Wichita, KS mother runner Angie Russell has dreamt of running the Chicago Marathon, and in just another few weeks she'll do just that when she takes on her second 26.2. "My first marathon I ran just to finish, but this one I'm running to see what I can do," says Angie, who has three children with husband C.J. "My goal is to run smart, finish strong and enjoy it along the way. I've been training with the Own It plan from Train Like a Mother and absolutely love it. I'm ready to own Chicago on Oct. 12."
Best recent run: Last week I headed out early for my run under the stars. I left the music and podcasts at home and just enjoyed a peaceful run with a beautiful Kansas sunrise.
One thing I would change about a recent race or run: My last goal race was a half-marathon in May. It was a really warm day and by about mile 8 my pace started to slow down and the negative talk in my head took over. I still finished that race with a PR but I didn't meet my A goal, which was to finish under two hours. The mental side of running plays such a huge role in meeting goals. I'm currently reading "Mind Gym" by Gary Mack and it has already made me a stronger runner. Learning to prepare for a tough run or a race mentally ahead of time is important for me.
Craft beer or a glass of wine: Craft Beer! Lately my go-to beverage is Boulevard's Pale Ale but with the seasons changing I'll switch to porters and stouts soon. I'll celebrate 26.2 miles in October with a Samuel Smith's Organic Chocolate Stout for sure!
Hill repeats or track workout: Well, I live in Kansas and so the hill repeats are out. Actually, overall Kansas isn't as flat as people think but my area is pretty flat. I don't have a convenient track to run on either so I just run my 400 interval workouts on the streets and keep track of the distance with my watch.
Favorite meal post-race: I usually go for a nice restaurant style hamburger and fries after a race.
Worst running-related injury, and how I coped: I had several injuries when I ran cross country in high school years ago, but as an adult I've been extremely lucky and avoided injury so far. Unless you count chafing, and for that I just realized I needed to replace my old worn-out bras with a sports bra in a size that actually fit me!
Running + Motherhood: My kids are 4, 3 and 18 months. My husband C. J. is very supportive and I couldn't put in all the miles that I do each week without him. I wake up early, and sure that is hard sometimes, but he gets up with the kids each morning to get breakfast going and start their day right. On Saturdays, when I run my long run of the week, he will often take all three kids to the farmer's market to pick up local produce. They bring fresh flowers home for me every week too. I'm a lucky mommy!
What I thought about on my run today: Today my run was hot and humid. As I crunched through the leaves that were already on the ground I thought of cooler fall weather and wished that it was already here. Then I thought about the day ahead of me and what needed to be accomplished.
Best part about being a runner: Right now in my life the best part about being a runner is that I can be a positive role model for my children. Every day they see me come home from a run and it's just a normal thing. They see me taking care of myself and being active. They are interested in running, too, and my two older children even ran a one-mile race recently.
Loving Racing: I wish someone had told me how fun races were. Even though I've been running forever, I didn't start signing up for races until I was in my 30s. Now my races are a huge motivator for me and help me to get out the door every morning.
My running in three words: strong, mental, dedication.