If you’re a longtime blogger, then there’s a chance you might be familiar with the social network, LiveJournal. Wasn’t it awesome? I had so much fun blogging there, thanks to the deep sense of community and how easy it was to keep up with other blogs. But mostly … I miss the fun memes. And no, not this kind of theme:
Back then, a meme was a set of questions bloggers could answer and then tag other bloggers. Now they’re just called tags and they seem to be more popular on YouTube then in the blogmosphere. There was a running one that made the rounds a couple years ago. (My apologies to the original creator – I had no luck tracking you down.) Since I’m in a rambling writing mood today, I’m giving it a go for poops and giggles!
1. How long have you been running?
I never ran in high school or in my early twenties. Back then, I had big boobs and shin splints and since we didn’t have great sport bras or shoe technology, running was painful. We weren’t just the 80’s ladies. We were the bouncing 80’s ladies. Instead, I was an equestrian who loved Dressage and step aerobics lover.
Don’t laugh. Step aerobics were awesome!
Flash forward to me discovering the Disney’s Princess Half Marathon in 2012. Seriously? Women running through Disney World wearing tutus and tiaras?? Even though I never wore pink back then, (long, long story,) I knew this was something I had to do. A December hysterectomy knocked away my chance for the 2012 race, but I registered for the 2013 Princess Half and never looked back!
Oh, and by the way … I lost my first Princess recap after deleting my first running blog. I’m still bummed about that but at least there’s the video! And if you’re interested in my full running story, here’s my first vlogging attempt.
2. Why did you start running?
I’ve always been fascinated with running and the concept of being your own transportation. Back when I was actively running, sometimes while driving a long distance such as ten miles, it will hit me. Holy crap. I can run that.
In my thirties and early forties, I tinkered around with a few local 5k’s like the Baltimore Women’s Classic and Frederick Twilight 5k. Each time, I had a total blast and crossing the finish line gave me such a feeling of accomplishment, that I vowed to continue. But then motherhood would come calling, so I’d hang up my running shoes until the next 5k attempt. For around fifteen years, my boys were both so busy with travel sports that Bob and I didn’t have a vacation alone until the 2013 Princess Half!
I don’t regret that time spent with them at all, however. (Nor do I judge how other mothers lead their lives.) And once my youngest son graduated high school in 2013 and went off to college, the tides shifted. I became the athlete of the family and started my journey to where I am today!
3. What is the furthest distance you have ever ran?
My longest race is a marathon and as of now, I don’t have much desire to attempt an ultra-marathon. I also completed the Dopey Challenge in 2016 that was a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon, truly a spectacular event and one I’m hoping and praying to do again in 2017!
4. What is your best running memory?
Wow. There’s just too many. Finishing Dopey was phenomenal. So was that moment after my first runDisney race when my husband asked, “You’re going to want to do that again, aren’t you?” But one memory that is especially shiny is the moment when I ran my very first mile without stopping. I can’t remember when it was, but I do remember the exact place when my old running watch switched from .99 to 1.00 and I realized that I ran a freaking mile. A MILE!! It was the most amazing feeling in the world.
5. What shoes do you run in?
This is a painful question to answer since I’m not running now due to my partial plantar plate tear … and it’s possible that shoes are the reason why after I had foolishly switched to a less stabilizing Asics shoe too soon before a half marathon. (From the Kayano to GT.) A very huge mistake that has cost me dearly and one I hope you’ll never make.
So now, I’m wearing Hoka One One Arahi shoes with an early stage meta-rocker system that takes the pressure off my metatarsal joint as well as a carbon graphite insert. Soon I’ll be adding custom orthodics to the mix in an effort to finally heal and I’ll most likely require some kind of meta-rocker for the rest of my life.
6. What are your favorite and least favorite distances to run or race?
Seriously, this is not a question for an injured runner. Any distance would be amazing right now. Well, except for an ultra … although finally being able to run again would make even that seem tempting.
7. Do you have a running partner?
I run and train solo at home, but I have an amazing group of running pals whom I communicate with online as well as my own Joyful Miles posse of Jackey, Megan, and Rob!
8. What is your favorite place to run?
I love … or should I say loved?? Love??? … running at a local trail that has convenient parking, leads into town where I can refuel at a convenience store, offers many shade opportunities, plus a port-a-pot. Being able to pee is very important to me.
9. What is your favorite running accessory?
Hmm. Toughie. I’m going with a visor, since I cannot run without one. Even when it’s not sunny or raining. Well, if I’m wearing a cute running costume then yes, I can skip it. Otherwise, I always visor up!
10. Do you like outdoor or indoor running?
All of the above. I actually love running on a treadmill, (and I have some tips for those who dread it.) And I also love running outdoors, especially when I go halfway out and have no choice but to rely on my own two feet to get me back home. It’s very empowering and I miss it tremendously!
11. What is your favorite time of the day to run?
There’s a famous quote by author Dorothy Parker that goes, “I hate writing. I love having written.” This is how I feel about running in the early morning. I used to hate getting out of my warm, cozy bed and going outside in the chilly air, but after just one mile, it feels amazing. So does the knowledge that I had gotten my run out of the way before the rest of my day gets too crazy.
12. What races have you ran?
- Fifteen 5k’s
- Nine 10k’s
- Three 10 Milers
- Fourteen Half Marathons
- Three Full Marathons
13. What music do you listen to when running?
I have one special playlist that I only listen to during races that has many soul-boosting songs such as Turn Down for What, All I Do is Win, Centuries, Dare, The Distance, and of course, what must surely be the best song run conquering that last mile or big hill, Lose Yourself.
For training runs, I love listening to podcasts such as Mickey Milers and More, Michael Hyatt, the Self-Publishing Podcasts and many more! Here’s a post about my favorite podcasts as well as my favorite Running Jams and Broadway Songs for running.
14. What is the hottest or coldest weather you have ever ran in?
This gal is on the treadmill when the weather at home dips below 40 degrees, but I still had a blast doing the 2015 Disney’s Frozen 5k when it was a freezing 28 degrees and, quite literally, freezing. As far as the hottest, I avoid running in dangerous temps by either getting on the treadmill or running very early or very late.
15. What are some other exercises you love?
I love strength training, pilates, and high-energy workouts such as Insanity. I’ve tried to fall in love with yoga over the years … it’d probably help me both physically or mentally, but I have a hard time calming my mind and focusing on the poses. Once my foot is healed enough for standing poses, I plan on giving it another go!
16. Are you currently training for something?
Right now, my focus is to be healed and able to run … however slowly … at the 2017 Disneyland Half Marathon, which will mark the one-year anniversary of my injury. My biggest goal, however, is the 2018 Dopey Challenge in January. That is going to be an epic race weekend and I pray I can be a part of it!
17. What are your current or future goals?
I once had a major goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon by the time I turn 50. Well, I’m about to turn 48 so … it’s looking like that dream might not be possible. I’m not saying that to be negative. It’s okay to switch your major goals when life throws you curves and as of now, it seems like an unrealistic dream that will only lead to disappointment if not achieved.
Instead, my biggest goal is to run every runDisney race in 2019 to celebrate turning 50. That would be an amazing way to flip the stereotype of getting old the bird!
18. Advice for new runners?
Get fitted for proper shoes at a running store with a knowledgeable staff. Ladies, protect your girls by wearing a supportive sports bra unless you want your boobs to look like tennis balls in tube socks one day. Guys, nipple guards are a necessity in hot, humid weather. Start slow, be patient, never compare yourself to others, understand that a bad run is just a temporary glitch in the road, and always, ALWAYS appreciate the gift of running!
19. Why did you start making running vlogs and/or blogs?
I won’t go into a long blogging history now since this post is already quite long. Instead, I’ll share the specific moment that made me decide to start Joyful Miles, a notion Jackey, Megan, and I have kicked around for months without ever committing.
After having dinner at ‘Ohanas with my running group, a friend told me that I was her running hero and the reason why she had signed up for her first half marathon. This knowledge floored me … and also brought tears to my eyes. I was somebody’s hero. Me. Laura Bowers. Later that night, I texted Jackey and Megan, telling them we have to start this blog and YouTube channel.
Of course, it took me a couple months to actually pull the switch, having the website designed and older videos uploaded in April. And I’m still not where I want to be … there’s so much more I want to talk about and share and teach. But I still think of that moment whenever I get frustrated or lazy!
20. Who will you tag?
Everybody and anybody! Bloggers, YouTubers, readers, whoever sees these questions and feels like answering them.
Until then, thanks for tagging along … get it?? Tagging??? Okay, okay, that was a bad pun. But thanks for reading, take care, and have a joyful day!