Every runner has a story, that pushes them and drives them to do what they do. I find it fascinating to learn about others, and in return it also inspires and motivates me. I know I am not the only one who feels this way.
This week I'd like to introduce you to Beth.
I asked Beth several questions, to help tell her story and why she is proud to be a runner. As well as introduce you all to her.
You’re a newer to the sport, tell us why you started running.
Well to be honest I really kind of started running to force myself to quit complaining about running. So here is the story: Forever, as long as I can remember, I hated running--I was slow, and it was really, really painful. Last summer, I decided to enter into a local sprint triathlon down here at the beach. I trained all summer. The swimming and biking portions were no problem for me (I swam for a team in another life and was an avid spinning class attendee), but the measly 2 mile run killed me. Come race day, I blazed (OK that may be an exaggeration) through the open water swim and the bike, but literally doubled by overall race time during that sad, painful 2 mile run. Right then and there, I told myself that I was going to train for and run a half marathon so that I will not suck at running anymore. And I did it. I ran my first half marathon, Rock N Roll New Orleans, this February. What I didn't anticipate was for my general loathing of all things running to turn into a love. I am so happy that I found this wonderful sport. While I still plan on participating in some triathlons this season, my true new love is the road race!
Do you run for fun, run to compete? Both?
I guess both, in a weird, never-will-be-placing-in-my-age-group kind of way. I run because it's fun, and I love it, but I also run to compete against myself. I know I will never be one of those people that places in their age group at races (unless I give up bourbon and pizza and I don't see that happening), so really my competition is with myself to get better, faster, and stronger. What is it they say? Running never gets any easier, you just get better. I hope that is case. Right now, I am competing with my inner naysayer who is telling me that I will never run a half marathon in 2 hours or less...hush self-doubt. Also, in all honesty, I would be lying if I said that I didn't count road-kills on my races. You know you do too...
What distances to you run/race?
I run a lot of local 5ks, but I really like long distance running. I am really not super built for speed, so a sub 30 minute 5k is killer for me. I love the half marathon; it is long enough to feel like a super challenge, but not body wrecking like the marathon, or so I have heard. It is a total accomplishment to finish one alive. I have never run a marathon and right now, I really have no desire to start training for one (OK, maybe a little desire). I have only run one 10k, but I really enjoyed it--short enough to throw some speed in, but long enough to feel like an accomplishment. Is it just me or are there like no 10ks anymore?
Have you ever won or placed in a race?
Are you kidding? Nope. And I'm totally OK with that.
Your blog puts you as a person who loves to have a lot of fun. Tell us about the race you had the most fun at, and why.
Thanks! I do love to have a good time. I guess the most fun race I have been to would be my first half marathon--the Rock N Roll New Orleans. I mean who doesn't like New Orleans? No seriously, I ran it with my best friend--The Ginger (she makes regular appearances on my blog)--and her boyfriend. My boyfriend--The Boy--came to be an awesome cheerleader. The race itself was really fun--lots of bands on the course and everyone was really high energy. There were tons of people there! like 16,000! We stayed the night after the half marathon to do all the fun New Orleans stuff (hint...hint). It was a total blast!
If you could run ANY race/distance in the entire world what/where would it be?
After the tragic events of this past April, I would love to run the Boston Marathon. I think that being a part of the marathon next year would be an awesome and super fulfilling experience. Just to participate in something that would stand for the solidarity of the the running community would be completely stellar. However, there are some significant things standing in my way: I will have to run a marathon, and I will have to do it in less than 3:35:00. Which would be almost like having a pet unicorn who poops rainbows!
Besides running what other sports/hobbies do you participate in?
Well obviously, I love to read. I also really, really love to eat...everything. I also collect mid-century furniture, pottery, and art. My awesome boyfriend, The Boy, gave me an awesome 1960's Telefunken stereo for Christmas so I have recently begun a vinyl record collection. There is nothing better than that hiss and pop of a record. I also really, really, really love college football--in particular my LSU Fighting Tigers! From August to January, I am a rabid Bayou Bengals fan, and will be talking non-stop about football. My dad is a super fan as well, so all season long we talk football (much to the dismay of my mom and boyfriend).
Per your blog, you love to read. What are your favorite books?
Wow, for a librarian that is really hard question. It is super tough to narrow it to just a few books. Can we do it categories? I will.
Classic Fiction: Tender is the Night F. Scott Fitzgerald & The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway
Contemporary Fiction: Wolf Whistle Lewis Nordan
Southern Fiction (too hard to narrow it to just one): Delta Wedding Eudora Welty, As I Lay Dying WIlliam Faulkner, The Moviegoer Walker Percy
Non-Fiction: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn
A lot of people who love reading, like writing. Do you ever come up with great book ideas while you’re out on your runs?
Yea, I really think about all the funny/ ridiculous things that happen at work and seriously think about writing a book about it. While you may not think so, but an academic library is a crazy place. When you deal with overly-excited, stressed out freshmen all day long, you hear and see some insane stuff (think study rooms...boys and girls...together). I am seriously thinking about writing a memoir about the day in the life of a librarian. If you see me out running, you will see me jamming to some tunes and cracking up thinking about all the stuff that happened at work. Ya'll be on the lookout for my upcoming memoir.....
Do you run and listen to tunes? If so, what are your top 3 favorite to pound the pavement too?
Yea, I do listen to tunes when I run alone. When I am running with a group, I really like to chat and laugh, but when I'm alone I really need the energy of music to keep me upbeat and moving. I know a lot of runners suggest that you should listen to your own breathing, but my breathing is just not that much fun. Right now, I am really jamming to How You Like Me Now by The Heavy, Baby Come Back by Scissor Sisters, and Underdog by Imagine Dragons.
Tell us how you juggle work and life and still get your runs in. What motivates you to put on your running shoes and head out the door?
Well besides the commitments my job, my boyfriend, and my parents (who do live in same city as I do), my time is really my own. I'm not sure how you Mother Runners out there do it. Ya'll manage to kick running butt and get home in time to make dinner and change diapers. Insane! For me, it's really a matter of planning my runs. I am really a calendar oriented person, so having a structured, mapped-out training plan really keeps me motivated and on-track. If I am just running-by-the-seat-of-my-pants without a plan, I tend to slack off and skip runs and workouts. I am also a really goal-oriented person--I really need a future race or PR to shoot for to get my butt up and go. Like right now, I am gunning for both a sub 30-minute 5k and sub-2 hour half marathon.
Do you hope to be a lifelong runner?
I would love to be a lifelong runner; running is something that I really, really enjoy. I guess the test will be when I do eventually have a family and how I juggle running with all of my other life stuff. Stay tuned to find out...
When you go around looking for new blogs to follow, what types of things are you looking for? What blogs/topics grab your interest and make you want to come back to read more?
I know this is totally sexist, but I really do enjoy reading running blogs written by women, more so than those by men. Besides that, I really like looking for bloggers who are honest about their accomplishments and weaknesses. I also look for good tips about running and food, awesome race reports, gear reviews, and a good sense of humor. I really like to get a mix of bloggers who are running at different paces; the speedsters make push for better times, and I feel a bond with the "slower" (a term I don't like, but there is nothing else, perhaps..."pace challenged") runners out there.
Tell us about your blog, what do you post about? What topics do you cover? What can people expect when they visit?
My blog is about my adventures running, reading, and living through my life with my sanity intact. I really talk honestly about my running--both my successes and failures, my weight loss goals, and my life in general. You can expect training reports, race reports, gear reviews (I am starting a YouTube channel to do vlog reviews), book reviews (what kind of librarian would I be if I did not plug books), and just general running mayhem. I hope that you will stop by and stay awhile.
What are your fitness/ running related goals for 2013?
My goals for this year are to 1) run a 5k in less than 30 minutes 2) run a half marathon in less than 2 hours 3) lose the last 15 lbs 4) tone up my upper body. Think that's enough? I do...wish me luck.
Take a minute and follow BETH by Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and on her Blog, by clicking on the buttons below. You can also leave her comments below or go visit her blog and leave a message there:)