Conquering Mental Health Struggles and Eating Disorder USA’s 29YO Athlete “Very Excited” for Much Anticipated Chicago Marathon

Published 10/07/2023, 7:55 AM EDT

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With the Chicago Marathon right around the corner, it is important to understand what goes on inside the mind of athletes pre-race. Endless training and the loneliness of long distances play a big role in the mental and physical struggles of Athletes. Struggling with injuries and bad headspace could be a huge disadvantage for an athlete, no matter what sport it is, being in the good headspace, and having that mental space to just relax is very important for an Athlete.

Competing at such a global scale can also be mentally exhausting. Having the right mindset and mental discipline is key to achieving new heights. International athletes have been vocal about having the right headspace, prioritizing mental health, taking time to relax, recover from injuries, and giving their body and mind time, to recover not only from physical injuries but to identify the trauma around them and heal mentally too.

The right headspace for the Chicago Marathon

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She started her career with incredible achievements, coming in second position in Olympic qualifiers, sixth in the prestigious London marathon, and then winning the Bronze at the Olympics. The start of her marathon career was filled with the highest highs. Even finishing the New York marathon in 2:24:42 making personal best and clinching the fourth spot. To have a setback when you are on an uphill of achievement could be a big breaker and that is what happened with her after her injury. 

There was a lot of anxiety post-Olympic and the fracture in her sacrum was a setback for Molly and it took away from her the high that she was on. Comeback since then has been slow for her, even after the injury she pulled her glute, and then another injury led her to pull out of the Boston Marathon at Mile 16. After getting diagnosed with ADHD, she started a prescription for Adderall and everything was leading to eating disorders and her being physically and mentally weak. 

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Courageously opening up about her struggles, Molly spoke openly to the Runner’s World on October 22, she said, “ I’m working as hard as I can to come out the other side but it’s a huge sense of shame and a sense that I’ve just let a ton of people down. People expect me to be fully cured, fully healed, be an advocate for this stuff. And it’s not a completely linear thing. I think that’s been the hardest thing. I just want it to be this one linear, upward trajectory. It never is.”

On a journey of healing and excitement

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Now a year later with the Chicago Marathon just around the corner, she is excited and is coming back to her headspace gently. Instead of pushing herself into the race and burdening herself with expectations, she has decided to keep it strong and keep it simple. Talking to the Citius Mag in a pre-race expo she talked about being in the right headspace and thinking of this race as a stepping stone.

When asked how she is feeling, Molly replied that she is feeling really excited, she is using this race as to get back into that momentum, she will try for 2:22 and if she is feeling good, she will either stick to it or move up. She added that being able to go out and do the race is a big thing for her. Talking about patience, she said, “In marathon, you gotta have patience”. You cannot just rush to the result.

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Chicago Marathon will be a good comeback race for Molly Seidel, she looks good, is in a good headspace, is excited about it and most importantly she is there to have a good race and to enjoy it. As the race starts, in the early heat of the elite runners, a lot of eyes will be on the lookout for Molly Seidel.

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Written by:

Shantnu Dobhal

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Shantnu Dobhal is an American sportswriter at EssentiallySports, who specialises in Weightlifting and Basketball. He is an avid sports enthusiast and comes with a staunch background in content writing. A holder of a master’s degree, Shantnu has always been attached to the world of sports through generations and is into MMA and boxing.
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Edited by:

Ananya Giri