Michaela Young Has Embraced Being An Imperfect Runner
My guest on the show today is Michaela Young, someone I first connected with via social media a couple of years ago.
Michaela is hooked on all things running and is her happiest when she’s out on the trails.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Michaela Young and diving deeper into her running story.
Tri For A Goal
Michaela Young never considered running until she was an adult.
Her running journey began in a roundabout way that started with an old mountain bike.
She always enjoyed riding bikes so when her husband suggested taking to the trails she didn’t hesitate.
That first mountain bike ride had Michaela hooked.
Michaela had always dreamt about completing a triathlon.
She was comfortable swimming and with consistently biking, she began to feel her goal was within reach.
The one piece of the puzzle that she hadn’t yet worked out was the run.
With her son still in a stroller, she set out and worked up to a 5k.
You Do You
Michaela didn’t leave herself enough time to train properly for the triathlon, but that didn’t stop her from completing it.
She finished over the allotted time, but that didn’t take away from the excitement she experienced crossing the finish line.
Following that first triathlon, Michaela began signing up for more races.
Michaela is admittedly not the fastest, but the fun is what keeps her motivated to continue.
She got connected to a group of other runners that encouraged her to keep pushing her perceived limits.
Until that point, Michaela had only ridden her bike on trails but had never run on them.
Michaela began venturing out on the trails and during one training run, she stumbled upon an aid station for an ultra.
Before that moment, Michaela had never heard of an ultra.
A Seed Was Planted
A seed was planted in Michaela after learning about ultras.
It was about 2 full years before Michaela could muster up the courage to sign up for a 50k.
In those 2 years, she volunteered at multiple ultra races and took it all in.
Two things stuck out to Michaela in her time volunteering.
The first was that the finishers included people of all ages, sizes, and paces.
The second was that the longer it took someone to finish, there were more people cheering.
Michaela made the impulsive decision to not only sign up for her first marathon but also for her first ultra only 8 weeks apart.
She immediately began looking up training plans and dove right into training.
Don’t Stop Moving
Initially, Michaela had always assumed a half marathon would be as far as she could run.
Her first half marathon had left her sore for 3 weeks after the race.
Even with her family trying to be the “voice of reason,” Michaela wasn’t deterred from working towards her goal.
Michaela had real concerns about being able to finish the 50k in the time allotted.
The race director told her to just keep moving and not spend extra time at aid stations.
Though Michaela ultimately finished after the cut-off, she proved to herself that she could go the distance.
Okay With Not Being The “Perfect” Runner
The era of Covid-19 has forced everyone to adjust race plans and Michaela has been no exception.
Michaela has embraced virtual races and challenges as a way to keep herself motivated.
She has run more since the pandemic began than she did all of last year.
Much to Michaela’s surprise, running has been her source of healing.
She was previously married to an abusive man and running has taught her that “she’s enough, she can, and she’s okay.”
She is okay with not being the “perfect” runner because she is doing it for herself.
This post is accompanied by an episode of my podcast, Diz Runs Radio.
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Originally published at https://www.dizruns.com on July 13, 2020.