Lisa goes to school….

….and My Story Runs On….

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Mahatma Gandhi

I am a huge proponent of learning! As a matter of fact we should all have a goal of learning something new everyday.  My favorite hashtags now are #neverstoplearning and #alwayslearning.

A big part of my “job” is teaching ChiRunning.  I feel blessed every day that I can teach people how to run injury-free, more efficiently for the rest of their lives.  Testimonials make my day as it confirms that I’ve been part of someone’s journey to live a healthier and happier life!

On the other hand, I know I don’t know everything there is to know about running so I always find opportunities to learn more.  I didn’t even blog about my 5 days assisting Danny Dreyer at Kripalu, MA in August this year (I paid my way just do to this so I could be a sponge and learn some more!). And I’m loving the ChiSchool that gives me something new to work on every week with my form!

As many of you know, I completed my first ultra 50K in February of 2014. I had to take a break after that due to my plantar fasciitis.  Happy to report that I’ve had no pain in at least 6 months and I’m ready to investigate this ultra scene again. So what’s the best way to learn about it outside of googling info on the internet and reaching out to friends that have already completed one?  Go to a running camp and learn from some experts!

So over Labor Day weekend, I headed to the AZ Distance Camp with a few of my friends (I originally thought I’d be going alone which terrified me but as I tell everyone else, you need to get out of your comfort zone so I was ready for that). The camp was put together by Coach James Bonnett who has an impressive background in ultra running.  He ran his first marathon at age 9!  This is a great article about him in Runner’s World.

I’ll admit being intimidated by this crowd since I am a baby in the ultra community. But I knew the best way to start preparing myself for future ultras was to learn from the best.  It was a great weekend where I learned a lot, logged quite a few miles, and met some new friends.  One of my favorite parts of the camp was hearing all the speakers answer the following question:

What was your best and worst race and what did you learn from it?

Mind you, these questions were specifically for ultras but I think can be applied to anyplace you are in Your Running Story.  Here are some of the answers to that question:

  • Don’t be married to your GPS.  Learn to train off your perceived rate of exertion. Ironically something I did in my last race that helped it be one of my best ones.  Also, this falls in line with one of the key ChiRunning principles of Body Sensing.
  • Be realistic about where you are with your fitness level.  Don’t compare yourself to your old self (as you age) or anyone else.  Or as one of my favorite Danny Dreyer quotes: “You’re at where you’re at”.
  • Don’t run through injury or if you are not feeling it.  Learn when not to do a race. Either readjust your goals or don’t “line up”.  I did this at my first 6 hour event last June.  You must know when to stop.  It’s OK to stop…you want to run for the rest of your life and it’s NOT worth pushing through an injury that can keep you out of commission.
  • At the same time, don’t settle.  Don’t be afraid to compete and challenge yourself.  Don’t be afraid to take risks: sometimes you’ll fail and sometimes you’ll succeed.  Always race smart though.
  • Train your crew.  This is something I’ll be working on as I am getting really close to signing up for my first 50 miler!  Yikes!
  • Always have FUN!  Stay happy when you are running and you will have a good race.  I always say this, especially for first time events.  The more you go into a race with a positive, fun attitude, the more likely your race will be that way too!
  • Be a well balanced runner. Study the sport. Learn.  Practice. Be a whole runner not just someone who is running.  Always be open to learning. (this was one of my favorite tips!)  I feel My Running Story is getting ready to make a big shift and I’m ready to start a new chapter because of all the learning I have been doing.
  • These 3 characteristics are crucial to have:  PASSION FOR RUNNING, CONSISTENCY AND PATIENCE.
  • Last but not least, and probably my biggest take away from the weekend was: have a written plan and STICK TO IT. (make sure to triple check weather conditions!)

When I was with Danny in August, I learned a new term:

Kaizen:  Continuous Improvement

Not that I was burning out on my running by any means but I love this idea of always working on improving a skill or art. Thanks to this running camp, I have a lot of new things to be thinking about….including to the next big step to my first 50 mile race….stay tuned 😉

What was your worst or best race and what did you learn from it?

Everyone who was there to learn more about running

Everyone who was there to learn more about running

I posted more pics on my facebook page.

From My Running Story to Yours….
(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)

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