Today is Spotlight Thursday
This week I'd like to introduce Laura.
I asked Laura several questions, to tell part of her story and introduce you all to her.
Laura Blogs at
I love 5K's, but I just completed my first 10K this fall, which was a big challenge for me, but also incredibly enjoyable, so I'm excited to do more races at that distance.
How long have you been running? Or at what age did you start running?
I began running earlier this year (in January), but I think I really committed to running and found my groove this summer (late June - early July). I spent my youth dreading running in gym class and was surprised to find that at 31 years of age, I actually love running and how it makes me feel mentally and physically.
What made you want to become a runner? What is it that keeps you at it?
I began running initially to lose weight. I've tried (many) other ways to lose weight, only to gain it all back over time. I also often hear other runners talk about running with a sparkle in their eye, so I wanted to give it a try. I keep running because, in addition to helping me lose weight and keep it of, it also provides an incredible amount of self-confidence. Running makes me feel unstoppable, like I can do anything and that is a great feeling that spills over into all areas of my life!
What is the furthest distance or race you have ever run?
To date, the furthest distance I have run is 10K, but I'm looking forward to running my first 1/2 marathon in April 2014.
What has been your favorite race and distance you have run? Tell us why?
My favorite race so far was the GO! St. Louis Halloween 10K that I did in October. I love Halloween and this race was a lot of fun for me since it was tied to my favorite holiday! Costumes were encouraged and I kept pace with Rainbow Brite, Tweety Bird, and Bugs Bunny. I loved seeing all of the costumes and it helped the miles go by. The race was also my favorite distance, because it was such a proud accomplishment for me. I had just completed my first 5K a few weeks prior and I wasn't sure I was ready mentally or physically for this race. I desperately wanted to run the entire race to prove to myself that I could and to confirm that I could tackle a 1/2 marathon next year. I will never forget the sense of joy and pride I felt when I crossed that finish line and I know that the 1/2 marathon is within my grasp.
If you could run any race in the entire world, where would it be and why?
My dream race would be the Paris 1/2 marathon. Paris is my favorite city in the world and I would love to have the opportunity to go back and see the city from the vantage point of a runner.
Do you run for fun? Or run to compete? Both?
For fun, although I am always in competition with myself to PR.
I find my inspiration from others and, in fact, I began my weight loss journey after reading about a friend's success story on Facebook. I was so inspired by her story and decided it was time to take control of my life and my health. I have also found some amazing groups and communities on-line, which provide great inspiration. I wanted to lose weight and become healthier, though for my boys and they keep me going. I want to be around for a long time to watch them grow up and I want to set a positive example for them. I love that this summer our favorite pastime became our evening family walks and it makes my heart happy when my oldest son asks to go for a run with me.
Tell me what crossing the finish line feels like to you.
I feel like Super Woman when I cross the finish line and I have only felt like that two other times in my life, after the birth of my sons. I feel an incredible sense of accomplishment and a rush of self-confidence that is hard to replicate, which is why I keep running!
Do you have a specific distance and PR that you are proud of? Tell me about it.
I am incredibly proud of the 10K I completed last month and it was my proudest running accomplishment to-date, because I never thought in my wildest dreams that I could run 6.2 miles. I also recently had a sub-40:00 5K PR, which I am also extremely proud of. When I first started running, I was averaging a 45 minute 5K, so this was a huge accomplishment and improvement for me. Someday, I hope to complete a sub-30:00 5K!
Saw you dressed as Ms Incredible in your last 10k, was it fun running in costume?
It was so much fun running in costume! It's definitely a balance between finding (or making) a great looking costume, but also one that is comfortable to run in and functional. I made my shirt and bought a moisture-wicking technical shirt to help keep me cool and dry during the race. I ran in my usual compression capris, although I had hoped to find a red pair that were a little more Incredible-esque, but I was still pleased with how the costume turned out. That particular race was a Halloween race and the costumes really added to the joy of the race, not to mention it gave me great ideas for next year's race. It was my first costumed race, but given how much I love Halloween and costumes, it will definitely not be my last! There are a lot of great websites out there for inspiration if you are interested in running a costumed race.
I run to prove to myself that I can. I struggle with self-confidence in all areas of my life and running has proved to me that I can do anything I set my mind to. It only took me 31 years to figure that out! :)
Do you hope to be a lifelong runner?
Absolutely. Apart from helping me lose a substantial amount of weight, running has given me an incredible boost of self-confidence, clarity, and an outlet for stress and worry.
What is your dream or biggest goals?
My biggest running related goal is to complete a 1/2 marathon and my weight loss goal is to ultimately lose 100 lbs and keep it off for good!
What is your favorite kind of running, solo running or running with a friend or group?
I prefer running solo; between working full-time and being a wife and mother, it's time to myself. Sometimes, it is the only time I have to myself and I love the solitude and the opportunity to clear my head.
Have you ever run a relay race?
I have! I completed a marathon relay in April and it was a blast. I don't know if running a full marathon is ever in the cards for me (never say never, I guess), so this was a great opportunity for me to be a part of a marathon at a distance that was attainable for me. I completed the last leg of the relay and ended up doing just over 6 miles. Our team was raising funds for a great local organization and it was a fantastic experience. I've read a lot of great recaps of other, longer relay races and I'm mulling over the possibilities of those races, too!
Do you listen to music while you run? Give me the top 2 running songs on your playlist.
Lately, I've been listening to podcasts while I run, but my go-to power song is "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys and one of my new favorites is "Tightrope" by Walk the Moon.
Do you cross train? What types?
I am a work in progress in regards to cross training and I certainly need to step up my game! When I do cross train, I love bike riding, swimming, and the elliptical machine.
I love to spend time with my husband and my sons, read, shop, travel, and sleep!
What type of things motivate you and push you towards success?
I have a wonderfully supportive family and group of friends who motivate me and keep me going during good days and bad. There are definitely good days and bad when you are trying to lose weight and when you are a runner, but I always try to remember how far I've come. Looking back on where I was and where I am now is huge motivation to keep me on this path!
What is your must have running accessory?
My Yurbuds and Another Mother Runner podcasts. My Yurbuds always stay in place even during the most strenuous workout and they never hurt my ears. I love listening to AMR podcasts; it's like running with your girlfriends and it makes the time fly by!
Favorite pre and post run food?
Applesauce is my usual pre-run snack and post-race, I love to eat a peanut butter sandwich.
Water or Sports drink?
Water during my runs, sports drinks for post-running hydration.
Tell us something unique about you.
I'm a history geek and Francophile and I spent my 17th birthday on the beaches of Normandy. A dream come true for this girl!
What are your tips to someone who is looking to start running?
Don't let mental barriers get in the way of your success. I have had so many people tell me, after they hear my story, that they will never be a runner and I tell them that I said the same thing less than a year ago. I thought I was too overweight, too weak, and not built to be a runner. What I've found, though, is that the true barriers to my success are mental, not physical. Once I learned how to quiet the voice inside my head saying I can't, I found that anything was possible. You do have the strength and you can be a runner. My favorite line is "I got this" and you have to believe that "you've got this" too.
You Can Find Laura Blogging at
This is where I talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of my weight loss journey.
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