Getting Down to the Core
As someone who was accustomed to training for race after race and sticking to rigid schedules, Des says 2020 has helped her slow down and enjoy the time she spends running. She says it’s allowed her to think about what it would be like to go from thinking of the sport where performance is top-of-mind, to getting the point where she’s a life-long runner for the love of the process of running.
That’s not to say there are days where motivation gets tough. While there aren’t races to look forward to, Des says what helps keep her spirits lifted is thinking about why she started running. “For those struggling with motivation to get out the door, think about the why. What was the thing that got you started, that made you buy your running shoes and get out there.”
With races canceled, Des decided to make the most out of a training plan-free season and worked up her own challenge others could participate in— Destober. Inspired by Travis McKenzie, Destober was Des’ plan to run the miles in the dates of October. October 1 is one mile, October 2 is 2 miles, and so on. This put her at a grand total of 496 miles for the month, and the last run being a 31 miler.
You’ve got to stick with the grind, she says. Just keep in mind the reason you started running in the first place. This way when racing comes back, you’ll be many steps ahead of others.
Seasons are all temporary
As cold months and dark days get closer, Des and Tina discuss winter training especially in places where snow and ice become barriers to outdoor running. But Des says the important thing is to remember seasons are temporary. We’ll get through them and just need to make adjustments. Just like in the summer you hydrate more and wake up earlier, we must also allow ourselves to change our expectations. “If it’s C-game conditions, you can’t expect an A-game,” Des says. Be flexible with your goals.
Women in Running
Des has no doubt moved the needle for women in running. Looking forward, she said we must strive to involve more women as coaches and in the administrative part of the sport, whether it’s World Marathon Majors or the World Athletics.“We need women in those positions to show other women that that’s something they can do,” she said.
There’s an Upside to Everything
For Des, the Destober challenge pushed her limits in a way she wouldn’t have been able to had she been training for the NYC Marathon in a normal year. She shares how she’s been spending more time with her family than ever before and is making sure to embrace the silver linings of this time. “There’s an upside in everything, it’s really how we view it and decide to make of it.”
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Thank you to my wonderful sponsor Generation UCAN, Bumbleride, and Itz Glitz Girls for sponsoring this episode of the Running for Real Podcast.
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