Cup qualifiers played in Columbus, […]

Read More

Anthony Davis injury update: Lakers star upgraded to ‘questionable’ for Sunday’s game vs. Heat

The Los Angeles Lakers could be getting a major piece back very soon. All-Star forward Anthony Davis has been officially upgraded to questionable for the Lakers contest against the Heat in Miami on Sunday. His final status will be determined prior to tip time, according to Lakers reporter Mike Trudell. Davis has been out of the […]

Read More