By Becky Wade
It’s wild to think that we’re already halfway to the next Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon, not to mention another Olympic year. So what does a professional runner with Olympic dreams do during the in-between? The Houston Marathon Foundation and I will fill y’all in through regular updates during my 2016 Olympic Trials build-up, beginning with my current status.
After a race-heavy start to 2015, with the USATF Half Marathon Championships in Houston in January followed by the USATF Marathon Championships in Los Angeles in March, I’ve dialed down the intensity the last couple of months while fully recovering and preparing for a serious Olympic Trials Marathon preparation this fall. As many of you know, the body takes a beating during a hard 26.2 miles, and I’m learning that listening to my body and “letting the training come” rather than forcing it, as my coach reminds me to do, takes as much discipline and confidence as putting in big miles and killer workouts. So with the support of my sponsor as well as the incredible generosity and backing of the Houston Marathon Foundation, I’ve been able to be thorough and relentless with my recovery, including regular sessions with a physical therapist, chiropractor, masseuse and nutritionist. This is not the glamorous side of professional running, but it sure makes me appreciate the smooth runs, clear skies (hopefully soon!), running companions and ability to chase a dream that excites me every single day.
As I build back into heavy training, I’ll spend the summer bouncing around some nice training spots in the U.S. I typically like to spend the summertime exploring other places—I spent last summer in Mammoth Lakes, California, and lived in Boulder and Del Norte, Colorado during college breaks—because I think the change of pace, scenery and training partners is a key component to keeping the sport fresh and exciting. The fact that I gravitate towards significantly less humid places than Houston doesn’t hurt either. So currently, I’m in San Francisco with my friend and former rival from Cal, Chelsea Reilly, and am also planning to visit Phoenix, Flagstaff, and potentially some Colorado spots as well.
Meanwhile, I’ve kept busy outside of the athletic realm while writing a book about the year I spent running around the world (in 22 countries) through the Watson Fellowship. It will be published in the summer of 2016 by HarperCollins, potentially under the title Going the Distance, and is shaping up to be a colorful portrayal of the cultures I visited as well as a glimpse into the lives and training styles of runners all across the globe. I also plan to include recipes and pictures I gathered along the way, and lessons I now apply to my own running career. If you’ve never run single-file through an Ethiopian forest without a clue as to how long, far, or fast you’ll be going… you should either experience it for yourself, or check out my book to find out what it’s like and why that style breeds so many great runners.
Whether you’re in a remote forest in Africa or the outdoor sauna of Houston, I hope you all have a great run today. It’s the perfect time to start laying the foundation for fall races and the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon, as January 17 will sneak up on us before we know it. Happy trails!
About Becky Wade
A former Rice University four-time NCAA Division I All-American, Becky Wade won the her debut marathon, the California International Marathon, in 2:30:41, the fifth-fastest marathon by an American woman in 2013. It was her first race longer than 10K, her specialty distance in which she earned All-American honors in 2009 and 2012. Wade is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rice University with a triple major in history, sociology and psychology.