A couple of years ago, funnily enough after my last foot surgery, I reached out to several runners to interview them for the blog. When I am looking for motivation, or for people out there who “get” me, I find it very useful and inspiring to talk to runners who possibly have a similar story to mine. I’ll be interviewing a few runners in the coming weeks; maybe you know some of them already, or maybe someone is “new” to you and you find you have a lot in common with them. In any case, I hope you enjoy this feature and meeting these inspiring runners!
Christine Runs Out of the Box
Hey Christine! Nice to meet you! So, tell me… when did you start running? What was your goal at that time?
I started running in 2012 (about a year after my second child was born). At the time, I was ridiculously stressed from running my own business as a freelance content marketing writer and doing all the mom stuff. I started running to blow off steam and set a goal to run three miles without stopping.
Did you reach your initial goal?
Do you have the same goal now, or have your goals changed or evolved with time?
Well, I still want to blow off steam, so that’s still a goal when I lace up. But over time I went from wanting to run a 5K to eventually wanting to run a marathon. I like to push myself and challenge myself.
Have you run any races? If yes, what distance was your first race? What was your experience – did it meet your expectations?
Oh gosh yes! I’ve run too many to count. My first race was a small local 5K, Enfield Runs for a Reason, in Enfield, CT. (I used to live 20 minutes away in West Springfield, MA.) It was what I had hoped for: something low key where I could just treat it as another run and not feel pressure to push too hard.
Have you done other races since then?
Many. I did a bunch of 5Ks, then ran a 10K, then like 15 half marathons, and finally a marathon in January 2019.
What is your favourite distance?
Without a doubt, the half marathon. It’s a challenging distance but the training is manageable.
Do you have a running support network?
I have a few friends that motivate and encourage me, but I’m not formally a member of any running groups. I get a ton of support from my CrossFit coach, who is also RRCA-certified.
What about gear – have you got any gadgets that you love?
I’m a gadget addict. I won’t leave my house without my Garmin Forerunner 235 or my Aftershokz Air headphones. Aside from that, I also need to have my pepper spray, and for longer runs, a handheld water bottle.
What else do you do besides running?
I CrossFit. I love CrossFit – it’s actually really great cross-training! I wrote a post about it here on my blog.
What’s the most positive thing that running has brought into your life?
A sense of accomplishment and mental toughness. I got really tough on my marathon training runs, especially since I ran them alone. I had to keep my mind focused, which was difficult when my legs were screaming obscenities at me.
And it’s been a bonding thing for me and my (newly discovered) half brother and half sister. My half brother and I ran the Rock N Roll San Antonio Half Marathon together.
What, if anything do you find frustrating?
Getting back to running fast after training for that marathon! Seriously, I spent so much time training how to run long, slow distances that I feel like it’s an uphill battle to run a fast half marathon after that. Or even a fast 5K!
Have you been injured at any point? If no, what do you do to avoid injury?
Yes – I had runner’s knee in 2013 (rookie mistake – not enough stretching or strengthening exercises!). And in late 2016, when I was training for my first marathon (that I didn’t end up running), I sprained my ankle really badly on a zero-dark-thirty training run. Like, my training partner and I heard a crack! Now, not only am I very conscious about getting enough mobility work in, but I also do NOT run on unfamiliar sidewalks in the dark. I did at least half of my training runs for the Houston Marathon this time on my treadmill.
What did you go through to recover?
For runner’s knee, it was a matter of physical therapy and strengthening exercises. For the sprained ankle, it was a long, drawn-out process that involved Rock Tape, multiple chiropractor visits, and time not running.
How do you stay motivated when you don’t feel like running?
Oh, that’s a tough one. I tell myself I’m just going to run two miles. Just get out the door, and get in two miles. Usually after a mile I’ll feel better and go at least three. I also like to sign up for races so that I have something to work toward – accountability really helps!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start running, but is maybe too unsure to start for reasons of weight, age, lack of athleticism?
It is NEVER too late to start. Do Couch to 5K. Run at your own pace. The hardest part is just getting started, but if I can do it, so can you. Seriously. I was 33 before I ever bought a proper pair of running shoes, and I wasn’t an athlete. I didn’t even play sports as a little kid. Go get fitted for running shoes, find a training plan that will get you started, and get moving.
Want to know more about Christine? What would you ask her? Did you use the C25K program (or something similar) to start running? What do you think about CrossFit and strength training for runners? Do you run to release stress?
Thanks for participating Christine and see you around the internet!
Would you like to be in the spotlight? Drop me a line at runlaugheatpie AT gmail DOT com.
The Running Coaches Corner