Friday Featured Runner (series 17)
Today’s Friday Featured Runner is Raechel over at Psyched 2 Run.
Raechel’s Running Journey
When I was living in Sacramento, CA (first for my Master’s in Psychology and then as a psychology professor) some friends of mine (including my husband, Matt) were really into running. I couldn’t understand it – anytime Matt talked me into going out for a job, I threw up. Every run ended the same – me on my hands and knees, retching. However, I am naturally a very competitive person and also enjoy spending time with my friends. Since they were always running, I tried to get more into it. In 2012, I ran a couple 5Ks and also a couple of half marathon relays, with Matt as my partner. Every race the same – painful, ending in vomiting. Finally, in 2013, I decided to really just take a leap that would challenge myself beyond anything I had yet done in my life. I signed up for a half marathon training group with Fleet Feet in Sacramento. Training began mid January for a St. Patrick’s Day run. Somewhere during my training, I met new, life-long friends and, little by little, the pain of running subsided. I began to really crave running, finding it an excellent source of stress relief. I would meet friends for long runs and then running also became less isolated.
At the end of the summer of 2013, Matt and I moved back to Gainesville, Florida (which is where we met). We had both signed up for the Outer Banks Half Marathon and so I started training again with a group. But the heat and humidity were killing me and I didn’t really find anyone with similar goals and/or pace to train with. The OBX half was painful – tough weather, tough course, just tough. Afterward, I wanted to prove to myself that I was still a “runner” (whatever that meant in my own silly head). In February 2014, I ran the Florida Keys Ragnar with 10 other friends and it is the thing I am most proud of to this day with regard to my health and well being. Following Ragnar, I ran off and on but for the most part lost my motivation. This summer, since it’s my first one not working, I joined a local fitness studio and am working on getting back into a healthy regime. I’ve signed up for a Spartan 5K in November, a half marathon in December, and am on a team being sponsored by Epic Relays and EBOOST for the Epic Oregon Relay next June.
-What made you decide to be a runner? I decided to become a runner because (1) it would challenge me more than anything else I could think of and (2) it allowed me to spend more time with friends.
-What is the longest distance you’ve ran? The longest I’ve run at one time is 13.1 miles. For the Florida Keys Ragnar, I ran 18.3 miles over four runs in one 24 hour period.
-What is your favorite post run fuel? My favorite post-run fuel is chocolate milk. That’s usually all I can get down following a long run.
-What song is currently being played on your playlist when you run? I don’t run with music. I actually have a really interesting blog post about whether music is beneficial during running. (http://psyched2run.com/2014/05/the-perfect-playlist-its-not-what-you-think/)
-What would you tell an individual who has just started their journey into running? I would tell a newbie runner to find a partner or community of other runners to join for support. Regular running is difficult and difficult to stick with. Don’t be afraid to train at your own pace and reach out to others with similar goals. And definitely, definitely, DO NOT compare yourself to others.