This week’s blog is brought to you by my good friend Kyla aka earlybirdrunner. I first got to know/creeped on Kyla from the #RunDisney tag on Instagram; she was running the Dopey Challenge (4 races in 4 days) at Walt Disney World in January 2018 – I was running the marathon. Later on, I found out she was doing this as part of her year long birthday celebration. And since then we’ve hung out in real life, and this girl is incredible! She is so inspirational, she is a machine! Recently not only did Kyla take part in a 50km race, she came first….not first female, first OVERALL winner!!!!
1. Why did you start running?
I started running after a breakup when I lived in Halifax, NS. There was a small gym in the building where I worked so I decided on my lunch breaks I would start running on the treadmill for a half hour. I didn’t run outside for the longest time and when I did, the weather had to be nice. I knew Halifax was hilly but I really found out when I started running. I then changed jobs and connected with two ladies who ran 5km, twice a week. Joining them made running more enjoyable.
In 2007, I signed up for the Scotiabank 10 km that is part of the Bluenose Marathon weekend. That would be my first ‘big’ race but the morning of the race it was POURING rain. You could have swum in the water that was on the roads. I didn’t run and thought for sure they would cancel the race due to the rain. I wasn’t a ‘hardcore’ runner and I was made of sugar. I also didn’t have a jacket or any type of gear to run in that kind of weather. I was disappointed but I wasn’t the person then that I am now. In 2008, I ran the Scotiabank 10 km and it was a much nicer day. I remember being so happy I completed my run in my goal time, which was to finish in under an hour.
2. What motivates you to keep running?
I am motivated to run for myself and to work towards the goals I set as I am a goal-oriented person.
I am also motivated to keep running because I have met so many great people through my local run club, attending races and volunteering at different events. The running community is a great support network and full of amazing and inspiring people.
3. What is your favorite distance and why?
My favorite distance is a marathon. I have always just run and never followed any type of schedule when it came to training for a race. In January of 2015, I decided that I would train for a marathon but had no idea how to train for one. I connected with Nick at Frontrunners and he shared with me a marathon training schedule. I followed it perfectly. On those days when I woke up tired, but I was scheduled to run, I ran. I knew I had to if I wanted to achieve my goal I had set for myself. My hard work and dedication to my training paid off. My goal was 3:30 and I crossed the finish line in 3:28. I was thrilled!
4. Tell me about your most memorable race.
My most memorable race was the Boston Marathon in 2016. I ran with other runners and spectators for 42.2km. From the day you arrive in Boston, you can feel the energy of the city and the community. There are runners from all over the world. I get goosebumps still thinking of it.
Before going to Boston, I didn’t understand the big deal about going to this race. I knew you had to qualify for it but I thought that was something people did easily. I know now that isn’t the case.
The Expo is a full day event in itself. From the moment you walk in the door you can feel the excitement, picking up your race bib, to trying on “the jacket”, taking photos, and stopping by as many booths as you can to see what you may want to take home with you.
I also got to meet Kathrine Switzer at the Expo and that was very exciting for me. I had read her book “Marathon Woman” before I ran Boston and I was inspired by her.
5. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
I have received two pieces of advice that I use each time I run. The first is to pretend like I am holding the stem of a rose when I am running. I used to run with my hands in fists and that would take the energy from my legs and put it in my hands. That isn’t where your energy should be when running.
The second is “Run Your Run”. When you run I believe you should be running for yourself. You can think of others while you run as motivation but try not to compete with those around you, just you.
Thanks for reading.
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