I love food! Sometimes, at night, while I’m laying in bed I think about what I want to eat the next day. Although recently the only thing on my mind has been soda! We never buy soda, but this week Cameron came home from the store with 2 deliciously carbonated plastic bottles of diet Dr. Pepper and diet 7 Up 🙂
As a runner I’ve constantly been told to live the lifestyle – to be a runner the entire day, not just for the couple of hours you lace up your shoes and hit the trails. To excel at long distance running you have to do ‘all the little things.’ You must get enough sleep, run a certain amount of miles, absorb enough nutrients, have a post-workout meal that has the perfect carb-to-protein ratio for maximum recovery, stretch, watch your caloric intake, eat lean proteins, maintain a similar day to day schedule, don’t stay on your feet too much, cross train, be strong, but not too muscular. So it’s pretty obvious that soda is definitely on the don’t do list (clearly, so are Dorito’s: http://www.flotrack.org/videos/speaker/25-kara-goucher/1970-eat-a-dorito). This leads me to the question: can you live the lifestyle and still have a life outside running?
|Picture of me saving my sister from falling
in the ice at Grand Teton National Park.
The best athletes find a way to stay fit, while still indulging in their cravings (as you saw in the Kara Goucher video if you watched it). Throughout my career I have struggled with this. At times I’ve focused solely on running – nothing else mattered. My mood, thoughts, happiness, and life were completely dictated by running. Other times in my life I’ve had the opposite mentality. After my sister died at the age of 23 I lost sight of my path in life – the way I thought about life changed. It seemed so fragile and unpredictable – I didn’t want to waste any time. I began looking back at my life and the opportunities I had missed out on because of running. I had a stellar junior year of high school, qualifying for footlockers and getting 2nd place at nationals in the indoor mile. So, when my mom began planning a trip to China to visit my sister while she was studying abroad, I didn’t want to go. My mom ended up having an amazing 2 weeks touring China and Japan – I stayed home and ‘dedicated’ my life to running. When I look back now I definitely regret not going.
My college coach tried to help me remember how important running had been to me – “this is your time to run, you only get one chance” she said. She was right. My only opportunity is now, I can’t stop running and expect to pick it up again 10 years later without missing a step. I’ll actually miss millions of steps.
I spent the next 9 months after my sister died hurt with consecutive stress fractures. In May, when I left school, I knew I didn’t want to let this opportunity pass me by. Running is what has always grounded me. It’s the steady in a constantly changing life. It’s the passion that will never go away. It, to this day, still reminds me of my sister. Now, I can look back on the journey that running has taken me on and smile while drinking my soda (occasionally)!