"Silence isn’t empty, it’s full of answers.” Anonymous
It has been a long time since we last spoke. Well, let me just say I’ve put myself back together using gorilla glue and cement. All the shattered fragments have been pieced together. After the Chicago Marathon, I went through a major transition. It was the longest four months of my life. I ran, but then I stopped. I was carrying the heavy load of the Chicago debacle. I analyzed everything: my training, running coach and my weightlifting. But in the end, I realized that the only thing holding me back was myself.
In hindsight, I had a blast training for Chicago. I made a few friends along the way. I tried to run naked through my community. I ate less fast food, but then I got my ass kicked at the end. There comes a time in every runner’s career when you ask yourself, are you in or out? How much work are you willing to put in to get what you want? What are you willing to sacrifice? I am results-oriented: I want to run long distance and become fast. I want so many things. Don’t we all? I like to cram ten pounds of shit into a five-pound bag.
Running is a lifestyle. If you aren’t committed to becoming fit and living healthy each day, then you aren’t going to improve. Initially, I started my running journey to lose weight. I won. I wanted to run a marathon. I won. I wanted to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I lost.
For the last few months, I have scrolled through my Instagram feed, watching stories and events of other female elite American runners. When you are searching for inspiration to achieve your personal goals, you tend to gravitate towards individuals who are in the same situation as you. It makes it easier to relate to someone if you share similarities.
It is my observation that there is a lack of diversity in the upper ranks in all areas above the mile event. It seems that the long distance American elite field is filled with runners, but not many are American women of color. Everyone wants to run, claim their medals, but no one is willing to put in the work to be among the top contenders. Why?
There is a saying that goes, “It’s a new year, new me.” Well, in my world, it’s a new year but the same me. I try to have fun in every situation. But at some point, I must decide to stop playing and get serious. Let’s put the fun to the side and work hard this year.
Four months of silence can be very powerful. We are on a new mission this year. Let's just say, I had to return to ground zero to figure out what I need and want as a female African-American long distance runner. After a long chat with Coach Josh, we have decided to change a few things in our coach-runner relationship. I am confident that my goals can be accomplished if he is willing to navigate and I am willing to listen.
Not only am I on a mission, but during my training for the Chicago Marathon, my husband and I have decided to make a major move: We are relocating to Colorado!
It’s funny how things can fall into place without much effort. With the move to a higher elevation, I am sure you’re asking yourself, “How will this change Tina’s training?” We can discuss those details at a later time.
I’ve known for some time that we needed a change. The Washingtonian life is great, but you are going to pay for it one way or the other. We have finally decided to let go. For more than a decade, we’ve been slaves to Interstate 95. Spending more than four hours a day driving to and from work—140 miles a day total. Our hours spent at home are limited due to the commute. We have reached the end of the road. We are selling our sprawling home in Virginia and moving out west.
New training cycle, new mission, countdown to moving day—it’s going to be an action-packed summer. We are ready for the adventure.
Edited by La Muse Press, LLC