Friday, March 30, 2012

SMR Featured Runner Friday: Meet Crystal!

Sexy Mother Runner is going to be featuring a different runner every Friday!
Every runner has a story and we believe that sharing those stories is
a great way to share the gift of running while helping motivate others.
Today's featured runner is Crystal. Crystal is an experienced runner that knows how to enjoy all the great things that running has to offer. It allows her time to pray, enjoy living, and foster friendships! She truly is an inspiration and we appreciate her sharing her story with us!

My Running Story
By: Crystal K. 

Fort Lauderdale Half Finisher!
One month ago I finished the Half Marathon race in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and felt great about this accomplishment. Lots of training went into preparing for this race & I was glad with my finishing time.

 When I was asked to share about my running experience I enjoyed looking back thru all of my race bib numbers where I wrote on the back my finishing times for each race.  I have been competing in road races since my first race which was the Steamboat 4 mile race in June 2004.

My beagle running buddy!
             I moved back to Peoria, IL with my husband & two teenagers in the summer of 2002 and that is where my passion for running started back up. I had lots of free time so I went out jogging on my farm with my 3 dogs, a Labrador, a Beagle & Pointer Mix.  Every morning when I would get my shoes out of the closet the dogs would go crazy and dart out for our run thru the woods. Then one day my neighbor said “You should run the Steamboat Race, lots of people do it”. I thought, I’m not a runner but I am people, so I signed up for it and that got me linked in with the running community.  From that first race I was hooked with the fun & excitement that comes from looking forward to a race & sometimes dreading the race, finishing the race & enjoying the company of the other runners after the race. 

My Lab and Pointer running partners!
I have raced in numerous 5k’s, 10k’s, 15k’s & Half Marathon races.  I like to look for races that are destination locations, usually warm places and plan a vacation around that race.  I especially enjoy the Phoenix Rock N Roll Half Marathon in January each year which allows me to return to a place where we lived for over 10 years to visit friends & wintering parents.  I also enjoy the Rocket Run 5k each year which is my former high school, Limestone, that has lots of the kids in the high school groups cheer on & support the runners. The race fee also goes to a scholarship for a high school senior which also give me a good feeling about supporting this cause.  This past October I ran with some friends from the Sole Sisters group in the screaming Pumpkin Marathon Relay.  We all dressed up as “Tiger Mom’s” and it was such a fun race even though it was running thru a hilly cemetery at night. I would have to say that that race was one of my favorites. My college kids thought I was completely crazy when they heard what I was doing that weekend for my race.

My Tiger Mom Sole Sisters!
 So many of these races bring back reminders of the training times we all put in together whether it be the nice weather runs or the windy, icy runs.  To some, running is a solitary sport. But it can also be a group sport. I enjoy running each week with groups from Running Central & the Sole Sisters. Helping each other with aches & pains is part of the process of running and sharing in the accomplishment of finishing the race at the after party is worth the pain to get there.

Besides my love of running I also love skiing. I am also a very competitive snow skier. I enjoy going fast down the mountain, going off jumps & seeing how many runs up & down the mountain our family can get in one day.  However, in February 2010 when I went off a jump skiing and tore my ACL I didn’t think I would recover and ever feel the same. I had surgery to replace my ACL a few months later and 4 months after lots of physical therapy & careful running, I ran in the Hanna City Hustle 5k.  I was so relieved that I was able to make a come back. I have continued to train and keep healthy because I know how injuries can easily come.
My Family

After the Ft. Lauderdale Half ~ Race Recovery!

I love reading about running, watching running & being a runner.  I am so excited for this summer’s Olympic races in London.  Being able to watch & experience the races that these athletes have trained so long for will be very exciting.   Running is really important to me and helping me to clear things out in my head and give me time to pray and enjoy living. I am so thankful that we live in a country where we can run whenever & where ever we please.  We are also able to meet up with people at great locations for a run together.   I hope that my running years will continue well into the future & I can experience more races with other runner friends. 

Would you like to inspire others by sharing your story?
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Make a difference in someone's life today!

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