Jodi: How long have you been running?
Elizabeth: I loved to run as a child. As the baby of the family, I played alone a lot and running was usually a big part of my play. I ran track in high school when I was a senior. It was a new sport that spring at our school, and at the time, there were not many sports for girls. I became serious about running in late 1993 or 1994.
Jodi: Why did you start running?
Elizabeth: My neighbor was a runner, and when I found out she was running, I wanted to try it too. She was a great inspiration. I kept running because it helped me to fight depression, and I discovered that I felt like a completely different person when I was running. I have enjoyed running with my daughters—the other members of girlsgorunning—and I loved running with my son who I recall ran with me the first time I went running in the rain. I will never forget it.
Jodi: How many years have you been racing?
Elizabeth: I ran my first post-high school race in 1997. I wasn’t prepared and didn’t really know what to expect. I finished that 10K, but I didn’t enjoy it. For a long time, racing stressed me out. I thought it was about being faster than I actually was and I didn’t have much fun during a race. I did keep running races off and on. When I turned 54, I made a promise to myself to run a marathon before my next birthday. It seemed like I had talked about it my whole life, and I decided at that moment if I didn’t do it soon, I would never do it. So my new year’s resolution in 2010 was to finish a marathon. Megan decided to run it with me. We found Red River Runners Grand Forks to help us train, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Jodi: What is your favorite distance to race and why?
Elizabeth: I think my favorite distance would be a half marathon. The sneaky part about that is it is a distance I have never run. I have done all kinds of others but never a half. However, I think it is a distance that is short enough and long enough for me. As I get older, I think I would love to run some half marathons to help me keep my fitness.
Jodi: What is your favorite race memory?
Elizabeth: My favorite race memory is when I saw my family on the marathon course. My husband has been such an unwavering supporter, and over the years, he has documented my runs in photographs. It is a powerful thing to have someone believe in you, and then, be there to cheer you on. The other special memory is my sister running part of the course with Megan and me that day. She has inspired me time and again over the race training and on that day.
Jodi: What is your least favorite race memory?
Elizabeth: I believe my least favorite memory is the last 5 miles of the marathon. I bonked big time, and I wasn’t really anticipating it. It was a mental struggle of mammoth proportions for me, BUT I managed to keep running, and it was totally worth the struggle.
Jodi: What is your proudest running moment to date?
Elizabeth: My proudest running moment will always be crossing the finish line at the Fargo Marathon in May 2010. I will never forget how it felt to finish the 26.2 miles with my daughter, Megan, right beside me. It was amazing! I enjoyed training together and running the race together. I had officially kept the promise I made to myself, and we ran together for my nephew, Matt, who was battling brain cancer at the time. It gave us so much purpose because I felt like every mile was for him.
Jodi: What one item do you absolutely have to have with you on a training run?
Elizabeth: I have to have on a headband. I can’t stand being bothered by my hair so a headband is critical for me. I also love my Garmin GPS, but I could live without it if I had to, but I have to have my headband.
Jodi: What is your favorite fuel during a race?
Elizabeth: Honey Stinger waffles are my new favorite.
Jodi: What is your favorite post race snack?
Elizabeth: Something from Starbucks or Caribou Coffee is a favorite post race or post long-run treat. My choices vary, but I love celebrating around coffee.
Jodi: Who do you admire most and why?
Elizabeth: I admire a number of runners, but I am filled with admiration for my daughters. Megan has survived a couple of bouts with thyroid cancer, and she has come back strong. I feel so fortunate that I have had an opportunity to train with her. We have a fairly lengthy running history. Carrie has so much drive and she is a great encourager and has been her whole life. She couldn’t run with us last year because she had just given birth to her own little girl, but she came out on the course and ran the final miles with us, and it was great. I also admire my niece’s husband, a great runner in his own right, who came out and helped us through those last agonizing miles. Thanks, Brian!
Jodi: Do you have a favorite quote?
Elizabeth: Oh, yes, I have a quote that I have loved for years. I think it is often credited to George Eliot, but I am not sure if it belongs to Eliot or not. It has kept me going many times when I thought I might give up. “It is never too late to become what you might have been.” I figure I am living proof; I became a marathoner in my fifth decade of life!
Jodi: Finish this statement, when I run I feel _____.
Elizabeth: whole. Running fills me with hope and makes life richer. I believe it has changed my life.
Jodi: What is your current goal?
Elizabeth: My current goal is to finish the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon with Carrie and Megan. I am looking forward to running this big race together. The best advice anyone ever gave me was to have fun with the race. I plan on having the most fun ever.
As you can see, Elizabeth is dedicated to her training. The photo below is of Elizabeth and her daughter Megan after a training run in Minnesota!! Now that's dedication!!
Thanks again for the opportunity to give you a Thumbs Up Elizabeth! Best of luck at the Cleveland Marathon and have a fantastic time having the most fun ever!!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and Elizabeth YOU inpsire ME!!