Happy Tuesday! It’s going to be a great day here on the blog because I get to introduce you to Maria from Lil Mys Ninja! Maria featured me on her blog last week, and I’m pumped to get to return the favor. So are you ready to meet Maria?
Maria is a thirty-something runner living in Columbia, SC. If she were on OkCupid, here’s what her dating profile might look like:
– I’m a 30-something runner from Columbia, SC.
– My passions include running, reading, writing, and riding my motorcycle (yup, I’m badass like that). Oh, and long walks on the beach, obvs. (Ok that last part wouldn’t be in her profile.)
– If I didn’t work in insurance, I’d be doing something with animals – most liking running with them, reading to them, writing about them, or letting them ride in the passenger car attached to my motorcycle. Or maybe working at an animal shelter or fostering dogs. Yea, that makes more sense.
Maria sounds pretty awesome, right? I’d date her! Sorry, boyfriend. Oh yea, Maria also has a blog, Lil Mys Ninja (bad ass name for a bad ass chick). She started I her blog years ago as just an online journal, but as she became more serious about running and fitness, her blog naturally followed that journey. If you head on over to Lil Mys Ninja (which you should!), you’ll find posts about running, her furry friends and volunteering, and little tidbits of her everyday life.
So let’s grill Maria on her running! Annnnnd GO!
How did you get started running?
I used to be active in my early twenties. It was around my mid-20s when I slowed down but my eating habits didn’t change. I started to gain a little bit of weight. But what was a little bit was actually a lot for a 4’11” frame. I noticed it one day when I saw a picture of myself that was taken that same day. I didn’t like what I saw. I decided I needed to get to the gym ASAP. I began running on the treadmill, 10 minutes at a time. Then I starting running a mile here and there. I ran a few races and I seemed to like running, not love it. It wasn’t until my car accident in 2007 when I realized that running is a gift. When I finally got myself back to it without any pain and was able to get a steady routine and finally kept it up, I fell completely in love with it. And I haven’t stopped.
Do you remember your first pair of running shoes? Discuss.
I got some wise advice as a newbie runner and went to a local running store to be fitted. I walked out with my first real pair of running shoes — Mizuno Riders 8. I loved them. They saw me through my struggle to find my love for running. Here I am, years later and I’m still wearing Mizunos and riders are my long run shoes. I still have the 8s to wear as every day shoes. I just can’t seem to let them go.
What was your best run ever (doesn’t necessarily have to be a race)?
I have so many great runs that I can’t just pick one as an all time best. Each time I PR, I’m ecstatic. Each time I run a distance that I haven’t before, I’m ecstatic. I can’t share just one. Maybe a few? The one time that I ran 7 miles one Saturday. It was the first time I ran anything more than a 10k. It was then that I realized I could do more. Or that one time that I ran a sub-30 5k. I never thought I would be any faster than a 10 minute mile runner. Or that one time that I ran a sub-60 10k. I never thought I thought get under an hour. Or that one time that I ran a half marathon straight through without stopping. My body just continues to amaze me. And I’m sure that there are many more “bests” yet to come!
Have you run any races? Give us your race resume!
I’ve run several races since I started running but I’ve been running more races more recently the last two or three years. I tend to run a lot of local 5ks such as See Spot Run, St. Pat’s Get to the Green, Born in the USA and Run for the Troops to name a few. I run the Cooper River Bridge Run 10k every single year. It was last year that I finally ran my first half marathon – the Savannah Rock n Roll half marathon. That flipped a switched and I’ve since run two more halfs — Palmetto Half Marathon and St Jude Country Music Half Marathon — with two more planned this year.
What would be your #1 tip for something that wants to get into running or wants to run their first big race?
Get fitted for the rights shoes. This simple tip can be the difference in staying injury free as you grow in your running journey. I’m a strong believer in being fitted properly. You can ask others what they suggest all day long, but one thing to remember is that what works for others may not work for you.
What is the best sign you ever saw on the sidelines during a race?
“I’m proud of you, perfect stranger!”
I saw that when I needed it most on my first half marathon.
What keeps you going when you have led legs, lack motivation, or start to doubt yourself during a run?
Mantras – whatever pops in my head. They work more than you can imagine. Mind over matter, ya know.
“You got this!”
“Just a little farther.”
How do you fuel up pre-, during, and post-run?
I use Energybits for pre- and during. I first sampled them last year in September and became an avid believer and user since then. They have fueled every run and race, even my half marathons. For post-run I normally fuel with a cold glass of low-fat chocolate milk. If I do not have milk available, I can use Recoverybits, Core Power or real food.
If you could only run one more race in your lifetime, which one would it be?
The Ireland Rock N Roll Half Marathon
Treadmill or trails? Trails even though I don’t run ’em.
Favorite Disney character. Go. Pocahontas
Hills or Cobblestone paths? Hills
Chews, Gels, Both, or Neither? Neither – Energybits! (by the way, you can enter to win some as part of the Blogiversary Bonanza GIVEAWAY!)
Favorite running brand. Mizuno, Under Armour, Brooks and Nike
And don’t forget to enter the Blogiversary Bonanza GIVEAWAY! You could be swimming in all this swag.