This week’s Women’s Running magazine Blogger On The Run is a passionate, driven runner who started running to get in shape during college. Meet Beth from Once in a Mile - she’s head over heels in love with running, currently training for the NYC Marathon and savors the feeling of crossing each finish line she conquers. Read Beth’s story to find out why her favorite post race treat involves bubbles and salt. . .
Women’s Running: How would you describe yourself?
Beth: I’m passionate, enthusiastic, optimistic, energetic, loving and very grateful. I have a huge heart. I thrive when I have a goal. At the end of the day, I’m just a regular girl who feels extremely lucky to have found a love for running. When I find something I love, I’m usually all in.
WR: How did you begin running?
B: It’s a common story. After being an extremely overweight kid in high school, I started running in college as a way to lose weight. I ran maybe 3 or 4 miles, tops, for years. It wasn’t until 2010 that I started to push the distance and see just how far I could go. I started running in Central Park and would set little goals for myself.
Run until you get to the next lamp post and then you can walk.
Run until you get to the water fountain and then you can walk.
Then one day, I didn’t need to walk when I reached the water fountain; I could keep going. I remember the first time I made it around the 6 mile outer loop of Central Park. It was a goal I set for myself and I had reached it. It was amazing. I ran the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K with coworkers in September of 2011 and the rest is history. After crossing that finish line, I wanted more. I signed up for the NYC Half Marathon with a friend on the premise that no one gets in. Long story short, we got in! I ran my first half marathon in March 2012 and recently ran my 5th. Running has forever changed my life. I continue to feel so blessed by all that running has brought into my life in the past year and a half; courage, strength, confidence, determination and incredible new friends.
WR: What keeps you running and training?
B: Running taught me how to go outside my comfort zone. It taught me how to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. Running has made me grow in ways I never thought possible. It has made me look fear in the face and learn how to go after things even when they scare me. Plain and simply, I love to run. Running gives me a sense of purpose. Running makes me feel strong, mentally and physically. It makes me feel alive and adds so much to my life. I think I thrive on training. I’m my best self when training. I’m strong, determined, and confident. I love the structure, the schedule, the challenge and the confidence you get from each successful training run. That feeling of accomplishment and pride you feel when you cross the finish line, often doing something you didn’t think you could do but had the courage to go for anyway, never gets old for me. It’s exhilarating each time.
WR: What type of run is your favorite?
B: I will always love the long run. I love getting lost in my thoughts, often for hours. I do some of my best thinking on long runs. I love the challenge of going just one more mile each week, when you didn’t think you could. With that said, I fell in love with speedwork this training cycle. I never cared for speed before. I never cared about my pace or being fast. I was happy just running happy; doing my best and pushing myself a little bit. This training cycle was completely outside my comfort zone and I loved it. Looking at a workout and thinking there is NO WAY you can accomplish it and then you DO is an indescribable feeling. During this training cycle I fell in love with being fast and it paid off with an almost 5 minute PR at the Long Branch Half Marathon.
WR: What’s your favorite race memory?
B: That’s a tough one. I do believe that nothing can compare to crossing the finish line of your first half marathon. I dreamed of running a half marathon for years before I finally believed in myself enough to go for it. I never really thought I could do it and I will never forget the day I actually did. Although that is one of best race memories, last year I ran the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York City. Lungs burning, all out effort, for one mile. It was one of the most exhilarating races I’ve ever done. I ran it in 8:14 and that’s still my fastest mile to date. I think my lungs burned for two days. I’m dreaming big and hoping to go sub-8 this year.
WR: What’s your favorite indulgent treat?
B: Champagne and French fries, post-half marathon. It’s always what my body craves. I’ve also been known to be quite the cookie monster.
WR: How do you reward yourself for accomplishing your training/running goals?
B: I usually reward myself with a nice, relaxing, soul nourishing day at the spa. Good for the body; good for the mind; good for the soul.
WR: If you could run with any celebrity, who would you choose and why?
B: Kara Goucher because I have a huge girl crush on her and who wouldn’t want to run with Kara Goucher? I could probably keep up for 3 seconds.
WR: Best running advice you’ve received or given?
B: In 2011, when I found myself perpetually injured, a friend told me to take a day off between runs. It was the best advice I’ve ever been given. No one is perfect, sometimes I run back to back days, but for the most part I have followed this advice religiously and to this day remain injury free. I’m amazed and in awe of those runners that can run six or seven days a week. For me, running three or four days a week is what works best for my body.
Want to read more? Head over to Once in a Mile!
Beth replenishes her body and soul with a spa day after a race. How do you rejuvenate after conquering a run goal?
We love our Women’s Running magazine Blogger On The Run so much that we want to inspire you to check her out! Simply leave a comment below telling us what you think about Beth’s story and you’ll be entered to win a one-year subscription to Women’s Running magazine.
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