I am a 47 year old mother of 4 young children, and I sort of "fell" into running in 2009 when a friend of mine persuaded me to run one of the HMF X-Treme Scramble 5K series. Not too excited to run 3.1 miles - a distance I'm not sure I'd ever ran before, I put on a pair of "who knows what kind" of trainers, and I set off for my first 5K - into the unknown! I managed to complete the race in a somewhat comatose state of mind, not really paying much attention to my race time - I was just happy to have finished in one piece! Exhausted, but excited about completing my first 5K I decided to run the next race in the series a month later - a race in which I ran quite a bit faster, because I knew a little bit more about what was in store, and scoring a 4th place in my Division. It was at this time that I began to think that this running malarkey wasn't too bad after all!
My next goal at hand was my first Half Marathon that Fall in Hartford CT. After running 13.1 miles during my training, time then became more of a focus, with a race goal of under 2 hours - which I achieved in 1:54. The whole experience of being one amongst a sea of runners was very emotional and awe inspiring to me - I'd caught "the bug"! Super excited at completing my first Half Marathon under my goal time, I made up my mind to return to Hartford the following year to run the marathon. Not one to do things by halves, I was not only going back to Hartford in 2010 to run the marathon, but to qualify for the Boston Marathon
With not a clue in the world of how to go about training for a marathon, let alone qualify for Boston, I decided to run my first marathon in the spring of 2010 as a 'dummy' run for Hartford to see if I could run the distance. I trained hard by following a marathon schedule I'd found, in what was to become my running bible - The Competitive Runner's Handbook (Bob Glover & Shelly-Lynn Florence Glover). Back then I was not a member of any running club, and did not know any other runners, so I researched and trained the best I could by myself. Running one of the hardest local marathon courses in Holyoke MA on one the first 90 degree days of the year, my first marathon was a gruelling test of will and strength! Since I was only running this marathon for distance and not for time, my 4:24 marathon did not deter me from going after my ultimate goal of qualifying for Boston in Hartford 2010.
I knew I needed some help to qualify for Boston, so it was at this time that I joined the HMF Hartford Marathon training group (Glastonbury River Runners pace group). It was so nice to finally run with other runners all training for the same race, all with their own goals and dreams. Mine of course was qualifying for Boston, which I did indeed accomplish at Hartford 2010 with minutes to spare! I cannot put into words the sheer excitement that I felt at the moment that I knew I'd qualified, but since my husband was nowhere to be found, I hugged the first volunteer that would let me wrap my sweaty, tired and ecstatic arms around him before I completely burst!
I was so fortunate to make some great running friends over the course of my training, and I continue to run with the Glastonbury River Runners to this day. I am also a member of several great local running clubs - Silk City Striders, Hartford Track Club and Manchester Running Company - which I strongly encourage all runners to do. It's awesome running/training as a group, being with people of like mind and goals, and no more running alone all the time!
Since my first marathon there have been many many
long runs, short runs, fast runs and very very tough runs. Like many fellow dedicated and committed runners, I have persevered through extreme cold and heat, early mornings and late nights, all in pursuit of my goals and dreams. I keep on running, because I've found my true passion in life, (aside from
my husband and children of course). A passion that has taught me not
only to be a faster smarter runner, but has given me a confidence and
strength that I never knew I had. It's allowed me to create and execute a new goal for myself - allowed me to travel around the world while going for my goal of running all 6 of the World Marathon Majors, Boston, New York, Chicago, London, Berlin and Tokyo - I have London and Tokyo left to do, a goal that keeps me focused and running to the best of my ability at any given time.
Like many athletes I have some challenges that I have to overcome on a daily basis. As an allergy induced asthmatic runner, I've learnt how to control my triggers and breathing with the help of my Allergist and medication. I also deal with food allergies - wheat,
gluten, dairy, sugar, grains - all foods that keep athletes energized, but I've found ways to successfully substitute, which has actually introduced me to a healthier, cleaner way of eating, making me an even stronger runner I think. Training as a mother of 4, and training others through my business as a Running Coach and Fitness instructor, has it's challenges as well, but I try and embrace both with an energy that makes it all work - well most of the time - I have to say that my husband and children are very gracious, and most of the time very patient with me - thank you, love you guys xxx
As a competitive runner and Running Coach I am,
and will be forever studying, learning, teaching, improving - through research, certifications, other running buddies, (you can learn a lot from other runners) - on how to improve form, posture, stride,
breathing, nutrition, stay injury free - taking my passion, learning and experience, and sharing it with those who are so gracious enough to allow me to coach them, and to those I don't coach, but are willing to listen..ha ha, (I can talk about running all day - it never ceases to amaze me how much there is to learn, and talk about when it comes to running!). One thing that I've learnt about runners along the way, is how generous a community they are. Always willing to share, to help, to encourage - as runners we love what we do so much that we have to pass it along, and hopefully help our community grow and thrive :)
It is, therefore, my commitment as a runner and a Coach, to every friend who I have the honour to train, runner or not, to help them become the best runner that they can possibly be. To be strong, confident, healthy runners... I have the best job in the world as a Running Coach - a job that not only allows me to run, but a job which allows me to meet the most wonderful friends, and share my passion along with theirs - it just doesn't get any better than that!
HAPPY FOREVER HEALTHY & RUNNING :)
This is where my passion, dedication, hard work and sheer determination has taken me so far...where will it take you?
1ST PLACE DIVISION WINNER (18TH OVERALL) AMICA IRON HORSE 10K 2014 - 1ST PLACE DIVISION WINNER (45-49) 77TH MANCHESTER ROAD RACE 2013 1ST PLACE DIVISION WINNER(5TH FEMALE) AMICA IRON HORSE 10K 2013 - MANCHESTER RUNNING COMPANY USATF-CT WOMEN'S AMICA IRON HORSE 10K TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS - 2ND PLACE DIVISION WINNER(45-49) 76TH MANCHESTER ROAD RACE 2012
- 1ST FEMALE FINISHER AWARD MANCHESTER ROAD RACE 2012 (SILK CITY STRIDERS RUNNING CLUB )
- 1ST PLACE DIVISION WINNER (2ND FEMALE) RACE TO FILL THE PANTRY 5K 2012 PR 20:02
- 1ST PLACE DIVISION WINNER (4TH FEMALE) JAMIE'S RUN 5K 2012
- 2ND PLACE DIVISION WINNERAMICA IRON HORSE 10K 2012
- 1ST PLACE DIVISION WINNER (6TH FEMALE) AMICA IRON HORSE 10K 2011
-1ST PLACE DIVISION WINNER(3RD FEMALE) MAX'S O'HARTFORD 5K 2011
- 1ST PLACEDIVISION WINNER AMICA IRON HORSE 10K 2010
- 1ST FEMALEPARKER HOLT CELEBRATION RUN 5K 2010
- MOST IMPROVED FEMALE AWARD 2010(SILK CITY STRIDERS RUNNING CLUB)