I have the honor of writing a very special post today – I get to highlight my beautiful daughter, Kaylee! Kaylee is no stranger to training and athleticism. She began competing in gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling at the age of 9, played volleyball, dove and ran track in middle school, and was a 4-year varsity letter winner in diving and track and field as a high-schooler, even making it to State in diving as a Junior (she finished 33rd in the state in D1 – I’m not a proud mom or anything!). In addition to athletics, Kaylee is finishing her Freshman year of college at Florida State University with a 4.0 and is a member of the FSU Marching Chiefs. Clearly, hard work, time management, and dedication are second nature for her.
What Kaylee never really enjoyed was running. You know the expression, “your sport is my sport’s punishment”? That was Kaylee. Even though she was on the track team, she hated running. She ran a couple 5Ks during high school but never had any interest in following in her mother’s
crazy running shoes and training for anything farther than that. Plus, thanks to youth and genetics, she never really needed to train for the 5Ks anyway. Oh, to be a teenager.
So when Kaylee mentioned to me that she thought she’d like to run a half marathon this summer, I jumped at the chance to get her there. Let me tell you, attempting to “coach” your own offspring is no easy task. Those moms and dads who coach Pee-Wee Soccer and Little League? I applaud you. It’s a completely different animal and I’m seeing how Kaylee is similar to me in so many ways. She’s stubborn and numbers oriented, but she’s also dedicated and reliable. Since she began training, she hasn’t missed a single workout. I can’t say that for myself.
As a newbie-ish runner, I thought she could give some perspective to the Shrinking Jeans community on what it’s like to train for your first half marathon. Therefore…I give you an interview and new runner spotlight: Kaylee!
Why did you start running? I started running at the beginning of the year to try to stay in shape (avoid the freshman fifteen) since I no longer had Marching Chiefs practice everyday.
What has been the most challenging aspect of training so far? Moving from Michigan to Florida I’ve had to get used to running in the heat and humidity and I still struggle with that now.
What has been the most rewarding? When I first started running I could barely run a mile, now I’m up to 6 miles and that just blows my mind seeing how far I’ve come and how much stronger I’ve gotten in the last 4 months.
What are you training for? I am currently training for my first half marathon. (editor’s note – she will be running a local race in Michigan in June along the Lake Michigan shoreline.)
Music when you run? Why or why not? I do not listen to music when I run. I find it distracting because I’ll just want to sing along and then I’ll be even more out of breath than I already am and earbuds aren’t comfortable and can be annoying when they don’t stay in your ears or you accidentally pull on the cord. I prefer to just let my mind wander.
How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run? I remind myself how far I’ve come and that if I skip this run the next one will be even harder.
Is there anything surprising about running that you have learned to love? I’ve come to enjoy running which is really surprising to me considering I used to hate having to do a half-mile warm up for track.
What is your favorite piece of running gear? My favorite piece of running gear is either my shoes (because they’re pretty) (editor’s note – she’s been fitted, I didn’t let her just pick “pretty” ones) or my handheld water bottle.
What are you most worried or nervous about when it comes to training for your first half marathon? My biggest fear is that I won’t be able to finish the race. (She will finish. Coach Mom will make sure of that.)
Any advice for other newbies looking into starting a running program? There will be times when you’ll want to give up but you just have to keep going. Like many other sports, running is a mind game. You’ve trained your body and now the next step is to train your mind.
Seriously…how did my 18-year-old daughter get so wise? I was privileged to make a trip to Florida over spring break and while I was there, Kaylee took me on a running tour of campus. She’s become such a great runner and running all those hills has made her STRONG. I had a hard time keeping up and she completely smoked me on the uphills! I am beyond proud of all she’s accomplished so far and cannot wait to see her cross that finish line in June.
If there is anything you’d like to ask Kaylee about running or any of her other sports, hit us up in the comments!