Deena is in a New York frame of mind

Deena is back.

One hundred days after giving birth (by Caesarian section, no less), Mammoth’s star marathoner is back on the roads, training for the June 11 New York Mini 10K.

“I feel great,” she said after a brisk run Thursday under the coaching of Mammoth Track Club’s Terrence Mahon.

“I’m surprised, actually,” she said. “But I know I’m just starting to come back.”

The stakes are big for Kastor, 38, who won a bronze medal in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

First is just getting back in the culture of running. As we spoke, she was authoring an article for Runner’s World magazine, along with her husband Andrew, leader of the local High Sierra Striders running club.

But it’s the racing that counts.

“I’m excited and nervous,” she said of the upcoming race in New York.

“The weather should be great and I’m looking forward to it.”
She is not looking to win. Rather, she is looking to participate and get back into the swing of it, and to hang out with her running pals.

And boy, does she have pals. She opened a Facebook account last week and in just days she collected 558 friends. She opened the account to help promote her four running camps this summer, one for youth, one for high schoolers, one for collegians and one for adults.

The prize is next January, she said, when the Olympic Marathon trials are conducted in Houston. By then, she will have had a summer of intense training under Mahon.

She also will be training alongside her competitors, some of whom will be in Mammoth over the course of the summer to train for January’s crucial trials.

If all goes well, the road leads to London for the 2012 Olympic Games.

It was in the London Marathon that Kastor definitively stamped herself onto the world map of running in by winning the 2006 Flora London Marathon with a time of 2:19:36.

But first, with baby Piper and husband Andrew alongside her, is New York and 10 kilometers of racing.

It’s the first step back.