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“Running is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other. It is about our lifestyle and who we are.” 

Joan Benoit, First Female Olympic Marathon Champion, LA, 1984

Joan Benoit, is my husband, Steve’s, greatest running idol.  When I asked him why, he said “ She’s fearless. She was never intimidated by other runners, and always raced her own race”.  

Joan Benoit was the first women’s Olympic Games marathon champion in the 1984 Olympics, in LA.  She won the Chicago marathon in a time of 2:21, which remained the US record for 18 years. At 48 she qualified for her 7th Olympic trials in a time of 2:46.   At the age of 60, she was first in her age group in the Boston Marathon at a time of 3:04. She was actually trying to break 3 hours. 

Obviously, Joan is an exceptionally talented athlete, but in an interview for a book called “ Run Strong, Stay Hungry” she explained that to stay motivated when running was not going her way

, she would “create stories”.  For Joan, this meant tying goal times with something more meaningful such as a past experience remembered by others, or that spontaneous moment.  Joan would make each race a memorable moment to see what could she accomplish with the conditions she had to face.  Doing this allowed her the headspace to adapt to changes that were out of her control ( mainly ageing for her), yet provide still meaningful and satisfying experiences.  

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While we are living in this era of unpredictability and uncertainty, running gives us the certainty that despite what happens we can adapt, make new experiences and continue to create our own stories.

It’s not easy when things don’t go our way, especially after months of training, but there is an incredible strength we gain as runners.  Every time you run a race, you are applying mindful coping strategies to help you get to the finish line. 

Learning from these past race moments is another amazing trait of the strength of being a runner that we can transition into our daily lives when it gets tough.  

No matter what happens to our goals at the moment, remind yourself that you are a runner and that you are part of an incredible community of supportive people. 

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Keep making your running stories and stay connected to your running community.  Reach out to your fellow runners, and ask if they need help, or ask for help if you need it yourself. 

Take care, keep running and stay safe. 

Margot & Steve Manning

intraining Running Centre

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