Today’s guest is a lady that I’ve been connected to on social media for a little while now.
I’m looking forward to diving a bit deeper than just her tweets from the last couple of years.
Let’s get to it and go a few easy miles with Ellen Campbell today.
Runs In The Family
Ellen Campbell was very familiar with the sport of running while growing up.
Her mom was an avid runner and would often compete in races.
Most Saturdays were spent at races her mom was running in.
As a young child, she didn’t relish spending her weekends watching other people run.
Ellen recalls actively avoiding running until she graduated from undergrad.
Ultimately it was her co-workers that convinced her to join for a run.
It only took that one run for Ellen to get hooked on the sport for good.
Coming Full Circle
As Ellen became more consistent with her running, she experienced gains quickly early on.
The combination of making progress and peer pressure is what convinced Ellen to sign up for her first half-marathon.
Her mom and dad surprised her by traveling to the race to support her and cheer her on.
Ellen felt that this moment came full circle.
She was the one running a race now as her mom cheered her on.
One year after completing her first half, Ellen crossed the finish line of her first marathon in 2007.
A Supportive Community
When Ellen originally tossed around the idea of running a marathon, she did so by putting her name in the NYC marathon lottery.
She fully expected not to get in, so she was shocked when she received her entry email.
The day before her race she had heard of an elite runner passing away during a marathon.
That news only added to her nerves, but it didn’t stop her from lining up at the start.
The race was everything that she expected and more.
Upon completing the marathon, Ellen met Meb Keflezighi and he told her that he was proud of her for finishing the race.
At that moment, Ellen realized how supportive the running community was regardless of one’s ability.
Unbeknownst to Ellen, it would be another 10 years before she would line up a the start of a marathon again.
Leaning On Running
After completing her first full, Ellen scaled back on the distances she ran for a few years.
Ellen began increasing her distance again while dating a fellow runner.
From December 2017 to December 2018, she ran 2 marathons and 4 half marathons.
In 2019, as her relationship began to deteriorate, Ellen leaned into running.
That year would turn out to be one of the hardest years she ever experienced.
Running was quite literally there for her every step of the way.
Along with breaking up with her boyfriend, her dad was diagnosed with a serious health issue, she lost her job, and she moved.
All of those events occurred within a 5-month span of time.
Marathons Are a Metaphor For Life
Ellen was just starting a new job in early March of 2020 and her life seemed to be turning around.
A mere 17 days later the world shut down due to a pandemic.
Running was once again something that helped to pull Ellen through the dark times.
She ran the most miles she had ever run in 2020.
It was during those runs that she would process what was important in her life.
She prioritizes her mental health and works with a therapist weekly now.
The past few years have taught her that the marathon is a metaphor for life.
Life must be taken one step at a time and you have to accept what’s in your path and learn from it.
Embracing Where She Is At
After her highest mileage year ever, Ellen is slowly easing back into running in 2021.
She is working towards getting herself ready for a half marathon in October.
Ellen has learned to appreciate where she is now.
After a year of no races, she has spent that time learning how to handle race day better.
She loves to race but had to train her brain as much as her body.
Learning to trust the training process and herself was a key component.
Over the years, Ellen has challenged her body in various races.
Ellen is most proud of when she completed both a half and full marathon on back-to-back days.
She focused on channeling all of her energy into something positive.
There will 100% be another marathon in her future when she is ready.
Running has been a great teacher for her.
She has learned not to compare because she can only control what she does and not anyone else.
Trusting yourself is a big factor in any goal you set.
Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, therefore it is critical to prioritize what is important to you.
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