The year 2012 is a year of innovation for me. It all began last fall when I realized I wasn’t doing all that I could to reach my potential as an athlete. It was a hard pill to swallow. I have always prided myself on working hard and getting the most out of myself, but I realized that I wasn’t doing that anymore. It was time to change, to challenge, and to innovate. I was looking ahead to 2012. With big Olympic dreams, (Search: 2012 Olympic Runners) it was the perfect year to go big and make some changes.
Innovation is about introducing yourself to new ideas, thoughts, and processes. I swallowed the lump in my throat and initiated a big change in my running career. (Video: Kara Goucher- The Everyday Innovator) I left my coach and began to talk to new coaches. I promised myself that I was going to give it my all as a marathoner, and not hold back for the track races anymore. I found a new program with a coach, Jerry Schumacher, who expected big mileage and big workouts from me. I got new teammates, and two of them (Shalane Flanagan and Lisa Koll) are actually training partners who push me day in and day out. I knew that training under Jerry, and alongside Shalane and Lisa, was the innovation I needed to reach my goals.
If innovation is about pushing the envelope, taking risks, and rising to the challenge, then that is what I am doing this year. I am running with new people and putting in harder training than I ever have before, I am holding nothing back in an effort to live out my dream. Step one was to qualify for the Olympic Games. Step two is to have the best marathon of my life in London. I believe the year of innovation is going to take me there.