Life Mental Health Running Related Training

20 Random *Running* Facts About Me

I love questionnaires. They are an easy way to get to know someone fairly quickly. I created the following 20 running related questions for a quick “get to know” segment. Some of the answers can change overtime so it would be cool to do this once a year just to see what happens.

So, without any further delay, here are my 20 random *running* facts about me that you may not have known.

Why did you start running?

I started running to deal with my anxiety and depression. I have always battled both but have never taken medication. It was just something we didn’t talk about at all and I just bottled up everything inside. As I’ve grown older and more light is being shed on the need for mental health awareness, I became aware of my own mental health issues that have spanned my entire life. After my kids were born, I put myself on the back burner because I wasn’t important, my family came first and if I had the energy, I would do something for myself. The problem was, I never had the energy. After my husband fell ill and I started imagining a life without my partner, my anxiety grew to some really dark levels where panic attacks were so frequent that I couldn’t help but think of ending my pain. I have felt alone most of my life but I also felt like I was the only person that can get me out of this misery. I had to be my own hero. So I began to walk. I walked to get out of my head, to get out of the house even on days I didn’t want to. I walked to feel the fresh air. I walked with my family, I walked by myself. I just walked. It felt great and my mind started to feel clearer and clearer. Once I was able to walk 5 miles, I picked up running and there was no turning back.

What was your first 5K?

I was terrified of signing up for races because I felt I didn’t belong. I wanted to participate but just couldn’t get it out of my head that I shouldn’t be part of the running community. So my first 5K was the Foam Glow 5K in Miami in October 2017. It was an untimed fun run, no medal and it was at night. Not many people took it seriously and most people cheated by cutting through the course. I didn’t. My family waited for me at the end of it and I had a good evening doing something that was completely out of character and out of my comfort zone.

What was your first 10K?

Once I had built a little confidence, I started signing up for timed races. My first timed race was the Miami Turkey Trot 5K in 2017. In 2018, I registered for the 10K. This was my first 10K and I was happy to have chosen this one to be my first since I knew the course.

What was your first half marathon?

LOL. My first half marathon was supposed to 2019 runDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. However, while looking through my training schedule I had a 12.5 mile training run the same weekend as the Miami Marathon weekend, I ended up registering for the Half Marathon. So Miami was my first half and thank God it was. I made so many mistakes on this first half and it really helped for the other 2 that followed.

What was your first marathon?

It was going to be the 2020 Miami Marathon but I ended up switching it to the half. I’m not ready for a marathon yet. I want to get my health in order before I attempt something that major. I also don’t feel like I am in the right headspace to attempt it just yet. Give me a few years.

What was your most memorable race?

Without a doubt, my most memorable race was the 2019 Disney Princess Half Marathon weekend. I mean, hello! It’s Disney! I’m a Disney freak so anything Disney related is memorable in my book. The fireworks before the start was a great touch. Running through the board walk and through Cinderella’s castle brought tears to my eyes. I loved every minute of it.

What was your worst race experience?

Worst race experience had to be the 2019 Miami Half. The course was great, the volunteers were great. The weather was so-so. It had nothing to do with the race itself and more with the biggest mistake I made before this race. I took a little too much pre-workout before the race and by mile 6 I had the worst stomach pains in the world. I was wearing so many layers that I couldn’t even make a pit stop in one of the port-a-potties (That’s how desperate I was for a bathroom that I contemplated using a port-a-potty). The pain just got worse as the time went on and I didn’t get any relief until I got home. I vowed never to take pre-workout ever again.

Do you have a favorite running outfit/costume?

I’ve only had 2 running costumes for the Princess Half Marathon weekend where I did the Fairy Tale Challenge. I recently purchased a bunch of skirts from Sparkle Athletic and I’m really loving running in them. They are giving so much confidence and motivation to keep up with my training. My favorite has to be the Unicorns Love Donuts Skirt. It’s just so cute, fun and girly. It’s also very colorful and I’m used to wearing black all the time, it adds a little fun to my running wardrobe.

What is your favorite running shoe?

I’ve tried 3 different shoes. Adidas Boost, Nike Pegasus & Brooks Ghost. So far, my favorite are the Brooks Ghost. They have given me all the support and comfort I’ve needed to get through many training runs and races. I bought the Ghosts through online research but have never been fitted for an actual pair of running shoes. This is something I really need to do and soon!

Have you ever been injured?

Many times. My first injury was my hip. I walked around like a pirate with a peg leg. I had to stretch, foam roll and use a shit ton of icy hot for relief. Eventually, it got better. I’ve also had a sprained hamstring and that one required a massage, stretching, foam rolling and about two weeks of no running. They’ve all been painful learning experiences.

What is your favorite weather to run in?

Miami is hot all the damn time. No matter the time of year. We get a day or two of cooler temps. When that happens, I take full advantage to run in 50 & 60 degree weather when it happens. I’ll also take a run in the rain any day because it is so refreshing. The aftermath, not so great but still, so refreshing! I won’t run in thunderstorms though, too dangerous.

Do you prefer morning or night runs?

I’m a morning person. I prefer doing things early and getting them done. Besides the fact that mornings tend to be a bit cooler than evenings, early mornings are the way to go.

What motivates you?

My family. The drive me absolutely up the wall, but everything I do is for them. They make me want to be a better person for them. They make me want to be strong and healthy both mentally and physically for not only me but for them. They need me. My family won’t survive with me, if I’m being completely honest.

What is your favorite pre-run snack?

I’ve been waking up later than usual and don’t really eat before a run but my favorite when I was making the time was multigrain toast with peanut butter, sliced bananas and a honey drizzle. So delicious, filling and gave me enough energy to keep running. I need to get back in to this.

Favorite post race meal?

Breakfast. Since most races are in the morning, I love going to get breakfast post race. It’s actually become our family tradition. Our favorite has to be going to Islas Canarias Cafe Restaurant and Bakery. They have the best ham croquetas in Miami. Breakfast usually consists of scrambled eggs with ham, sauteed potatoes, Cuban toast and cafe con leche. That’s the breakfast that makes me feel like a superhero.

What do you love about running?

Running is freeing. It helps me get out of my head and forget about whatever troubles are clouding my mind. It helps lower my anxiety levels. It gives me confidence to pursue things I thought I would never be able to do. I feel like I am a better mom and wife after I’ve had a run.

What do you hate about running?

That not all runs are good runs. Some days running just seems so daunting. Sometimes, it’s so damn hot that your body feels like it’s on fire. It is a sweaty and stinky sport. I hate that all sorts of animals pop out of no where making me want to pee my pants mid run. Some days sweat gets in my eyes and I’m running half blind. Running in to spiderwebs will most definitely have you slapping yourself and then thinking that you are now the home of baby spiders.

What’s the one thing you can’t run without?

My phone. I don’t have a fancy running watch so the Runkeeper App keeps track of all my intervals, workouts, miles and shoe mileage. I also play my music on it and let’s face it, music makes everything better.

What is the longest distance you’ve ran to date?

My longest run was a training run of 14 miles. I used the Jeff Galloway training schedule for the Princess Half Marathon weekend. 2 weeks before race weekend it calls for a 14 mile run. I didn’t know if I could and I cried when I did. Happy tears. It really puts you in a mindset that you can run a half marathon and beyond. It’s these training runs that make you sign up for longer distances. That’s how they get you!

What’s one race you want to do but know you’ll probably never do?

I would love to complete the Abbott World Marathon Majors series. Will it ever happen? Probably not. I will never qualify for any of these marathons and I will never be able to do 6 Marathons in a year. It is the ultimate running goal, right?

I thought this would end up being short and sweet but I got a little deep with some of the answers. I hope you liked this little get to know me post as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Love,
Maria

1 Comment

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