We're going behind the scenes with out of our Frequent Flyers, Anna!
Tell us about your fitness routine background.
I was very active growing up – I played tennis and basketball in high school, and played 4 years of basketball in college so my fitness routine was very focused around sprinting, conditioning, and weight lifting. Once basketball was over my senior year, I realized there was this giant void in my life where fitness used to exist, and I needed to fill it. So some of my closest friends and teammates, along with my sister and I decided to sign up for the Twin Cities marathon. Since then I’ve run 2 to 3 marathons each year and my fitness routine was pretty simple: running. No interval training, no strength training, no mobility (not even yoga!) – just running.
Why did you come to Fly Feet? And why do you keep coming?
I had started to see my marathon time improve over the years, hitting some major personal milestones and PR’s along the way – even a sub-4 hour marathon which was a HUGE accomplishment for me at the time. But the ultimate goal was to qualify for the Boston Marathon and I knew I needed to try something different. Insert Fly Feet. I had never heard of a fitness program or studio that had “Running” in its name and after 2 free classes during the opening weeks, I was hooked. I joined Fly Feet to get faster and stronger and to finally reach that Boston Qualifying time. I keep coming to Fly Feet because each time I’m in the studio I have the chance to push myself harder than I ever thought possible (thank you, coaches). With each class I take away mini accomplishments and reach mini milestones, and while each class totally kicks my butt, for some reason I can’t wait to do it again. Besides the workouts, the coaches and FF family keep me coming back – I often find myself in awe of the amazing athletes that surround me in that studio.
Tell us about what happened at your last race. :)
My last race was marathon #16 and I set a specific 10 week training program with Kristin’s help, with the goal of reaching that BQ. I spent 3 days a week at FF, 3 days a week running outside, and 1 day off. My runs consisted of 1 tempo run, 1 long run at race pace, and 1 recovery run (and mobility on Sunday morning at FF!). I had drastically reduced my weekly mileage compared to previous training cycles (only one 20 miler!), but I felt stronger than ever heading into my race. During my marathon, I was on cruise control for the first 22 miles, maintaining a pace slightly ahead of my goal – after mile 23 I definitely hit the “wall” but thought back to all of my training and hard work at FF to mentally push through. I climbed a small but daunting hill at mile 23 and thought to myself, “if you can do dynamic mode, you can do this” and when I hit mile 26 and could see the finish line I got that extra burst of energy to push through. I crossed the finish line at 3:28, 7 minutes better than the BQ time I needed and a 9 minute PR! I smiled, I cried, I hugged my family – I had finally done it!
What’s your next goal?
My next goal is to go after some PR’s in shorter distances – 5k, 10k, 10 mile, and half marathon. I would typically only run those distances as a means of training for a marathon vs. a race in itself. I plan to run the Twin Cities marathon this Fall with the goal of setting a PR for that race (It’s one of my favorite marathons, but one I always find challenging). Then I’ll spend the winter and early spring gearing up for the 2018 Boston Marathon! My goal at Boston is to qualify again for 2019. Non-running goal is to be able to do 3 pull-ups unassisted before the end of the year!
What would you tell someone who wasn’t sure if Fly Feet was right for them?
You have to come in and give it a try! It’s hard to put into words the magic that happens in the Fly Feet studio – you will definitely push beyond limits that you thought possible, and you’re surrounded by people that are pushing right there with you.
Anything else? :)
I honestly could not have achieved a BQ without Fly Feet. Every single coach deserves a special shout out for all of their support and encouragement along the way! Each of you pushed me to hang on a little bit longer in our workouts which made me stronger for the last few miles of my marathon – THANK YOU! The coaches, the classes, the other fly feet-ers, the training, and the mindset completely changed the game and the result was something I never thought was in the cards for me. My new favorite quote that we hear often at Fly Feet is: “if you want to run faster, you have to run faster.” I know it seems pretty simple, but guess what? It works!