I remember that Monday. Sitting at my desk, hoping the calls wouldn’t flood because I really just needed to stream the Boston Marathon. I knew who I was looking for, who I was tracking. I was looking for the faces I recognized, the names I knew because I had heard soooo many podcasts starring them. The runners who were running these CRAZY times I could only dream of.
Thursday evening was absolutely great!
I got to attend a NYRR RunTalk with Des Linden, Sarah Sellers and Krista DuChene. They answered questions about how they balance running with the rest of their life, be it as a full time job, with another job, or with kids and a whole family to take care of, of running the Boston Marathon in what we all know was horrible weather (except for Krista) and got to give us a bit of advice on how to run longer and smarter.
I just want to go over five things that I really took from this event and things that I know can help beginner runners out there and even those of us who have been running for a number of years who still struggle with balance, nutrition and anything life throws at us. Before I go into it though, I’d love to say that it was wonderful to see them all be so genuine in their responses, and especially to Sarah who was a bit nervous in what she herself said was still something new to her.
- The running community. So many of us had gotten off work and instead of heading home or to happy hour, we showed up at this event to listen to three women who run, just like we do. Their response to the camaraderie between runners, even when competing against each other, is something that I absolutely love about the running community. There’s no jealousy, sure we can compare each other’s times after races, but we’re never upset over the success of other runners. We look out for each other, whether it’s by sharing the resources that we have found helpful or trying to figure out how to motivate each other and pushing each other. If you aren’t sure of how to keep yourself motivated, find a running buddy or join a run club and discover a whole group of individuals out there that will welcome you with open arms.
- Success takes time. Krista, who was simply amazing, mentioned how it took her 11 years to chip off one hour from her first marathon time. Des reiterated how she has been running for 13 years and she FINALLY got 1st place in the Boston Marathon. Sarah mentioned how she never felt like she was at a level of other pro runners and now she’s sponsored by Altra. Sarah told us to be consistent in your training, Des told us to keep showing up and Krista told us to trust our plan. I have been running for almost a decade (not 30 yet and this is the language I’m using to describe passage of time in my life, ahh) and I am still slow and while I’m not thrilled about it, I have seen improvements in so many aspects of my running that I have no complaints. I have learned that I need to stretch more often in order to avoid injuries and I’m trying to learn how to go further without dread, even though I love the sport. We might be feeling like we’re on a rollercoaster at times but we need to remember not everything will be an incline and that is how we will see progress.
- Balance is key. This is something that I have struggled with for years… in everything. Recently, I made the shift to morning workouts so that there were no excuses by the time I got home after work or school. It’s hard to wake up at 5 when you have to come home and cook and leave your house for a 1 hour commute from Jersey to the Upper East Side and then still come home from work or school (at 10pm) and then do it all over again. Sarah has mentioned before of how she also does morning runs because she never knows what the rest of the day will look like. Krista also mentioned how she woke up at 4:20am in order to get her things done before catching her flight. Sometimes we can start small and then eventually, our body will adapt and we will no longer need that alarm at the crack of dawn.
- Act as the thing you are trying to become. This was all Des. She talked of how she’s emulated runners she looks up to, including picturing herself as Meb (haha). This doesn’t just apply to running but with anything else in life. Having just graduated, I want to apply this into my life at a higher rate because I have goals and I won’t reach them sitting on my couch. I have been reading, and listening to podcasts, that recommend visualization techniques to help you get where you want to be.
- Self-care. Getting super personal, my doctor recently diagnosed me with acute depression. It’s a hard thing to accept when you are constantly aware that you are in a city with almost no family and you have to take care of yourself. However, I have been conscious of the fact that I have been having a lot of emotional struggles recently and that I know that running is my way of coping with that stress. Whatever your “why” for running is, get out there. Even if it’s not running, remind yourself of why you’re out there and who is supporting you.
It was a great event and you can see it here. I’m looking forward to learning more about New York Road Runners and becoming more involved now that I don’t have to worry about classes.
Lastly, Des is hilarious! I am thrilled to have gotten a chance to see them in person because I can’t tell you who most Hollywood actors are, but I can pinpoint many of the pro runners almost anywhere.
What would you have asked them if you had the chance?
Also, is there something you struggle with in your running, such as going long or improvement or fitting those miles in your life?