‘I think my experience in particular at UTMB has changed it a lot because I’ve…realised people aren’t watching me the way that I think they were’.
Age group athlete, ultra marathon runner and busy mum Jo Bailey returns to Sparta Chicks Radio this week.
Jo was my guest during episode #38 way back in November 2017.
In that conversation, we discussed Jo’s background and history, why she started running at 35, how she’s struggled with comparison and feeling like an imposter as well as how it took years for Jo to call herself an ‘athlete’ and mean it (you can find that episode here).
If you haven’t listened to that episode, I’d encourage you to listen to it first.
In this new episode, we pick up where we left off and cover the events, and lessons, of the last 12 months.
Since we last spoke, Jo has finished her 1st 100mi (160km) race.
Then, in January this year, Jo discovered she’d won a lottery spot to enter one of the world’s most famous ultra marathons; Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (or UTMB), incredible 100mi / 160km race that passes through France, Italy and Switzerland as you run around the Mont Blanc massif (yes, you run around the mountain!)
Sadly, Jo’s race at UTMB didn’t turn out the way she wanted after she missed a cut-off around the 100km mark.
So what happens when your biggest fear comes true?
That’s what I explore with Jo in this conversation.
We dive into:
* how Jo’s love / hate relationship with racing has changed over the last 12 months,
* what she learnt from finishing her 1st 100mi (160km) race,
* her struggle with comparison and the tactics she uses to stop herself from slipping into it,
* the importance of knowing yourself, recognising your behaviour patterns and then having strategies in place to stop you from slipping into that pattern or pulling yourself out of it when you do,
* the importance of recognising your strengths,
* how she uses mantras to remind herself of her strength,
* why she entered one of the world’s most famous ultra marathons despite her love / hate relationship with start lines,
* how to manage the doubts that arise after a hard or difficult training session (and make you question everything),
* the importance of looking for the positive in every training session, even the bad ones,
* her biggest fear and challenge going into UTMB,
* the moment she knew she wasn’t going to make the cutoff, and
* the importance of having new goals in mind to avoid post-race depression.
This is a very open and honest conversation and Jo brought a lot of vulnerability and courage into it. So I hope you take away as much as I did from it.
Notes and resources:
To find out more about Jo or to say hello, find her on Instagram.