We dig Erika, a SAHM of two in Arlington, Virginia, for a bunch of reasons—she started running to beat post-partum depression, and her goal now is to do one in every state! Plus, she’s experimenting with barefoot running.
Best recent run: My best recent race was a 5K where I rocked my Vibrams, a running skirt (not my normal style), and placed second in my age group. But my best run recently was this past weekend. Seven miles on a really cold, windy day. What made it special? Absolutely no Achilles pain.
Blew away the blues: When my son was six weeks old, I found myself spending part (okay, a large part) of every day sitting on the couch, crying while I nursed him. I mourned my old life and was convinced I’d never have fun again. Intellectually, I knew the baby days would fly by, but at that moment, I was certain my future held nothing but nursing, diaper changes, and no sleep. While waiting for my OB to call me back, I got on the treadmill. I won’t say life suddenly became all rainbows and unicorns, but by the end of the first “run,” I could feel a glimmer of my old self peaking through. It wasn’t a quick fix, but over the next few months, I slowly ran my way out of the darkness.
Leaving the shoes behind: I grew up running barefoot around my grandparents’ farm. I still love being without shoes, so it seemed a natural progression to try running barefoot. I built my mileage slowly and ran an awesome 5K in September in my Vibram FiveFingers. Due to an Achilles injury, I’m having to rebuild my barefoot mileage, but so far, so good.
Morning, nuun, and night: I’m not a fan of plain water, unless it’s hot outside and the water is really cold. This makes it difficult for me to rehydrate during and after a run. I found nuun after my first marathon and now drink it pretty much every time I run (and sometimes when I haven’t!) I love that it adds flavor to the water without adding a lot of calories or aspartame. Now my only problem is trying not to drink an entire tube of tablets every day.
Coach Erika: I love running, so it made sense to get my RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) coaching certification. I also plan to get certified with NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine). My target clients are new and returning runners, particularly moms coming back from childbirth. It’s going better than I ever imagined. I’ve already got a group of runners I’m training for their first 5K as well as a small number of online clients. And, umm, I haven’t even advertised yet...
Watch this: What? Doesn’t everyone wear their watch and their Garmin at the same time? I blame my older son, who did not sleep through the night until he was four. For much of that time, he woke up every.two.hours. I developed a need to know just how little sleep I was getting. He’s nine now (and wakes up a whole lot less), but now I’m totally addicted to knowing what time it is.
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