Run Long ~ Run Strong: How old are you?
Ellen: I am 31 years old.
RLRS: Tell us a little bit about yourself (kids, married, job)?
Ellen: I am married to a 3 time Boston Marathon finisher and Ironman! I have two kids (2 years old and 8 months old – only 16 months in between the two) I work full time for a custom home construction company. I love my job and the team I work with! We also have two Chihuahuas who have been with me since I was a senior in college. They are now 12 years old.
RLRS: When and why did you start running?
Ellen: I started running in 2013. My husband ran cross country in high school, but hadn’t run since then. We lived in Wilmington, NC and decided we would sign up for a local 5K together. He won his age group and I really had a good time doing it, so we both started training for longer events. I trained for my first half marathon and enjoyed training so much and felt so accomplished that I went on to do 10+ half marathons in the next two years.
RLRS: What keeps you motivated to train?
Ellen: I’m not really sure what it is honestly! I think the fact that my husband runs is the best motivator. And it is something we have in common and enjoy doing. Running helps my mental health and I love the feeling of being so accomplished finishing a long run or a race. I also want to show my children that if something is important to you, you make time for it. I hope to run races with them someday. I have dreams of crossing the finish line of a big race with at least one of my children one day.
RLRS: What are you hobbies outside of running?
Ellen: I don’t really have time for too many other hobbies at this stage of life. Spending time with my kids and husband, watching anything on Bravo, or reading.
RLRS: What is your favorite race?
Ellen: I think the Divas Half Marathon in Myrtle Beach, SC will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first half marathon. I also love the Chicago Marathon because it was my first marathon and my husband, dad, and best friend came to spectate and that was a great moment for me.
RLRS: What is your bucket list event?
Ellen: I don’t really have a bucket list event. I have no desire to do Boston, but I think it’s because I really love spectating that race. I have no desire to train faster or become a 3 hour marathoner. I just enjoy running and the fact that I get to do it!
RLRS: What is the funniest thing to happen to you during a race?
Ellen: Well, it probably wasn’t the funniest, but during the Chicago Marathon at mile 21 I threw up! It was a really hot day and I had taken some Gatorade which I typically don’t drink. I threw up right near a medical tent and I remember the doctor who helped me was very nice looking and I was so embarrassed!
RLRS: What is you proudest race moment?
Ellen: I think my proudest race moment was finishing my first half marathon and finishing my first full marathon. No one in my family runs (except my husband and sister in law) so they all are blown away by my accomplishments. I think my most proud moment will be finishing the half marathon I am training for currently. It will be my first race post-babies and something I have worked EXTREMELY hard for. It is very rare I hit all of my runs during the week. But, training and working hard to make the time with two kids under two and a full time job is exhausting and I feel like I have a lot of excuses not to run that are pretty valid. So, finishing this next race will mean a lot personally and I think will top this list.
RLRS: What is the one thing you wish you knew when you first started running?
Ellen: I wish I could go back and not worry so much about times. I feel like when I first started running I compared myself a lot, and still do, but that doesn’t matter. Post-babies I have reset my watch and basically acted like a first time runner. Get you a good coach, a good support system, a good pair of shoes and just run for yourself!
RLRS: What is your best piece of advice for new runners?
Ellen: Stay consistent! Consistency is key for running and building up a base. It is SO hard, believe me, I have had to start from basically zero after having two kids and breastfeeding for the past three years. But, with a lot of support and staying consistent, I have managed to build back up pretty well. Don’t give up on it and it will eventually become easier!