Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Who says Allie Kieffer isn’t thin enough?

Allie Kieffer, one of the best Americans running the New York City Marathon next Sunday, spent a lot of her life feeling as if she didn’t really fit in among the competition. She was good enough to land an athletic scholarship to college and hoped to continue running after graduating. But she wasn’t as thin as the women she raced against. Her coaches suggested she diet. She eventually gave in, and her body broke down…

After a few years, she missed running and started again — but this time was different. There were no goals, no opponents to compare herself with and no times to record. Everything was on her own terms…She began running more miles than ever, she was healthier than ever, and she was happier, too. And then something unexpected happened: She got faster. Much faster.

Last year, Kieffer ran the New York City Marathon and finished, astonishingly, in fifth place. She was the second American woman, and she logged her best time by nearly 15 minutes in one of the world’s most competitive footraces. Barely anyone knew who the unsponsored 30-year-old American with the topknot sprinting past Olympians in the final miles of Central Park was.

Suddenly, Kieffer wasn’t just trying to be one of the hundreds of elite runners in the country. She had become one of the best runners in the world…

In doing so, Kieffer has given us a powerful example of what can happen when we stop trying to force ourselves to meet preconceived notions of how to achieve success — especially unhealthy, untrue ideas — and go after our goals on our own terms. When we focus less on fixing what we consider to be inadequacies and more on reinforcing our strengths, we can realize potential we didn’t even know we had.

“Sometimes, the act of trying takes so much energy that it can prevent you from actually doing the thing you want to do,” Brad Stulberg, the author of Peak Performance, told me. “If it starts to feel like performance shackles, you’re going to want say screw it, to break out of rigid patterns and rip those shackles off. And only then are you able to really achieve what you were trying for the whole time.”

Kieffer’s story also proves that we can achieve far more when we value all women’s bodies less for how they look, and more for what they can do.

Not that being underestimated can’t serve as motivation.

“I’ve always gotten a lot of satisfaction by being the big girl everyone thought they were going to beat,” says Kieffer…

There is a growing movement telling us to embrace the bodies we’ve got — thank you — but it’s hard to drown out the other messages. Whether it’s for a race or a wedding, women are told that they are at their most valuable when their bodies are their most diminished. Resisting the impulse to feed yourself is an accomplishment we praise. You don’t have to buy into these values, but you’ll probably still be judged by them…

By conventional standards, she is doing nearly everything wrong. But she’s beating a lot of the people who are still training the “right” way, so perhaps her path shows there’s room for a more flexible definition of what the right way can be. This is probably true for more than just distance running.

~ Lindsay Crouse, excerpts from Who Says Allie Kieffer Isn’t Thin Enough to Run Marathons? Success that shows we might be able to achieve even more when we break all the rules. (The New York Times, October 27, 2018)


Inspired by:

  • Nobody is smarter than you are. And what if they are? What good is their understanding doing you?” -Terence McKenna, Nobody is Smarter Than You Are
  • I don’t think that you have to get all your inner stuff together and totally integrated before you can actually be what you’ve realized. You’re going to wait forever if you wait for that. Just start being what you know now.” ~ Adyashanti, Emptiness Dancing

1,218 Rank. #1 in our Heart…

2017 SHAPE Women’s Half Marathon on Sunday in Central Park.

Our Rachel finished in 1,218 place out of 6,975 women finishers @ a 8:57 Pace.

Who would have thought?!?! 🙂


Related Post: Running. 10, On Great Friday.

Running. 10, On Great Friday.

Zero Interest. Not on my bucket list. Not sure what possessed me to agree to it.” A colleague at work convinced her to sign up for the SHAPE Women’s Half Marathon in Central Park at the end of the month.

“Rachel, you aren’t a runner. You’ve never run. Do you realize how far that is?”

“Dad, I can always count on you for encouragement. You’re always right there for me.”

So, I watch. Fully expecting her to pull the rip cord and bail.

She’s following the recommended training regimen for newbies. I follow from the shadows as her notifications ping my smart watch, signaling completion of her treadmill runs, her outdoor runs, her elliptical sessions. Her pace: consistently sub 9-minute miles.

Disbelief. [Read more…]

SMWI*: Tarahumara

Tarahumara-huaraches-sandals-running

“According to the Mexican historian Francisco Almada, a Tarahumara champion once ran 435 miles, the equivalent of setting out for a jog from New York City and not stopping till you were closing in on Detroit. Other Tarahumara runners reportedly went three hundred miles at a pop. That’s nearly twelve full marathons, back to back to back, while the sun rose and set and rose again. And the Tarahumara weren’t running along smooth, paved roads, either, but scrambling up and down steep canyon trails formed only by their own feet.”

~ Christopher McDougall, Born to Run


Notes:

4.15 Strong


Joy Johnson

Joy-Johnson

“She was 86, competing in the marathon for the 25th consecutive time. Even injured, she abided by one of her enduring rules for any race, which was to smile down the homestretch, aware of the roving race photographers and believing it never served anyone to be caught in a grimace.

Joy Johnson crossed the finish line at the New York City Marathon this year nearly eight hours after she began. Of the 50,266 people to finish, she was among the very last — wearing a pair of Nikes and a navy blue bow pinned neatly in her hair, leaning on a stranger for support. Her forehead was bloodied in a fall she took at around Mile 20…Johnson, who was raised on a Minnesota dairy farm and was given to cheery understatement, waved off any concern. “I wasn’t watching where I was going,” she told her sister shortly after finishing. “It looks just awful, but I’m fine.”

…she herself didn’t have an exercise regimen. Until one day in 1985, when she and her husband were newly retired and their four children all grown, Johnson, who was 59, took a three-mile walk and found it energizing. Soon she tried jogging and enjoyed that even more…As a senior citizen, she ran an average of three marathons a year, buttressed by dozens of shorter races, always with a bow in her hair. Her home in San Jose grew so cluttered with running medals and trophies that she began storing some of them in the garage.

Early the next morning, looking cheery, with her medal around her neck and a blue kerchief over her head, the right side of her face swaddled in bandages, Joy Johnson waited in the crowd outside NBC Studios to say hello, as she did postmarathon every year, to Al Roker (“a nice young man,” she called him) from the “Today” show…”

I won’t be a spoiler.  Be sure to read this article and how it finishes: Joy Johnson, a Marathoner to the End


Credits:

  • Elise, thank you for sharing.  Inspiring. How do you define grace and class: Joy Johnson.
  • Image & Article: NYTimes.com

Running. To…Away From 10.

mind-servant-master-quotes
I finished the post last Sunday.
It was titled “Running. To 10.”
567 words.
~ 50 minutes of prep.
The cursor lingered over the “PUBLISH” button.
My index finger hung over “ENTER” on the keyboard. (Pulse quickening. Typos? Is this Good Enough?)

I eased back my finger. (Your gut.  It’s usually right.)
I sent an email copy to Rachel who’s home on Fall break.
Blah. Blah. Blah. Dull. Re-run. Tired. Been there. Done that. One trick pony. Is that all you got?
Carpet-bombed by my own offspring.
Don’t you think that’s a bit harsh?
“Dad, you asked.  If you didn’t want to know, you shouldn’t have asked.”
I laugh. (I built this creature. Chip off the ol’ block.) [Read more…]

SMWI*: Run like a Kenyan


Athletes from Kenya have won more Olympic medals in middle and long distances than any other country…how do they do it?…no coaches are necessary…they thrive on teamwork and competition…genetic theories of dominance are rubbish…you can’t find any other place in the world like this…you have to be here to feel it…the mind is as important as physical talent…so what makes Kenyans the best? Perhaps it is the magic of these mountains.


*SMSI: Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration

Work-Out Inspiration: And my excuse would be…what?

He was born with cystic fibrosis, a chronic progressive disease characterized by a thick, sticky mucous that clogs the lungs. Each day, he takes 50-70 pills.  And he hooks himself up to a machine called the vest that shakes his upper body for 1-1.5 hours a day to loosen the mucus from his lungs.  All this – – so he can run. He’s run 6 marathons, five of which have been under 4 hours. Why does he do it?

“I do it because I want to prove to myself that I can…I run because one day I might not able to.”


Source: Thank you lybio.net

Work-Out Inspiration: 100 years old. And still running.

espn, sports, inspirational

  • Fauja Singh ran his first marathon at age 89 and became an international sensation.
  • Records?  Fastest to run a marathon (male, over age 90), fastest to run 5,000 meters (male, over age 100), fastest to run 3,000 meters (male, over age 100), and on and on they went.
  • By his second birthday, Fauja’s parents had cause for concern: He couldn’t walk. His legs were short and spindly, capable of movement but too weak to support his body. He turned 3. No steps yet. Then 4. Still crawling. Children called him danda, Punjabi for “stick.” Family members worried he might be crippled for life, so they consulted village doctors…At age 5, he developed enough strength to hobble. Proper walking didn’t come until around age 10.
  • His goal?  Get into the Guinness Book of World Records for finishing a Marathon at 100 years old.  The race: The Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 16, 2011. He’d finished in 8 hours, 25 minutes. He waved to the crowd as he walked across the line, then lifted his arms and accepted a medal. There were smiles and handshakes and photos with friends and strangers, then a rambling news conference for Fauja to reflect on his record. Amid the chaos and congratulations, however, Fauja never noticed the absence of one celebrant they’d expected. Guinness. (Guinness would not recognize Fauja Singh for the record. Read why at this link.)

Source: ESPN – The Runner.  Hit this link to read the full story.  Inspiring.


Epilogue: On February 23, 2013, Fauja Singh finished the Hong Kong 10km (6.25 mile) event in one hour, 32 minutes and 28 seconds. (Source: BBC News – Oldest Man Runs His Last Race)


DK Note to Self: Get. Off. The. Couch.

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