- My running career – A very brief history!
I consider myself new to the sport of running, completing my first races in 2014. I started running in February 2013 after attending the funeral of my best friend, Mark Fredricks. Mark had run three marathons in his life and was in good shape; his sudden death inspired me to get off the couch and be accountable for my own health. Despite my never being a runner, Mark and I had always talked about running his hometown race, Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, MN, together, but we never got the chance.
Since relocating to Atlanta from Minneapolis in 2008, I had always wanted to run the Peachtree Road Race. I never felt confident enough to enter the lottery, or ever consider joining an “official” running organization to gain entry. After listening to colleagues in the University Advisement Office at Georgia State University talk about preparing for their first PTRR for about 6 weeks, I decided I would commit and do whatever it took to get a bib. I read a blog entry about the new official bib transfer, and posted a Facebook request on the ATC page. I was able to negotiate an official transfer for my first Peachtree, and while at the expo also decided to commit to the Triple Peach (if you can run 6, you can run 10, and if you can run 10, you can run 13…right?). I ran the Peachtree under my goal time of 1 hour (56:56), but knew I would need help to accomplish the longer distances. I joined the Fall In-Training program immediately following the PTRR to ensure I would have a plan to successfully complete the last two legs of the Triple Peach.
In the last year and a half, I have certainly found my passion for running, and reached many significant milestones. I have lost nearly 80 pounds, more than one-third of my total body weight. I have completed more than 25 races including; 5K, 10K, 15K, 4 and 10 mile, and ½ and full marathon distances. I have now run a mile in half the time it took me to run my first in 2013, and I have improved my 5K PR from 34 minutes to under 23 minutes. I challenged myself to run 2015 miles throughout the 2015 year, and surpassed my goal by more than 25 miles. I completed my first marathon, and two others in 2015, and most importantly I registered for, and completed the 2015 Grandma’s marathon!
- Why I chose to support Kilometer Kids by raising funds and Running the NYC Marathon?
I wanted to give back to the ATC, and help grow the running community in Atlanta on a grassroots level. I have learned to love running, both as a competitive sport as well as a form of improving my personal physical health and mental well-being. I was not a natural runner, nor was I introduced to the sport as a child; I had to grow from being a stubborn, determined one, to the passionate one I am today. I know what it feels like to battle with yourself every morning about getting out and hitting the pavement, but I also know what it looks and feels like when you win that battle, and I wouldn’t go back to losing it for even one day if I had the choice. I regret that it took me 38 years and the loss of my best friend to find the joy of running, and believe that the goal of the Kilometer Kids program, “to create lifelong runners, instilling in participants the importance of a healthy lifestyle…kids learn that exercise is a fun and rewarding activity, opening the door for physical activity to become a lifetime habit.” will prevent a next generation of program participants (and their parents) from making the same lifestyle choices I made early in my adulthood. In addition, as a participant in a multi-age, multi-skill level, incremental, and incentive based program, kids can progress over time into better and faster runners, while parents and teachers offer support and a safe environment perceived limitations can be challenged and overcome.
I look forward to completing my first NYC Marathon in 2016, and could not be happier about sharing this experience with an amazing group of young women while supporting the Kilometer Kids program.
- My future running goals?
- In 2016 I hope to guide friends to:
- A Boston qualifying finish at the Albany Marathon (Bob Wells)
- The completion of a first marathon distance race at Flying Pig (Tina Tait)
- A first ever sub-30 minute 5K (Stephanie Reynolds)
- To join the ranks of the Marathon Maniacs (March 2016, Albany and Publix)
- To complete my first half Ironman 70.3 in September 2016
- To complete a half marathon in under 90 minutes
- To finish the PTRR in the top 1000 runners (and earn a sub-seed bib)
- To QUALIFY and RUN the Boston Marathon before my 50th Birthday
- In 2016 I hope to guide friends to:
- My current Personal Bests:
- 1 Mile: 5:52
- 5K: 21:28
- 10K: 44:38
- 1/2: 1:34:35
- Full: 3:37:50
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