In the heart of winter, as most people are huddling indoors seeking warmth, Alisha Clark is lacing up her running shoes. She is determined to conquer the chilly miles ahead which lay the ground for her quest to Boston. Alisha, an avid runner and fitness coach, has set her sights on qualifying for the Boston Marathon. This marks her sixth year attempting to qualify for the prestigious race, and she’s ready to face the challenges that come with training through the winter.
The Unyielding Dream: A Sixth Attempt at Boston
Alisha’s journey began with a dream. This dream refused to fade away despite setbacks and near misses. She shares, “It’s one of those dreams that just doesn’t die. I’ve been trying for about five or six years now and have been close a few times.” Her optimism is fueled by the lessons learned from each race. She is more resilient and better prepared for the next attempt.
A Whispered Goal: A Shift in Approach
As Alisha takes on this quest for Boston once again, she reveals a subtle change in approach. Unlike previous years, where she boldly declared her Boston qualifying goal, she now keeps it closer to her heart. When asked about this shift, she confesses, “I think maybe I’ll just keep it to myself. Well, obviously you guys can publish it, but, yeah, just not be so vocal about it and kind of just hold that dream in your heart, I guess, if that makes sense.”
This reserved approach stems from a desire to protect the journey from unnecessary external pressures. However, Alisha is quick to emphasize that sharing her goal with a broader audience doesn’t add stress. “No, I don’t think it adds stress. I even think I’m more confident than ever,” she says. Alisha points to the support from her coach and the belief in her own fitness levels.
Fueling the Journey: Alisha’s Approach to Nutrition
Learning from past experiences, Alisha identifies two key areas for improvement in her training cycle. Those areas are nutrition and adhering to the plan without overdoing it. She acknowledges her coach’s role in guiding her nutrition. “I think I’ll definitely seek his help this time instead of just saying, ‘Oh, I got it,’ and trying to figure it out on my own.”
Mental Fortitude: “Slow Down but Don’t Stop”
An important aspect of Alisha’s preparation involves mental fortitude. She shares a valuable mantra from her coach, “Slow down but don’t stop,” emphasizing the importance of maintaining momentum even when facing obstacles. This mindset, she believes, will be instrumental in overcoming the burnout that often accompanies the final weeks of training.
Despite the inevitable obstacles and challenges on this quest for Boston, Alisha finds joy in the process. She looks forward to adding miles, especially the anticipation of her first 20-miler in over a year. Training with two friends provides a sense of camaraderie, making long runs more enjoyable. However, she admits, “I’m not very looking forward to the burnout because you just know it’s going to be there at some point.”
Finding Joy in the Process: Alisha’s Winter Training
As we delve into Alisha’s training routine, she unveils her playlist as a secret weapon. “Music is my go-to, and it makes me excited,” she shares. Exploring new genres keeps her motivated, adding a layer of excitement to her runs.
Our discussion touched on various aspects of Alisha’s training journey. We explored her running routes to the love-hate relationship with tapering. A significant revelation is her approach to rest during tapering. This time around she will shift her perspective towards embracing rest as a vital component of preparation.
Tackling the Treadmill: Overcoming Winter Obstacles
Training in colder climates presents its own set of challenges. Alisha, residing in Nevada, often encounters freezing temperatures, forcing her to complete long runs on the treadmill. Overcoming mental barriers and maintaining a positive attitude during these indoor sessions becomes crucial. Once again, music plays an integral role in her training. New genres to explore allow her to open her mind to the world beyond her regular routine. This makes the indoor miles go by without much issue.
In terms of race specificity, Alisha recounts running specific portions of the race course she will be competing on. While she didn’t delve into detailed elevation profiles, familiarity with the course provides a mental advantage. On race day, her quest to Boston will be aided by having run miles on these roads during training.
From Stress Release to Athletic Rediscovery: Alisha’s Running Journey
As our conversation came to the end, Alisha reflected on her running journey. She mentioned how running is a stress release. In addition to relieving stress, she rediscovered her athleticism after years of focusing on family. Her vision for the finish line is one of confidence and satisfaction, embodying the spirit of enjoying the journey.
Stay Tuned for More: Alisha’s Quest For Boston Unveiled
The story of Alisha Clark’s quest for Boston has a blend of determination, resilience, and a passion for the joy that running brings. Stay tuned for the next installment of Enjoying the Journey, where we’ll delve deeper into Alisha’s progress and the hurdles she overcomes on her path to the starting line.