Elizabeth Carey Girls Running podcast episode

Straight Talk On Body Image Issues, Eating Disorders, And More In Running With Elizabeth Carey

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Topics Covered In This Episode:

  • Developing a positive, lifelong relationship with running
  • Addressing food and body image issues
  • Navigating puberty, mental health, eating disorders, and the pressures of competitive running

Guest Bio – Elizabeth W. Carey:

Elizabeth Carey is a writer, author, and running coach. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Runner’s World, PodiumRunner, Women’s Running, Trail Runner Magazine, and SKI Magazine, and she is a regular columnist for DyeStat. Her first book, GIRLS RUNNING, co-authored with Melody Fairchild, is available at your local bookstore and online. An endurance coach since 2002, she has experience coaching youth, high school, collegiate, recreational, and master’s athletes—including at Oregon State University, Syracuse University, and Steens Mountain Running Camp. She’s an assistant cross country and track coach at Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington, and coaches adults virtually. She ran Division I cross country/track for Columbia University and now explores trail and ultra running. With more than 20 years of wide-ranging experience in endurance and outdoor sports, she brings a unique perspective and passion to her work.
Connect With Elizabeth Carey:
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Episode Transcription:

Please note that this is an automated transcription and may contain errors. Please refer to the episode audio for clarification.

Speaker 1 (00:06):

[inaudible]

Corrine Malcolm (00:08):

Elizabeth. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Elizabeth Carey (00:11):

Thanks for having me. I’m really excited to be here.

Corrine Malcolm (00:14):

Yeah. So I am, I brought you on today because I mean, we’re kind of in a continual cultural awakening within the running space every day, every week, shocking or otherwise, you know, we hear about, uh, another athlete, another collegiate program of, you know, going through turmoil, um, generally in a non of not very positive way. Um, so I wanted, I wanted to continue that conversation with you and you’re the first person I thought of in part, because you, along with this, the running phenom and coach melody Fairchild wrote a really important book that came out, not this summer, it came out last summer. So we’re just gonna continue your book tour in that sense. Um, and it’s called girls running all. You need to strive, thrive and run your best. And while this book is definitely geared towards younger girls, I myself own it. I have read it and it resonated with me as well. And I am 31 years old, not running track or cross country. And I find it an incredibly important read, not only for those young athletes, but also for parents of young athletes, for coaches of young athletes. And I’m wondering if you can tell us why did you and melody decide to write this book?

Elizabeth Carey (01:28):

Yeah. So thanks for that, those kind words. Um, melody and I decided to write this book because it’s the book that we needed. Um, she is a phenomenal runner and myself as an okay to average runner, uh, both faced some of the same challenges in different areas. And as we emerged from our own collegiate post-collegiate dabbles and running and became coaches, we realized that these issues that we were facing mostly centered around puberty periods, weight and other, um, myths and taboo topics that female runners face in, um, specifically, uh, those things were still being, uh, uh, not talked about, right, for our athletes, for our fellow coaches and these stigmatized topics were still, um, just only whispered about and only wondered about in isolation. And melody has been a true pioneer in creating safe spaces and, um, welcoming conversations about these topics and going places where other people were not willing to go. Um, and so we channeled that energy and her journey and combined it with a lot of research in the field, um, with who work with sports, um, uh, female athletes in a range of sports, but especially endurance sports. And we combined all of that into this book, um, because there was a huge need. There was just a gap in knowledge, like you mentioned, not just for athletes, but for parents and coaches. And, um, so yeah, we hope that it’s a good jumping off point for our sport and for some cultural change. Yeah.

Corrine Malcolm (03:23):

And we speak about cultural trains there and, and you also mentioned the words taboo, right? That, that puberty, that periods, that body image are whispered about that they’re stigmatized. And so I’m wondering, you know, we oftentimes like compartmentalize these things in sport and what, you know, through the book, what, like, how did you guys want to tackle that? How’d you want to tackle the fact that these things are not compartmentalized, they are connected, they’re all connected to your running. How did you want to tackle that to move forward?

Elizabeth Carey (03:57):

And we wanted to tackle that to move forward. One, because melody in her pioneering conversations about these things had intuited that puberty was important. That periods were important that these taboo things could actually be sources of power for women. Um, and so we wanted to share that intuition that she had, and this sort of nurture this, this place where the things that female athletes experience, we’re not shunned, right? We’re not just athletes, we’re humans. And when we’re teenagers are competing at the high school level, the youth level, the developmental levels, um, whether elite or at the back of the pack, these things have real and lasting implications for our lives as athletes and also as humans. Um, and then too often, if we don’t talk about it, the only things that we hear about these, these taboo topics are negative, right? There is a negative narrative and a huge amount of misinformation about these topics, puberty periods, weight, and mental health, um, for young athletes.

Elizabeth Carey (05:13):

And so we wanted to tackle these as a proactive way because we knew that athletes were still facing these challenges. We knew the athletes were still stepping on the line, hearing that they were in their sophomore slump. We knew the athletes were still being weighed by their coaches, uh, that coaches are still using calipers DEXA scans to in a misguided way, right. That’s not developmentally appropriate. And that’s what the research suggests. And a lot of the specialists that we talked to reemphasized that this is not the best thing for these young athletes, not just because it is at the expense of their health, but it’s also at the expense of performance. Right. And so we really just wanted to tackle this both from a personal narrative side, with melody story. Um, and then with some facts from folks who are in the field and who are helping to counter these, these myths that just keep popping up over and over again.

Corrine Malcolm (06:18):

Yeah. It seems like it really needed to be normalized that these topics need to be normalized. That getting your period is normal, that going through puberty is normal. And I’m wondering if you can speak at all from personal experience having, you know, maybe if it wasn’t high school, maybe it was college going through this thing where you needed something to be normalized and maybe it was, or maybe it wasn’t like, what, what have you experienced in that realm?

Elizabeth Carey (06:41):

Oh, a lot. You know, I think melody and I joked, and this is really sad that we can joke about this, but we could write a book about the things that we heard, the things that we were told. Um, you know, so as a collegiate athlete, I was told to avoid lifting weights because I was getting bulky right. When I had a men area, no one saw that as a red flag, when I was not eating food or having disordered eating behaviors, I was praised for the way that my body was changing. Um, and there’s just this infiltration of fatphobia, which is rooted in racism and sexism into our sport. And so there’s the sport specific ideals that I think every runner, whether they’re at the back of a pack of an ultra marathon, or just starting track for the first time, they’ve internalized those, right?

Elizabeth Carey (07:39):

Like even people that don’t really partake in running or endurance sports, understand what a quote unquote runner needs to look like or should look like. And so I think I’ve gotten lots of comments about that even in high school, um, and in colleges as well. And this, this information is just coming from everywhere, you know? And so as an athlete, I definitely, um, suffered from, um, eating disorder behaviors and it wrecked my college career. It threw me into depression. Um, I lost my cycle. I had, um, osteopenia and I had multiple stress fractures. Right. Um, but after college talking to melody and, and listening to her own journey, but also her belief that we can heal from this and recover from these issues, whether it’s a diagnosed eating disorder, um, whether it’s, um, you know, bone, stress injuries, all of these implications that we now know apart are a part of relative energy deficiency in sport.

Elizabeth Carey (08:42):

Um, we can recover and we can heal and we can change the sport. And so, you know, I think we could talk for days about the things that we’ve heard. And we have a couple of those stories in the, in the book. I know you, you know, in the trail space, we’ve heard them too. Um, just the inane comments that people make or, or even well-intentioned comments, things that I’ve had to talk to my family about. Like, maybe don’t tell me that I look fit because that’s a euphemism for skinny. And that is something that, um, you know, is a code term. Right. Um, and so we don’t really know what athletes are struggling with. A lot of people don’t feel ready and that’s totally fine to talk about these issues, but we do know that they’re reported. Right. Um, and so we have the statistics to know that lots of people, and I apologize, my pug is snoring behind me.

Elizabeth Carey (09:35):

So if you can hear her, that’s what that sound is. Uh, she’s a really good champion snore. Um, but you know, we have, we know, or we can guess, and folks that work in the field of, of, um, sports, nutrition and eating disorder treatment and dietetics, uh, have all confirmed to me that they believe that the numbers of disordered eating in sport are vastly underreported. And we also know that these issues are, you know, our spectrum, right? You can have disordered eating and it’s not necessarily something that a doctor is going to diagnosis a eating disorder, quote unquote, anyway, I digress. Um, but I think we know that these issues are continuing to, um, to affect lots of people in small, subtle ways and also very big, serious ways. Um, and I’ve been talking a lot about eating disorders, but that’s one, just one example of the, the devastating impact that this toxic narrative can have. And they’re, they’re deadly, you know, it’s a, it’s a severe mental health disease, and it’s not something that we should take lightly. Um, and so I think we all need to start challenging our assumptions about what it looks like to, to be a runner, what it requires to be a runner and also understanding that we’re still learning a lot about mental health and eating disorders and the assumptions that we have might not, not necessarily be true or helpful. Yeah.

Corrine Malcolm (11:10):

We’re, we’re learning about that as athletes. We’re learning about that as voices in the sport, right? Both you and I spend a lot of time writing about these topics. We’re learning about it as coaches, the medical professionals around us are actively learning as well because these red flags have been presented to them before. And maybe it didn’t seem like a problem at some point in time. And so, I mean, I read Lucy, Barthel a mule put up an Instagram post recently, it kind of after the U of Oregon news broke about the DEXA scans used in their program and the body shaming within that program. And, you know, she said the medical team around her going into Western states and Binky was probably 2018. You know, they were positively amazed at her at her body composition and in her weight. And there were no red flags raised.

Corrine Malcolm (11:54):

And, you know, it’s in a lot of ways, I find that our personal experiences and this includes your personal experiences and Melody’s personal experiences goes into our passion projects are, are, are beyond our professional projects of trying to protect other young athletes from having to go through that same thing. So your book is this, you know, this guiding light of, of normalizing these things and breaking the stigma of opening up space to have these conversations. And as much as the athletes are advocating for themselves, right? Like this also has to go to, you know, I mean society for sure, but also like what can, what can the parents out there who are listening, who have young athletes, maybe that maybe their kids are so young that they’re not even involved in some of these and some in, in like running in particular, right? But maybe they want, maybe they hope their kid will be a runner or coaches of young athletes. What can, what can they take away from the work that you and melody and others are doing in order to foster and to model positive behaviors around body image and food and all that kind of stuff.

Elizabeth Carey (13:04):

That’s a great question. It’s an important question. And I think the first step is like you just mentioned, um, acknowledging that we’re all learning, we’re going to make mistakes. Um, and I’ve made mistakes as a coach. I am continually learning. I mean, since I started writing this book, I’ve learned so much, um, and I’ve realized how diet culture has seeped into my life. How many different red flags there are in language that so easily pop up. So as you said, um, I think we can learn to model that good behavior or good. That’s such a loaded word. Right. So

Corrine Malcolm (13:40):

A loaded word. Right. Good,

Elizabeth Carey (13:43):

Good. Yes. Um, and so I think maybe, uh, you know, I think the more we can learn about these issues and acknowledge that we’re going to make mistakes and continue to be curious and empathetic, um, and open to that change. Um, and I think a lot of these topics that we talk about in the book will, might run counter to what parents learned when they were in sport to what coaches have learned or done for years. So it’s going to feel like a challenge or an affront to things and to the way that things have always been done, but it is worth questioning. And we can’t afford to not question it anymore. There’s no excuse for continuing these toxic narratives. There’s no excuse to continuing to continue coaching or shepherding girls in this way, um, towards high performance with misguided approaches. So I think, you know, one being open to making mistakes and learning to, um, just challenging that we have held and then three trying to set some basic guidelines and learning.

Elizabeth Carey (14:57):

So I drafted a coach’s pledge, um, as a harm reduction strategy. This is not the solution. This is not gonna change the world, but it’s a starting point, especially for coaches and parents and athletes themselves who might be overwhelmed by hearing about these food and body issues or about hormones and about the issues that female athletes are facing. I drafted this with melody and Cara Bazi at Opal food and body. She co-signed it. Um, and it came from everything that we learned when writing the book and that I’ve continued to write about as a freelance writer. Um, and it just sets some basic expectations around green light red light behaviors. Right. And I mentioned that we’re good, it’s problematic because we do that with food. When we label food as good or bad, we then create shame and guilt for our athletes around say convenient foods.

Elizabeth Carey (16:01):

And we know from the research that we should not be, um, punishing young athletes, developing athletes for eating right when they need to fuel their bodies. And so that’s just one example of the bullet points that I have in the pledge where it just gives us a, a quick reminder, uh, to watch what we say about food, watch what we say about bodies. Um, and just be a little more mindful of how we talk about these issues, um, on our teams, in our organizations and just even about ourselves, right? We are modeling behavior all the time. Um, I don’t think it’s ever too late or too early to start paying more attention to how we talk about ourselves because young athletes and young future athletes are listening and that matters.

Corrine Malcolm (16:55):

Yeah. And w we’ll link the pledge in our show notes, because I do think it’s a really important starting point for people just to get a sense of, as you mentioned, we’ve done things a certain way for forever potentially, and things that are seemingly a benign statement to someone can be a really loaded statement to someone else you and I both experienced that, where people have these really well intentioned. It seems statements about, about you, about your body, and they don’t ever quite hit that way. They’re never quite as well, intentioned as this, as these individuals mean. And we’ve all fallen into those two. And recently, um, I even fell into that. I was in reference to food. I’ve always been like, well, food is fuel. I have to eat. I need to eat because that’s how that allows me to run and allows me to recover from running.

Corrine Malcolm (17:43):

It allows me to do the things I want to do with my body. But if by labeling food, simply as fuel, you ignore everything else about food that it’s, that it’s comfort, that it’s community, that it’s all these other things. And, you know, maybe that’s my own healthier, unhealthy quote, unquote, relationship with food. But, you know, it was someone from Opal or associated with Opal who actually brought that to my attention. Um, after listening to me talk about it and I was like, okay, like I’m learning, I’m trying, I’m hoping that I will get there eventually. Um, I’m lucky that I’ve gotten to spend quite a bit of time with you on the trails in Washington before we moved down south, and we’ve had many conversations, I feel like in and around these topics with our chosen trail sisters, people, we share our time with who we are very fortunate to share our time with in the trail and ultra community.

Corrine Malcolm (18:39):

And although, you know, we’re not the road community, we’re not the track community. We’re not the, even though we’re fans of those communities, I’m a big fan of all those sports, um, at face value. It seems like the trail and ultra community isn’t quite as caught up in these contrived body images. But as, as you’ve brought up before, it’s, that’s not, that’s not necessarily the case. And I’m wondering if you can talk to maybe hypothetically why the community isn’t quite as absorbed with that, but also how it, how it can be and how we can kind of steer that narrative away from that so that we can kind of, you know, help help our, our culture not get sucked into that.

Elizabeth Carey (19:23):

I think, you know, from my limited perspective, which I want to acknowledge is a very privileged perspective. I am white I’m in a thin privileged body. Um, I’m able-bodied um, and so I have these layers of things that I was just born with, right. That gives me this inherent privilege. And then I also have the privilege of being able to choose these trail sisters, like you said, right. And since college, um, and since recovering from eating disorder issues, um, I have actively chosen to surround myself with people who are accepting of all body types or at least working to actively counter these not negative narratives that we talk about that have come over from, from the track and road world, or just the world in general, because we live in a culture that has lots of, uh, you know, uh, carry overs into our sport.

Elizabeth Carey (20:23):

And we, you know, we’re as athletes, we are human, we are bringing our personal experience into the sports sphere. And I know a lot of people often recoil when they hear, you know, they want to keep politics out of sports, but politics are about bodies and humans, and that’s who we are. And we’re in this sport existing together. So naturally there’s going to be some issues that, uh, come from society and culture and trickle down into sport. So I think as someone who’s been able to actively curate the community that I have, um, I felt that I felt so supported as someone who is recovered. I felt someone as a supported, as someone who is choosing to run for, for reasons of joy and, and exploration and adventure, uh, really, to me, it seems like, um, Penn have almost the opposite of winning at all costs right now in my running, right?

Elizabeth Carey (21:22):

And so I think in the trail community, while there is some definite cutthroat competition, and there are folks who may be, are leaning a little bit more towards that when it all costs. I think there are pockets of the mountain ultra and trail community where we’re working to actively create a more inclusive community that said, we know that these races and groups are largely white, uh, largely CIS hetero male. Um, and we see that and feel that actively, you know, so I want to acknowledge that lots of folks might not feel welcomed and trail and ultra running, um, whether they’re in larger bodies, whether their skin’s a different color than mine, whether there’s some other barrier. Um, I think we have a long way to go when it comes to access and equity. Um, but I do feel grateful for, like I said, that that niche community that I’ve been able to connect with who all these members are actively countering the toxic stuff, right.

Elizabeth Carey (22:26):

And they’re not just sitting on the sidelines, they might be bringing up, um, you know, uh, these topics just to talk about it and pass some miles, but they’re also actively advocating. They are folks that are maybe giving feedback to podcasts. Maybe they’re folks that are writing open letters, maybe they’re folks that are encouraging a teammate or a friend to seek help for their eating disorder. Maybe they’re folks that are just normalizing, uh, mental health issues. You know, there’s showing up for folks and improving community and advocating for cultural change can look a lot of different ways. And I think in the trail space, we have a lot of opportunity to use our platforms if we have that, or our group runs, if we go on those or our races as an opportunity to really rise all time, or what’s the, what’s the phrase, you know, like a rising tide lifts, all boats. So I think, you know, there’s lots of opportunities for us. I don’t think we’re there yet, but I think we’re working on it.

Corrine Malcolm (23:36):

Yeah. I think another thing that our sport has at least presently are some people who are willing and open like yourself and like melody and like Amelia Boone to those stories. And I think that, although we’ve talked a lot about young girls and women in sport, because, you know, they, they don’t continue in sport nearly as much as their male peers, obviously all these issues also, I mean, can impact anyone and everyone. And so I think that’s been an important part of the conversation around relative energy deficiency in sport, which many of us can fall prey to, um, intentionally or otherwise is inclusive of all genders because, you know, we’re all humans, we’re all moving our bodies. Um, and we all need needed to meet some sort of clerk balance there. So I think that it’s been this interesting dichotomy of supporting young girls, protecting young girls as they come up in the sport.

Corrine Malcolm (24:29):

And also recognizing that, you know, we’ve had some, some men in the sport also come forward and talked about their, their struggles with body dysmorphia about with, with disordered eating, um, which I’m hoping models, you know, are these awakens other young athletes that like, oh, these these things I’m thinking or feeling or experiencing, it’s not just me. And also like, is this the, is this a path like, how do I, how do I break out of this path? And so finding a way to have those conversations and share those so hard to share those things, but I’m really proud and excited that our sport has people willing to be public about that. Cause that’s not an easy ask for anyone. Yeah.

Elizabeth Carey (25:15):

Uh, it’s a, it’s a heavy emotional lift, right? Like it’s a, it’s a burden to not only suffer from like an ailment or an issue, and then also have to do the articulating and the explaining and the educating and the advocating and pushing back against the systematic issues. So I, I know that, like you just mentioned, you know, these, these issues, especially red S and, and eating issues can affect anyone, no matter body size or shape, you can’t look at somebody and diagnose them with an eating issue. Um, and I hope that, um, folks feel seen and heard when we say that, because we know this is under-reported and so many issues, uh, with eating have been almost normalized in sport. Um, so I think that’s why it’s important for all of us to continue to challenge these beliefs. And then also, um, work for advocating for folks that maybe aren’t ready to speak up. So whether that’s watching out for your friends, whether that’s, you know, um, bumping the stories of the people that are willing to speak out, um, just continuing to move the conversation forward, I think can really improve things. You never know who’s listening. Uh, you never know who might be struggling with something. And so the more empathy and awareness that we can all continue to push, I think the better off our sport will be.

Corrine Malcolm (26:49):

I could not agree more. I’m wondering earlier on, you talked about, you know, kind of confronting myths within our sport, and I’m wondering through the process of, of writing this book and working alongside experts and understanding their experiences and what they’ve found, what were some of the most surprising things that came, came up through that process?

Elizabeth Carey (27:13):

One was a personal, it was related, it was a revelation that was related to my own personal journey. Um, and that was simply hearing that recovery from eating disorders was indeed possible. Full-stop recovery, not just being in recovery, not just being, um, you know, in treatment for the rest of your life, but knowing that recovery was possible. And along those same lines, seeing and being reminded how miraculous the body is, how, how amazing it is that it can heal, that it can recover and that even if it’s stressed out or injured or burnt out, or over-trained, um, it’s doing its best to keep you alive. Um, and your brain is working with it really hard to do the same thing. So I think both melody and I gleaned a new appreciation for, or a renewed appreciation for just the amazing things that our bodies can do.

Elizabeth Carey (28:22):

Um, but then also learning about, um, the plateaus that some runners face in puberty, it might happen, but it’s not the be all end. All right. Uh, we know that performance, isn’t a straight line up. And so just hearing and, and, um, learning more about how puberty can affect bodies and can affect performance times, but it’s, it’s not the be all end, all that was great to be reminded of. Um, and I think there is some just so many different things in every chapter that we learned, these little nuggets that maybe we’d had inklings of before, or had intuited as athletes and coaches. Um, but just found validation in, from the experts from the science, from the research was just really exciting. There’s, there’s lots of little nuggets in there.

Corrine Malcolm (29:15):

And then one of the things I really enjoyed about the book and this, I think comes from your, your experience and background, finding your voice as a, as a writer too, is that there are writing prompts throughout the book. And I’m wondering if you can kind of speak to the importance of, of doing, of going of walking through those and finding your voice.

Elizabeth Carey (29:36):

Yeah. So, um, both melody and I have been keeping and diaries for most of our lives and also detailed training logs. And so we have always weird bias. We love, love that putting paper to pen or pen to paper. Um, but we found when melody created her camp, a girls running camp in Colorado, um, we started to incorporate writing into the camp into the programming because we were talking about all of the things that we talk about in the book, talking about puberty and periods and, and the cycle and nutrition and mental skills and mental health it’s a lot. And so, um, we didn’t, we wanted the girls to be able to digest that and incorporate that in there the way that was most useful for them. Right. Um, and so that’s important just not only for retaining and processing information, but in the book, we really wanted to start young girls thinking about their own journey.

Elizabeth Carey (30:47):

And as runners we get often can get very wrapped up in our identity as runners, um, get over attached to the external results. Um, and other metrics that really don’t quote unquote define us as a runner. Um, but melody talks about her journey and that’s something that resonated with me that we’re all on an exciting adventure. There’s going to be ups, there’s going to be downs. And if we stick with it, it can take us to incredible places. And so one way to start celebrating that journey and weaving that tale for yourself is through writing. Um, and it’s really powerful, even if you don’t think that you don’t like writing even just free journaling for a minute can have some pretty powerful effects. So that’s why we included the prompts. It’s not a test, it’s not a quiz. It’s more just creating space and encouraging readers to, like you said, find their voice and hopefully they can find their voice so that they can choose their adventure on their journey. Um, and maybe some folks will be able to advocate for other runners on their journey as well, but it doesn’t matter if nothing happens from their writing. Um, it’s just for them.

Corrine Malcolm (32:04):

I like that. I think it encourages athletes and humans to think really big picture too. Cause I think you can recognize how stuck you are when you like slow down for a moment and put pen to paper. One of the things I really liked in the book though, was this idea of a tantrum journal. And I’m wondering if you can tell us what exactly a tantrum journal is.

Elizabeth Carey (32:28):

Yeah. So this tantrum journal came from Kelsey Griffin. Who’s a mental skills specialist who I also met at the female athlete conference in 2019. And she works with athletes who are trying to tap into high-performance and often times folks like that and myself included, uh, even if I’m not going from my biggest goals right now, ping get stressed out, you know? And so oftentimes when we feel overwhelmed, whether it’s on the Eve of a race or just super busy with training, we’re in the middle of a big block and just everything feels crazy. We don’t know, like we’re so overwhelmed that we don’t know what’s really going on. And so this tantrum journal is a tool that you can take it’s really one minute, two minutes, um, a really quick tool that you can use to figure out what’s going on and maybe how you can help yourself.

Elizabeth Carey (33:23):

So we have instructions for it in the book on the, in the mental chapter. Um, but you basically free write all the things that are driving you, bonkers stressing you out, making you feel overwhelmed on one side of the paper. So, you know, for a high school athlete that might look like a test homework boyfriend broke up with me, I’m hungry, I’m tired, mom grounded me, whatever. And then Kelsey encourages you to flip the paper over and say, what can I do to make this 1% better? Is that taking a nap? Is that, um, have a sandwich, is that ask a teacher for an extension. Um, and I loved this tool because it’s something that can immediately help you feel better, can get those jumbled thoughts out of your brain and onto a page. And maybe you rip it up into a couple of pieces. Maybe you burn the page, maybe you just recycle it. But hopefully even just doing that brain dump can help you find some, some ease or grounded-ness. And in that stressed out moment,

Corrine Malcolm (34:31):

It’s definitely a tool that I’ll be implementing on my own. Cause I think that I will gain a lot of benefit from that. I’m the person that needs to complain and say, okay, I don’t want you to help me, but I just need to do it list. Like I just listened to me that for a second, but don’t come up with any solutions. I don’t want solution. So I feel like a tantrum journal could replace that for my poor partner who has to listen to me whine periodically. Um, this I’ve got a few quick questions kind of before we let you go this evening. But the first being is kind of a two-parter it’s now knowing everything, you know now, and obviously we’re still learning and growing and will continue to for forever. What do you wish that one you knew as a young athlete that you know now, and two, what do you wish? Cause you’ve been a coach for a long time too. What do you wish you knew as a young coach that you know now

Elizabeth Carey (35:24):

Great questions. Um, as a runner, especially in high school and college, I wish I knew that my body and myself was enough. Um, and as a coach, I wish that I knew earlier some of the harmful effects of these shortcuts that coaches are taking, be it, you know, assumptions about size and shape that perform best, um, be it about assumptions, about diet and how that impacts you as a runner. Um, so I think as a coach, I just wish I had a better grasp on all the performance factors and developmentally appropriate performance factors and training factors earlier on

Corrine Malcolm (36:22):

Yeah. Wise, wise words. And I think that’s something for all of us to keep in mind. Um, I also wanted to know, I ask everyone this, I think it’s an interesting kind of read, but what’s something that you’ve read or listened to or watched recently that you think would be valuable for our listeners to, to add to their lists of things to watch, read or listen to.

Elizabeth Carey (36:45):

Oh man, I recently finished listening to a really good book. It’s called braiding sweet grass and it’s um, about indigenous wisdom and scientific knowledge of plants and our relationship with the world as we move through it. And I think especially as trail and ultra runners learning some of the things that the author, um, Robin wall Kimmer had to say about land and our relation to it, the relationship to it as humans, um, was just so powerful. So since I started listening to it, when I go out for a run, I’m paying more attention to my surroundings. I’m curious about, you know, the relationship of the plants to the animals, the us, um, and the history of the land. So it was a great read. And since it was an audio book, it helped me pass the miles.

Corrine Malcolm (37:38):

That’s awesome. I’m a big fan of podcasts and have audio books to, to listen to long at running through space. So that is something that I will be adding to my list as well. And then the big thing before we let you go is how can people find you if they want to find, if they want to find you to learn more about, about you to engage in your work, you know, where, where can they go to, to read your words, to get your book, et cetera.

Elizabeth Carey (38:02):

Yeah. So my website is Elizabeth W. Carey C a R E y.com. And there’s a link on my social media bios where you can click to see my latest stories, um, on Instagram, I’m Elizabeth w Kerry and on Twitter as well. Um, I am a regular columnist for Diastat. I write the running issues column and then I freelance at a couple other publications as well. So if you follow me on those spots, you can see what I’m working on. And I appreciate it.

Corrine Malcolm (38:34):

Yeah, we will definitely link all of that in our show notes. For those of you who are interested in finding anything that we talked about today, including the coaches pledge, including the book that Elizabeth and melody wrote together, um, that I would encourage anyone out there, particularly those with, with young athletes in the household, um, or working with young athletes or give it as a gift for young athlete that you might know, because I think it’s invaluable to pass that information on Elizabeth. Thank you so much for joining us today. It was a pleasure.

Elizabeth Carey (39:04):

Likewise, thanks so much.


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