BoCo RunCo
by Janis Feaster on March 27th, 2016

​Hello, My name is Janis Feaster and I’m a runner!

I’ve been a ‘runner’ nearly all my life. I was a sprinter in high school track (yes, they had track back in those days:). I joined the Army (Military Police…..Huwah!) where my athletic ability helped me a great deal. I was selected to participate in two Military Stakes competitions while stationed in Europe. I actually received an award for the most sit-ups from the USAREUR General during a Military Stakes PT test (I wish I could do that now…it doesn’t hurt to dream). I got a perfect score (300) on nearly every PT test in those 7 years. I seriously loved running but, moreso, just being active was my goal.

After the service, while going to college, my time was spent more at hiking and less at running. I hiked the Grand Canyon. I hiked some beautiful areas & glaciers of Juneau, Alaska. As long as I was moving, I felt like I was doing something good for myself.

I took up running again after my kids were born but nothing too serious. I’d run a mile or two on the treadmill. I did a lot of walking to keep my weight under control and feel healthy. Nearly every day I would load my kids up in the double stroller and off on a 3.5 or 4 mile walk we’d go. I am never one to just sit around the house and do nothing (snore-fest).

As my 40’s quickly snuck up on me, I felt like I needed to set challenging goals for myself. I didn’t feel like a mile or two on the treadmill would keep me young (LOL). I also faced the fear of one day being diabetic. Sadly, it runs in my family. I get my A1C tested every year. I’m in the ‘pre-diabetic’ range and I hope my running holds off (evil) diabetes for as long as possible. So in 2012 (at the age of 24…I mean 42), I ran my first half marathon! I loved it! I was hooked on running! Not just running but, to me, crazy long distance running. That was challenging for me and I needed it.

I have ran 6 half marathons and 2-15K’s to include the One America miniMarathon in Indianapolis and the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon in Louisville. On average, I log 20-30 miles per week.

​I encourage everyone to set a goal and get up and MOVE until you reach it. Then set another goal. Just start moving! It will make the world of difference in your life. 😊

by Crystal Grove on March 12th, 2016

​I am not a runner.

I don't like the title "runner" because I'm not sure what it implies. (I have NEVER eaten a carbohydrate gel or peed on myself to avoid the delay of a potty stop.)

I am just a person who runs, and races, on a semi-regular basis. Running doesn't define me or my life, it is just a teeny tiny little part of it. But its a part that I like.

In the Fall of 2009 a friend asked me to run a half marathon with her in the Spring and I said, "Sure." I have no idea why I agreed to it. At that point I had never run further than 100 meters in my entire life. I don't know what came over me, but she wanted to run it (a first for her as well) and I decided to go with her, for better or worse. We registered for the Christie Clinic Half Marathon in Champaign, followed a training plan and set a goal of simply finishing the race. We ran the race together, until she fell back due to an IT band problem at about mile 9. I ran the rest of the race alone and as I got closer to the finish I could tell that it might be possible to finish in under 3 hours. I sprinted across that football stadium to the cheers of my family and hundreds of others in the stands and finished in 2 hours and 50 minutes. I burst in to tears and my love of running was born. I was 35 years old.

Since then I've completed the Christie Clinic race three more times, shaving over 30 minutes off of my original time, and the Indy Mini Marathon once. I walked the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon in St. Louis with an awesome group of "losers" and ran the full Go St. Louis Marathon too. I've finished second to last in a sprint triathalon and competed in multiple 5Ks, winning my age group once. But all of those races are just a small part of my running journey.

The real running takes place in the early morning hours, in the dark, in the cold, when the only human being you see is your running partner and the guy unloading the semi truck at Dollar General. Don't get me wrong, I've limped and walked and whined while running. I've climbed fences to escape vicious dogs. I've used a grove of trees in the middle of a field as my bathroom. I've stepped on unidentifiable roadkill. And I've taken a wrong turn, slid down a muddy, poison ivy covered hill and sprained my ankle the week before the big race too. All of that doesn't change the fact that I love it. The running I love is ALWAYS done with friends and is at a pace just slow enough to allow for good conversation. I've cried and laughed and prayed while running. I've counseled and listened and vented while running. But the best thing I've done while running is build and strengthen relationships with other runners. And that's what makes it fun.

To all of my running partners, from Linda the first ever, to Chrisy the crazy marathoner and Pinky my faithful pacer, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

by Kristin Voyles on March 5th, 2016

​I am in denial.
 
My story begins many years ago when I was in high school.  I was a three sport athlete and super involved in every activity at school and in the community.  Being busy had just become such major part of my life, that when high school was over, sitting down and doing nothing ate at me to the point of feeling guilty.  I HAD to be doing something or I felt like I was wasting my life. 
 
Flash forward to college, by far the hardest and most challenging season of my life.  I went from being super involved to feeling like I was a nobody.  I gained 30 lbs, suffered from severe anxiety, borderline depression, a slight eating disorder, and I was so self-conscious, I always had to be able to see my reflection. It was a dark, dark time in my life, and I can’t believe that was even who I was when I think back to it.  It’s like I’m telling the sad story of a girlfriend I used to know.
 
I remember when I was a young girl, my parents would go for runs around the block we lived on.  I remember going on my first run with them, and I ended up stopping half way through, taking a short cut through the woods, and walking back to our house. NEVER AGAIN would I “run for fun”. What does that even mean?
 
But, I decided I had to take control of several areas of my life and I would start running again.  I remember waking up early before class to go to the annex, and my goal for a loooong time was to just make it 30 minutes on the treadmill without stopping - a 5 minute walking warm-up, run to minute 14, walk to minute 16, run to minute 25, walk to minute 30, and try not to die.  I struggled for a long time doing that, but I was determined.  Then, I started running outside, and I remember, AGAIN, not even being able to make it out of the block we lived in without being completely winded.  It was a long road for me (literally).

Every time I put my shoes on, I would give myself a distance goal, which would be just a little bit further than the last time.  I would go about 3 miles every time, but I walked most of it.  I did this over and over again until one day… I ran all the way to the lake… and all the way back to my house… and my life changed.  *Cue a lit fire under my butt*
 
One day I was out running, and I remember clear as day thinking, “Someday, you are gonna run a half marathon.  And because you’re crazy, maybe a marathon too.”
 
Scroll back my life to this past January, when I ran the Dopey Marathon (48.6 miles over 4 days).  I currently have SEVERAL 5ks, 10ks, and half marathons under my belt, I run for fun ALL THE TIME, I have tons of future races planned, and my life is COMPLETELY different.  I really am a totally different person inside and out. I have to thank the Lord for clinging to and changing my heart and mind, my parents for being my inspiration, and to everyone now who keeps me accountable.  I would NEVER have ever called myself a “runner”, but I don’t think there’s anyway around it now, even if I am in denial.

by Chrisy Ennen on February 27th, 2016

I am a runner.

It took me a long time to be able to say that sentence.

I always wanted to discount it in some way.
  • "I run, but I am not fast." 
  • "Do I run, or is it more like jogging?" (Is there even a difference? - NO.)

I ran track in high school and also ran for fun. I stayed active in college for awhile, but then marriage and family took priority and my life got pretty sedentary. 

When the time came for me to get moving again, lack of money and lack of time led me to the street out in front of my house - back and forth because my babies were little and inside asleep.

I started walking intervals: 1 minute each at various intensity levels building up to all out level 10. And it got to the point that I couldn't walk and get to a 10, so I had to run. That first time I might have made it 15 seconds before I was dying. But little by little I kept going and pretty soon, I had conquered that minute.

Once I got going, I decided maybe I could try a 5K, and after I did that I decided I could try a half marathon. I spent tons of hours on my own training faithfully for the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini Marathon, and when the day came I finished the race. But again, I felt like I needed to qualify it with, "I had to walk for just a little bit after a potty break at mile 10." I still wouldn't let myself be a runner.

I don't know when it changed. but sometime over the next year I started to see myself differently. I started running with other people, challenging myself with different workouts, and seeing that the simple fact that I run makes me a runner. 

As a runner i see things differently; I view life through a different lens. There are so many things in life that can be compared to running. My mental resolve is stronger - both on the road and in life. I am more in tune with my body than I ever have been before. I read Runners World Magazine and feel like it is a special treat just for me. I enjoy books written by runners, two of my favorites being Mile Markers by Kristin Armstrong and My Life on the Run by Bart Yasso. Things I once thought impossible I have accomplished - in running and in life.
  • 12 half marathons.
  • 1 full marathon.
  • 1 "Goofy" - half marathon on Saturday and full marathon on Sunday at Disney World (which technically makes 13 and 2 for the numbers above, but Goofy gets its own category)
  • 5 10K races.
  • Numerous 5K races.

  • Parenting two great kids.
  • Being a half-way decent wife.
  • Being a full-time working mom with little ones.
  • Being a multiple-job, part-time working mom with bigger ones.
  • Suffering with and working to conquer depression.
​Running has given me so much. Those t-shirts that say, "I run because killing people is frowned upon?" Well, it is a true story. Running is my therapy. My outlet. My time to debrief with my BRFs (Best Running Friends). All of those miles logged in all of those shoes on what I am pretty sure has been EVERY SINGLE ROAD in Greenville have made me not just a runner, but a better me. And I can't imagine my life without it.

I am Chrisy Ennen and I am a runner.






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