Runners are passionate and dedicated creatures who have a lot to share about running, training, and well, life in general. Going the Distance is a blog series that highlights runners of all backgrounds and levels to inspire, motivate, and help you reach your running goals. Learn more about the blog series here.
I met Sandy about two years ago through a mutual running friend. We teamed up to provide crew support for our friend who was taking on Mountain Lakes 100. It became incredibly clear to me that Sandy was Superwoman: She navigated her way to our remote mountain cabin (aka race headquarters) in total darkness, with little-to-no signage arriving at about 1 am—hands steady and ready to jump into action a few hours later to start crewing.
As I was conceptualizing an idea for my blog that would eventually become Going the Distance, I knew that I wanted to interview Sandy—and to my delight, she said yes. It’s clear that this girl has spunk, raw determination, and is full of energy and life, and her responses make me want to go run—now.
Where do you live and train?
How long have you been running?
About four years. I never considered myself a natural athlete—I was always the girl who was picked last for the sports team in school. I made an attempt at running in pharmacy school. I propped my biochem book up on the treadmill, turned it up to 5 or so and got my multitask on. Briefly a waist appeared…however, it was short-lived; I didn’t make a genuine return to having a waist until several years after finishing pharmacy school.
How did you get interested in running?
I was in a miserable relationship. It was very similar to that biochem class that drove me to the dreadmill the first time around. My motivation for running was clear and it was threefold—first, I needed an outlet for this frenetic energy building…I was restless. Second, I wanted to show that guy I was more than he thought I was. Third, I wanted to show myself that I AM more than I thought I was—that I’m BAD. Michael Jackson BAD.
What about running do you love?
Everything! I love that all I have to do is grab a pair of sneakers and I can find a place of Zen, utter love. I love that running makes me strong and healthy, body and mind. Because I run, I intuitively dismiss limits and I do what I want—I love that. I love the amazing people I have met along the way, the bonds we’ve built with sweat; the lifetime connections I’ve made with genuine friends. Finally, I love that because I do this thing—this thing I never thought I could, other people look at me and think they can do it too. That’s rad.
What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to running? How do you overcome it?
My brain! That girl is still in there—the one that says, “You were picked last in school! You’re in terrible shape. Hey, how about you start comparing yourself to others? How about you slow down and walk? She’s trouble, that one.” However, I’ve learned that the only way out is through—this is how I overcome it. I mindfully notice her contributions. I keep running while the thoughts run their course. Like a cramp, or a wave of nausea on a hard run, these thoughts pass, too. And each time I finish. Each time I run that distance I never thought I could, that girl gets a little quieter. Faith through experience. That’s swagger.
Where’s the coolest place you’ve ever run?
Smith Rock. No, Redwood National Forest. No, Poipu Bay, Hawaii. No, Vancouver, BC. NO, Portland, Oregon. DUH. [Continue Reading]