Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Featured Runner: Cynthia from Balls in the Air

Well after having not one featured runner in the month of September, we're finally {hopefully} back into the swing of consistent things!  This week we have Cynthia from Balls in the Air, and you'll be blown away by some of here crazy running stories.  And does she have a story as to how she met her husband!  Man!  Anyway, hope you enjoy today's feature and without further ado...

Meet Cynthia.
{pictured above at the Island Girl 10K}
1. What inspired you to start running in the first place? Back in the 80’s, I took aerobics classes and felt I couldn’t push myself anymore. So, I started teaching them. Once again, I reached a level where I didn’t feel I was getting anything out of it. So, I turned to running. Since then, I’ve never felt bored; twenty-some years later, I still feel that I can push myself more.

2. What is your most memorable running moment? Meeting my husband. We were racing a winter half-marathon in Peterborough, Ontario. I got really dehydrated (yes, in 20 below temperatures, you can still dehydrate) and sick; my arms were having muscle spasms. My husband saw that I was in agony and offered to massage my arms. Three months later, we were living together; five years later, we got married….

3. What piece of running gear will you never run without? Shoes. I think. There is a huge revolution moving towards Vibrams/Barefoot/minimalist running. I think it’s great but it’s not for me; I’m far too conservative. However, I have suggested to my husband that he try it and he seems to like it. I guess there will be more to follow on that next summer.

4. Any upcoming races? I always have a race in mind – sometimes, many. Right now, I’m gearing up for Road2Hope, the November marathon in Hamilton, Ontario. I’m really nervous about it as it is my first in almost 20 years (19, to be exact).

5. What is your *dream* race or distance? I love the 10 mile distance and race. During my training for Hamilton, I realized that there is a need for more 25 to 35 K races. For me, who trains to race and races to train, they would be great to help me gear up for the marathon distance. Are there any Ontario race directors out there reading this?

6. Have you ever run for charity? If so, what charity? No, that takes a whole new level of commitment. Between family and work, I feel that I am stretched a lot with my own running goals. To raise money for someone or something requires a lot more work. That being said, though, I started my own running event, Kids Running for Kids, for SickKids in Toronto. This was the first year and I hope that it will grow into something bigger next year.

7. What advice would you give for someone who is thinking about taking up running? Set a goal. That can be time, distance or a race. We are a goal-driven society and running is no exception to it. Goals give focus and a reason to stick to the plan. It’s important to keep in mind that goals will change as your own fitness level does and life interferes. That’s okay. Just always look at the big picture; what do you really want to get out of this thing called running?

8. What advice would you give to a first-time marathoner? That’s funny because, even though I have run 5, I feel like a first timer after being off for 19 years. I think the best advice is to respect the distance. This means that to run the marathon successfully, whether it is just finishing or running within a certain time, you have to be prepared to work hard for it: plan your training, eat to run, rest and mentally get ready for the big day.

9. What's one thing you don't like about running? Laundry, especially in the winter time. I pulled out my tights and layers for the first time last night and am already moaning the laundry season.

10. What is your favorite form of cross-training, if any? Cycling – it helps maintain my cardio without putting stress on my body. After long runs, cycling takes away the aches and pains. And, I can cycle on my windtrainer on days that I can’t get out for a run.

11. Tell me about your very first race. It was the Pointe de Pointe in Toronto, Canada and it was a disaster. I had no idea what to do – except run. I went out way too fast but finished respectfully. However, my quads were killing me for the next few days. Despite this, I was hooked on road-racing.

12. How do you get yourself out the door on the days that you hate running? I tell my boys, 4 and 9, that I need to get out for a run. They keep reminding me that I need to get out and try to coerce me to take them. In better weather, I do – almost always – as one bikes and the other sits in the jogger. Now, it’s dark, wet and rainy so, while they want to tag along, I leave them at home.

Me and my boys playing in Lake Ontario (yuck!) after The Chocolate Race.
13. What running shoes do you swear by? I love my Asics but I’m also wear Saucony now. With a marathon on the horizon, I want to have two pairs to train in so that my foot muscles don’t get use to just one position; this seems to help them feel better after my long runs and tempos. In the next two weeks, I’ll decide which pair is my marathon shoe.

14. Have you had any running injuries that sidelined you for a period of time? If so, what did you do to recover? Years ago, just over 20, I tore my groin. Initially, I pulled it running in sub-twenty temperatures but I didn’t take enough time for it to heal. Two weeks later, I raced in that same sub-20 weather and tore it. That was the most painful thing I’ve ever gone through; okay, childbirth may have been worse but that was short and sweet. My groin tear lasted for two months. I ran in the pool (boring), cycled and got on the stairmaster everyday to keep my cardio up. Once I was able to run again, I found that I hadn’t lost that much conditioning.

15. What are five of your favorite songs from your running playlist? I don’t run with an iPod so I don’t have a playlist. I’ve been thinking about picking a small one up to get me through the end of my marathon training but finding music and making a playlist would just be too much work right now. I’m busy enough with my real job. Besides, I hate earphones. I suppose I could always go wireless, though. Oh, yes, the playlist again.

Waterfront 8K in Burlington

16. If there was one running accomplishment that you wish you could achieve with no possibility of failing, what would it be? Running Boston. Actually, I have qualified – a couple of times – but I’ve never gone, and I don’t regret not going because the timing just wasn’t right. Now, almost 50, I’d really like to go in the next year or two and take my family with me. Who knows if my boys will ever get a chance to see Mom run the Boston Marathon again?

Thanks so much, Cynthia!  You are truly an inspiration of someone who really makes time for her sport. 

Okay so I think it's about time to revamp {again} the system of how we choose featured runners.  I do appreciate everyone nominating bloggers who they are particularly fond of, but sometimes people forget to do so, and we have 2-3 people in the running for one particular week.  Not sure if this is the best way.  So perhaps if you would like to be featured, just leave a comment once again nominating some running bloggers of whom you are a fan, and you and all those you nominate will be put into a list that we will continue to choose from week after week.  People can and will be added to this list as time goes on, but you can't be on the list twice.  I think is the best way to get a big variety of runners from whom we can all draw inspiration and hear some awesome stories we never would have heard otherwise.  So what do you think?  Good idea?  Or am I going nuts?

Regardless, hope you enjoyed our feature and good luck for next week!  Maybe YOU will be chosen next!

1 comment:

  1. well, i'm still reading however you are deciding to pick the runners ;) loved reading this one!!


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