I am inspired (and a wee bit envious of) by folks like Kerrie Hilton, a 33-year-old mom of three in St. Louis. She averaged 7:40-minute/miles in a 10-mile race last month—less than two years after she took up running and lost 55 pounds. Since February 2009, she’s cranked out four half-marathons and three marathons, and she shows no signs of losing her passion (or her speed).
Best recent run: I ran a 5-miler right before my marathon last month. It was supposed to be a tempo run, but I was just going by feel. I wound up running it in 36:43, beating my 5-mile race PR [personal record] by 18 seconds... while training. Everything just felt so smooth and easy.
55 pounds of excess baggage: I knew something had to change after a trip to my OB (one year after my youngest was born), when I discovered that I weighed 211 pounds. A friend introduced me to Weight Watchers, but I lost the weight on my own while discovering running. I now weigh 150 pounds (give or take), and have enjoyed success with my running (including overall and age group awards), as well as discovering triathlon last July.
Marathon is my nemesis: In my first marathon, I relied on a pace group that ultimately led me to my demise. With no Garmin, I stuck like glue to the 3:40 pacers (which I was in shape to run). They picked up the pace to 7:30s at about mile 8; I fell off pace by mile 11; and I bonked by mile 15. I signed up for a revenge race (why waste all that fitness?) just seven weeks later. I tore a muscle (the rectus femoris) in mile 18. I basically limped to the finish and had to use a walker for a week, then crutches. I learned to swim and ride a bike while rehabbing the leg, but I was unable to run for nearly three months. About a year later (mid-December 2010), I ran my third marathon. I was in incredible shape, but wound up with terrible stomach problems in a poorly organized race with one bathroom. Maybe this year I will have my day....
Can’t run without: Lipgloss!! I don’t like to have a lot of gear, but the Garmin is a necessity. Zensah calf sleeves are a must for recovery. I even sleep in them.
It takes a team: I love being a part of the Fleet Feet Racing Team here in St. Louis. The best part about is you don’t have to do anything extra like attend meetings or pay dues. You just race and submit your information. Easy! They use a points system, so runners of all ages and abilities can fairly compete against one another. They offer social runs for walkers and runners of all abilities, allowing you to meet people who run your same pace. It’s also nice to see familiar faces at races and in pictures on Facebook page. When I was injured and unable to race, I enjoyed seeing what everyone was doing. It gave me the added motivation to get better and get out there!
Indoor/Outdoor? Running, for me, is never about just getting it done. I like the whole experience, looking for new places to run and new ways to challenge myself. No matter the condition, I run outdoors. Running is mostly mental: I think a lot of people get worked up about the conditions when running outside, making it impossible for them to get out there. I feel like I have all the necessary gear to have a comfortable run, so why not? I know the treadmill works for a lot of people and that’s great. Mentally, I can’t do it. The longest I have lasted on a treadmill has been three miles: It was absolute torture to me.
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