Sunday, October 30, 2011

In the "spotlight" with Ann from Wisconsin

Meet Ann the stay at home mom from Wisconsin!  Ann's "me time" is running...
My name is Ann. I’m a stay-home mom who enjoys Ultra running, marathon running or really any kind of running. I will run fast or slow with anyone willing to join me for 2 or 12 miles. It makes me feel brave and confident enough to tackle any obstacles and I love new adventures. Yup, that’s me!

However, it wasn’t always who I was or how I felt about myself. I used to be overweight, reluctant and as for adventures...those where nowhere to be found.

In 2002, when my youngest daughter turned 2, I saw myself as not the picture of health or beauty. Being overweight made me incredibly unhappy. I had always been thin until my husband and I started a family. We are blessed with 4 beautiful daughters! They are always a great source of joy for me, although, at the time, I found my personal life was lacking my own joy.

 I decided it was time to turn things around so in January of 2003, I began walking on a treadmill in my basement and eating only healthy foods. As the weight dropped off, I began hearing other moms telling me how great I was looking. That was nice to hear, but I wanted something more. The walking was going great, but I figured, if I start running...the weight will come off quicker, and of course it did!
Dropping 45 lbs and fitting into small jeans again was nothing short of feeling wonderful!

As for the running, I should confess that I’m a little competitive...OK, a lot competitive.
My running began to take off. My children were small (four girls under the age of 9) so I found time in the evenings to go run alone. I ran 2 or 3 miles at a time. I entered 2 mile races and enjoyed watching my times get faster. Little rewards for my hard work!

I entered my very first 10K run in June 2005. It was a huge accomplishment to run for 6 miles at one time. Spring of 2006, I entered my first Half Marathon, in 2007 my first full marathon and the rest seems to have gone by in a blurr. Running on a daily basis is almost like watching my daughters grow into young women. It’s a subtle process that’s filled with hope, joy and a bit of faith.

Over the years, my running evolved from the short 2 milers into marathon and ultra running.
Now-a-days, I enjoy being a Pace Team Leader for the Green Bay Marathon and the Fox Cities Marathon, both in Wisconsin. Pacing involves helping others complete the 26.2 miles of the marathon within a specified time.
My current totals are: 12 full marathons (including Boston), three 50Ks, 15 half marathons and several other race distances thrown in for fun.

Even though I still consider myself a stay-at-home mom, I work 2 days a week at the local Run Away Shoes. I also belong to the Green Bay Running Club, where I’m the Event Director. We have put on some new running events this past year that include, the MBG 2010 (a marathon fun run) in November and the GBRC 6Hr / 8Hr Ultra run in June. Both events are scheduled again for 2011 and 2012. Coming up April 2012, for Run Away Shoes, I will be directing a brand new relay event from Oshkosh to Green Bay called Run Away to The Bay.

When I’m not running or directing events, I’m out cheering on my own daughters in their Cross Country and Track meets. It’s a joy to watch them share my passion.

Currently, I have just completed training for my first solo 50 Mile event on October 22, 2011 at the Fall 50. My long term goal is to complete 50 marathons before I turn 50. I have 35 more to go and 8 more years to complete.

All the competitive running, as well as the time spent training has been so rewarding over the years. The new friends met and friendships formed have been greatly satisfying. The fantastic people I have had the privilege to meet have really been the reason for me to get out and run. I have the entire running community and especially my family to thank for this incredible experience.

‘I don’t run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days.’

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