How did you get introduced to running?
My relationship with running started in 2017. My best friend just finished her first half marathon, and said “we can totally do a marathon” – thinking that would NEVER ACTUALLY stick to the plan for longer than a month, I said, “of course we can!”. Little did I know, she was serious, I had a training schedule sent to me, and we actually started running. I just remember how absolutely hard it was to start running, and how much I hated it, but after I finished my first race (I think it was a 10k and I was convinced it was going to be the end of my running career), I was really struck by the sense of accomplishment I had, and that fueled the rest of my marathon training…the rest is history.
What do you love most about running?
Simply put: WE.ARE.ALL.RUNNERS.
Your pace doesn’t matter, and your distance doesn’t matter…you still get to call yourself a runner. EVERY time I race, I am struck by how awesome it is that people running a 5 minute and 15 minute pace get to share in the same course, same experience, same finisher’s medal, and same feeling of accomplishment at the finish. It’s just so freaking cool.
Have you gone through periods of time where you feel unmotivated? What has helped you get back out there?
I think we ALL have been unmotivated (at some point). I learned the most important thing about losing your motivation is to not panic about losing your motivation. It’s also a good time to go cheer at a race. I think the times we are less motivated are also great times to explore other hobbies, or to give back to running. Last year, I stood near the finish line at the She.is.beautiful race and screamed and cowbelled for everyone coming in… by the end of the day my heart was full – simply being able to give back to the sport is sometimes the best medicine.
Do you believe there is a correlation between running and the other areas of your life?
YES! I have found that running has really helped me become more grateful in more areas of my life. Running has also helped me be comfortable with adversity and failure. Not every run will feel great, successful, or end with magic rainbows and unicorns, but all of those micro “fails” of not having a good run, has taught me so much about how there are no REAL failures in life, just opportunities to improve myself, look at an outcome differently, or just pivot and reframe.
You are a running coach. What inspired you to take on this role?
I feel like running has given me so much. It’s helped me find my voice, it’s helped me believe in myself, and it’s helped me keep focused on the big picture. But I also remember that when I started running there weren’t any good resources for me to refer to to help me decide how to train, how I should cross train, or even basics, like picking appropriate running shoes, what and when to eat during a race, etc. Yet it felt like coaching was only reserved for fast people who had the potential to do big things, and that because I was a slower runner, I wasn’t “worthy” of being coached…It was my run friends who convinced me that I was worthy of coaching, and sought out an awesome coach who’s helped me become a better runner.
I wanted to be the coach who only worked with beginner and intermediate runners, so they knew they had someone in their corner cheering for them, guiding them, and willing to answer any question, even if it seemed silly. If you have a goal, I want to help you get there. Coaching is an opportunity for me to give back to the sport that has given me so much…and we are all worthy of quality coaching.
You have participated in She.is.beautiful a number of years. What do you love most about this race?
I’ve been to other women’s races, but this one has such a strong sense of deep rooted sisterhood. She.is.beautiful can really be summed up in a race interaction I had a few years ago. I had about ¾ of a mile to go and was deep in the pain cave, when I locked onto this woman ahead of me, and I used her as my “rabbit” – that is, I was chasing her; not with the intent of beating her, but to help myself dig deep and finish strong. I thanked and hugged her shortly after finishing…then less than 2 minutes later another woman walked up to ME and said she was using me as HER rabbit to finish strong and dig deep.
It was this sense that we could create a chain reaction of inspiration for one another that really stuck me. And that’s something we can do daily – inspire one another to keep going and dig deep, because you KNOW you have a community cheering you every step of the way. I’ve never had that experience at any other race, but I know this is why She.is.beautiful is such a special event and why I now look forward to it every year.