I have known Lea virtually for almost as long as I have been blogging. We have been virtual friends for awhile and I have loved watching her blog grow from Running with Dummies to Running with Ollie! I am also super impressed that she also now has a new personal training business-Lea Genders Fitness. Hopefully I will get to meet Lea in person one day, but until then I thought I would share with all of you her inspiring story via the Q & A below:
When did you start running?
I started running about ten years ago because I wanted to lose a few pounds. I has no idea that it would turn into a lifestyle and become such a big part of who I am as a person. I thought I was just exercising. It changed me. Tell me why you started A running blog and how it evolved into running with Ollie, I know you started as running for dummies. I started a running blog because I liked to run and I liked to write. In 2011 I called my blog ‘Running for Dummies’ and that blog really laid the ground work for my blog today. After two years, when my blog started growing faster than I could have imagined, I started to worry about copyright issues with the ‘for dummies’ book people. Turns out ‘for dummies’ is a copyrighted phrase. It was so hard for me to let it go, but I knew it was the right thing to do. It was shortly after we adopted our English Pointer, Ollie, so I ultimately decided to change the name of my blog to ‘Running with Ollie.’ I was surprised at the large community of people who run with their dogs. Even though my blog is called Running with Ollie, it is not all about him. He just looks cute in the pictures. Just don’t tell him that. He thinks he is an internet sensation.
What is your favorite race and race distance?
I love the half marathon. 13.1 miles is a challenge, but the training doesn’t take over my life. I can carve out a few long runs on the weekends to prepare for a half marathon and completing 13.1 always feels like a big accomplishment.
What is your race day routine?
I get up ridiculously early. I eat a light breakfast, plenty of coffee and allow time for the bathroom. I like to arrive early so I have time to park and find my corral. I’m usually nervous enough on race morning, I don’t need the added stress of a late arrival and long bathroom lines.
What is your most favorite piece of running gear?
It has to be my FlipBelt. I wouldn’t run a race without it. It is a tubular belt that you wear around your waist to hold your belongings. It is surprisingly roomy and doesn’t bounce around when you run. I love it!
Do you follow any diet or take any specific supplements that complement your running?
I have a tendency to be an all-or-nothing kind of person, so I work really hard at moderation. It just means that I try to eat a healthy diet most of the time, but I don’t feel bad or guilty when I indulge. I try to live a healthy balanced life that allows me to enjoy pizza and wine too!
What advice would you give to a newbie runner?
Don’t give up. It gets easier, I promise. It is really worth the effort when you see you’re accomplishing things that once seemed impossible. Running taught me so much about breaking through self-imposed limits. Keep at it.
What is your best running memory/favorite race?
I’ve run so many races, but running the Pittsburgh Half Marathon this year with my husband and holding his hand as we crossed the finish line together has to be my favorite race memory of all time.
Last but not least tell me about you new website.
Thanks for asking. I am so excited about www.leagendersfitness.com. It has been a dream of mine for a long time to become a personal trainer. I thought at first that I wanted to do it for the personal knowledge and the credibility that it would lend to my writing on the blog, but after becoming certified, I realized that I really want to help people and serve my community. As a runner, I really see a need in the market for strength training specifically for runners. Strength training can help you become a faster, better, less prone to injury runner and better overall athlete. It personally took me a lot of years to get this through my own thick head, so I want to focus on helping runners get stronger and to stay healthy. I currently train in Fort Worth, TX but I am planning on offering online coaching as well.
I am sending a big thanks to Lea for sharing her story with me and my readers!!!!!
If you or anyone you know has an inspiring running story and would like to participate in my Running Inspiration series, just send me an email at email@example.com with Running Inspiration in the subject line. Or if you’d like to recommend someone please leave their name in the comments below.