We are pumped to share one of our favorite stories from Self here on POPSUGAR Fitness!
Guys, I have a confession to make. I'm obsessed with running — the gear, the feeling of exhaustion after a 10-miler, and, of course, the best lady runners around. Namely, Kara Goucher. I've been following Kara's career for some time now and am amazed by her resilience. Not only has she recovered from several injuries with plenty of grace, but she also was able to bounce back after the birth of her son, Colt, in September 2010 and run the 2011 Boston Marathon (the MOST elite of races) just about six months later. Did I mention she placed fifth, too?
But Kara's career is more than just a marathon or two. In fact, she didn't even race the 26.2 miles until 2008 — she was a World Champion middle-distance racer before that. But now that she's got all that mileage under her belt, she spends time penning awesome books, talking with her fans, and, of course, running. (It is her job, after all.) Just a few weeks ago, Kara placed fifth in the Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans Half Marathon, placing an impressive fifth despite coming off of a heel injury. (Damn, girl!) We chatted with the champ about training with her bestie, how she takes care of her skin with all those showers, and her top advice for beginners — especially Self's very own Running Virgin, Ms. JD Rinne.
Are you a newbie runner, too? It's easy to get intimidated, but don't let yourself, Kara says. Odds are that after your first race, you'll get hooked, she adds. More importantly, Kara told us, "It's OK to walk; that doesn't mean you're not a runner. You're still a runner."
Read on for more of Kara's tips.
And don't let your motivation wane, even if you've been sidelined with an injury or, you know, a busy life. "There are definitely days I don't wanna go out," says Kara, "but I always ask myself if I'd regret it if I didn't." Girl is right: You'll only regret the workouts you miss, not the ones you finish and push through.
Thankfully, Kara has a training partner — and a pal — to help push her through her own weaker workouts, fellow elite runner Shalane Flanagan (whom she ran the marathon with in the Olympics this past Summer.) The duo, who trains at the Nike Project in Oregon, thrive off each other's runs. "I work harder when Shalane is there," says Kara. "I'm not gonna be late, and I don't wanna let her down. We chat on runs and constantly encourage each other. We even try to get sushi once a month!"
Now if an elite marathoner who is married with a child can get in a few runs a day, I think we can all try to get in a few runs a week. At least I'm going to now.