My parents put me in Cross Country in Kindergarten. While I have gone through many phases and seasons in my running, I’ve never really started it as a beginner. I am so inspired by new runners and love hearing about and sharing in their stories. There is something to be said for those who bravely sign up for their first race or walk into a shoe store and say “I want to start running.”
I’ve had the privilege of watching my friend Katy sign up and train for the St. Jude Half Marathon. Not only is this her first half, but it is her first time entering in a race longer than a 5k! Katy will tell you that she hasn’t always been too keen on running, but her perseverance is causing a change of heart. I asked her some questions about her experience so far and I hope her answers are as inspiring to you as they are me!
My sister (left), me, and Katy at Fleet Feet getting them fit for new shoes. As you can tell, I’m really excited for them!
Have you always been a runner?
HA! Funny joke, Marge. I used to enjoy running in high school and would often wake up before school to run with my stepfather, Chris. We called it a “plod” instead of a run, because it was nice and slow. Through college and post-college, I would enjoy the very occasional jog or walk, but never picked it back up consistently.
What made you want to sign up for a half marathon?
I have lived in Memphis nearly my whole life and started working for St. Jude in January of 2013. Seeing these kids fight for their lives every day has been truly inspirational and serves as an amazing source of perspective in my life. Even after a terrible day, I can still walk out of that hospital knowing that I do not have cancer and my loved ones do not have cancer. Talk about perspective! So, I can’t say that I just wanted to sign up for any half marathon, I wanted to sign up for THIS half marathon.
What do you like about running?
I like the time alone and out of the house. It is a time and space where I can just process the past or upcoming day, spend time with the Lord, and just collect myself.
What makes running easier?
Music makes running so much easier for me. I usually listen to worship music for my early morning runs, because, let’s face it, who can listen to Katy Perry before their coffee?
What makes it harder?
Intervals make running harder. I. Hate. Intervals.
What do you dislike about running?
Intervals, intervals, intervals, intervals, intervals.
Do you see yourself continuing to run after your half marathon?
I am just now getting to a point where I am. As the weeks go by, running has become more enjoyable and easier. During my 9 mile run last Sunday I remember thinking to myself “Oh, wow. I’m not gasping for air, my heart doesn’t feel like it’s going to explode, and I don’t want to lay down on the sidewalk and pass out. I’m getting the hang of this!”
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
Keep at it! Shoot, if I can do it then ANYONE can do it. And furthermore, and this has been my mantra when I want to quit, I just keep thinking: “If these kids can fight for their lives and go through multiple bone marrow transplants, I can surely run 13 miles!”
What have you learned so far in your training?
I have learned that it is never too late to try something new and push yourself to new goals! I’ve learned that with discipline and a plan and the right people encouraging me that I can take on anything. Phillipians 4:13 has also been engrained in my head now more than ever: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. To God be the glory!
What is your favorite “naughty food?”
I am so proud of Katy and the hard work she’s put into this training. When she first started out, her longest run was typically around 3 miles and the fact that she just ran 9 miles on a casual Sunday is so much to celebrate! I know she is going to kill in in the St. Jude Half Marathon and I look forward to checking back with her in December!
When did you start running?
What was the most helpful running advice you’ve ever received?
Whats your favorite “naughty food?”