Last year I underwent a life transforming journey. After finishing a disappointing 4th place at the 2009 ING New York City Marathon I knew that something in my heart had to change. I wasn’t tired from the intense 100-plus miles a week of training I was logging in my preparation, I was tired of being disappointed. I had the privilege of having some really great days in my running career like when I won the US Olympic Marathon Trials and when I set the America Record in the half marathon, but as I’ve found in my career, those days don’t happen every day. No matter how hard I trained and however much discipline and focus I mustered, I couldn’t ensure these great days would happen on race day. Only one person can win, and if my happiness is contingent on winning, I realized that was setting me up for disappointment and unhappiness.
In the winter of 2010, as I trained for my second running of the Boston Marathon (I was third the previous year) something shifted in my spirit that lead me to experience what I have always been going after, even if I didn’t realize it at the time: joy. I came in 4th, the same place as the New York City marathon, but I experienced joy as if I had won the race. Since then, I have learned to have joy in each run and race, knowing that it is possible to live each day with joy despite my circumstances. This has not resulted in complacency, I am still training hard for the win, but I know now that my joy is not determined by the race outcome.
My hope is that “Running with Joy” will not only be a helpful training tool to you as you get to see exactly how I physically prepared for the 2010 Boston Marathon, but more so that it would release a freedom in your spirit to experience joy on a daily basis no matter what is going on around you.