Each Friday my Running Inspiration Series will feature the story of an amazing runner. This week I am featuring my virtual friend Nicole from Fitful Focus! Nicole is a fellow New Yorker and I hope we will get to meet in person when I am back up there for the NYC Marathon. I am excited to share more about her running via the Q & A below:
How did your running journey begin? I started running right after graduating college. I was living off an entry-level salary at my first big-girl job and needed an inexpensive way to shed the college pounds as well as de-stress from the pressures of being a real person. I started running with a very fit friend of mine; he could run and run and never seemed to get tired. He’d slog along with me for a half mile before I had to walk and he’d speed ahead. I finally asked him how he did it; how could he just keep running while I could barely eek out a mile? He told me that whenever he felt like quitting, he challenged himself to just keep going – one more minute or to the next tree. So I did. Running with someone faster and with more endurance inspired me to push my limits. Just Keep Going became a mantra that has taken me from barely being able to run a mile to running multiple marathons.
Why do you run? I run for so many reasons. I run for fitness. I run for the bling (the bling is so good!). I run to be social, and I run to be alone. I run because it makes me feel alive and refreshed. I run because it never stops being challenging. I run to have time to listen to new music or podcasts or explore a new neighborhood. I used to hate running, and now I can’t imagine life without it!
What is your favorite race and race distance? I love Disney Races. I did the Dopey Challenge (48.6 miles over 4 days) in January of 2016 and just had so much fun. That said, I’d say my favorite distance is the half marathon. It’s a challenging distance, but the training allows you to have more of a life than marathon training does.
What is your race day routine? I wake up and pee first thing. Then I get dressed in all the gear I laid out the night before and make a breakfast of gluten-free oatmeal with a banana and almond butter. I usually eat that on the way to the race, but before I leave, I pee again. When I get to the race, I find a porta potty and pee. Then I meet up with friends or try to shake out any race-day jitters. If there is time, I’ll pee again before crossing the starting line. The key is pee. Maybe that should be my new mantra?
What is your favorite piece of running gear?That’s a tough one. Probably whatever shoes I’m wearing because those are what really carry me through, but I also love my TomTom Spark GPS watch and Camelbak Hydration Pack. I’ve run a few races in tutus – how could you not have a good race when you’re wearing a tutu?
Do you follow any diet or take any specific supplements that complement your running? I have a bazillion and a half food allergies, so my diet is skewed kind of paleoish on a daily basis. During long runs, I rely on organic PROBAR Bolt energy chews and love to refuel with a smoothie made with Vega protein powder and tart cherry juice.
What advice would you give to a newbie runner? Take is slow. You won’t be able to run a marathon overnight. Start with run/walk intervals and slowly increase your ratio of running to walking. Increase your mileage slowly, and be sure to take in easily-digestible carbs once your runs get longer than an hour. Fueling for your runs is just as important as the run itself.
What is your best running memory/favorite race? I just ran with my mom for her first 10K: The Mini 10K in Central Park. She’s been through a lot over the past few years, including losing a bunch of weight and battling cancer. She put in a lot of work to be able to run 6.2 miles, so I wanted to make the race really special for her. I made us matching t-shirts that said “F*ck Cancer” and she made us colorful tutus. I secretly had a bunch of my family members come out to surprise her at the finish line. Seeing everyone cheering for her and crossing that finish line with her was so amazing. I’ll never forget it.
Nicole is a NYC-based health, fitness and lifestyle blogger over at fitfulfocus.com. There she shares tips and tricks for getting fit, keeping your tummy full of whole food goodness and staying focused on leading a healthy, happy life. In addition to her blog, you can also find Nicole on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest.
Thank you Nicole for sharing your running story with us!!! I am extremely excited that next week I will be featuring Nicole’s mother on Running Inspriation!! Each and every week I am so inspired by all of these amazing people!! Check out the other Running Inspiration posts here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with Running Inspiration in the subject line. Or if you’d like to recommend someone please leave their name in the comments below.