With the infamous Boston Marathon coming up this month, it seemed fitting to profile a runner and multi-hyphenate such as Elizabeth Clor. Not only is Elizabeth an an endurance athlete, Zensah Ambassador, writer and full-time marketing professional, she is also the author of Boston Bound: A 7 Year Journey to Overcome Mental Barriers and Qualify for the Boston Marathon. The book serves as a guide for anyone experiencing mental roadblocks in the pursuit of an achievement, athletic or otherwise. In the book Elizabeth illustrates her own journey of how she discovered her running practice dealt as much with addressing mindset as much as physical gains. Elizabeth explains it best when she expresses she "believes strongly in the power of positivity and how a strong mindset can drive success in nearly any endeavor."
Read more about our conversation with Elizabeth in this edition of Limitless Looks Like and see more inspiration, insights, and experiences below...
ZS: What is one thing you want people to know about you?
EC: I am a hard worker with many passions and interests.
ZS: How did you get into running? Why do you run?
EC: I started running as a way to get in shape shortly after graduating college. It was part of an overall fitness regime that also included weightlifting and group fitness classes. For the first 4 years, I was strictly a treadmill/fitness runner until I "discovered" racing. My reasons for running have evolved over the years but the one constant has been to see what I am capable of; to set challenging goals for myself and try to attain them. I enjoy the process of working towards something and the satisfaction of accomplishing it.
ZS: You’ve written a book about running!Boston Bound: A 7-Year Journey to Overcome Mental Barriers and Qualify for the Boston Marathon. Tell us about the book, the process of writing, and why you decided to write this particular work?
EC: I'll start with the why. I decided to write this book because I experienced a life-changing transformation in terms of my mindset. I had a mental breakthrough that changed me from being anxious, perfectionistic, and highly critical of myself to relaxed, confident and accepting of myself. For seven years I tried tirelessly to qualify for the Boston Marathon. And despite having the physical fitness (as evidenced in my training) I simply could not execute on race day due to anxiety and the immense amount of pressure I put on myself. Each time I attempted to qualify, I ended up disappointed in my performance and ashamed of myself. It wasn't until I shifted my mindset that I began to make true progress towards this goal.
The book details my journey. It shows how my previous attitude and mindset were holding me back, how I identified what I needed to work on, and how I overcame these mental barriers. The process of writing it was highly therapeutic as it solidified and captured everything I had learned. I primarily wrote it for myself and decided to publish it because I thought it could help others. The lessons are applicable not only to running, but pretty much any challenging goal that someone may strive to achieve.
ZS: How many Boston Marathons have you ran?
EC: Two live races + the 2020 virtual. The years were 2016, 2018, 2020.
ZS: How are you training for the upcoming race?
EC: I am working with a coach who provides me with both a running and strength training plan. We meet weekly over Zoom for a one-hour strength training session and to discuss how the training is progressing. I have been running 60-70 miles per week and the runs have included a variety of workouts such as hills, track intervals, marathon pace long runs, and tempo runs. I had to take 3 and a half weeks off in January due to Covid-19 illness, but once I resumed in early February, I was able to ramp up quickly.
ZS: What advice do you have for fellow runners or those working towards marathon goals?
EC: Look at the big picture and make sure you have both long term and short term goals. Short-term goals (daily or weekly) will motivate you to put in the hard work. Long term goals will give you the perspective to realize that you have years ahead of you to achieve, and no one single race will define your running career. If you are smart about your training and stay healthy, you will be able to run for many, many years. I say this as someone who started running when I was 22 and I am now 43.
ZS: What are your favorite must-have Zensah products and why?
EC: I have three favorites! The Smart Running Mittens allow me to run in cold weather without my hands going numb, as I can throw hand warmers inside the mitten cover. The Gazelle 2.0 sports bra is supportive without chafing and its slim profile is extremely comfortable and flattering. The knee-high compression socks allow me to look festive and have fun with my running style. Knowing that I will have fun socks motivates me to get out the door and I have fun picking matching shorts and a top.
ZS: What is one quote you live by? Or a personal mantra? (Can apply to running or to life!)
EC: "Comparison is the thief of joy." (by Teddy Roosevelt) I used to constantly compare myself to other people and also worry about how I was perceived. This quote reminds me that no good can come of these comparisons and I am only robbing myself of joy. In terms of running, my favorite quote is from Greg McMillan: "Do the training so you can do the training so you can do the training." It's a good reminder that each cycle builds upon itself and that realizing my full potential is a process.
ZS: What is your favorite place you've ever ran?
EC: Alaska. I went on "The Great Alaskan Running Cruise" in 2017 with my husband and the scenery was incredible. Glaciers, mountains, water. . . everything was so refreshing and beautiful.
ZS: What other hobbies do you love (in addition to running, of course):
EC:I enjoy playing the piano, playing chess, reading and traveling.
ZS: Where can people find you? (on social media and at upcoming races)
EC: My blog is www.elizabethclor.com and my Instagram handle is @elizabethclor. As for upcoming races, I am running Boston in April and potentially Indianapolis Monumental in November.
ZS: Zensah’s motto is #withoutlimitz meaning we want you to feel limitless in everything you do. What does limitless look like for you?
EC: My limitless looks like nothing is holding me back. For the longest time, my biggest limitation was my own mind. Now, limitless means that I no longer hold myself back and I am free. I am free of other people's opinions. I am free of performance anxiety. I am free of the negative voice that tells me I can't do something. I am free of fear.