British runner Tina Muir has announced she will race this year’s Boston Marathon, but as a fast amateur rather than an elite. Muir was a professional runner and Olympic hopeful who finished fifth at the 2016 London Marathon, and who recently published a book about her nine-year battle with amenorrhea. She has returned to the running world after taking two years off to recover her health and have a baby, winning the Walt Disney World Half-Marathon on January 13.
— Women's Running (@WomensRunning) February 6, 2019
Muir’s time at Disney was six minutes off her personal best, and according to Women’s Running, she does not plan on racing with the elites at Boston. Nonetheless, Muir reports being “at peace” after all that she has been through over the past 10 years, struggling with amenorrhea and then leaving the sport to get healthy, culminating in the birth of her daughter one year ago.
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So uh yeah. . I’M RUNNING BOSTON MARATHON 🎉 . So there’s that. . One thing to though friends, I have requested NOT to go in the elite field, and instead go in corral A. I just don’t want the pressure. Not from anyone else, but myself. I know if I am in the elite field, I wont be able to stop myself from getting too invested. This is my first Boston, first marathon in over 2 years, and possibly the only time I will run a marathon to run it rather than race it, and I want to enjoy that. . I will train as hard as I can, I will run hard on the day, but honestly friends, I just don’t have the mental capacity or the physical time during Steve’s peak season to train like I would like to, and being in corral A will allow me to take it seriously, do my best, but not get caught up in trying to prove myself. . Just gotta figure out accommodation (any advice appreciated!), flights, and the logistics, then I will be all ready to go. . Workouts begin tomorrow, my goal for this marathon is to ENJOY the journey there (not just the finish line). . PS. Heck yes there will be a meetup the day before. Send me a DM with your email and I will keep you posted on the plan 🤗
“I understand that some people are driven by goals,” she told the magazine, “but for me at this point, I have too many other things going on in my life with my business, my baby, maintaining relationships with family and friends. I don’t have the mental or physical capacity to train at the level I want. I’d rather be out there enjoying it and still running hard, but not having that same pressure that I would as an elite.”
Regarding running after childbirth, Muir says: “…the other women I read about running postpartum, they think about their child and it pushes them to run harder. It doesn’t work for me; it has the opposite effect. I think, Bailey loves me no matter what, so it doesn’t matter. I try to compartmentalize and focus on the task at hand, which is running as fast as I can. The lead cyclist at the race, he said he didn’t know if I even spoke English because I was so focused. As soon as the race finished, my first thought was, Where’s my daughter? But during the race itself, I was just focused on what I was doing and keeping it separate.”
And to new moms who feel pressure to prove that they’re as good as they were pre-baby, Muir has this to say: “We have this image in our heads of what we’re posting on social media the day we’ve officially come back. There’s a lot of pressure in that. Be it six months, nine months, three years—you don’t have to come back. You don’t have to prove yourself to the rest of the world to be valued.”