Tina Riggins-Mickelson, 32, of Chico, California, is keeping her eyes on the prize (a sub-4:00 marathon) once she gets out of the clutches of her physical therapist for a laundry list of lower-body issues (tendintis, inflamed ligaments, IT band issues, you name it).
Best recent run? Ohhh, I haven’t run in so long. But the first 20 miles of the California International Marathon, where I was on pace to bring in a sub-4:00, was amazing. I felt like I was floating for most of it...until I had to stop at mile 20 to pee. I just never got my mojo back. Physical therapy has taken most of my athletic energy lately but I did have a few great hikes and bike rides in Yosemite Valley a couple of weeks ago with my husband and kids. Those rivaled my best runs ever.
How I got my nickname: My nickname Mighty Mite, or MM, is from my friend Ed. He is such an inspiration to me on the trail and in life. I took up kettlebells pretty seriously before CIM 2009 to strengthen my core. For the first time ever I could see muscles in my arms, legs, back, and toosh. As I was throwing around weights, I was also speeding up during group workouts and Mighty Mite came to be.
I knew I was a runner when: I ran varsity track as a freshman in high school, but after my family moved to a new school district, I gave up on cross country and track and field. Then when I was 29, I was diagnosed with osteopenia. To offset already low bone mass, I needed to do something. I signed up for my first half marathon program through our local Fleet Feet. My second-chance journey into running led me to an amazing group of friends and somewhere between the 10K group that first summer and marathon group runs that fall, I became one of them, someone who looks in the mirror and sees a runner.
Being injured sucks worse than: bronchitis at Disneyland. I know, I’ve been there. But the bronchitis resolved itself a lot more quickly than what the doctors and a PT are trying to fix now. Lesson to be learned: Don’t ignore the pain or your coach’s advise. As Alan, Fleet Feet Coach extraordinaire, would say, “You need to get the little niggles sorted out.”
Photography is: my creative outlet and the job I love to go to. Seeing people do things that come naturally to them makes me happy. I love senior portraits and weddings. I may be directing people to do things, but the best pictures come from people being themselves. Getting paid to do it once in a while is icing on the cake.
Top three things on my life bucket list: Backpack the John Muir Trail; run that first sub-4 hour marathon for a worthy cause (like Jack’s Fund for Melanoma Research because I was diagnosed with Stage II Malignant Melanoma in high school); and most of all see my sons, then grandkids, graduate high school and collage, get married, and have kids of their own.
From 1 to 10, level of disappointment at not meeting SBS and Dim at Nike Women’s? (ha, ha): I’d have to say about an 8 to match that awful race where I puked at miles 6 and 7 and came in 10+ minutes slower than my first half marathon.
Follow this mother at: http://gottagrubnrun.blogspot.com/