Jul 27th, 2021
We get to talk to Liz Newcomer, the podcaster behind Resiliency in Running. In this episode, she shared:
- Her mental health and fitness struggles when she was in high school and how she overcame it
- How she came to love distance running
- Her tips for runners
- Her journey and challenges towards the London Marathon
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Liz: Skinny doesn't mean healthy. And I think for so long when I was anorexic, I just thought, the more I lost weight, the closer I was getting to, whatever my weight goal was at the time. You can be fulfilled with life and happy with your quality of life and you don't need to amount it to being a certain, Jean size or dress size.
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In this episode, we will learn about developing resilience through running and the journey towards the 2020 London marathon our guest.
She is someone who shares a positive influence to millennials through her social media and podcasts. Resiliency in running. Please welcome Liz Newcomer. Hi Liz. Welcome to the show.
Liz: hi. Thank you for having me glee.
Glee: Thank you. And you love running as evidence with your, activities. I'm curious that when did you develop your love for running?
Liz: so I've running for probably close to my whole life almost. But I've mostly kind of started through playing sports, growing up. My parents just put me through loads of different sports and I stuck with soccer for quite some time, about 10 years. And I didn't really develop my love for running.
I'd say until. Maybe college time. And then I further developed the love for like distance running
at the beginning, kind of like right at the end of 2019, beginning of 2020. And that's just kind of progressed ever since
Glee: Oh, So you were like a sports person before really doing this distance running. when we talked about earlier you mentioned in your also your IG stories that you've suffered anorexia. Suicidal thoughts and depression. When you were in your teens, if you don't mind sharing your journey and how you got out of it.
Liz: Yeah, of course. I think it's definitely hard to put into words. But I think it was a very hard time in my life. And a lot of it was kind of influenced by mean girls. I was bullied and cyber bullied in middle school. So around the time that I was around 13 or 14 and that kind of just carried into.
Poor body image and just really influenced how I viewed myself. And that's kind of where I started spiraling into the eating disorder with anorexia and just not being very healthy and my eating tactics. And over-exercising had really bad mental health and just really struggled with depression and anxiety and at some points some really, really low
points. I was dealing with suicidal thoughts as well. And so I think it was definitely a hard time in my life and something that really I'd say two things really helped me. So one was definitely therapy. And I think that that was it.
was like a therapist that I saw for about two or three years, but she really, really helped me through a lot of stuff.
But also my faith. And I, consider myself a Christian and I think just, that was kind of a time as well, where I kind of like came into Christianity and really felt like I was less alone than I was. And so just really praying and I'm kind of having that as well, to motivate me and kind of helped me view myself in a more healthy perspective and then a more positive way really helped.
But yeah, I'd say therapy and faith really helps me.
Glee: Oh, so this happened when you were doing soccer and all the sports, was it. During that time
Liz: Yeah, I was, I was kind of in high school when everything kind of started going downhill and I was playing on the varsity volleyball team as a sophomore in high school. And I was also playing on the soccer team on the junior varsity team. And so I had a lot of good things going for me. Sports wise, but I was just really struggling mentally.
And so once the doctor basically diagnosed me as anorexic. I wasn't allowed to play sports or exercise for six months. And so I had to stop all sports, stop all running which was really hard being such an active kid growing up. And so I kind of play soccer now. Very casually and like recreational leagues, but I was quite serious about it growing up and then kind of had to like give it up and had a really hard time trying to get back into it.
Glee: that would have been really tough because, if you liked it very much, like you were very active and then also struggling with the bullying side, like it's, I imagine it's really, really tough. And when did you decide that you need therapy? Like, was it someone told you or how was the journey.
Liz: I think it was more so that someone told me it was in conjunction with a lot of other things. So I was,as soon as I was diagnosed as anorexic, I was seeing a doctor like almost once a week, I was seeing a dietician. So like a nutritionist. And then I was seeing a therapist at one point I tried group therapy and I really didn't like it and it wasn't for me.
And so I stuck with seeing my therapist one-on-one and I feel like it was like all these things that were being thrown at me because everyone just wanted me to get better because I had lost quite a bit of weight. At that point
Glee: Oh was just trying to do the timeline, so, but then after two or three years, receiving therapy, then in college days you where like you thought that, okay you're better and you have that positive body image.
Liz: Yeah. Yeah. I had joined a sorority and it was a group of really great girls and very real genuine girls, I'd say. I think there's a very stereotypical idea that people have of sororities and that just wasn't the sorority that I was a part of. And I think that these women really helped me come out of that.
Shell, but I'd put myself in and they really helped me, you know, want to be more vocal about my story. And I think it was within my first or second year of college. I had gone home during Christmas time and I recorded a YouTube video, kind of talking about my recovery and kind of sharing more about all of those struggles.
And it was really well received. And a lot of the girls in my sorority really supported me. My last year of college, I ended up kind of doing like, there's this really special? Like It's called preference ceremony. And it's like during your recruitment process, when you're trying to recruit new girls, but it's one of the last days, And I was one of the two senior girls that spoke to lots of different audiences of women that we had gotten throughout the day about my story, struggling with an eating disorder.
And so I think, yeah, In college, I definitely developed more of a healthier mindset and definitely went into a much better like recovery and then was able to kind of start my more healthy relationship with running again because it wasn't healthy for so long
Glee: And if you would have to tell your younger self, What would you tell her?
Liz: Yeah, I was actually doing another podcast interview and they asked like the same thing the other week. And I think my line was. Skinny doesn't mean healthy. And I think for so long when I was anorexic, I just thought, you know, the more I lost weight, the closer I was getting to, like whatever my weight goal was at the time.
And I beat just became very obsessive with numbers, whether it was calories or the number on the scale. And. It was something that I, it was like the only thing that mattered to me. And then even when I hit my goal weight, I was expecting some, like, euphoric, amazing feeling and it still wasn't there.
And, People telling me , oh, like you look like you've lost weight. And even then I was like, expecting those comments to fulfill me. And those still didn't. And so it was , I was a mounting, everything and all this, hard work I was doing with not eating and over exercising.
And I was like waiting for this moment and it never actually came. And I realized that being skinny doesn't mean. You know, it doesn't bring happiness. And it also definitely doesn't mean that you're healthy because I developed a lot of like underlying health issues with my reproductive system and just.
My gut and just like how my body like digest food. I think it took a while to get back to normal again. And so, I think it's really hard for younger girls growing up with the media and seeing all these skinny models and wanting to look just like them. But but yeah, I think it's just, you know, just because someone's skinny doesn't mean that they're healthy and you don't need to be skinny to be healthy.
You can be like at your weight and you can be eating healthy. You can be exercising regularly and you can be fulfilled with life and happy with your quality of life and you don't need to amount it to being a certain, you know, Jean size or dress size. So, yeah, I think that's what I would tell my younger self.
Glee: great. I could actually relate to a bit of your story because I was also in high school. I was also bullied and everything. And, but, you know, I, I grew up in the Philippines, so it's, it's not really common in our country to be diagnosed with, anorexia for for some reason, you know, We are a third world country, but yeah.
When you mentioned about it affected your reproductive health, I could totally relate because when I was like super duper exercising, like I didn't have my period for seven months and the doctor thought I was pregnant. I was like, no, I didn't have anything. But Totally get it. Yeah.
so, you're currently training for London marathon, which will be happening in October. I if I researched that, right. Yeah, I've seen a lot of. A lot of your stories on Instagram and tiktok that you did also, this running one mile an hour, which is pretty amazing.
And how did you sleep?
Liz: I didn't. But I've yeah, I, I, I probably got a collective like hour and a half of sleep, but I've been it's the second, like, kind of crazy challenge, if you will. That I been kind of doing to fundraise. For Boston Children's Hospital, because they're like the charity team that I'm running with. And so I feel like I'm trying to come up with different like fundraising ideas, but I keep ending up doing these like crazy challenges because I had done one in March.
That's the David Goggins challenge where you run four miles, every four hours for 48 hours. And then this one was a mile an hour for 24 hours. And so I think I just wanted to challenge myself a bit more and see if I could do it. And I did do it, but just, yeah, I did not sleep and I ha I was drinking lots of coffee for 24 hours.
But it was a good experience. what I'm finding with those running challenges and the David Goggins challenge was the first like running challenge that I've done, and. it's really good. Interesting to me every time, how much, like, I feel like I grow mentally because I feel like I go into these challenges saying, there's no way I can do this.
This is like a crazy challenge. And then I think when you're like deep in the challenge, you. Experience all of this growth and you experience all of this just like mentally you're thinking about, wow, like I'm actually doing it. And you're kind of going past what you originally perceive to be your limit.
And I think that that's the issue with. This can be applied to like anything, not just running. I think that so many of us limit ourselves because you think that that's your, glass ceiling of like how high you can go, but then as soon as you overcome it, and as soon as you go further, I think that that's where you start to experience so much more growth.
And then you, stop limiting yourself and you start to, expand yourself and want to reach for higher goals. And Higher achievements.
Glee: that one hour for 24 hours. So it was a charity event with Boston children. Oh, okay. And so I'm curious if. Did you have to consult a doctor for that particular endeavor cause you were also training for, long distance training. if that would
Liz: no. I mean, I probably should have the only person that I was kind of consoling is I have a colleague from my master's program that was in the military here. I think it was, but he used to be in the military and this was a challenge that he had done. And when I was getting advice from him, for my David Goggins challenge, he was saying, oh, I, I've only done this challenge, but it's very similar and he kind of gave me advice.
But it's a lot of it has to do with like, making sure that your early morning runs, you're not raising your Is it your blood pressure too much, because then it's like harder for your body to fall asleep, even though you don't actually get that much sleep. Like, there are some points in the challenge where like, I came home from my run and I just like collapsed on my bed and took a really quick power nap that I need. Because I think my body knows that I have to be up again, but just like making sure that when I'm running later at night, like at the early hours that I'm not running. at m y full a hundred percent that maybe it's running at like 70%, just to kind of make sure that I can go home and like rest and like calm my body down. so. That My heart's not like beating a hundred miles a minute from like running really hard.
Glee: So after that challenge,. how did you get back to, you know, your normal day-to-day? Did you take a break or are you planning another set of challenges before the big day?
Liz: Yeah. What about a day break? But I probably needed more. I realized that for about a week, my running was kind of like a lot slower and it was because my shin splints were a little bit. They just hurt a little bit more, even though I was foam rolling and stretching and things. So I think my legs were just kind of still recovering, even though I was going through my training plan.
But only as of like recently, probably on Thursday it felt like the first good run since before the challenge. And so, yeah, I think it's, it's taken a bit of time to recover. But I'm definitely open to more challenges. And I think that anything that I can do to fundraise I think is so worth it.
I'm not this isn't a fundraising event, but like next weekend I might be doing a challenge that is in the UK where you do it's called the three peak challenge, You have a team and you go and hike the three highest points in the UK, and then you run down them to get back in the car and drive to the next one.
But yeah, I forget where they all are, but it, that, that would just be for fun, but I think I'm always up for kind of like an adventure or a challenge.
Glee: Amazing. Amazing. And so you've done a lot of distance running and I heard about this runner's high, which is like a brief deeply relaxing state of euphoria. I heard it's not common, but I don't know if you have experienced it. And how was the experience?
I do experience it here and there. And I definitely experienced it during my trail marathon last year, but not until mile 17 and 18, it was like, from that point on that, like I felt it. And then I was able to like really have a strong finish because it was a really tough trail run.
But like I think yesterday, even I, went on like a nine mile run and I think just because I've, my body feels. Like more recovered from the challenge and I feel more myself. And I, I just love running in the rain as well. And it was raining a bit yesterday, but I think it's, for me, it's a lot to do with like, feeling.
alive and feeling really good running. And I also have a couple of like running playlist that I listened to. I typically listen to like EDM or like house music. And so for me, like that kind of also helps with like the runner's high as well for me. But it's definitely like, it's some point for me, it's always like somewhere where I'm like in the middle.
the run or close to the end of the run where I feel it. And it's never like, at the beginning, sometimes it's at the end when I like get home and I finish and it's like, wow, that was a really great run. Sometimes I'll feel it in the shower, like it's after a run and it's just it kinda comes at really random times, but there's not really like a way for you to like, be like, okay, I really want to get a runner's high today.
So I'm going to eat this thing or I'm going to drink this thing. Like, it really just comes and goes for me.
Glee: Ah, yes. Yes. Thank you for sharing that. Do you have training strategies When you go for a big big run, or how do you protect your knee actually.
I like running, but I couldn't do distance running because my knees so bad now, like really I'm too old, but yeah. what could you advise.
Liz: Yeah, I think it has a lot to do with your shoes actually. And that's something that I used to not really invest in, but that I do now because obviously your joints are really important and what are, what going to carry you for the rest of your life. But I've gone through a couple of different brands of shoes.
And I know that Brooks are specifically really good for supporting your bones and your joints, but I'm currently wearing what are they called? Hoka? They're the Hoka carbon X twos. And they're, they're really good because they have quite like a plush. I don't know, under the shoe, It looks like there's like a bunch of height, but it's really just a lot of support.
And it's, the shoe is specifically good for like long distance and like races. And so that suits me really well. And it's been a really good pair of shoes for me, but I think also it has a lot to do with like, you know, going through and trying different shoes and seeing what works for you, but it is like such a vital part
of running and then like making sure that you switch your shoes. Every, I think it's like 300 miles because you don't want to be wearing the same shoes for like years and years, because it will get worn out. I mean, it's not as supportive anymore, but I'd say shoes are really, really important as well as like making sure that you stretch and like foam roll and make sure your muscles are, you know, actively recovering and having like active recovery days as well.
Glee: And do you also pair running with going to the gym or anything? Like strengthening exercises?
Liz: Yeah. Last year I was, when I was marathon training. Like you have cross training days so days where you just don't run. And last year I did a lot of like Pilates or like high intensity interval training workout. That I really enjoy. And then this year I'm doing swimming and I used to swim when I was younger.
And so it's been really great, but I've also heard that swimming really helps with your breathing when you're running. And so I think it's always good to switch up. Like some parts of your training and making sure that you're not staying stagnant, doing like the same thing all the time.
But yeah, I think kind of like shocking your body as well, and mixing it up with your workouts really helps with I think your overall strength and endurance
Glee: What is your favorite routine when strengthening exercises? what is your favorite exercise to do other than running
to pair it
Liz: Yeah. I've been loving swimming lately, but last year I really, enjoy there's a girl on YouTube called Sarah's day and I've been following her for as long as I can remember, but she's a really cool girl from Australia, who's like a fitness YouTuber and she has a couple of different ebook workouts.
And so I was following those. Kind of like alongside, I think last year it was a 16 week marathon training plan and then she has two eight week ebook plans. And so I kind of just did that alongside my marathon training, but I think anything with.
like burpees and like kind of like jump squats and like, so just like kind of getting your body moving, but it's like almost like active cardio, but like cardio, that's not running.
So I really enjoyed that last year
Glee: And what are your thoughts on barefoot running? I don't know if it's common, but I heard somewhere before way before, they have that shoe, it's kind of like very thin
Liz: Yeah, I've
Glee: What are your thoughts on it?
Liz: I don't know. I think it's, it probably depends on like what works for you again. And maybe that works for some people, but I think for me, I, I just find that I need a lot of support for my feet and And yeah, I think it just really depends because I had a friend a few years ago that was wearing some, Nike shoe that was, that didn't have as much support and it was quite thin on the bottom.
And she ended up developing like Some sort of an issue. I think it?
was like Achilles tendonitis or something, but like something where
it probably had to do with the shoe and like just not supporting her enough, but yeah. Again to each their own whatever works for people.
Glee: Yeah. And so what is your fuel when you do your run days or stuff? Like if you could share,
I think you've shared something on your Tiktok, but yeah.
Well typically before runs I'm not someone who can like go on a run and just not eat. So for me, it has to be like typically it's a banana with like sometimes it's like rice cake and peanut butter. If it's like a shorter run or if it's a longer run, probably like acacao oats or sweet potato.
Always just like carbohydrates before runs. And then again, if it's like a longer run, all that, either carry like electrolytes with me, or I have some like energy gel packs that I'll eat during the run. And kind of just like plan out when I'm going to eat them. Yeah, especially as it gets to anything above 14 miles, I definitely take more than one energy gel pack just to make sure that my body is properly fueled because you can really feel when your body's like lacking nutrients and lacking carbohydrates and energy.
So just, I think making sure that you're listening to your body and fueling it properly is really important to be successful in your training, in your running.
Glee: Thanks for that advice, Liz. And this might be a very obvious question, but what is the mental skill that runners should have, or should acquire.
Liz: I think one of the biggest things with running that I think people may struggle with is that. It's such an individual sport and it's not like, you're not playing in a team or anything. So you're really only relying on yourself for motivation to keep going. And so I think the most important thing is being able to.
mentally be ready for longer runs and like runs that may be harder for you. But I just remember, like, even during my marathon last year, there were points where, I mean, this was like on a trail, on a mountain in Oregon. So I was just like, there were many points where there was no one around me, but like sometimes I found myself.
Talking out loud to myself and just saying like, come on, come on and keep on going. And like, sometimes you have to just like be your own cheerleader. And like, again, that can totally apply to like anything in life and not just running. But I'm really finding that like in life, in general, as you get older, it's harder to make friends and sometimes you find yourself being on your own a lot more.
And so You have to be kind to yourself. You have to be your own cheerleader a lot of the times. And you know, just making sure that you're talking nicely to yourself and that you're not bringing yourself down.
Glee: Yes. And so other than running and fitness, what are you most passionate about? Other than this running and fitness?
Liz: Yeah. I'd say at the moment I am really passionate about my work actually. And that's something that I feel like a lot of people can't say, but like podcasting is and running or not my day job, but I work in like digital health and I work just with really great people on a really great team It allows me the ability to travel throughout the UK sometimes it's just a really good time. And I think that aside from running, as I'm getting older, I'm learning how important it is to work for a company that has a good work culture, good people, culture. And just have people that actually care about you and not only think of you as just like a worker, but as a human being.
And I, really feel like I found that at this company that I'm at now, and they're really great. And I think I'm just really passionate about healthcare as well. I did my undergraduate in public health and then my master's in health management and yeah, just really passionate about healthcare and like patient advocacy and patient centered care.
Glee: Great. And some fun questions what is the most repeated song in your current playlist?
Liz: Oh, gosh, the most repeated song. I have no idea at the moment. But I can tell you that my like top song on Spotify for 2020, that was like the most played song then was Lose Somebody I think by One Republic.
Glee: Lose somebody. I love one Republic, but I think in my head it's like a different song, but yeah. Great. So if you had to teleport to a place right now, what would it be and why?
Liz: if I could teleport right now, I would want to teleportprobably to Beijing because my. Grandma lives in a nursing home there on my mom's side and I haven't seen her in years and I've been trying to get over there and then COVID just made it even harder. But I, do call her on Weechat most Sundays and we chat and it gives me a great chance to practice my Mandarin.
But yeah, I, I can't wait to go back someday soon and just kind of spend a lot of time in China and.
Glee: Oh, great. Great. Thank you so much, Liz for your time and giving your insights here at gleeful talk show, and please invite our Zesties, where they can find you
Liz: Yeah. So the podcast is called Resiliency in Running. And you can find it on most, if not all listening platforms. I come out with episodes every Sunday at the moment. And yeah, I'm currently doing a series Glee said around The London marathon and training for the London marathon, but the podcast Instagram is at resiliency in running.
And then I'm also doing daily running flogs, which is something I never thought I'd do on Tiktok. And then my account. There is also just at resiliency in running. But yeah, those are kind of all the different social medias, I think.
Glee: Thank you Liz, for being on the show.
Liz: Thank you so much for having me.