Jodi: How long have you been running?
Michelle: I started running way back when in elementary school. I ran track from grades 1-4 and I absolutely hated it. I was fast and usually won the 100m and 200m races at the track meets but I would get so sick before a race. I remember one time I actually wore jeans to a track meet hoping that they wouldn't let me race. They did. I quit running and didn't start up again until high school. I joined the cross country team in grade 12 and after the first run, I quit. It was hard. I was out of shape and I didn't like not being able to keep up. So I trained on my own and got up to 3-4mile runs most days of the week. I went off to university and ran sporadically, never really committing to the sport. I gained a lot of weight and topped out at around 235-240lbs. I discovered running again after I went to teach English in South Korea. I've been running now consistently for 2.5 years and am completely addicted to it! I'm not your typical "skinny" runner and probably never will be and I'm okay with that.
Jodi: Why did you start running?
Michelle: I started running again in my adult life mainly to lose weight. I figured it would be the fastest way to shed the pounds and I was right. I dropped 80lbs in a matter of 9-10 months and have kept it off.
Jodi: How many years have you been racing?
Michelle: My first race was in September 2009. It was a half marathon race. I kinda skipped all the distances between and decided to just run a half marathon because I thought I could. I ended up finishing in 2:04:56.
Jodi: What is your favorite distance to race and why?
Michelle: The half marathon distance is my favorite! I've only raced a couple of them but it's the most relaxing to me. 5k's are too short - I feel like I'm just getting started and the race is over. 10k's are okay but the half marathon distance is a challenge because it forces me to pace myself and I always try to finish strong.
Jodi: What is your favorite race memory?
Michelle: Crossing the finish line of my first half marathon. My goal was 2:30 and I crushed it by over 25 minutes. It was a great feeling! Also, I ran a 10km turkey trot last year with my little brother and finished in 50:02. That was a pretty proud moment as well.
Jodi: What is your least favorite race memory?
Michelle: On my last birthday in May when I turned 26, I ran a 10km race. A lot of it was in trails and if I had done more research, I would have known that. Well, I had no clue and the race was brutal. I was happy to finish and glad I did something healthy on my birthday, but next time I will do more research before deciding on a race the day before!
Jodi: What is your proudest running moment to date?
Michelle: My 20.3 mile run that I did this past Saturday. I never thought I could run that far and at a decent pace. It makes me think and believe that I can and will be a marathon runner.
Jodi: What one item do you absolutely have to have with you on a training run?
Michelle: My ipod! I generally don't bring water with me on runs less than 10miles. I know that is probably not the smartest thing to do, but I just can't be bothered. I drink a lot of water before and after my runs so I know I am well hydrated. I know a lot of people would probably say that their water bottle is a must have for training runs but for me it's music. But I do have times where I just run 'naked' - no garmin, no ipod. Just me and the road.
Jodi: What is your favorite fuel during a race?
Michelle: I generally just use lemon sports beans and lemon lime gatorade.
Jodi: What is your favorite post race snack?
Michelle: Bagel and cream cheese! Mmmm.
Jodi: Who do you admire most and why?
Michelle: There is the obvious answer of famous runners and marathoners but for me, the people I admire the most are the everyday, average runners that lace up their shoes, pound the pavement, and push through the pain. There is nothing I admire more than reading a race report of an average runner who just accomplished something they never thought they could do - like run a marathon.
Jodi: Do you have a favorite quote?
Michelle: Yes. I got this a few weeks back from Runners World and I read it all the time: Pain and suffering are often the catalysts for life's most profound lessons - Dean Karnazes.
Jodi: Finish this statement, when I run I feel___________.
Michelle: When I run, I feel FREE.
Jodi: What is your current goal?
Michelle: Seattle Marathon on November 28th 2010. I also want to complete a 50k race in 2011. Wish me luck!
Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to give you a Thumbs Up Michelle! Best of luck in accomplishing your current goal. You will be great in Seattle!!
Keep running, you're simply the best and Michelle YOU inspire ME!!