I am so excited today to highlight another of The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans Couch to 5k graduates! This past week, runners have been lacing up and completing their Shamrock Shuffle 5k or 10k races. We haven’t had a sister spotlight in awhile and I thought this was the perfect opportunity. Today’s spotlighted sister, Erica, did not complete the Shamrock Shuffle because she was a little busy running a half marathon and another 5k! I had the chance to “meet” Erica during our first round of c25k and I’m so thrilled that she’s continued running. Erica was gracious enough to answer some questions for you, our readers. So without further ado, I give you our Sisterhood Spotlight: Erica!
Family: Husband, two cats, one dog
Do you blog? Yep. I recently started a blog to chronicle my running, swimming, and weight loss: www.runswimteach.blogspot.com (go follow her!)
Why did you join c25k? I started C25k on January 5, 2014. It was my second attempt. I had started the program in the summer of 2013 but only made it to week 4 due to some personal issues (mainly buying a house). I have been interested in running for several years, but never really thought I could do it. I finally got serious about my weight loss in October 2013. When a local gym waived joining fees for the New Year, I took advantage of the opportunity and started C25k right away. I ran my first 5k on a treadmill on February 20, 2014 and I ran a 5k outside for the first time on February 27, 2014.
Most memorable recent run: Participating in my first half marathon. My best friend has been a runner for several years. At the time I started running, she was already signed up for a half marathon on March 8, 2014. My friend and I began sharing our running experiences, and sometime in mid-February my friend surprised me by signing me up to join her in the half marathon! I was really nervous and scared, but I accepted the challenge. When race weekend arrived, I set a goal of running the first 3 miles and then walking the rest of the course. Since I had rested for several days, I was feeling really good the morning of the half marathon. It was so awesome to be part of the race experience, and I was immediately put at ease when I saw a variety of shapes, sizes, and ages at the half marathon. I also really liked that this event had staggered starts, so I started with the first group at 7 AM. It was only 35 degrees, but I was glad to start early. I felt amazing at the start of the race. Before I hit the 3 mile mark, I knew I wanted to keep going. By the time I got to mile 4, I had convinced myself to try for 5 miles…and by the time I had gotten that far, I decided I was going to make it to 6.2 miles (10k distance)! I knew I might regret the decision because I still had a long walk to finish the race, but I did it! My goal going into the half marathon was to finish within 5 hours. I ended up finishing in 3:50:01. Crossing that finish line was an amazing feeling! I already have plans to do the same half marathon next year…and I fully intend to run the entire course!
Running skirt, shorts or capris? Capris!
Morning or night runner? In the evenings after work.
Race experiences? See above. I also completed my first 5k race on March 15, 2014. As my best friend noted, yes, I ran in a half marathon before I ran in a 5k!! I’ve always been the type to do things the unconventional way, and I guess running is no different. (I love this!)
Any added benefits from running? Improving my overall fitness level. I also love running because it’s so personal. I set my own goals, my own pace, and my own PR. I’ve learned that other runners (for the most part) don’t care about what I’m doing, or how fast I’m going. It’s all about personal gain, and I can push myself as hard as I choose. I’ve currently lost 46 pounds since October 2013 and running has become a big part of my success. I look forward to my runs and I am constantly pushing myself to improve.
Any running pet peeves? It’s a silly one, but I hate it when people ask why I would “pay money” to run in a race. Um, race shirts and medals! Plus, I love having something to look forward to, and I think it’s motivating to try to beat my current PR at the next race!
Describe your running in 3 words: slow and steady
Upcoming race schedule:
Color Me Rad in May
Possibly another half marathon in July
And I’m sure a few other 5ks this summer!
Right now I am working on increasing my 5k speed. I also just started running with my dog.
Thank you so much, Erica, for allowing us to be a part of your journey and for continuing to motivate our runners. I can’t wait to see how you (and your pup) continue to progress!