“I think that in order to do special things, especially in running, you really have to put yourself out there. And a lot of times, it doesn’t go how you want it to. But you can learn a lot from the times that don’t go right. When things go right, you’re like yeah, that was fun, that was easy… But the ones where you really have to work for it, you really have to put your head down and grind it out, go to a dark place, get it done — you grow so much more in those situations, and you take so much more away from those times.”
What happens when you set big, dreamy, lofty goals — but when it counts the most, you fall short? That’s what this series, “Just Missed,” is about. These conversations are about dealing with disappointment. They are reminders that progress is never linear, and that it’s not always the big wins or the losses that define us, but the moments in between.
Last week, we heard from former professional runner Julia Lucas. This week, HOKA NAZ Elite athlete Kellyn Taylor is here.
Throughout her professional career, Kellyn has seen some major breakthroughs and has celebrated plenty of exciting moments. There was her win at the 2018 Grandma’s Marathon, where she ran a 2:24 just eight weeks after dropping out of the Boston Marathon. In 2019, she ran a personal best in the 5K, finished third at USATF Outdoor Championships, and placed seventh at the New York City Marathon.
But along the way, she’s dealt with some tough stuff, too. There was that DNF in Boston. Injuries. And a handful of near-misses in pursuit of becoming an Olympian — most notably, in 2016, when she finished sixth at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, and then finished fourth in the 10K at the Track & Field Trials a few months later. Then, last year, she hoped to make the U.S. Olympic Marathon Team — again — but finished eighth. Now, Kellyn, who is also a mom, a foster parent, and a trained firefighter, is gearing up for this summer’s Track & Field Trials, where she again hopes to make the 10K team.
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