As part of my blog I (MM) believe it’s important to share common and similar experiences. I’d like to introduce you to Tiffany (TLW) who talks about the positive impact running has in her life.
MM: Why do you run and why do you continue to do it?
TLW: I run to stay healthy both mentally and physically. Running has not only made me physically strong, but has strengthened my state of mind. If I am having a stressful day, I run to find peace. If I am faced with a dilemma, I run to fund clarity. Even if I am in a great state of mind, I run because it makes me feel good. I feel better about myself when I know that I am doing something to better myself.
MM: You have a great social media presence, especially on Instagram. If you could accomplish anything via social media what would it be?
TLW: I originally created my running Instagram as a way to hold myself accountable when training for my first ever 10k. I knew that if I posted I wanted to do something, and I had the support of others, I’d be more likely to do it, and less likely to skip a run or a workout. Over the past year, I have formed relationships with people who have similar interests as me, and through the running community, I found a group of people who support and encourage one another. If I could accomplish one thing through social media, it would be to encourage and inspire people to pursue their goals, no matter how hard they may be.
MM: How does your running, help you in your job as a Teacher?
TLW: Running is beneficial for my career because it helps me become a better teacher. A great teacher not only knows their content, but also radiates positivity, encouragement, and inspiration to their students. Running has taught me patience and mental strength; these skills go hand-in-hand with being a successful educator.
MM: What was your worst and best races and what did you learn from them?
TLW: My worst race was my first half-marathon this past August. I trained for 12 weeks for it. I thought I was ready, but when it came to race day, I lost my steam. It was an out and back course along a lake. That day, there happened to be 40 MPH wind gusts that I had to run against for the last half. It was tough. I definitely didn’t race as well as I had wanted, but I finished and that’s all that matters. My best race was a 10K that I ran in October of last year. I was coming off of half-marathon training, the weather was perfect and I felt so strong. I PRed that day, and achieved my goal of breaking 50 minutes (I finished in 49 minutes). That was by far my best and most favorite race.
Also, if you’re coming off of a bad race, remember that it gets better. “Every time you come back from a bad race or a bad run and lace up your shoes one more time, you’re looking fear straight in the face and saying: you don’t own me.” – Emily Oren
MM: What races are on your bucket list?
TLW: Running the NYC Marathon is my dream. One day I’ll get there!
MM: During a race what do you think about to keep focused, and what mental techniques do you use to keep yourself motivated in the tough moments?
TLW: During a race, or a hard run, I try to focus on shorter goals so that I don’t psych myself out. Celebrate each mile, and don’t get caught up in constantly checking your pace. Make sure you have a killer playlist, or run with a friend. I found that running with someone, and being able to talk definitely takes my mind off of any pain I may experience. If you’re really struggling and feel like you can’t go on, tell yourself that you can. We are all so much stronger than we think. No one ever celebrates a time that they gave up, but you will remember the times that you wanted to give up, but found the strength within to just keep going.
MM: In your experience, how important is the link between physical health and mental health?
TLW: I think it would be very hard to be physically strong if you weren’t first mentally strong. Physical strength doesn’t happen over night. You had to work really, really hard if you want to achieve a rigorous goal. If you’re mentally strong, you’ll have that will within you to keep going, and as a result, gain physical strength.
MM: What one lesson which you’ve learnt in running, do you apply to your life?
TLW: To never give up. Hard day? Push through. Relationship problems? Work toward fixing it. Nothing worth having will ever come easy. If you want something, and you work hard toward achieving it, and you don’t give up, you will achieve it. Anything is possible if you put in the work, both in running and in life.