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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Deena Kastor was a star youth runner with tremendous promise, yet her career almost ended after college, when her competitive method—run as hard as possible, for fear of losing—fostered a frustration and negativity and brought her to the brink of burnout. On the verge of quitting, she took a chance and moved to the high altitudes of Alamosa, Colorado, where legendary coach Joe Vigil had started the first professional distance-running team. There she encountered the idea that would transform her running career: the notion that changing her thinking—shaping her mind to be more encouraging, kind, and resilient—could make her faster than she’d ever imagined possible. Building a mind so strong would take years of effort and discipline, but it would propel Kastor to the pinnacle of running—to American records in every distance from the 5K to the marathon—and to the accomplishment of earning America’s first Olympic medal in the marathon in twenty years.
Let Your Mind Run is a fascinating intimate look inside the mind of an elite athlete, a remarkable story of achievement, and an insightful primer on how the small steps of cultivating positivity can give anyone a competitive edge.
Kastor, an Olympic medalist and American marathon record-holder, reveals the mental tactics that led her to Olympic bronze in this meticulous account of her career. When Kastor, writing with fitness journalist Hamilton, started running in 1984 at age 11, she showed a natural talent for the sport. Early on, she connected the approval she received from her parents, coaches, and community with winning and decided that winning was "the point of racing." She left her home in Augura Hills, Calif., for the University of Arkansas; when she suffered an injury and later became frustrated with running, she almost quit. After college she trained with Joe Vigil, an expert on training at altitude, and decided to give running "four years, an Olympic cycle." With Vigil's coaching, Kastor learned the importance of hard training, rest, and mental positivity. Kastor notes, "The effects of positivity didn't surprise me. What surprised me was that it worked all the time." Eventually, Kastor learned how to practice gratitude, create a "mindset of enjoyment," and separate her sense of self-worth from the outcome of a race. Though the memoir sometimes feels like a catalogue of Kastor's many races and victories, it offers an unusual glimpse into the mind of an elite runner and presents a positive approach to life that can benefit runners both on and off the track.