Since joining Oiselle, moving into a van, and traveling across the west exploring towns and trails, I’ve received a lot of messages about safety. Recently, IRunFar published survey data on trail-running and safety which they collected earlier this year from their online community. The results of the survey, while nuanced, revealed (unsurprisingly) that,“female trail runners, across the board, are more challenged by human-safety hazards than male trail runners.”
We were born to run.
We grow up free and barefoot and wild, with tangled hair and scraped knees - never asking for permission to move our bodies.
As we get older, what happens?
We start to get a different message. Namely, that in the school of life, exercise is an elective. The side gig. The take it or leave it… as in, maybe you’ll grow up and prefer art history instead.
Sally: One of my favorite my favorite racing memories of you was the Olympic Trials Marathon in 2012. That was a crazy race, coming down to you, Shalane, Desi, and Amy Hastings in the final miles. With Amy on your heels, what was going through your mind, and how did you will yourself to pull away?
Kara: The 2012 race was a high-stress situation. I was coming off of a very serious injury and didn’t start running again until 11 weeks out from the race. I had a new coach and a new team. I felt like I was in a pressure cooker! But the day of the race I felt remarkably calm. As the pack whittled down to four athletes left, I knew a move had to be made to drop one of the athletes. Shalane and Desi started to pick up the pace and even though I knew the pace was too hot for me, I decided to gamble and go with them for one mile and see if it dropped Amy. Even though she had just surged in the race, my gut was telling me that she was struggling and I thought I had a window to break her. So I ran that mile a little too hard with Shalane and Desi until I could feel myself pulling away from Amy. After that I slowed down a bit but still kept the pressure on as best I could. With 3 miles to go my coach yelled that I had broken clear and that I should go after Desi, but I was happy to just protect my spot and earn my position on my second Olympic team.
Life's better with a goal.
Not just because they stick up like a telephone pole on the horizon, but also because they help us envision our lives as part of something bigger... the bigger picture of who we are, who we want to become.
Enter the Believe Journal. First published by you and Ro (Roisin McGettigan-Dumas) about five years ago, it provides one of the best frameworks I've found - for both inspiring running goals, and tracking them along the way.