Friday, July 21, 2017

5 Nuggets of Wisdom from Kathrine Switzer

I'm still basking in the glow of last weekend's race and meeting Kathrine Switzer. If you haven't read her book, Marathon Woman, I highly recommend you pick it up. Truly one of the best running books I've read, it's written so well that it's like talking with her in person. Kathrine has had an amazing life and until I read it, I didn't realize all that she's accomplished or what she has done for women's sports. While writing this post, I learned that she was recently inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. I can't think of a better role model for women runners--or just women in general.

Meeting her was this runner's dream come true. Talking with her was like talking with an old friend. She's so easy to talk to! During the brief time we were together, I shared a lot about myself and my dreams. Besides chatting about running, Kathrine shared some wisdom with me. I was a sponge and soaked it all in.



Regarding running with RA and as an older adult: You're doing all the right things. You're moving. Don't stop moving. It's important to stay active. This is the next frontier, older adults staying active. We need to encourage older athletes.

Regarding marathon training: Everyone is all worried about doing a few 20 mile runs. But what happens when you hit 21 miles? Your body goes into shock because it's never been there before. You have to run 26, 27 miles so your body knows what to expect.

More advice: The other important part of marathon training is speedwork. You have to do speedwork.

When I complimented her on her strong Boston finish in April at age 70: That Boston run....I was so pleased with it. It was hot but I was having fun out there. I was stopping, talking to people, taking pictures...

At the finish line of the Humana Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon: You are strong! You have to believe it. You did it.

Not content to sit back and rest on all her accomplishments, I love that Kathrine Switzer is working with Humana and spreading the word about staying active as we age. Before I was diagnosed with RA, my hope was that I would be able to keep running until the end of my life. That is still my hope! Kathrine paved the way for women to run long distances. Now she's paving the way for us to run forever. As she says: "this (staying active as we age) is the next frontier".

Let's go!

Who's your hero? 

I'm linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for the Friday Five.





46 comments :

  1. I definitely agree that staying active is key to enjoying life! Interesting perspectives on marathon training.

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    1. She talks about the long run in her book too. I didn't have the courage to disagree with her or tell her about my CrossFit endurance-type training! After all, she's the one who won the NYCM!

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  2. Kathrine Switzer, yes, as well as my friend Michelle, and my other friend, Wendy, both runners. But not just for running. They are all role models and heroes as women of strength and courage no matter what they face. I've learned a lot from these three amazing females.
    Nothing to do with running, but my Mom, who blessed my life from the day I was born (I will add that my four siblings feel the same).

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    1. I've been fortunate to have heroes through every phase of my life!

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  3. I don't think you'll catch me doing any 27 mile training runs but yes, keep moving is the key to aging well.

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    1. You know I didn't have the heart to call her out on that one... it works for her...

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  4. Is her advice about running the entire 26.2 miles for first time marathoners or for each training cyle?
    PS: did you get "snail mail" from me lately?

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    1. I did! Thank you--that watch came with no strings attached, but Starbucks is always welcome!

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  5. She is so awesome!! And she is 70?? Life goals...

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    1. Right? And she's 100% natural. No work. Beautiful.

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  6. Such a fabulous opportunity for you to meet her! She is pretty amazing and quite the role model for all of us on aging. Keep moving forward!

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    1. I have to say that I have never been so wowed by meeting a celebrity. She's simply amazing.

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  7. Love her advice! I'm still in awe that you got to meet her! Running marathons at 70 is amazing.
    My hero would probably be Mia Hamm...I played soccer growing up.
    Have a great weekend!

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    1. Oh, I'd love to meet Mia Hamm and I didn't play soccer. What a great role model for women!

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  8. SO AMAZING! I hope I'm still running at 70!

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  9. Well, Chris Farley is my hero but I feel bad saying that on here, and especially to you, you know, with your bite marks and all. But in all seriousness, Kathrine is AMAZING and so interesting about that 26-27 mile longest run! And you KNOW I love that advice, being the mileage junkie that I am!

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    1. Haha! I visited my alma mater yesterday and he's become quite the legend there!

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  10. I think it's still so awesome that you got to see her numerous times during the weekend! She is a great role model and I love that she is still super active.

    Oh man, I can't imagine doing a 27 mile training run for marathon, but I do see her point about that!

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    1. If I train for another marathon, I won't be doing anything more than 18 miles. But I didn't tell her that!

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  11. I think staying active is the key. I've seen my grandparents slow down and stay home, and then there are others their age who keep trucking on, and remain active. I want to be like Harriot from the RnR San Diego, being active as long as I can.

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  12. Love her! I agree, it's crucial to keep moving as we get older.

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  13. Wow! 27 miles training for a marathon seems a little crazy but kind of makes sense!

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    1. For some people yes. Not for everyone, tho!

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  14. What an amazing experience you had! I love all her advice. :)

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  15. Yes, she is SO inspiring! I'm about halfway through her book, and it's like she's sitting beside telling her story in person. I can almost hear her voice and see her roll her eyes when she makes a pointed statement about something (or someone).

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    1. Yes! I thought that was such a great book.

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  16. I'm not sure that I have a hero, but I love Katherine's message & how hard she has worked to open doors for women athletes, too.

    I look at my parents and I know that some of their problems were self inflicted. It's always made me go the other way -- eat healthier, stay more active, etc. etc. Unfortunately my husband is following more in his parents' footsteps -- not a good thing -- but he's been making small, healthier steps and I try really hard to encourage him without pushing (too much). I have no kids to take care of me.

    Her advice about the marathon is so interesting! Did you ask her about the common wisdom that you only do 20 because it's so hard on your body? I'd be curious to know her answer. I know Galloway actually has his runners do longer than the distance they're training for.

    But hey, if it's good enough for Katherine . . . (not that I'm planning on running a marathon, mind you).

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    1. She would tell you that your body needs to run that far to anticipate that distance for the marathon. She talks about this in her book at length. Certainly not conventional wisdom, but yes, it does work for some. Including Kathrine Switzer!

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  17. Awesome! I love that she is still giving back to the sport and promoting older folks to stay active! We all have to keep moving! Love it!

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  18. Love it! It was awesome to read her book and learn about all the amazing things she's done for women's sports aside from being the subject of those Boston marathon photos. Major debt of gratitude.

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    1. You sum it up perfectly! I don't think women today realize all that she has done for not only women's running, but women's sports! I grew up pre-Title IX, so it's pretty amazing.

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  19. So awesome that you got to meet her and have a chat! Love her advice to keep moving - my hope is to run forever (like you), however small the distances might be!

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  20. Damn, I was hoping she'd say we wouldn't have to do speed work! Ha! She's amazing!

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    1. I actually like speed work, so I was onboard with that!

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  21. Wendy, I saw on Facebook that you got to meet Kathrine Switzer at the finish line and I'm so happy for you! There's nothing better than meeting and getting to talk to a hero of yours, especially when they turn out to be kind and personable. By the way you look fantastic in that photo, I like your outfit and those arms!

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  22. So amazing you got to meet her.... I guess according to her, your longest run pre-marathon being 18 miles is not going to cut it... but I still don't think I'd go above 20 or 22 miles max in my training

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  23. Such great advice and motivating! It's so important to stay active as we age - we just talked about this tonight at our soccer game. I play with women 35-50 and we all don't want to give it up yet.

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  24. What a fun weekend...you will be riding on that for a long time. I'd love to read her book (along with the ever-growing stack!) Great pic of the two of you. You look like a couple of old pals just hanging out!

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  25. GIRRRRLLLL even this nonrunner ADORES HER SO SO SO MUCH and would love to meet and chat with her in person. AND HECK TO THE YES WITH THE OLD ATHLETES. Im heading that way swiftly :-)

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