By Tay Carson
For me, running is very mental and therapeutic. When I deal with the stressors of life, I tend to exercise more and while running, I can clear my head and push my body physically. As strange as this may sound, running is so relaxing. After I have a run, whether it be good or bad, there is a sense of calmness and peace.
In addition to the spiritual and therapeutic aspect, I view running as having a never-ending finish line where you’re always striving to be better than your last run. Physically speaking, I view myself as a dog –I can overcome any challenge. Even when it’s raining, hot, cold, muddy, or elevation, etc., it doesn’t matter. I’m going to get this action, boss! People looked at me crazy when I told them I was trying to PR in Killington. I just say if your goals don’t scare you, they are not big enough! All that being said, my running tip would be to view it as a mental race. If you tell yourself you’re going to kill it, your body tends to follow suit!
The hardest race of my life was the Philadelphia Marathon in 2014. While training maybe a month before the race, I injured my left knee (iliotibial band syndrome). I slowed down my training, but I could still run. When race day came along, I put Max Time pain cream on my leg (it’s like Icy Hot on steroids aka magic). The first half of the race my leg held up strong but the second half of the race, the “magic” wore off. Around mile 16, my left leg went out, so those last 10 miles were horrible. I was limping, cold, in pain, and alone because the crowd disappeared and my phone died while I was struggling up this long highway. There were senior citizens power walking past me, and the struggle bus asked me three times if I wanted to ride to the finish line; it was just a bad feeling. But with all that happening, I just became mad, actually angry. And I wasn’t angry about my current situation, I was pissed I could not reach my full potential which sparked the fuel for me to do the Chicago marathon the following year. It took me 6+ hours to finish the Philly race!
District Running Collective is f***ing amazing. My network has expanded beyond anything I could have predicted! I have met people all over the country/world via running. In the D.C. area, I’ve been exposed to various fitness groups and activities that I’d never know about outside of DRC. I really cannot put into words the options and energy I have gained through running with District Running Collective. Just f***ing amazing!!!
Photo credit: Maya Aridi