I “met” Ann last year when I stumbled across her blog, Twelve in Twelve. Her upbeat attitude, sense of humor, and honesty about her challenges kept me reading every week. As her love of running grew, so did her goals and Ann has been bitten by the marathon bug. This year Ann will be training for her first marathon, the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, and will be incorporating all of the TCM races into her training.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Ann, I’m 27, and I’m a runner, though it's taken me close to two years to be able to claim myself as such. I love spending time with my family. I've been married for about a year and a half, and I live in Saint Paul with my husband, Jay, and dog, Biscuit. I work in Human Resources and spend most of my time at work, at the gym, and with family and friends. I'm a recovering Diet Coke addict (yes, it's a real thing), and I'm a blogger.
In the past year, my husband and I have each lost about 50 pounds. For each pound I lose, running and being active becomes easier and easier. For me, running has become part of living a healthy, active lifestyle. It's not an excuse to eat whatever I want; it's not a license to consume endless amounts of carbs, sugar, and fried food (even though I might want to!). In fact, I'd like running to be a tool to help me continue to lose weight and get closer to my goals. I'd like to be close to my goal weight by mid-summer - in time for the Red, White & Boom! TC Half Marathon in July.
How did you get into running?
In January of 2010, I had seen a friend on Facebook complete 12 5Ks in 12 months, and I wanted to try it for myself. I had no idea what I was doing, and the very first race, I ended up putting my foot into a pothole and ran the rest of the 5K with a soaking wet foot. Since then, I've walked entire races, I've run entire races, I've almost walked off the route and not finished races, and I've finished dead last in races. Needless to say, I learned a lot of lessons and gained a lot of experience that year.
After hitting my goal in 2010, I set my aim even higher for 2011 - to run 12 races in 12 months. I wanted to increase the distance and variety of the races. I finished 5Ks, a 10K, a half-marathon, Ragnar Relay, and a 40-mile bike ride.
Why did you begin blogging?
After I set the goal of running 12 5Ks in 12 months, I wanted a way to document my experiences, so I started a blog. Besides keeping a record of all of my races, experiences, successes and struggles, blogging has opened so many doors and opportunities. I've met some amazing friends through blogging, and have encountered endless support from people who are going through similar situations. Blogging has given me the confidence to set and achieve goals I never thought were possible!
Why a marathon now?
The simple answer is that I want to see if I can do it. I want to push my body to do something I thought was so incredibly impossible. The same way I thought I would never be able to run 1 mile consecutively, or 3.1 miles, or 6.2 miles. The same way I thought I would never be able to finish a half marathon or run three legs of a 200-mile race at the Ragnar Relay. I want to prove to myself that I can do it.
What in particular appeals to you about the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon?
The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon was the only marathon I considered running - in large part because I saw the finishers at the 2011 marathon. I wanted to be running down the chute from the Capitol building; I wanted to hear the crowds yelling and cheering my name; I wanted my family and friends to see me finish and earn the title of "marathon finisher". The timing is perfect - early fall, and the location of the race, “The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America”- will run through some of my favorite places in the Twin Cities metro.
What’s your biggest fear when it comes to running a marathon?
Well, my biggest fear, when committing to the marathon is, "Will I finish? Will I be able to physically complete a race of 26.2 miles?" I know my body, right now, could not finish 26.2 miles in the allotted time limitations. But I'm giving myself time and resources: Time to train, time to log the miles, resources of experienced runners and marathon finishers to reach out to for advice, help, and support. Being involved with the blogging community for two years has made me incredibly comfortable reaching out to people in similar situations. I feel fortunate to have so many wonderful resources and friends available and willing to help! I can't wait to finally say, "Hi, I'm Ann. I'm not just a runner - I'm a marathon finisher!"
Good luck, Ann! We’re excited to follow your journey!
Ann will be blogging on the TCM blog approximately every two weeks with updates on training, weight-loss, and running. She’ll also continue to blog at her regular site, Twelve-In-Twelve. You can follow her on Twitter, too. (@Minnesota_Ann).