ELIZABETH CLOR started running in 2001 to get fit but soon caught the ‘running bug’. She has since qualified for the Boston Marathon three times and been ranked fifth in her age group in the RunWashington runner rankings.
In this exclusive interview Elizabeth talks about the barriers she has had to break through to reach the heights she has in running and tells us more about the book she’s written on that subject.
Read on to hear about her daily running routine as well as who have been her biggest supporters during her running journey.
Tell us what sports you are involved in and what kinds of level you reached?
I am a marathon runner who has qualified for Boston three times. I was ranked fifth in my age group in the RunWashington runner rankings, and I regularly win age group awards.
When did you start running and who or what inspired you to take up the sport?
I started running 2001 as a way to get fit. I primary ran on the treadmill. In 2005 I discovered outdoor running and road racing. I ran my first half marathon in 2005 and my first marathon in 2006. I enjoyed pushing myself to new levels and I loved the feeling of accomplishing challenging goals.
What are some of the biggest running successes you’ve had and how hard have you had to work to achieve them?
My biggest running success has been overcoming my race anxiety. For years, I would miss my goal times at races because I suffered from intense race anxiety. It wasn’t until I sought help from a sports psychologist and learned how to be less of a perfectionist that I was able to relax. It took about two years of actively working on my issues to finally be able to relax while racing and run to my full physical potential. I learned that it’s far more difficult to work on strengthening your mental skills than your physical ones. It requires faith and patience, and definitely a willingness to challenge your beliefs.
Who have been your biggest mentors and supporters along the way?
My two biggest mentors have been my sports psychologist and my coach. My sports psychologist helped me identify negative thought patterns so that I could change them. He helped me understand how perfectionism, which was core to my being, was actually hurting me rather than helping me.
My running coach, who I have been working with for the past three years, continues to challenge me in ways I never thought possible.
Several years ago, I thought that my physical limit was a 3:30 marathon, and I would be lucky if I were able to reach that. Last March, I ran a 3:21 marathon, and my coach helped me get there. As for supporters, my husband has been my number one. He’s always willing to listen and encourage me.
How often do you currently run and where are some of the places you lie to run the most?
I run every day. In order to prevent injuries, I ensure the proper balance of easy running and hard running. I enjoy running by the Potomac river in Washington DC. In fact, running near water anywhere feels very refreshing.
Are you training for any races at the moment?
I just finished a marathon training cycle in March, so I am going to be focusing on the 5K this spring. I have several 5K races lined up, and I would like to see how much time I can chip off of my personal record.
Do you have any other projects or challenges you want to set yourself in the pipeline?
I basically just want to continue to see how far I can push myself both physically and mentally. I have written a book about my mental barriers so I will continue to work to promote the book. My goal is to get my message out to as many people as possible: you can do anything you set your mind to, but your mind needs to be in the right spot.