I met Marcia Grajewski, 34, on Twitter; I viewed with awe after reading her blog. This mother of two teaches Spinning, has qualified for the Boston Marathon, and won a “Figure Show” (a bodybuilding spin-off) after the birth of her older child. Lately, however, she’s struggled with some lung/breathing issues that have slowed her down.
Best Recent Run: It’s a good thing I procrastinate (I mean, work well under pressure), because I just had one of my best runs this past weekend! I have been struggling with acute asthma and vocal cord dysfunction (it mimics asthma, but is not asthma…long story). Last Saturday I had no flare-ups of either ailment; the weather was perfect; my miles were consistent (albeit not speedy). I ran 12 miles at a 10-minute pace and felt the best I have in months.
It all started with a 25K: I ran track in middle and high school; I was a sprinter (the longest distance was 400 meters) and a long jumper. I ran for fun during college, never really going past five miles. I never saw myself as a long-distance runner. EVER. Fast forward to life after kids: I wanted to lose the lingering pounds from pregnancy and decided to join my local running club to train for the Fifth Third River Bank 25K Run. I thought I was going to keel over after my first three-mile training run in the snow. But I stuck with it, and after finishing that 25K, there was no turning back. After that, I was talked into training for the Chicago Marathon. Sure, why not? So I ran that as well. Since then I have trained for and done many more races (5K’s, duathlons, 10K’s, half-marathons, mud runs, and there was that time I qualified for Boston….)
Always Andi:My running partner, Andi, and I first met when she took my daughter’s
school pictures, but we became friends three years later when she found herself in my spin classes. I won’t say I introduced Andi to the sport of running…okay, yes I will! She has always been an athlete, but was not a big fan of running anything farther than up and down a basketball court or around the bases on the softball field. I talked her into joining the running club with me, and now she’s my partner in crime. She motivates me like no other and is one of my biggest fans and supporters. We are both competitive (really, who likes to lose???) but she is Type A all the way where as I lean more toward Type B traits. I think we are a perfect balance. I can talk her off the ledge, and she can push me to stand up for myself when necessary.
Won’t Give up: I have had a few setbacks that have made me give up on running (my asthma and vocal cord dysfunction), but I don’t want to stop running just because I am not as fast as or as good as I was way back when. I thought about it and it is very frustrating at times, but I just push on. I know in my heart things will get better for me and if they don’t, well, I will still run, race, and compete! I have two legs and a functioning body so I might as well use them!
A family affair: My kids love to run and I LOVE that. My 7-year-old daughter has completed three 5Ks (at 5, 6, and 7 years old), and she can’t wait to do more. My almost 4-year-old son has done a 1-mile race as well. It makes me so happy and excited to see them both out there enjoying something I love. My husband’s first love is fly fishing, but every year he runs a few races with our daughter, Amara, and he does a few without her to show his support of what I love.
Cross-training is my middle name: In my “spare time” I teach group fitness classes (and have for more than 15 years). I teach about six to eight classes a week--Spinning, cardio, and toning classes. I try to fit in running where I can, which currently is two or three times a week. While training for my first marathon, running was my cross-training! I was only able to run two or three times a week while instructing 10 classes a week. It was crazy! Time permitting (ha!), I try to squeeze in hot yoga and time on my road bike with my husband.
Shhh, don’t tell: My secret goal is to nip this vocal cord issue in the bud and qualify and actually run Boston. That would be awesome!