I thought long and hard about my Spotlight post and I finally decided to do a Q & A post. I asked my friends and fellow bloggers to submit questions via my Facebook and Instagram pages. Here are their questions and my responses.
Holly from HoHo Runs asked, "What motivated you to sign up for your first race? Which one was it and what were your thoughts?"
My running obsession began with the Cow Patty Trot 5K in March 2012. My mom asked my dad and I to join her on this 5K for her birthday. I hated running and I had done little to no physical activity in years. My Mom ran in several 5K's leading up to this race, and I didn't dare try to keep up with her. My plan was to walk with my dad. We just wanted to stay ahead of the sag wagon and beat the two women in the cow costumes. Dad and I maintained a 15 minute mile walking. I sprinted the last quarter mile to the finish. I guess you could say I experienced a "runners high" because I felt so accomplished the remainder of that day. I enjoyed the race much more than I imagined I would. I made it my goal that day to work to improve in running and try to run a 5K without stopping to walk. My mom encouraged me to chase that goal and we signed up for another 5K later that afternoon.
I was wearing cotton and the race shirt on race day. Can't you tell it was my first race? You can read my full recap and see more pictures here.
Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin asked, "Which race have you attended that was the furthest from you?"
I haven't traveled to many races although there's several that I would love to run one day. I don't have a goal to cover all 50 states, but I would love to cover the Southern states. So far I've completed races in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Tennessee. The St.Jude Memphis Marathon is the furthest I've traveled. I just did the math and it tops my trip to New Orleans by approximately 17 miles.
Kim from Running on the Fly asked, "What's your favorite race day outfit?"
My favorite race day outfit is my St.Jude Hero singlet. This December will be my third year fundraising and running as a St.Jude Hero in the St.Jude Memphis Marathon weekend. St.Jude Memphis marathon is about so much more than finishing a race, it's about helping families and saving lives. I run as a St.Jude Hero in memory of my brother Raymond who lost his battle to two types of cancer in December 2003. He was just 13 years old when he passed. For me, no other race compares to St.Jude Memphis Marathon. Every runner has a story, their lives affected in some way by childhood cancer.
In 2013, Mom and I planned to run our first half for the ten year anniversary of Raymond's passing. Unfortunately, the race was cancelled due to winter storm Cleon. You can read about our trip to Memphis here.
In 2014, Mom and I returned to Memphis. I ran my first full marathon and my mom paced me for the first half. You can read about our race here.
Katherine from I RUN This Life asked, "As runners, we all have bad runs every now and again. How do you motivate yourself to just keep going?"
I think the key to getting through the tough times is to think of something or someone who motivates you to be the best version of you possible. For me, it's my brother. I want to live each day in a way that would make him proud. I think about Raymond a lot when I'm running. I run most of my runs alone and sometimes I feel his presence with me. It could be something as simple as a song on my iPod, a butterfly, or a breeze that reminds me of him.When I'm struggling through a run, I think of the strength he showed in the final year of his life undergoing numerous surgeries, chemo, and radiation treatments. He always had a smile on his face and he never once complained. If he could endure all that surely I can push through a few more miles.
Co-worker and friend Erica asked, "What do you do if you feel yourself getting winded?"
When I first started running I got winded often. I also got the dreaded side stitches. I've learned to better pace myself. I don't get winded often unless it's the final stretch of a race when I'm really pushing myself. If I do get too winded, I back off my pace and take regular walk breaks until I feel comfortable to continue running.
Pascal from Pascal's sport and testingblog asked, "What are your goals for 2016?"
That's a great question and one that I'm still reflecting upon. It has been my goal for the past two years to run 1,200 miles total. Last year, I missed my goal by 60 miles. This year, I'll do good to log 1,000 miles. I was sick with pneumonia this Spring and I took almost a month off. It was hard to get motivated after that. I am going to try again to log 1,200 miles for the year in 2016. Maybe the third attempt will be the charm. I also plan to do at least one race a month. I want to do better about cross training. I've had my bike for almost a year now and I can count on one hand how many times I've ridden it. That needs to change! I ran my first sub 2:00 half marathon last month, a long term goal of mine. I'm proud of my time of 1:59:57, but I would love to improve that time next year. I've got one goal remaining for 2015, improve upon last year's marathon time of 4:53:46. My goal last year was to finish, preferably under 5 hours. This year I'm hoping for a 4:40-4:45. I may run a third marathon in 2016, but there's several half marathons that I would like to run and it's hard to fit all those races in my marathon training schedule.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a question for this Q & A. I hope you've enjoyed reading my responses. I look forward to getting to know each one of you better through this blog hop.