Last month, Mel from Running For Kicks asked me if I would be the next “Spotlight Runner” for the store. I was, of course, honored to be chosen. They just started choosing Spotlight Runners this year and I was excited to be part of it! As we all know, I’m a huge fan of Running For Kicks “the store”, Mel the owner, and the employees who are always around when we need them.
Hey, Gail! No revolving door in this retail establishment but real people who know YOUR name and actually care about YOUR feet and running performance! Read more on my respect for Running For Kicks HERE.
Mel sent me a list of questions and asked me to answer them for the Spotlight board. Of course, I wasn’t brief, just not my nature, and they had to cut my answers for the actual “board”.
I would have posted this much sooner but had been hoping to get into the store for a photo with “the” board. Due to my injury, I told Mel to put those Saucony Fastwitch 5s back on the shelf and I didn’t get in until this week when Aby needed shoes (she’s a Mizuno girl).
Aby’s Mizuno Inspires:
So Aby and I stood beside the board for a photo!
- What made you decide to take up running? I have always been a runner. Initially I was a sprinter and high jumper through HS & College, then moved toward longer distances as I “aged”.
- Why do you run? I run for so many reasons but there was one solid reason as to why I made my return to running. After college, I took a bit of a “break” from running. I was burnt out. I was working on my masters degree, had a full-time job, got married, had Aby and woke up from my honey/baby-moon and was “suddenly” 30 lbs overweight. Reality hit and I knew one solid way to get the weight off……I laced up the very next day to go for a run. I only made it 1.4 miles (had to measure it with my car!). That was on February 1, 2005 and I haven’t stopped running since. It took a lot of research/learning to figure out how to fuel my body properly to get out of it what I wanted on a daily basis. Once I figured that out, I was unstoppable. My mileage went from that initial 1.4 miles all the way up to 26.2 at the St Jude’s Marathon in 2007. Anything is possible if you allow yourself to dream!
- What are some of your goals or races for 2012? I have two goals for 2012 – to run a 1:50 half marathon and to go under 6:30 in one or both of my half ironman races.
- Do you have a favorite race? My favorite local race is the Shamrock Shuffle. I love the crowds, the atmosphere, the people and being able to run a killer pace thru the streets of Chicago. However, my all time (annual) favorite race is the Fort4Fitness Half in Ft Wayne, IN. I grew up near Ft Wayne, my family still lives there and we make it a family affair each year. Mom pushes Michael in the jogger and walks with my niece in the 4 mile, Aby and my brother-in-law run the 4 mile, and my sister and I run the half marathon. The fact that we all participate in some way makes this my favorite by far.
- Your favorite running shoe? My favorite running shoe is the Saucony Guide, by default b/c its the only shoe that fits my foot.
- Do you have a favorite trail to run? Currently, my favorite trail is Schubert Woods & “The Shoot” in Park Forest, IL. Its close to my house but I feel like I’ve gone somewhere special when I hit that trail.
- Do you have any advice to give to a new runner or someone that would like to start running? My advice – LACE UP…..GET YOUR BUM OUT THE DOOR….. Have the courage to make it happen for you! You will only do it if you really want it, so don’t talk about it, don’t ask anyone’s permission, just put your shoes on and run.
- What runner do you admire? The runner I admire is Aby, my 10 year old daughter. She has been asking to run since she was 4 years old. I kept saying “no”. I didn’t want her to do it just because I did. I didn’t want her to get tired, hurt or burnt out. I didn’t think she was ready to run a “K5″ before she could say it properly as the rest of us know it: 5K! Thankfully, life intervened about the point in time at which I didn’t think I could hold her off any longer. I was fortunate enough to conceive Mr. Michael and the pregnancy/birth/recovery allowed me to hold her off running until she turned 8. I let her start run/walking with me at age 8, at age 9 she started racing some local 5Ks with a bit of success in her age group, at age 10 as a 5th grader she started running Cross Country & Track. This track season has been rough on her. She is a young 5th grader, constantly racing in the 8th grade races. She gets beat, she gets last, she keeps trying and getting faster (7:07 mile so far!). This is really what it’s all about, knowing you may never be the best, knowing somebody will always be faster, hoping that at least one person is slower and staying in the game for love of the run. She loves to run so she keeps on running and improving. Can’t wait to see how she progresses in the years to come. She inspires me to be better each and every day.
- Chicago White Sox’s or Cub’s? BOTH! I’m from Indiana so do not have a “home” team. I’m also admittedly not a “ball sport” person. The ball sports don’t interested me at all. However, I’m an athlete and I know how much each person puts into their sport and their game. Years ago, Hubby said to me during a Super Bowl game, “You root for whoever have the ball, don’t you?” Yep, I want everyone to have success at that which they have put in so much work and passion. This is why running is such a great sport, there are lots of winners and each person can win their own game by pushing their own personal limits.
- Won a million dollars in the lottery, what would you do? If I won the lotto, I would make sure that Peotone had a first class athletic complex & track. They are still running on a gravel track due to lack of funds and lack of taxpayer support in the district.
- Dream vacation location? I’ve always wanted to go to Rio de Janeiro. Tropical jungles, expansive beaches, The Carnival, crazy Voodoo stories/practices and they “stole” the 2016 Olympics from Chicago so they must be “the bomb”, right?. Sign me up for a trip in August 2016, please.
This is quite possibly more than any of you wanted to know about me but there it is in black & white. And if you haven’t stopped into Running For Kicks lately, go back and check them out. They rock and they actually care about you. Mel, even sent me a note asking how my injury was doing. How many running store owners do you know who would do that? Thanks, Mel for always being concerned about me and Aby, how we feel and the way we run!
** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz ** email@example.com