Women

Steps to Getting Better Sleep

February 1st, 2018 by Terry Ritter

In today’s culture, poor sleep is worn almost like a badge of honor. If you are a high achiever, whether in your job, with your family, or just trying to live a full life, sleep often takes a back seat to our attention. It’s the place often sacrificed to find more time in the day. However, science is showing time and again that better sleep is imperative to good health. Many don’t know that simple changes to the daily task of getting to sleep can help them feel more rested and ready to take on their day, and aid their long term health. Here are some steps to take for more effective rest.

Establish a Sleep Schedule

Many daily biological patterns are based off the body’s circadian rhythm. This system is cued into light and other waking stimuli, and best responds to a pattern of regularity. Set aside 7.5-8.5 hours to sleep each night. Try to retire at the same time, rising around the same time each morning. Weekends should replicate the weekly waking and sleeping times as well, where possible. Avoid long naps (greater than 30 mins) in the day as these impact the ability to fall asleep at a normal time.

Adjust Your Surroundings

The place one sleeps should be inviting. For many, this means some place cool, dark, and calm. Others benefit from a fan or other device to give a consistent, gentle background sound. Minimizing stimulating your senses through blocking out sounds, light, or other things that will prevent relaxation. This includes not using television, phones, computers, or radio when trying to fall asleep.

Prepare the Body

It is common to try to work or be active right up till it’s time to go to bed. However, this keeps the body on alert. Hormones are released to tell us when to rise, prepare us for proper function, and give appropriate arousal to best perform in our day.

These aspects of the “biological clock” are influenced by outside cues, like light, sound and other stimuli. It’s best to allow the body time to adjust away from this alert state. As the evening hours begin, dim or shut off lights within the house. If spending time on the computer shortly before bed, consider installing a program that removes blue light to lower stimulation. Do some relaxing activity before sleeping, like reading a book or taking a bath. Not only should work be avoided as you’re approaching bedtime, but also exercise or other activities that keep the body charged up.

Though going to bed hungry doesn’t promote quality sleep, neither does stuffing oneself. Be careful how much you consume leading up to the hours before bed.Also note that excessive fluids will likely cause the need to hit the bathroom at some point in your slumber. Caffeine, alcohol, some herbs, and nicotine can be stimulants that hinder a quick fall into a useful sleep cycle. These can take hours to get out of the system, so pay attention to when to stop ingesting them. Alcohol especially can make the sleep one gets poorer then it should as well.


A Thousand Invisible Mornings

January 13th, 2018 by Terry Ritter

This time of year, I often need a little inspiration to keep up (or start up) my training.

In the fall, the weather and beauty draws me outside to ride the lovely Michigan countryside.

In the spring, I am so eager to get back on my bike outside, I can hardly wait for clear roads and warmer temps.

In the summer, the sun and warmth, group rides and racing provide daily motivation to ride hard and long.

But, this time of year… especially those windy, gray days when there isn’t enough snow to get out and enjoy, the trainer becomes the best option.

Morning after morning after morning on the trainer can suck the motivation right out of you. With ever-improving technology making trainer rides more enjoyable, even the hardcore Zwifters have to long for a breath of fresh air.

A few days ago, my college roommate and rowing teammate sent me a photo that spoke to that deep motivation… that drive to use these cold months of indoor training to become the best athlete I can be. It is perfect. I hope it helps you get through until Michigan welcomes us back outside!


Confidence and Humility- An Elusive Pairing

December 21st, 2017 by Kaitlyn Patterson

-By Kaitlyn Patterson

The sport of cycling has enough quirks and intricacies to occupy athletes, coaches and fans for a lifetime.  It is an easy sport to obsess about numbers, both physiologic: power, weight, heart rate; and mechanical: rolling resistance, tire pressure, gear ratios, wheel size, and so on. However, I find it interesting that all of this can be totally overshadowed by what is between a rider’s ears. A VO2 of 70 and a decked-out bike doesn’t guarantee podiums, and instead can easily overshadowed by a sub-par mentality.

Confidence is a huge part of riding and racing that can present a challenge to everyone across the experience curve.  Coming from a running background with an aerobic engine but no bike handling skills, developing and maintaining confidence has been work in progress for years.  It quickly became apparent that being confident on the bike is the product of both experience and mindset.  Even after logging hours on the trails, some days I can regress to a newbie rider if my mind isn’t in the right place. More experience on the bike has made these fluctuations somewhat less dramatic but it has become obvious that confidence is something that needs to be deliberately prepared, just like bodies or bikes.  This can be an exceptionally difficult thing to do, especially in a sport in which brakes and doubt have the potential to relegate you over the handlebars. However, training myself to recognize and tame thoughts that interfere with the task at hand has been an exceptionally useful and transferable skill.

As importance as confidence is, the confidence trap can also be dangerous on the other end of the spectrum. Confidence to the extreme can take the form of arrogance or recklessness.  Even with optimal preparation, anything can happen in bike racing.  Reminders of the fickle nature of the sport often surface during moments of over-confidence- pulling up before the finish line, riding outside your abilities and making mistakes, or underestimating others’ abilities before races.  It never hurts to bring a dose of humility with every race and ride regardless of race resume.

Even in the absence of frank arrogance, there are a couple lessons in humility that we can all take from cycling. First is the acceptance that there are only a limited number of variables we can control.  Optimal preparation and race execution can still be derailed by mechanicals and other racer’s mistakes. Second, even though the regulars on the podium may get a disproportional amount of attention, there are countless “races within the race” and untold stories that are even more impressive than clocking the fastest time.  It can be easy to attribute podiums talent and hard work but it also takes an undeniable contribution of luck and privilege.

This delicate balance of confidence and humility is played out nearly exactly in medical training. Especially early in training, confidence is a difficult thing to cultivate with an experience base much smaller than the other members of the team. But we soon realize that the learning curve never actually ends and the best physicians continue to balance leadership with awareness of the limitations of their abilities and knowledge. Professional confidence will come with growing experience and knowledge base, but also needs to be deliberately developed, just like on the bike. Similarly, humility should be a constant companion with every encounter with patients and other members of the healthcare team. The consequences of neglecting this might not be as dramatic as an endo, but the impact can be much more significant.

Extrapolating life lessons from a sport seems a bit trivial but I’ve been reminded of these themes often in both cycling and medicine. Navigating the balance of humility and confidence in either sphere is exceptionally difficult and probably can never really be mastered. But I think this elusive task that is part of the intrigue of both cycling and medicine.


Winning at a different game… women and aging

October 27th, 2017 by Terry Ritter

By JoAnn Cranson

At almost 57 years old, I am happy to report that I am in the best shape of my life! Yes, I have hot flashes, wrinkles and don’t always sleep well, but I’ve never been a faster cyclist! I have the joy of visiting my doctor and seeing their surprise that my pulse is 56 and I take no medication… a rarity to be sure.

No, this doesn’t come without some hard work, but the benefits are worth the effort. Here, I’ve outlined 5 steps for you to work your way into shape no matter what your age.

  1. Lift weights! I know you say “Do I have to?” YES, it is so good for us in so many aspects that you need to do it. We lose up to 30% of our muscle mass between ages 50 and 70. Muscle loss affects so much. Most importantly it helps us to remain independent as we age. By keeping our “core” strong, we maintain our overall balance which means less falls and broken bones. But to build muscle mass, you do need to lift with 60-85% intensity… you need to sweat. Get a training buddy and lift 3 or 4 times a week. Oh yeah, another benefit—Lifting increases your metabolism, which means weight loss!
  2. Get off the couch and do something that makes your heart work. My cardio is biking. Find something you like to do and make it a habit. Once again, you need to understand your own body and increase your heart-rate to the correct “zone” to get the best benefit.
  3. Keep trying new ways to stay active overall. Step out of your comfort zone, Don’t worry what others think, My comment is “I’m old, who cares!” I took my first swim lessons last winter to learn how to swim. I was definitely one of the oldest in the class. I had no clue how to do the proper breathing in the freestyle swim, but I learned. You can teach an old dog new tricks!! I had to practice a lot more than the younger class members, but I now have the basics to build on.
  4. Watch and monitor your food content on a daily basis, try MyFitnessPal app. By recording your food, it helps you to understand how much and what types of food you are eating. As you form healthy eating habits you will be amazed by your increased energy and overall body function.
  5. Positive attitude – if you don’t feel like you are positive – fake it until you make it! If you do steps 1-4, you will see a huge change in your hormones which will naturally help you feel good!

The bottom line is that menopause will come to all women whether we like it or not. Don’t succumb to it, embrace it and overcome it! Some people say I’m crazy for racing, that may be but it takes me to my happy place. I would have never imagined I’d be sponsored on a race team at this time in my life. Take the first step and see where your passion takes you. Yes, it’s a sacrifice to make time for exercise and healthy habits, but YOU are worth it!!

Don’t know where to start in a program, contact Athletic Mentors. They offer all kinds of programs at their location or remotely. www.athleticmentors.com


From One Fall Season to Another- Reflections on a Rollercoaster Year

October 17th, 2017 by Kaitlyn Patterson

–By Kaitlyn Patterson

The fall is hands down my favorite season. The air and leaves make me nostalgic about high school cross country, collegiate cross country and now mountain bike racing. Recently I have been reminded of last fall, which seems way longer than 12 months ago.

Last fall was a culmination of many surreal life changes- starting medical school, competing in a virtual cycling competition through Zwift Academy, and continuing my usual fall calendar of mountain bike racing. I was on a mission (or several), I had momentum and life was good. Iceman was the climax of the fall, an awesome day that will likely stand as one of my favorite cycling memories forever.

I absolutely knew that my pursuits through the fall were unsustainable but I felt it was worth it. After Iceman, I continued to fulfill the workouts for the Zwift Academy competition but I knew I had been digging myself a deep fatigue hole that was starting to engulf me. By the end, I was going through the motions and very much looking forward to the off-season. However, the fact that there was a real contract on the line started to become a more concrete reality. I had brought up the potential of winning to the medical school administration but was told to come back when I had more information. Conveniently over Thanksgiving break, I got more information. I was selected as one of the three finalists and had 48 hours to decide if I would accept the offer. The finalists would travel to training camp with the Canyon/SRAM pro road team and anyone that went to camp had to be prepared to accept the one-year contract if offered. The only way any of it was going to be possible was if I took an immediate leave of absence from school or left altogether. And to make it worse, I had no way to talk to the medical school administration about it before having to give an answer.

In the end, it was too big a sacrifice to throw everything else under the bus to pursue the virtual cycling experiment. And the thought of continuing to train at a high level and immediately launching into another race season in January was essentially inconceivable for me at that point. I also wasn’t ready to hang up my mountain bike in exchange for a road pro peloton. I ultimately made the difficult decision to turn down the offer, as did another of the finalists.

I didn’t publicize the conclusion of my Zwift Academy because I didn’t want to try and justify my decision to others. Despite occasional twangs of regret, I overall feel that it was the right call. However, my desperately needed off-season was beset with some poor decision-making. Based on just how fatigued I was after the fall and multiple years of bike racing immediately transitioning to ski racing, I probably needed many weeks of no training to truly recover. At the time, this was incomprehensible and I rested some but not nearly enough. I was excited to get back to running and skiing and I still considered myself invincible. As expected the winter was challenging in multiple ways- school was demanding, the snow was crappy for skiing, and Alex would depart for our usual ski racing adventures alone.

Fast forward several months to the summer when I was supposed to be taking advantage of my last chances to race bikes, I found myself in the deepest depths of overtraining syndrome that I had ever visited. In retrospect, I made several mistakes that should have been obvious but I missed. First, I needed a hard reset of recovery after the fall. A season absolutely should not start with residual fatigue from the previous. Second, I integrated running into my training more than I have in years and underestimated the training stress. Since I started cycling, I quantify training in hours instead of miles and translating this to running can be a slippery slope. Third, I lost weight that I didn’t have to lose. In contrast to most of the population, I tend to lose weight when I’m not careful and especially when stressed. This makes it exceptionally difficult to make progress in training and instead can directly undermine it. Fourth, I was utilizing exercise as a drug. Usually this is a healthy outlet but it started to become my only coping mechanism.

The signs were subtle at first, I wasn’t responding to training and had to take many more recovery days. However, my spring racing went well and I figured there couldn’t be anything wrong if I could still race fast. I apparently had to prove to myself that this was false. It eventually hit the fan and I felt like I broke my sympathetic nervous system. I was incapable of getting my heart rate up and sometimes would just stop and rest. This progression was absolutely consistent with the mysterious “overtraining syndrome.”  It is often debated if overtraining syndrome is a real thing because we have no good way to measure it or “gold-standard” test. Criteria and descriptions vary somewhat but it is essentially the result of a dysfunctional response to stressors, both training and non-training related. As good as we are trained as medical students to identify patterns of pathology in others, we tend to be terrible in ourselves.

I again found myself at the bottom of a large fatigue hole realizing there was no quick or easy way out. So I took my summer races off the calendar, slept more and ate more. However, my recovering was punctuated by weekends of long rides up north or adventure rides in Marquette when I would feel better for a few days but then have to start over. It was hard to imagine being legitimately fast again.

Canyonlands National Park near Moab, Utah. One stop on our tour out west

I eventually realized I was just going to have to put away the bike for a while. In August, I went on a non-cycling vacation with my mother and then to a medical conference for a total of 3+ weeks off the bike. When I came back was the first time I felt a spark in a long time. As the fall air rolled in, I got the itch to race. I counted up the weeks and Alex and I devised a conservative training plan to put myself back together for my favorite fall races.

So while I may not have the same fitness heading into this fall campaign, I have a much different perspective and sense of gratitude. Days I get to ride and feel good on the bike are now gifts and not expectations. I have a greater respect for managing fatigue and the importance of recovery as well as accounting for non-training stressors. I have no doubt that cycling has taught me many things that will make me a better physician, many of them learned this year.

Just after Iceman this year I start my clinical rotations and cycling will take a backseat for a while. This summer has admittedly made this transition a bit easier as this season now feels like a bonus. So here’s to another few weeks of fall racing, riding and memories for future nostalgia before the next chapter begins.

 


Lessons learned: the “crit”

October 3rd, 2017 by Terry Ritter

Criterium racing is a different kind of bicycle racing – and “crits” can be very intimidating for those just entering into the racing scene. Criterium races are short courses (usually .5 mile to 1 ½ miles) where you race for a designated amount of time. As the race progresses, the time turns into laps, based on average lap time. So, if racing for 40 minutes, at some point the officials will start a lap counter and count down laps until the finish. These are races of skill and strategy because they are typically high-speed races with 4 to 8 corners.

I am a long-course road racer at heart… so over the years of racing, I’ve had to learn how to race differently when racing a criterium. Here is what I’ve learned:

1. Be patient. When racing a criterium, you do not need to chase down every attack. Someone will chase it down and you’ll save a lot of energy by hoping on that wheel.

2. Positioning is everything. This makes or breaks the race. If the race is coming down to a field sprint, your position entering into the last stretch of road on the last lap will most likely determine where you place. Know the riders around you. Pick a good wheel to follow. Stay in the top 5 around that last corner.

3. Take some chances. Try for a break. Shake things up a bit. These races can be exciting and fun if racers take a chance and mix it up. Attack. Bridge up to a break. Go for a prime. Have fun and make racers work for their position.

4. Know your strengths and weaknesses. If you are more endurance than power, try to get into a break so you have a better chance at the end. If you are a sprinter, do some work, throw some attacks, but mostly just sit in and wait for your moment to shine. If you aren’t sure – test the waters and see where you land.

5. Rubber side down. It is never worth it to steal a wheel (taking a good draft wheel from someone else during a race), take a corner faster than your skill allows, or break your line (being unpredictable to the riders around you) to gain position or move up in the field if you have to do so in a dangerous manner. Everyone wants to do their best and get the best possible positioning leading up to the finish. But this can cause serious crashes, especially at high speeds. Be smart. Be cautious. Be aware of the riders around you. Be safe. Everyone wants to end the ride rubber side down.


Detroit Cycling Championship Team Recap

September 16th, 2017 by Kaitlyn Patterson

–By Terry Ritter

September 9th saw big time bicycle racing return to the Detroit area. The Detroit Athletic Club put on the inaugural Detroit Cycling Championship. This event had a large purse ($45K!), and drew both amateur and pro teams from around the Midwest region and our friends to the east, Canada.

The course was interesting as well, though rather challenging. Three of the main roads used ran the perimeter of Comerica Park, where the Tigers play Major League baseball. Between corners #2 and #3 was a pretty good downhill that generated speeds in excess of 30 mph. From here there was a short section between turns #4 and #5, then #5 and #6, and back onto the long, slight uphill straight. And, being inner streets of a major city, the patched pavement and utility covers were plentiful, with the worst examples of the former on the course’s fast decent. Add a quality prize list and the accomplished riders that show for such a draw, and you’ve got a technical race that was fast and strung out from the gun. Having frequent primes only ramped things up more.  Moving up and maintaining position was a challenge, especially since the opportunity to transit through the field of riders was muted by the speed, and dive-bombing corners was a common occurrence.

The ample purse meant a lot of new riders, and opportunities to have different race classes combined compared to the normal Michigan scene. This meant not only grouped category 3s and 4s races, but category 2s and 3s as well. There was also a full masters class. Ultimately, this left the racers on Team Athletic Mentors the opportunity to not only get a couple of events in, but to race with each other when we normally don’t get that chance.

Toeing the line in the combined Cat. 2/3 race was Terry Ritter, Rich Landgraff, Luke Cavender, Collin Snyder, Ross Williams, and Bobby Munro. Like all the races, this one was fast. Collin won a prime early on, then took a flyer to try to get away with three laps to go. However, there was too much horsepower for anything but a sprint finish.

Ross and Bobby were active in their Cat. 3 only race, with Ross attacking for a prime and then Bobby countering the next lap to try to get away. Great to see some tactical racing from our up-and-coming racers.

The Masters race was all three categories (35+, 45+, 55+), and it made for a large field but interesting dynamic. It wasn’t slow by any means (the 35+ group assured that), and there was a national champion kit in the mix as well. Richard, Peter O’Brien, and Terry doubled up (Peter was in the Cat. 3 Masters race earlier), with Jonathan Morgan joining the crew.

Elaine was our sole female Team Athletic Mentor rider and competed in the Cat. 3/4 race, as well as the Cat. P/1/2/3 race. Like the other races, the group was rarely grouped together, and the later race was especially fast. There were a few teams that were recognizable from the National Criterium Championship race earlier in the summer.  With this being Elaine’s first year of serious road racing (not to mention criteriums), she did very well and represented the team impressively.

The final event of the day was the Pro/1/2, slated for 80 mins. A lot of big regional teams were there and it was super fast. Dan Yankus, Collin, Peter Ehmann and Jonathan started. Many riders didn’t finish due to the pace. Eventually, a group of 5 got away, including two Bissell Pro riders, that lapped the field. Then, with about 10 laps to go, there was a crash that left a few riders in need of medical attention and the race was halted, only to restart after the break with a fast conclusion. With a $200 prime on the second to last lap, the pace was high…until the group passed the first corner as the last lap bell was ringing. Bissell slowed a bit around corner #2, with Daniel taking advantage and shooting up near the front on the outside. Unfortunately, a number of riders dive bombed the inside corner, pushing Daniel and the Bissell train towards the outside and into the barriers, causing a crash. Fortunately, no one was hurt too badly and the race finished on that lap. Collin came home with 30th on the evening.

Not getting enough racing for the weekend, Bobby, Daniel, Collin, Terry and Ross headed to Uncle John’s 56 mile gravel race north of Lansing on Sunday. Glen Dik joined the mix. The team was active early, with Daniel finishing fourth out of the small break that got away from the rest of the field. Collin got 6th overall and Terry came in 13th, and 3rd in the 47-51 age group. Elaine and JoAnn Cranson competed in the women’s 24 mile race as well.

There are rumors that next season the Detroit Criterium Championship will be earlier in the season and hopefully on the national cycling calendar. With the positive support and great organization of this year’s inaugural event, there’s little doubt this can grow bigger and better, showcasing the renewal of our great city.


Is Anyone Obligated to Be A Role Model?

June 30th, 2017 by Kaitlyn Patterson

-By Kaitlyn Patterson

My first year of medical school has come to a close and it has left me a lot of things to think about. Besides doing a lot of necessary thinking about anatomy, physiology and disease processes, medical school has made me think critically about priorities- my own as well as those of healthcare and the medical education system.

mtb wc

One reason that I’ve continued to race and train over this year is because it has become one of my default priorities. At this point, I’ve been training consistently for so long that it is a routine part of the day. However, I am well aware that this time is a luxury that will become much harder as my clinical responsibilities continue to increase. I see this reflected in many of the students, residents and physicians around me- personal health suffers as time spent in the hospital increases and sleep, exercise and sunlight decline to minimal to none. Honestly, it scares me and I frequently wonder why it has to be like this. Why are the people who are supposedly healing others, so blatantly defying the most basic aspects of health?

This paradox was illustrated in a small group session we had about physical activity and lifestyle counseling. A discussion prompt was, “Should physicians be physically active and practice good lifestyle choices to be a role model for patients?”  The reactions from others to this prompt ranged from an obvious yes to significant reservation. The time crunch argument was a big one- how can taking care of yourself be a priority when there are always more patients to see? The Hippocratic Oath does say that the patient comes before yourself but at what point should the line be drawn? Another interesting point was the liberty to separate personal life from professional life- that our own choices should be separate from what we do as a physician. However, this seems like a very grey area because they are difficult philosophies to separate.

Ultimately, nobody is obligated to be a role model but I think that it should be a considered a privilege and something to strive for.  Role models can be powerful influences on other people and communities, sometimes without even realizing it.  My Athletic Mentors teammates represent a range of occupations but have all earned a great deal of respect as professionals, people, and role models. I think a big contributing factor in this is prioritizing health and devotion to participating in and sharing their sport.

AM train

There are no absolute answers to any of these questions. However, to me it is obvious that the culture needs to change somehow. Because as much as physicians and other healthcare professionals are working and sacrificing, it is not currently reflected in better health outcomes- for patients or health professionals.  I’m not exactly sure where the changes in healthcare and medicine need to originate, but a workforce full of true role models working to shift the paradigm towards prevention would be a great start.


Training While Pregnant

June 14th, 2017 by Kaitlyn Patterson

–By Lindsey Lilley

    My husband and I are expecting our first child in November and we couldn’t be more excited. This change has also brought a new aspect into training, training while pregnant. This is my first pregnancy so I had NO IDEA what to expect or how my body would react. I spent a lot of time reading blogs by women who have led an active lifestyle before/during/after pregnancy and learned A LOT and it was nice to get a lot of different perspectives. This is a brief summary of my first trimester training.

              Have you ever been hung-over, taken a sleeping pill and had to go potty 24/7 all at the same time? That is exactly what I felt like forweeks straight. I wasn’t going to let this be an excuse to not train because 1) Staying active is important for the health of our growing human and myself. 2) I want my body as strong as possible for labor and delivery (OUCH!) 3) There are still events I want to participate in this year. It wasn’t easy to get the workouts going. Not easy at all. It took a LOT of arguing and negotiations with myself to get started every day.  Once I finally started, my swimming, biking, running and lifting sessions were when I felt best. Even though my workout time is when I felt my “best” it didn’t mean it got easier to convince myself to get going, I just did it. As an athlete I think it’s fair to say we are all used to doing things we don’t always want to do but know we should do.

Lindsey nicole

              10 weeks came and it was like a switch was flipped. The nauseous and exhaustion phase had passed, I was finally starting to feel like myself again. I was able to put more energy and effort into my training sessions. I’ve completed two races so far (Kent City Ridge Run 15K and 5/3rd Riverbank Run 25K) and look forward to “racing” throughout the summer and early fall. My times will be slower, I’ll be rounder but having my little workout partner with me this racing season is beyond spectacular.

              Disclaimer: I did get the OK from my physician to continue training as long as my heart rate didn’t get too elevated for an extended amount of time, I wasn’t having any health issues/complications and I didn’t deprive my body of oxygen for too long.


A Key to the Marathon- Always have a Plan B

June 12th, 2017 by Kaitlyn Patterson

–By Danielle Nye

After wrapping up the tri season last fall I decided I would try a marathon this year. Many of my experienced running friends and teammates recommended the Bayshore Marathon. I signed up as soon as the registration opened and set out to start building my running endurance for the long race ahead. This would be my longest run to date and I wouldn’t be able to control all the factors on race day. In order to help keep my mental game strong during the race I decided to try something different. Instead of just setting one goal, I would set three goals for my race. My A goal would be 3:30-3:35, my B goal would 3:35-3:40, and the C goal was to finish no matter what and be proud of my accomplishment.

nye bayshoreI lined up at Bayshore feeling prepared and ready to conquer the marathon. I took off following closely to my pacing plan. Everything was going really well and at the halfway mark I was convinced I was going to have a great race. At the 21.2 checkpoint my husband shouted that I had only five miles left and if I kept the pace I would have my Boston Qualifier! And then it hit. My quads buckled and I struggled to start running again. I walked through the next aid station and felt like five miles might as well have been a hundred. After a minute or two, I decided to keep going no matter what it took. If I could keep going I would still be able to make my B goal. As the sun beat down and other runners started to walk around me, I kept running. It was a slow run and my mind was screaming to stop. But I kept it going until I saw the track and made it to the finish line with my B goal still intact.

When things get hard during a race it seems your mind starts to think about quitting. I found that by setting three attainable goals during longer races it helps to keep your mental strength going even when the race starts to hurt you physically. It is important to set these goals with your current fitness in my mind and to be realistic about your ability. Having a range of goals kept me going during the hardest race I have tackled so far. Even though I did not get the BQ I was after I was able to finish my race and feel the satisfaction of completing my first marathon.



SPONSORSView All


 
Team Athletic Mentors
© 2018 - Team Athletic Mentors