My guest on the show today has done just about everything in the running world including, track, trails, multi-sport events, and road races.
In her college days, she was an 8-time All-Big 12 athlete on the track, but these days most of her races are quite a bit longer.
I am looking forward to trying to keep up with Nic Hodges today.
Found Her Passion Early
Nic Hodges remembers the moment vividly when she first fell in love with the sport of running.
It was track and field day in middle school and Nic was immediately drawn to the 100-meter dash.
Through hard work and perseverance, Nic became one of the top runners in Missouri before even graduating high school.
Her accomplishments were enough to get her a scholarship to run at The University of Missouri.
Competing at a collegiate level was something Nic describes as “going into blind.”
Prior to competing in college, Nic didn’t know anyone else that took that path while in college.
Nic spent her first couple years on the team soaking in all the knowledge that she could.
Nic had a successful college running career but after graduation, she wasn’t sure how to approach her running.
Running In The Real World
Post-college, Nic was working full-time and running took a backseat to other responsibilities.
Nic struggled to alter her mentality from running with a team in college to finding a way to motivate herself.
A co-worker suggested that Nic try running a local 5k.
Previously Nic was accustomed to running events on a track, but she decided to sign up and go outside of her comfort zone.
It only took that first race for Nic to re-ignite her passion for the sport.
Nic found it refreshing to run with people of all ages and abilities at any given race.
One Sport Is Good, More Is Better
Nic has been involved in the multi-sport world, more specifically duathlons, for about 13 years.
Much like her collegiate running career, Nic went into her first duathlon blind.
In the early years, she didn’t know what she was doing and used a mountain bike in the initial races.
Even despite all the shortcomings, Nic still managed to consistently place in the top three.
At first, having young kids limited how many races Nic could train for and compete in per year.
As Nic’s children got older she was able to commit more time to racing and competing.
Her involvement in sports has been a positive in her life, especially while going through a divorce.
Doing all the extra cross-training has also helped to make Nic a stronger and faster athlete.
Above All Have Fun
Nic is admittedly competitive when it comes to races, but ultimately her goal is to just have fun.
Along with duathlons, Nic has also participated in road and trail races.
Each community has their own distinct vibe.
One is not easier than the other and they all have unique challenges athletes must adapt to.
Nic has been running for over 35 years and has found one thing that all athletes should consider regardless of sport.
Nic has found that she is consistently better and faster because she takes scheduled breaks throughout the year.
Her one piece of advice is that if you don’t ever take time off, you’re doing a disservice to yourself.
A New Reality
Nic, like so many other athletes, is constantly adjusting to the new reality of life during a pandemic.
For her, it’s all about the mindset.
There will be hard moments and it won’t always be easy to adjust your mindset.
Staying connected through social media has helped Nic remain optimistic and continue running.
The current environment also provides an opportune time to reassess goals.
A race free schedule in the immediate future is a good time to try things you may have been wanting to do.
Above all else, don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed.
Nic has been fortunate to not have dealt with many injuries over the years.
She credits it in part to luck, but mostly to being smart and listening to her body.
Her general rule while training is to do everything in increments and never increase any area more than 5-10%.
Any new goal an athlete sets should be realistic.
Setting unrealistic goals WILL lead to burn out and/or injury.
Experts are there for a reason and Nic encourages people to reach out to them when there are questions.
These experts can range from coaches, trainers, doctors, and beyond.
Mentioned In This Episode:
Nic Hodges doesn't hide the fact that she prefers sneakers and spandex to heels and diamonds. She is a versatile athlete that routinely ventures outside her comfort zone to try new things. Click To Tweet
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