Oregon daily emerald. (Eugene, Or.) 1920-2012, June 19, 1980, Section A, Page 2, Image 2

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    Mary Decker matures into top-ranking miler
t> U1
ByKiM SPiP
O* Emerald
Vary Secwe' a tid' d record holder r
stances trad nona y do^ nated Qy
asrer>~ Europeans sn • tne sa" e o<g
■a ed gang > youngster *'o r"re* a
'©ay oaten a* re oac* ot a rougr-raorg
^ussiar ' a * - e' s-< years age
a* 2' Dec**' s cors.pe'ec ar adult
Out v'e sa*s 'ea y dor * ‘ee ary
Offeree* ar ic ^e'ce
*ar* *o oe oes* a* * 5G0 rreters
Eugenean holds world records
outdoors and a races up to tn s
so"-* nave seer a procress'C" to *ncse
tt" ngs And dcr t ‘ee any 2ress_re
'ea; y outside of n~e press^'e p ut on
-nyseff
Decker a »etera' - r'e"a*iOra
co''pet -sor se* d records " s
* "*er n tne 'GOO' ' 500 4 00 8; t. a
4 t7 5on an cvers-zed "docrtrac* and
aeo yards 1 59 7)
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But sre Aasn * tr r« -g about records
*rer she began erring i-st for fun at
age *' * *as a sooa- activity "’ore than
anything
A* ‘4 Decker ass ranked fourth >n the
Aor-g n the 8CC a* *5 she -ad set her
first Acre record captured 5n AAU 800
crow- arc achieved veteran status in
ntemationai co~;>ett.-o
Decxer Aas favored for a 1976 Olympic
berth but al~.er the 11975 season she
seeded to disappear after being
side -ed by caff pa ns so severe at she
*as forced to give up runn ng for a while
Countess doctors and specialists
po*ed prodded and exam -ed her
caives but they ccud not stop the pain
oega- f she n-oved at any oace faster
than a A3 *
- "977 a*" e atterd ng Co orado State
University - Boulder Deepen met Dick
Guax a close tr end mho s now her
coac- Quax explained that she nr ght be
suffering ‘rom something ca ed Com
oarmem Syndrome — when the sneaths
of tissue surrounding the - usees don't
expand as the - ^sc es develop
give my body a chance to rebuild itself
instead of wiping it out day after day...”
Decker had to use that patience with a
recent injury that set her training back
three weeks in May and June Like
McChesney. Decker experienced pain in
the bottom of her foot because of plantar
fasciitis, a common overstress injury
She layed off to let the foot heal Alth
ough she had planned to run the 800 in
the Prefontaine Classic, Quax, who is
now in Eugene, advised against it
It's (the foot) pretty good now," she
says My training (approximately 60-70
miles per week) is going well, but it's just
that I don't have a lot of races behind me
at this point
The AAU (800 meters) will be my first
race The trials will be my second, but by
the time I get to the finals of the trials I II
have had four or five races under my belt
(counting heats and finals) '
Decker’s immediate goal is to win the
1,500 in the trials, her first. Her current
time is almost II seconds faster than any
other American metric miler, but she
doesn't underestimate her competitors.
Right now I'm not in as good a shape
as I'd like to be. so at the trials and at the
nationals I will be running in races that
“Right now I’m not in as good a shape as I’d like to be,
so at the trials and at the nationals I will be running in
races that will give me competition. ’’
Qua/ told Dec*e' that he hiad under
gore operations to correct the problem
and encouraged *ar to do the same Two
ooerafc--s. ore r *977 arc another in
1978 preceeoed her return to competi
tion — and more records
Now Deeper is protective of her body
She warms .c thoroughly oefore each
run or 'ace and ras taken a common
sense attitude n training ana 'acing that
many mj ^ry-prone atr etes are adopting
I was readmg that Sports Illustrated
article on Mary Decker said NCAA
A -American Bii McChesney in March
She had to get over the guilt of getting
up >n the morning and saying Yeah, my
foot hurts Cm not going to run today
That s what I ve got to learn to do
Decker explained her attitude change
to Track and Field News Jon Hender
shott following her 880 world record
earlier this year
In the past I had a tendency to tram
hard every single day I ran everything
hard because I thought it would make me
better But now I know that s not the
case
if I m tired one day or something is
aching I II take rt a little easier I have to
will give me competition. Later on. when
I'm fitter, well, it’s hard to say. They
(other American runners) just haven't
been running that well yet
Because Decker is faster than other
American women, her training is a rather
solitary affair. "I do have people who run
with me on occasion, but I pretty much
train on my own.
I guess it is tough to train by yourself,
especially when you have an off day. but
when you look at the fact that I've had to
run all my races basically all alone I
think I was able to do that off training by
myself."
Decker keeps her future plans to her
self. but she says she would like to com
pete in Europe following the Olympic
Trials. As for times, she says records are
meant to be broken and Decker wants to
be the one to break them.
But she says that attitude doesn't dis
tract her from the fun of competition and
most importantly, the desire to win. "I run
a race, first of all. to win.
That s not thinking about time When
I m feeling good, though, I start thinking
about going for time, and then the effort
of my race becomes very conscious But
first I want to win.”
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