May Community Captain of the Month

May Community Captain of the Month.
Active SWV would like to give a shout out to Community Captain Lauren Beam for completing the Grist Mill Grinder for the first time last month. We asked Lauren to tell us a little about the race and her experience with participating in races. 
 
Was the Grist Mill Grinder your first race?
No, my first race was actually a 5k when I was probably 6 years old. My parents are both ultra marathoners so I grew up in the race community. However, I never really enjoyed running until i made the switch from shorter distances to long distance running. I think a common misconception around ultra running or even marathoning is that you have to run the whole time. I even used to think this. Since moving to longer distances, I have completed one 50K and 2 marathons, and had so much more fun walking & running those distances than I do at any 5K. Taking my time and enjoying the scenery is what really made me love running, not sprinting my guts out to try and get under a 30 minute 5k. 
How did you train?
A huge part of my training this past year was the actually the Active SWV Winter Challenge. I ran 460 miles in 100 days. This really kept me motivated and accountable through the winter months which is when i struggle the most. I try to run 3-4 times M-F and then I always do a long run on the weekend. 
What keeps you motivated?
I think my motivation is 2 parted. 1. is my desire to live a healthy lifestyle and 2. is signing up for races. If you have a goal, such as finishing the Gristmill Grinder, it is a lot harder to blow off a training run vs. having nothing to actually train for. I would encourage someone lacking motivation to sign up for a race. It sounds silly, but when I am struggling to go run or I am tired during a run I often picture myself crossing the finish line of the race I am training for. I think about how good it will feel to meet my goals and know every step of training was worth it.
Do you have other races planned in the future?
Yes! My family and I put on our own private 50K in my backyard. This will be our second year, so I am running that 50k on May 8th. My dad and husband will be running it too. I have also signed up for the Wy’east Wonder 50k in Oregon this June. I am currently #14 on the waitlist so I have high hopes of getting in. This race runs around Mt. Hood. My husband and I are both going to run this one and spend a week exploring Oregon.
Has being a Community Captain help you achieve your race goals?
Having my running and walking group every Thursday really keeps me accountable. It is really fun to run or walk with a group so I get to look forward to my runs every Thursday.
What words of encouragement would you have for participants that would like to do their first race?
My best advice would be to just do it! The running community, especially trail runners, are the least “judgey” people I have ever met. Whether you run a 5 minute mile, or you are like me and prefer to just take your time everyone is so encouraging! I am always pushing time cut offs at races but the finish line is always full of people to cheer you on no matter when you get there! Pick a race that interests you and run YOUR race, you don’t have to break speed records to be a runner!
 
To learn more about Active SWV Free Physical Activity Programs check out our website calendar. 

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