With the Boston Marathon on Monday and my goal of one day getting a BQ, I thought it would be a good idea to write about Boston Bound by Elizabeth Clor. I’ve never run the Boston Marathon but would like to one day. I am slow and know it will take me a few years to BQ.
I’ve been reading Elizabeth Clor’s blog Racing Stripes for a number of years. To say that I love her blog is an understatement. She is honest, passionate and is very detailed when writing about her runs and races. She was on a mission to qualify for Boston and after 7 years, she finally did so in October 2014 and ran the marathon on April 18, 2016. Just last month she qualified again with a 3:21:54 finish time. It definitely was not easy (is it ever?) but over the years she had to overcome various obstacles in which she talked about in the book.
I started reading it in early March. I had been diagnosed with IT band syndrome, runner’s knee and knee bursitis (and feeling sorry for myself). The doctor recommended using the bike to help with recovery. I could not put it down. The book was exactly what I needed to get me out of my running funk and to get motivated to get better soon and get my own BQ.
Elizabeth is a perfectionist. She trains with the McMillan Group and does very well in her races. But there was still something holding her back. She was always hard on herself and had to meet a specific finish time. She lacked confidence and suffered from race anxiety. If she knew she wouldn’t meet her goal, she would drop out of the race. She finally decided to seek help from a sports psychologist.
She knew she had some barriers to overcome and with her doctor’s help she was able to do so:
- Making comparisons
- Learning from setbacks and moving on
- Tempering emotions
- Expecting to make mistakes
She would also worry about what other people thought of her. She was afraid of running a slow race because she did not want people to think that she was a slow runner.
I think that many of us as runners share some of those obstacles (I used to compare myself to others too). However, with Elizabeth it was even more tough because she was always hard on herself. Many times she couldn’t just let go. She expected things to turn out exactly like she had planned (training for a XX finish time therefore expecting XX finish time). She was no longer enjoying her races nor her runs.
Over the course of numerous visits to her sports psychologist, Elizabeth was able to take it easy, relax, and gain confidence. If a race or run did not go well, she learned to see the positive of it instead of focusing on the negative.
You can read about her experience running the Boston Marathon HERE.
Something interesting that I read is that I have not met Elizabeth but am excited to do so in July at The Great Alaskan Running Cruise. I am excited to also try and get my own BQ. She has definitely demonstrated that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. I am hoping that she decides to become a certified running coach as I would love for her to be my coach. I definitely enjoyed reading her book. It is easy to read and she does an excellent job of sharing her ups and downs as time after time she attempts to BQ. Even if The Boston Marathon isn’t in your bucket list, I encourage you read her book. Also, I encourage you to check out her blog – definitely one worth reading!!
Have you read the book? What did you think of it? Is running The Boston Marathon on your bucket list?