Happy Monday!! Who had a perfectly gorgeous fall weekend?? I wish it wasn’t over, but back to the grind we go. This weekend consisted of running, a pumpkin patch, a hay-ride, dinner with friends, and a Sunday afternoon mini shopping trip. Pretty successful if you ask me.
I was finally able to sleep in Saturday morning, and now I feel all caught up on my sleep! Traveling 3 weekends in a row to 4 different states makes for one tired Sarah. It was near impossible to drag myself out of bed and get to the gym, and this girl agreed…
My half marathon training call for another 10 miler, but, and I’ll be honest, I was itching to get back home and start ‘fall-fun-date-day’ with my husband so I cut it off at 7 miles. I know, I *might* regret that decision on Saturday at my half, but I did all 7 miles at a little faster than goal race pace so I count it as a victory! When I finished I was a sweaty mess, and pretty darn proud of myself. I have a feeling if I had done 10 I would have tired out my legs too much anyways.
Mile 1- 8:57, Miles 2-6- 8:49, Mile 7- 8:27
While I was gone, Adam took Truckee on “the loop” and got in their workout as well! The Loop is just what we call the ~1 1/2 mile route we take down and around and up our street. Truckee was pooped the rest of the day!
After we all recovered from our morning sweat-fests, we made the journey down to Chicken Express, then to Motley’s Pumpkin Patch for a fun date! Those of you who have 24/7 access to Chicken Express may not understand what a treat it is to indulge in their chicken, gravy, mini poppers, and corn nuggets! It’s on the complete opposite side of town from us, which is about 45 minutes away, so we always try and stop by if we’re down that way. And actually, it’s one of two in Arkansas, and there still isn’t one in Tennessee!
The pumpkin patch was adorable. It’s located on the south side of Little Rock, right outside the city, but far enough away that you feel like you’re out in the country. We witnessed our first pig race, rode our first hayride together, picked pumpkins, ate fudge, and wandered around the farm enjoying the sunshine! It was a BEAUTIFUL October Saturday in Arkansas!
Dating my husband is something I try not to take for granted. I know one day it won’t be just the two of us, so for now I’m enjoying soaking up all the “us” time that we can!
Now onto today’s topic!
I want to introduce you to Mrs. Tia Stone, of Arkansas Runner Mom. Tia is the wife of one of Adam’s favorite professors from Harding. In fact, they still play video games together occasionally. When I started really getting into running, we found out that Tia was a HUGE local runner, incredibly successful, incredibly inspiring, AND she has 4 little kids! She just might be the fastest “mother of 4” in Arkansas. I should look into that! But really, she is a very talented runner, and if you run in Arkansas there is no way you haven’t heard of her! At the Little Rock Marathon this past spring, she placed 4th. No big deal.
Her running blog is fantastic, and talks all about her running journey, her struggles, her workouts, her race recaps, and her family. Be sure and check it out, it’s a good read!
I sent her a handful of questions to answer, and hopefully you will enjoy her answers as much as I did.
-When did you start running?
I ran my first 5K around age 6. I ran a couple more after that but I mostly just cheered on my dad when he raced. I got serious in 10th grade when my high school started a cross country team.
-Where did you run in college?
I ran 4 years cross country and track for Harding University.
-Tell us a short bio of yourself- husband, kids, etc.
I met my husband in the summer of 2000 in California. We were married exactly one year later and lived in California until 2002 when we moved to Arkansas so he could finish his degree. We never intended on staying in Arkansas but we feel like the city we live in is a great place to raise a family. We have 4 children ages: 2, 5, 7 & 9. I have a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education and currently supervise a few student teachers for Harding University but my main job the last 9 ½ years has been as a stay at home mom.
-How many races have you completed at this point?
Wow- this is a hard question. I am guessing somewhere between 100-150? I raced a lot in high school and college and then took 8 years off of serious running. Now I race about 20 races a year from one mile to the marathon.
-How do you run with 4 kiddos?
Most of my training is done early in the morning before my kids wake up. As soon as I walk in the door I switch back over to mom mode because it’s time to get the older kids dressed, fed and ready for school. When I only had one or two children and I wasn’t running competitively I ran a lot with my single or double jogger. Once we had more kids the jogging stroller just wasn’t doable anymore.
-If you could describe your Boston 2013 experience in 1-2 sentences what would you say?
My Boston 2013 experience was very divided. Before the bomb went off it was the absolute best racing weekend experience ever and after the bomb everything instantly changed and I just wanted to get to safety and then get home!
-When did you run your first marathon and how many have you completed now?
I ran my first marathon in December of 1999 while I was in college. I did it without training more than 12 miles (I do NOT recommend this) and I did it more or less as a bucket list item. I never intended to run another one. Coincidentally my second marathon was exactly 10 years later and the same marathon too! At this point I have run 8 total but by the end of 2013 I should be at an even 10.
-What are your PR’s?
1 Mile- 5:17 (6/13)
5 K- 17:52 (7/13)
10 K- 38:41 (5/13)
15 K- 59:49 (2/13)
Half Marathon- 1:25:57 (9/13)
Marathon- 3:03:51 (4/13)
-Tips for time management?
Every Sunday night I look at my running week ahead. I lay out my running clothes at night before I go to bed and I calculate approximately how long each workout will take. One thing I’ve started doing this year is jogging to my work-out. For example, we live about a mile and a half from the track and I used to drive there, warm-up and then do my work out. Then I’d cool-down and drive home. One day it dawned on me that I could sleep in an additional 15 minutes if I cut the driving out of the equation. So now I run there as the warm-up and jog home as the cool-down. I also pack my kids lunches the night before and make sure all their clothes are laid out so our morning is not as crazy once I get back from running.
-Do you follow any specific training plans?
I do my best when I am following some sort of plan. I do a lot of running research but my favorite training book is Pete Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathoning. Right now I have a running coach who sends me my workouts each week.
-Goals for the future?
Currently I am chasing a sub 3 hour marathon and a sub 1:25 half.
-Do your kids run as well?
Yes, my kids are turning into little runners themselves! J They’ve run in a few local 5k’s and one mile races and my oldest daughter ran her first 10K this spring.
-What will you do when you’re done running?
I hope I am still able to compete for many, many more years but I have recently certified to become a running coach so I would like to pursue that even more.
-What have been your favorite races?
My favorite race was the Boston Marathon 2013. As far as local favorites- I loved the go!Mile (1 mile race) and the Fast Firecracker 5K in Little Rock.
-Tell us about one lesson running has taught you.
Running has taught me that I a stronger and more capable than I think.
-What would you say to someone who is wanting to get into running?
Get yourself a good pair of running shoes and get started! Don’t go too hard too fast. Be patient and you will see great results.
-What is your favorite running memory so far?
I have some great memories of my dad cheering for me in high school. Most recently I would say watching my daughter finish her first 5K. She held my husband’s hand almost the whole time and looked precious when she crossed the finish line.
-Do you have a personal mantra?
Before a big race I like to prepare myself for what I’m about to face. I love Tom Hank’s line in A League of Their Own– “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” Running is hard but a good race or run makes it all worth it.
During a race I like to recite Joshua 1:9- “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” This verse really helped me stay focused and strong during the Little Rock Marathon this spring when my hip started hurting at mile 15.
Do you have any questions for Tia? Do you have a local runner you enjoy following? What did you do this weekend?