On today’s episode of the show, I’m joining Christine Yu for a few easy miles.
Christine is a runner, writer, and yogi living in New York City, and she also has a fondness for surfing which we definitely talked about later in our chat.
More of a Runner Than a Racer–And That’s OK
When I asked Christine about her favorite distance to race, she answered the half marathon for many of the reasons that a lot of other runners enjoy that distance: more manageable time commitment for training, doesn’t beat you up as much, etc.
But as it turns out, while she enjoys a half marathon from time to time she’s definitely not driven by racing as much as many runners are.
And there’s nothing wrong with that!
In this day and age of social media and blogs, it can almost seem like if you’re not racing/setting PRs/collecting bling you’re not a “real” runner.
Clearly that idea is preposterous, but think about it. It’s a lot easier to share a photo of your post race bling or talk about being “rungry” because of the long run your training plan called for that day on social media than it is to talk about the inner peace and calmness you experienced during your 45 minute run on a random Tuesday.
If you run, you’re a runner whether or not you ever enter a race. And while Christine might not be as much of a racer as you or I, she is definitely every bit as much of a runner.
Finding a Passion for Yoga as a Runner
Christine first was exposed to yoga in the late 90s when she signed up for a yoga for runners class to help work on her flexibility and try to stay healthy as a runner.
Like many distance runners, her muscles were really tight. But the more she got into the practice, the more she found yoga to be much more than just a way to work on her flexibility.
It became a chance for her to connect with her self and her breath.
The more time she has spent on the mat, the more she has seen the benefits of yoga in her life and her running. Seeing these benefits led her to get her certification as a yoga instructor to help others see the benefits of consistent practice.
If you’re looking to add yoga to your overall training/fitness routine, which I would definitely recommend, Christine would encourage you to sign up for a beginning yoga class or a yoga for runners class if either are available.
While yoga may look really easy, you can definitely get hurt if you try to do too much too fast. So finding a class for beginners is a good way to make sure you get started off on the right foot.
Christine referenced Yoga Glo and Gaiam as sites to help you get started in yoga, and she also has many great yoga resources available on her website which you can check out here.
How Christine Yu Got Into Running
Growing up, Christine wasn’t a fan of running. She played a number of other sports, and running was a necessary evil of those activities, but simply running for the sake of running wasn’t her thing.
I can definitely relate to that!
Eventually she came to appreciate running more and more, and during grad school Christine and her boyfriend (now husband) decided on a whim to train for a marathon.
So in 2001, they trained for and ran the Chicago marathon. They liked it enough they decided to make it an annual thing, so the next year they ran Marine Corps and in 2003 they ran New York.
And at that point, Christine had enough of the marathon!
As we talked about at the beginning of our chat, Christine doesn’t have as much of a desire to race as some of us do, and she’s perfectly content with New York in 2003 being her last marathon.
While she doesn’t have any plans to ever run another marathon, she did make a promise to run New York with her son once he’s old enough to run the race.
So who knows, she may have another 26.2 in her future!
Starting a Surfing Blog?!?
Christine started her blog based on a new passion–surfing!
I was surprised to find out that there actually is a pretty decent surfing community in the New York City area, and surfing remains a passion that Christine pursues when the opportunity presents.
That leads to family vacations being planned to places with warmer water and better waves as often as possible.
Over time, her blog has evolved to covering all of the things she’s passionate about from running to surfing to yoga and a whole lot more.
Living and Running in NYC
Christine never imagined that she would live in New York City, let alone raise her kids there.
Now that she’s been in the city for several years, she has started to see the benefits of living in such a culturally diverse area. And she definitely sees it as a positive for her kids to be exposed all of the diversity at such a young age.
As for running in New York, she logs lots of miles in and around Prospect Park and she loves running over the bridges and running up the west side of Manhattan.
Ultimately, in a city the size of New York, there are lots of options when it comes to finding new places to run.
How Has Running Changed You?
When I asked Christine how running has changed her, she said that she had two immediate thoughts.
The first is that she’s become more patient.
Finding success as a runner, whether that’s race success or otherwise, requires patience. It requires showing up day after day and week after week to put in the time and the energy to improve.
That improvement doesn’t happen overnight, no matter how much we may wish that it did.
And the other change has been she’s proven herself to be stronger than she realized before she started running.
We all know that running isn’t always easy, and there are lots of ups and down. As a runner, she’s learned how to push through those rough patches and she’s been able to take those lessons into the other aspects of her life as well.
As Always, I’d Love to Know What Stood Out to You From this Episode! Let Me Know Your Takeaway in the Comments Below!
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