Friday, August 30, 2013

Runner of the Week (8-30-13)

I selected this week's "Runner of the Week" based on the fact that she's played such a huge part in my life. She's an amazing mother, runner, person to be around and I'm proud to call her my mother-in-law. If it wasn't for Gladys I probably wouldn't currently be a runner. 

I've had the privilege of watching her run in many races and her determination to continually push herself is motivating. She helped motivate my wife and I to start the Couch to 5k program and despite running a faster pace has often slowed down to run alongside, not only my wife and I, but other individuals who are new to running.

So be sure to read a little bit about Gladys and check out her blog "Miles with Miles" where she shares her stories from the road and running with her Vizsla.

Name: Gladys

Twitter: @GladysSpencer

Blog: Miles with Miles

How long have you been running?
11 years

What/who motivated you to start running?
I stopped smoking and did not want to gain weight; so I bought a treadmill. I quickly discovered that during my walks, if I did just a slight hop I was running.  I signed-up for my first 5K without realizing how that one T-shirt and seeing that finish line would forever change, not only my life, but so many others lives along my journey as well.

What’s something that you can’t run without?

I always have to wear a hat. My favorites are my Nike Women’s fit in the summer and a wool one with a ponytail holder in the winter.

What is your favorite race you have ever done or place to run?
My favorite race is the Howl at the Moon 8-hour Ultra-Marathon.  It was during my first time at this race that I earned my first 50K. More importantly, it allowed me to push my body farther than I ever thought it would take me and left me wanting more.  Will my body (and mind) let me change the kilometers to miles after that 50?? 

What is the best advice you would give a beginning runner?
Don’t correct someone when they call you a runner, by saying “well I don’t really run.” If you added a bounce to your walk; you are running. You don’t have to “run” the entire race to run a race.  We put too much pressure on ourselves to be fast or go farther in order to be "REAL" runners. A real runner, to me, is when someone knows they will never win the race and will still be on the road long after most of the other runners are already back and showered and still embraces that finish line as much as the “fast runners." I also think that real runners are the people who never pin on a race bib and put the miles on the road just to run and clear their heads.

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