Now it's time for another runner spotlight...my favorite time of the week! I love reading other runners' stories about their running journey! If you are interested in being spotlighted on my blog please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I'd love to spotlight you! You don't have to have a blog to be spotlighted...you just have to be a runner! ;-)
Today I'm spotlighting Maria from Lil Mys Ninja! I love reading about Maria's running adventures! She's also an animal lover...and all kinds of other totally awesome things! Keep reading to learn more about her and her running journey!
State: South Carolina
When and why did you start running?
Years ago my busy on-the-go-go-go life slowed down and I soon realized that I packed on quite a few pounds for my little 4 foot 11 inch frame. So I began running to lose weight. I didn't really love it, I merely liked it and sometimes it felt like a chore. Then in 2007, I experienced a set back in my running when I was in a traumatic fatal car accident. I was very lucky compared to the other two drivers. Mental and emotional injuries aside, the major physical injuries I experienced along with the abrasions, bruises and whiplash were a broken right foot and a extremely bad sprained left ankle. Eventually I healed, but it took over a year for the residual aches to subside. I seriously thought I wouldn't be able to run again without pain. Then in 2011, I finally returned to running with a determination that I didn't have before. I continue to run because I CAN. Today I love love LOVE running and am extremely grateful that I am able! All it takes is the scare of not being able to do something to make you appreciate it that much more.
What is your favorite race and race distance?
The one race that I've done for several years and can't explain why I love it other than the fact that I'm completely in love with the bridge is the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC. It's a 10k race but my favorite race distance is actually a 5k. I say that now but I just recently completed my first half marathon and my mind is reeling with ideas for my next SEVERAL half marathons!
It really depends on where the race is and what distance. Most of the races I do are local so it's easy for me to hit the snooze button over and over again on race day. Then I'll crawl out of bed to the bathroom to wash my face, put in my contacts and brush my teeth. If I'm out of town then my race outfit and gear are already out and ready for me. But if I'm in my hometown, I normally just grab whatever I feel like wearing that day and throw it on. I'll feed the dogs then fuel myself with Energybits and water if necessary. (If it's just a 5k, I normally go without food or fuel because I'm a morning runner and used to running that distance fasted.) Then it's time to put the dogs in their kennels, throw on my shoes and run out the door. Pun intended.
What is your most favorite piece of running gear?
My Garmin Forerunner 210 and my Yurbuds! But if I'm running with my dog Elijah, then my favorite piece of running gear is his handsfree running leash. Best.Thing.Ever.
I don't follow a diet per se, I just really try to eat healthy. I try to aim for an 80% versus 20% ratio. As far as supplements, the only thing I use are Energybits which is technically a food and not a supplement. I've been fueling with them since the end of September and haven't needed anything else.
What do you wish you’d known when you first started running?
Oh where to start??
- Getting fitted for proper running shoes is a must!
- Be patient, the improvements will come!
- Train! Yes...training is important. You can't always just "wing it."
- You can't expect to PR every single race and not every single run will be better than the first, so don't be too hard on yourself! But make sure you come away from it with something learned.
- Improving your running form really will make you faster.
- Enjoy the run!
From PR'ing a race, to finding a group of running friends and learning from them, to getting faster, to running my first ever half marathon...each running experience holds a special place in my heart that I can't just pick one!
What is one thing that most people do not know about you?
Most people don't know my middle name....Oh, were you waiting for me to tell you what it is?? Okay seriously (and because I'm not going to tell you my middle name), most people don't know that I write poetry. I actually have a blog for my poetry that I haven't done a very good job at keeping up. I have hopes of revamping it and getting back to writing more often. Like running, it's also an escape for me and sometimes a way to express my thoughts.