Ok you guys. Belle was one of the first athletes we coached and there is almost nothing that has made me happier than when she completed her first half marathon.
This lady is one that I LOVE. She is kind, caring, hard working and determined. She has since ran a second half marathon and will run another in June… and drum roll please……. she plans to run her first full marathon this coming fall. I can’t wait to walk with her through the process.
She recently started mentoring a new runner at her office and we thought this would be a fantastic time for her to give her words of wisdom for a newbie runner.
Lindsey’s Interview with Belle:
LH: Why did you start running?
Belle: I started running for stress management both at work and home.
LH: At what age did you start running?
LH: What are your 3 best pieces of advice for someone who is a brand new runner?
Belle: If you can run 1 minute without your lungs burning up and your legs ready to fall off, you are ahead of me when I started. Not every run is going to feel great or even good – just trust in the process.
It doesn’t matter how slow you run. If you are running then you are a runner. Believe in yourself! BONUS ADVICE: You may not always be able to run so embrace this moment and run with wild abandon!
LH: What has running given you?
Belle: Oh my! Confidence, energy, working body parts, will power, courage, a way to remove myself from all the daily problems even if it is just 30 minutes, strong legs, a toned body, vitamin D (outside), new friends, a miraculous journey.
LH: Think back to your first race… 5K, how did you calm your pre race nerves.
Belle: A 5K on Mother’s Day, 2013. Lindsey told me to do a warm-up run for 1/2 mile before the race. My legs were shaky, I was breathing shallow for nerves, I was thinking I was going to be a huge failure. I took off in the opposite direction of the race and ran my slow 1/2 mile. I turned around, walked up to the start line, and just ran like the wind. I remember telling Lindsey that the pre race run was my secret weapon.
LH: Describe how you felt when you finished your first half marathon?
Belle: I cried. I had to put all my nerves, anxiety and uncertainty aside at the start line. I had started to run with no idea if I could finish. The longest I had run was 10 miles. I remember at mile 10 being exhausted and tired when I came up to this little young thing. She was crying and saying she couldn’t do it. Her coach (or maybe her mother) was trying to tell her she could, but this girl was not listening to anyone’s logic. I ran up alongside her. I told her it was only 3 more miles and to just start the race over in her head right there and run a 3 mile race. She dried her tears, her mom whispered a thank you. I then took my own advice and found my inner strength. By the time I hit the victory lap, I was clapping for myself, and high fiving the spectators, generally throwing my endorphins all over those people; I ran across the finish line. I started shaking and crying. The volunteer asked if I needed help. I said no. I think I was just in shock that I had done this amazing thing. Other than giving birth, I’m not sure if I’ve felt that amazing sense of accomplishment ever before.
LH: Any encouraging words you have to give to a new runner?
Belle: Believe in yourself. You are stronger than you think you are. If you say I can, you will. If you say I can’t, you probably won’t. I believe in you!
Random Fun Stuff:
Shoe Size: 9.5 or 10 depending on the shoe
Favorite Post Run Snack: Homemade chocolate chip pancakes or frozen waffles (depending on if someone will cook for me) and a vegetarian “sausage”.
Favorite Music to listen to during a run: (top 5 songs) The Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machines, Hey Brother by Avici, Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash, Human by Christina Perri, True Love by Pink. Please note: None of these songs will help you run fast! There are just some words in those songs that I like to belt out when I’m running alone.
Favorite Book: The last best book I read was “The Weight of Blood” by Laura McHugh
Family: Tom (my husband of 19 years), Matt (my 16 year old son) and Will (my 15 year old son).
Favorite Race: The women’s half marathon series in St. Petersburg, Florida or the 10 mile Monster Dash at home. I can’t decide.
Don’t you want to be friends with Belle now too? (don’t be jealous- she’s mine… )
Send this on to any new runner who needs a push to get motivated. She’s got some great words for us here.