I don’t know Devon Yanko.
I don’t know Amelia Boone.
I don’t know Clare Gallagher.
I don’t know Tina Muir.
Yet, through the power of email and social media, these ladies have influenced and probably extended my running career.
They are honest.
They are open about their struggles and injuries.
They admit where they screwed up and how they fixed it.
They are relatable.
When I experienced a set back, the more I talked to them, the less I felt like a screw up and the more I felt like I screwed up, unintentionally, and I could fix it.
These strong women had gone through what I am going through. They helped me to heal.
I can also not write about my female running companions without mentioning Laura Kline. Laura has had setbacks this year (at Bandera) and yet still kept her eye on the next race. She is a model of recovery and eats extremely well being a vegan athlete.
When I freak out in the middle of the night or really at any time, I immediately text her. She supports whatever my decision is (she probably would have told me I was crazy to race CT) but also keeps my head level.
Who cares if I don’t run fast times?
Who cares if I don’t get sponsors?
Who cares about a race in two weeks that might end up in injury when I want to be running my whole life?
Laura just knows.
Rather than spend more time telling you have great these women are, I’ll link to their posts below which have been essential in my recovery from fatigue.
I fear my own return via Amelia Boone
Injury Storytime via Clare Gallagher
The Art of Unlearning via Devon Yanko
Bend or Break, Free via Devon Yanko
The Physics of Vulnerability via Devon Yanko
Are You Obsessed With Your Goals? via Tina Muir
12 Ways To Deal With Injury Depression via Tina Muir
What I enjoy most about the trail and ultra community is the friendship. People are just nice! Imagine emailing Shalane or Desi…I’ve never done it, but they are so busy (rightly so) and I don’t think their response would have the desired effect. Yet, every time I’ve emailed one of these women, I get PAGES back. Detailed experiences, what they’ve done to recover or deal with setbacks (or deal with success) and encouragement.
They don’t tell me what I should do, they tell me what they’ve done and how it worked out. They realize that we are all competitors, but they want everyone to reach their potential. I cannot explain how much this has helped me.
Mostly, it decreases my stress and anxiety about running. As Amelia said in her Running For Real interview and on the blog post above, it’s not about getting back to where I was, it’s about using this injury or burnout, fatigue, whatever, to form the future runner I will be.
So thanks ladies, just know how impactful you are. I’ll see you out there!