1. When did you first get started in running?
Very young, I remember running the Saint Patrick's day 2 mile fun run every year starting around the age of 5 or 6. I played every sport I could growing up but I always looked forward to that race the most. In 3rd grade I did AAU summer track for the first time. Which then went into AAU cross country. I didn't miss a season from then on all the way through high school. Then I quit.
Almost 20 years later, once I had moved to Knoxville from Kansas City, I got talked into signing up and running the New Year's Day 5k down at Calhoun's on the river the night before the race. There are pictures of tiny children blowing by me at the end of that race. Seriously. It went so bad, and I was in such bad shape, it took me nearly 2 years before I ran another one.
2. What brought you to Knoxville Endurance?
I had run a few races around town and would notice the different jerseys people would wear. Runners Market, Eddies Health Shop, etc. But also the KE jerseys would stick out. At the Calhoun's 10 miler going over that last hill, and she may have never heard this story before, Kim Emert passes me like I'm in quick sand. (I didn't know her at the time) Her black KE jersey caught my eye and in the back of my mind I made a mental note to look them up. I wanted to be able to have a strong finish like she did that day.
I did the rest of the distance series, Straw plains & Whitestone 30k & Covenant Marathon. I survived those races but knew I wasn't going to get any better running & training on my own. I took a couple weeks off after that Marathon then contacted KE through their website and met with Robin on April 24th.
3. What motivates you to get up everyday and keep running?
A number of different things and they probably change often. But right now: Knowing that the coaches are going to be there for us, no matter the temperature or weather, makes me not want to be a no show on them. Also, I still have a bunch of goals, some I feel like I'm very close to reaching even today. Oh, and a big one is that I love Beer and Pizza, I feel a lot less guilty about having those two things if I've burned a few extra calories that morning!
4. What is the most rewarding aspect of running for you?
The new friendships I've made are awesome. I feel like I'm a bit of a "running nerd", so it's easy being around others who are pretty similar. Who else would be up at 5 am busting their butts every week in any type of weather. Also being able to have an outlet for my competitiveness is pretty great too.
5. What distance do you prefer and why?
I really like them all. I'm not really much of a sprinter but I sure enjoy seeing the 200 meter repeats when they are on my schedule! I may fall in love with the marathon, but ask me that after this next race!
6. What do you consider your biggest accomplishment in regards to running?
The fact that my two youngest children seem to LOVE running. They absolutely beg me now to sign them up for races and the summer track program. I hope they can continue to enjoy that for as long as I have. Any PR or race placing would be second to that without a doubt.
7. What are your goals for this season or upcoming season?
Fingers are crossed that I can remain injury free and healthy enough to just continue to work hard. That's most important to me right now. I finally feel like I'm in good enough shape and lost enough weight to really start to train hard, and then I can set some longer term goals based on what effort levels I can reach in training. Shorter term goals do include running a BQ time though. That's a big bucket list item for me.
8. If you could give a piece of advice to someone thinking about getting started in distance running, what would you say to them?
Just be patient and stick with it. I promise it gets better. The feeling the rest of the day after a hard workout on the track or a Saturday long run is a real gift to yourself. The accomplishment of finishing a race is also so special. Because you have done something, no matter if it's a 5k or all the way up to a marathon, which most people just can't do. And to me that's just awesome!