Moving On Up: Exclusive Interview With Lauren Fleshman

Your blog has become quite a success. What gave you the idea to start

Fleshman competes at the Olympic Trials in 2008. Photo:

I wanted to do something to give back to the sport ever since I was in college. But I didn’t have the means or the platform to do it then. My main goal was to make it so other women athletes could learn from the mistakes and successes of other athletes doing what they do. I don’t want it to be just about me; I want lots of women to chime in and share their experiences to prevent people from going through the same problems over and over again—to avoid the common sand traps and pot holes in the sport or to get out of them sooner and get back on track of loving their sport. It has turned out to be everything I’ve wanted from it and more. I wish I could write every single day.

This year has been such a success for you and it’s not even over yet. What do you attribute your success to?

Having a different mentality. Being more accepting of myself and of my strengths and my weaknesses and embracing the process more instead of looking at tough races as just a pain in the ass; they’re a necessary part of what I’m trying to do. If all of my races were easy, I’d be missing an opportunity to learn something.

Also, when you stop being so hard on yourself you allow yourself to dream about bigger things. I don’t judge myself as harshly as I used to.

Bigger things, maybe like the marathon? How is training for that going?

I did my first real long run just over two hours on Sunday. I’m adjusting and growing and starting to get into the swing of things. The workouts are really hard! The most I have ever run before is 22 or 23 miles. There was little bit of a lull after words when I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to this, but I’m staring to feel really energized and optimistic for it.

I have a tendency to over do it in training so this short training time is good for me. With only a few weeks to train, it forces me to take a baby step into the marathon. But if SkinnyRunner can run a marathon with just a few weeks of training so can I!

The toughest thing for me is setting a realistic expectation and being OK with it. I’m going to be compared to Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan and Desi Davila who all had incredible debuts. And I have to be courageous and approach the marathon with my own set of expectations and not care what anyone else thinks. No matter what I can still have a great time and get the things out of it that I want, like improving my 5K for the spring.

Why did you choose New York City?

I know the people that run it—New York Road Runners—and they have always fit in with my overall philosophy of the sport and they donate to post-collegiate running groups so people can continue to run after college. I have a personal relationship with the president, Mary Wittenberg, and she’s always been really nice to me.

And timing. I knew the only time I could do it was in the fall.

I’m going to write a blog post about how to prepare for the race. I have no idea what I’m getting myself into.

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