Reflections of a Citizen Runner

In less than a week, I will toe the line at the 2015 Berlin Marathon. As I reflect on my training and how ready I feel for the race, I’m a little uncertain. I blame that partially on what I call the taper crazies, in which I feel like I’m totally out of shape from not running as much in the past week (tapering), when really, cutting back is just a necessity of being well rested and recovered for race day.

When comparing my planned running schedule for this season to what actually went down, there were quite a few differences. I had aspirations of upping my weekly mileage in comparison to previous seasons, but in various shapes and forms, life got in the way. One day I fell hard while running out on the trails and went home limping and crying (and taking a few days off to take care of my hurt knee). Another week I got a terrible stomach bug and spent the night in the hospital. One weekend I simply had no way to run while on a festival run with my band (Three Coasts, Three Festivals, Three Days).

On the flip side, I did a good job of adapting and focusing on the important things like quality long runs and workouts. Despite some missed runs, I actually still ended up running at a higher volume most weeks compared to last year. Greg, my coach, suggested that maybe I’m actually at my best when I’m improvising on a crazy schedule. Overall I feel healthy and fit. My marathon goal pace felt very comfortable in a recent workout. I have two years of uninterrupted, injury-free training under my belt. These are the things I keep telling myself.

In terms of my goals, for this race and beyond, I so often think of what I want to achieve in the form of personal records, placing among the top women, or achieving a qualifying mark for a race like Boston, New York, or, you know.. theolympictrials. These types of goals will always motivate me, but I’ve come to this sort of realization that I don’t have to take myself SO seriously. Yes, I’m coming to this conclusion now, 10+ years into my recreational running career. I always, always want to get the very best out of myself, but going forward I would like to enjoy it a little more on the way. Maybe as I’m running along the streets of Berlin I can think, “How cool is it that I’m doing this?” vs. “Ugh, three seconds slow on that last km!” I think it’s okay throw a bit of wonder in the mix with drive and competition. On that note, I give you my goals:

A – 2:55

B – Better my PR of 2:59:22

C – Have fun!

5 responses to “Reflections of a Citizen Runner”

  1. alsoranagain Avatar

    I can’t believe Berlin is a week away! I think you have a balanced attitude going into this race. You have a great foundation and I don’t think those hiccups in training will negatively impact your performance. I have a good feeling about this race, Liz!

    1. Liz Anjos Avatar
  2. Emily Avatar

    Can’t wait to see how you do, best of luck. And you’re absolutely right- enjoy it along the way!

  3. emaiuolo Avatar

    We will be cheering from here for you to have a fantastic fun race.

    1. Liz Anjos Avatar

      Thanks Liz! And I can’t believe I didn’t see your comment on my last entry until now! I just read your race recap and holy cow! So so amazing to read! I can only hope I have a race anywhere near as great as it went for you. It is helpful to know about the water stations being hard to see and sun in your eyes the first ten miles. I did bring sunglasses luckily, though I hadn’t even thought of wearing them for the race til now. Thanks again, hopefully will have good news to report!


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Who is Mercury?

Liz Derstine, trail name “Mercury”, is a distance runner, endurance hiker, writer, and musician residing in Boston, MA. She holds fastest known times for women on the Appalachian Trail (supported, northbound), Long Trail (self-supported), and Pinhoti Trail (self-supported).

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