This week's spotlight is on Rebecca of A Girl Just Wants to Run and Have Fun (HERE). Once you read her interview head on over to her blog and say hello! I promise you won't be disappointed. The girl is a rock star!!
Jodi: How long have you been running?
Rebecca: I've been running since I was a freshman in high school. My first marathon was when I was 22, 10 years ago.
Jodi: Why did you start running?
Rebecca: I did this to get into shape for my true love (at the time)- soccer.
Jodi: How many years have you been racing?
Rebecca: I also did my first race when I was a freshman, so 18 years ago. (Wow, I'm getting old.)
Jodi: What is your favorite distance to race and why?
Rebecca: I love the marathon mostly b/c I love marathon training. I enjoy running long miles and the feeling you get afterwards. It takes guts and determination to race a marathon. It also takes planning and execution, two other things I am sorta of good at.
Jodi: What is your favorite race memory?
Rebecca: I have so many great racing memories. I will have to go back to my first marathon in 2002. My dad helped me train by riding his bike with me during my long runs. The marathon was the Louisville Marathon in KY. I had no time goals, just to finish. My dad was there on his bike for miles 8-18. Then he ran the rest with me. I remember him crying and telling me how proud he was of me, not just the running, but to be his daughter. At the finish my mom was there and she had bought me flowers. There's nothing like the accomplishment of finishing your first marathon.
Another great memory was winning the Spinx Marathon in SC. This was my 2nd marathon win, and after the race a man brought over his pre-teen daughter to meet me. He told me that he wanted his daughter to see that "real-looking" women could win marathons, too. The daughter told me that I was really pretty and that she liked my pink shirt.
Jodi: What is your least favorite race memory?
Rebecca: My least favorite memory is from the St. Louis Marathon. I was going through a lot of personal issues at the time and my heart wasn't in the race. Insult to injury, it POURED the entire race- 26.2 miles.
Jodi: What is your proudest running moment to date?
Rebecca: I have won a few marathons, so my first instinct tells me to choose one of those. But, actually, it's from the Seattle Marathon this past summer. I had quite a few life challenges this past year, but continued to train and run. I ran the Seattle Marathon in negative splits, without a watch, and hit a 3 minute PR. (That's a big one for me. Hahah.) More than that, it symbolized new beginnings for me and gave me hope that with God, you can overcome anything!
Jodi: What one item do you absolutely have to have with you on a training run?
Rebecca: Besides the basic running clothes, I HAVE to have a headband. I really love Girl In Motion Headbands, but have used others when in a bind. Other than that, I am pretty relaxed about my clothing, socks, shoes, and fuel.
Jodi: What is your favorite fuel during a race?
Rebecca: I usually only use Power Bar Gel, with my favorite flavor being Green Apple. I've *heard* it tastes like a green apple martini. I really dislike Hammer products. (Sorry, I do.)
Jodi: What is your favorite post race snack?
Rebecca: This is actually a meal, but I love eating pizza after a marathon. I had it after my first 2 marathons and it became ritual. I also like to have a beverage trifecta- gatorade, diet coke, coffee.
Jodi: Who do you admire most and why?
Rebecca: Katherine Switzer. I am so grateful that she had the courage to stand up for women's equality in the sport of running. Who knows where we would be without her bravery!
Jodi: Do you have a favorite quote?
Rebecca: "Desire is the key to motivation, but it's the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek."-- Mario Andretti
Jodi: Finish this statement, when I run I feel _______.
Rebecca: At peace.
Jodi: What is your current goal?
Rebecca: I am working on few running goals, but my biggest one is to break 3 hours in the marathon. My PR is 3:01:33. So, I'm getting closer! I am also working towards a marathon in every state, with 18 done so far.
Running holds a special place in my heart, not just because of the sport. Through running, I have had special life experiences that many will not have. I have met a LOT of incredible people. The times when I've lost hope, self-confidence, and general direction in life, running seems to be a way to clear my head and make things feel manageable.
If I had to give one piece of advice to new runners it would be to never put a cap on what you *think* you can achieve. After my first marathon in 4:09, I would've never believed that someday I would be trying to break 3 hours.
And because no Thumbs Up Thursday would be complete without photos...here you go!!
Thanks again for the opportunity to give you a Thumbs Up Rebecca! Best of luck achieving your sub 3 hour marathon!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and Rebecca YOU inspire ME!!