Laura Parson first joined me on the show in the early days of Diz Runs Radio 5 years and over 700 episodes ago.
Today we will be circling back and doing some much needed catching up.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Laura Parson.
A New Kind Of Challenge
Laura Parson is not new to the ultra scene, but lately, she has found a new challenge in stage races.
Laura can typically be competitive at the 50k distance, but with stage racing, her goal is to finish.
When preparing for a stage race Laura treats the race as part of her overall training.
Her biggest challenge with stage races usually occurs after the first day.
She always has a, “What have I done moment,” where she questions her reasons for putting herself through it.
The moment is short-lived and she gives herself permission to go and just show up.
Attempt #1 For FKT
Four years ago Laura was gearing up to attempt the fastest known time (FKT) for a female running across the United States.
At the same time, Laura was also finishing up the completion of her doctorate program.
Planning a successful endurance event requires a lot of emotional and mental strength over and above the physical strength also needed.
In hindsight, Laura realized she didn’t give those aspects enough credit.
In the year leading up to her attempt, Laura also experienced some major health issues that required hospitalization.
Training and planning for a run across the U.S. are challenging enough without the added obstacles Laura experienced.
Laura made the difficult decision to postpone her attempt until she was able to commit all of her time and energy to it.
Consistency Brings Big Results
Laura wasn’t always fit and able to run long distances.
When Laura was in her 20’s, she lost over 100 pounds.
Her dramatic weight loss changed how she viewed herself, the world, and how she connected with others.
Dealing with all the ups and downs of her fitness journey allowed Laura to recognize that any dream was possible.
The same year Laura dealt with her health issues that halted her Trans-U.S. attempt was the same year she completed a 100-mile race.
The completion of the race along with a successful stage race recently has re-ignited her goal to try again for the FKT.
Experience = Lessons
Laura has learned just as much from her failed attempts while racing as she has from her successes.
For her first attempt at an FKT Laura didn’t have a coach, but decided to change all that for the future.
The addition of a knowledgeable coach allowed Laura to not worry about how to train and just go out and execute what her coach said.
Some of the most valuable lessons Laura has learned are:
- If you have a coach, make sure you trust them completely.
- It is impossible to manage all the things in your life on your own without any help.
- No one is an expert on all things.
- Allow enough lead time before an event to completely prepare.
Laura is planning on her second FKT attempt during the summer of 2020.
From previous experience, if things aren’t going well she will adjust her timeline and push back her attempt.
Girls On The Run
Laura has the goal of obtaining the FKT for a woman running across the U.S., but her bigger goal is supporting an organization close to her heart.
Girls On The Run (GOTR) is an organization that embodies what running has meant for her.
GOTR is a non-profit organization, “inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experince-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.
Though Laura is still in the planning stages for her FKT attempt, she is actively fundraising for GOTR.
Social media has been a valuable way for Laura to get her message out and raise money.
She has two links, one is to help support the cost for her to run across the U.S., and the other is money that goes directly to GOTR.
If someone can only choose one to support, Laura encourages the first priority to be GOTR.
Laura also recognizes that donating may not be an option, but sharing her message on social media platforms would help just as much.
Multiple Goals, One Outcome
Laura is well into the planning stages for her summer of 2020 FKT attempt.
She is still working on finalizing the route and is planning on anywhere from 50-65 miles per day.
Laura recognizes that there are elements she won’t be able to control such as the weather or injuries that may arise.
Going into her second attempt Laura has come up with multiple goals.
The first goal is to get the FKT and her second goal is to complete the journey.
Her plan will be set, but she will adjust it as needed as she goes.
In the next year, Laura is planning on training for her big FKT goal by using smaller FKT attempts as training.
One such attempt is the Collegiate Trail Loop for which there is not yet an FKT, but Laura is hoping to change that.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Support Girls On The Run
- Laura Parson’s Run Across The USA Support
- Burning River
- (Round 1) Why is Laura Parson Running 3,030 Miles in 67 Days?
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