Our positive running story this time is on Erica Moore, a personal trainer and running mum from Mariemont, Ohio. Erica also attended one of our women’s running camps in August (the same camp as the previous stories on Liv and Jenny). Erica proved herself to be a stronger runner than she thought she might be, and was also an amazing resource for the group on any matters relating to recovery from injury and healing. (Erica is pictured above at camp in August, middle of back row). We recently asked if we could interview Erica for our positive running story series, and here is the result of our interview:
Can you share your brief running history to date?
I began running, training and competing, when I was 10. My father was a track and field powerhouse in his younger years and I wanted to be like him. At the same time I also had a 5th grade teacher, Mr. Lee Hall, who was a runner and I looked up to him. Running became a way to connect to both these people whom I wanted to emulate. I continued to run and compete for many years, having some successes some complete fails and making some of my best friends through the sport. After the birth of my second child I stopped running altogether. I’m not sure exactly why, it just seemed to get pushed further and further down the priority list. I’d feel guilty leaving to go for a run and would make up some excuse why I couldn’t fit it in. The runner in me was put away for about 8 years until one morning about 5 years ago I woke up and decided I was going to run a local half marathon that was happening that morning!
I climbed out of bed, brushed my teeth, put on my shoes, woke my husband said I would be back and headed downtown. I arrived as the runners were toeing the line and jumped in (yes, I paid the registration fee after the race). I wish I could say I just kept running and improving like Forest Gump, but really the past 5 years have been starts and stops for me. I’ve battled injuries, mommy guilt, and just plain laziness. I also learned I still have potential to be a decent runner and that running has changed for me from a way to connect to someone else to a way to connect to myself. I recently switch from all road training and racing to adding trails and I am loving it. For me trail running is more forgiving on my body but more importantly the trail has been place where I, for some reason, am learning to be more forgiving to myself.
What are the top three things that you enjoy most about running, and why?
This list is very fluid but right now they are
1* quiet time alone to work through a myriad of things I may be thinking about OR to not think about anything but the trail.
2* I love the feel of my body working, being aware of muscles and movement
3* being in and a part of nature.
You are the race director for a local triathlon on Mariemont, Ohio. What persuaded you to take on that role, and what is the biggest take away you have from putting on that race?
I am the creator and director of a super small, but growing, kid focused Triathlon called Try-the-Tri. I created this race while I was helping coach a local jr. high running team. Watching the support and encouragement the kids gave each other, the smiles that would come after the end of a run when maybe the faces reflected something else before we started, seeing that many of these kids didn’t feel like they were athletes when they really were. I wanted to give the kids in my neighborhood a chance to compete in something, not a school or club sport, something that had absolutely no expectations attached to it outside of what they expected from themselves. I hope it will spark a lifelong love of movement, exercise and friendly competition. I chose Triathlon because our neighborhood is perfectly set up for one and because it levels the playing field a bit. You may not be the best runner but if you like to swim come join us. You hate swimming?, its only a small part then you can get on your bike and fly! I wanted to attract as many kids as I could to Try the Tri. To be honest, I also did it because when I floated the idea out to a group of people I was told it couldn’t be done…. Well, it could and we did! lol! 🙂 My biggest take away from that race each year is how incredible my neighbors are to help put it on. It takes a lot of us to make it happen! My co-director, Amy, and I are in awe each year. We also love it when we hear kids talking about “next year…”
You are a CTRS (Certified Recreational Therapist) not currently practicing, as well as a personal trainer. What is about this role that gives you the biggest reward in terms of the clients that you are working or have worked with?
As a CTRS I believe what we do in our Recreation has positive or negative impact on us physically, emotionally, and mentally. As a therapist my happiest is when I can help someone else recognize this too. I’ve worked with a variety of patients; people recovering from illness and injury which may change their ability to participate in life the way they did before to people who because of mental illness or addiction have often fallen into the trap of negative impact choices. Recreation should be thought of as “Re-Creation” it is during this recreation we have the opportunity to re-create ourselves or our surrounds. My greatest joy as a therapist was to help someone discover new ways to continue to do what they loved or; to help someone who had made poor recreation choices understand re-creation and to discover healthy activities and interest and HOW to get involved to incorporate them into a life seeking health. As a personal trainer my greatest joy is to see a client’s goal obtained! As runners we know there is nothing like putting in the work and reaping the reward of achieving a goal, its a big reason why we keep doing it.
You attended one of our women’s running camps this Summer. What was it that attracted you to the camp, and what were you three biggest takeaways?
I signed up for Active at Altitude women’s camp without knowing too much about it but I am so glad I did. One of the thing that attracted me to the all womens camp was the energy I hoped would be there. I was really hoping to be surrounded by women who were sincere and honest both in where they were in their running journey and where they wanted to be. That’s exactly what I found. Terry and Jacki do a great job of fostering that atmosphere too. Three biggest takeaways 1* Your trail pace will NOT be your road pace – seems silly now but until that week I would beat myself up when I’d get off the trail having run 2- 3 min (sometimes more) per mile off my road pace. 2* That running with a bunch of women (and Terry and Coco) through the trails is joyful! 3* If you are going to do it, DO IT! You can think and plan for a long time but that doesn’t get it done.
After camp you registered for a challenging 25k in November. What did camp change in you to encourage you to take a step outside your comfort zone?
That’s a great question. Maybe it was a runners high from camp or the amazing encouragement from both Terry and Jackie as well as the women at that particular week of camp. Maybe I was light headed from the altitude and not thinking clearly. Maybe it was after an empowering week at camp, where I was able to challenge my self a little and survive I realized there is no time like the present. Ultra distances are something I have always been interested in even as a kid but whether it be fear, lack of self-confidence, ignorance, I have never pursued these distances. During that week of camp the final brick needed to shore myself up and say this is something I really want to do not just talk about was laid. This won’t happen unless I make it happen and now is the perfect time even if its not the perfect time. During that week of camp we all signed up together to do a 50K in April 2020. This 25K is just my first step toward that and bigger goals.
When you registered for our camp, you recognized that you sometimes have a lack of patience in the process and your progress. What have you learned can be effective in helping you through times like these?
Through the camp I was reminded that we are all in a process working toward progress. That looks different for each of us, and not to sound too corny but it is the most beautiful ugly thing to watch. We were lucky enough that week to have Melody Fairchild come speak to us. While Melody shared a lot of her wisdom with us one thing just continues to ring in my mind. Melody talked about letting go of things; she described it as a game of tug-of-war. What is that thing that you continue to war against, what is the opposition at the other end of the rope, is it fear, is it self-doubt, is it perfectionism or an unrealistic goal? Whatever it is, let it go. Here is what Melody said that sticks with me. “It’s like that game of tug-of-war, you pull and pull and get tugged back and forth but did you notice if you just let go… who’s left standing…”
What wisdoms would you share with a younger version of yourself about being a woman runner?
Just run! First, recognize it for what it is, a celebration of a body given to you by a creator to be used to glorify Him. Second, appreciate it for what it gives you; challenge, strength, friendship, adventure, peace. Next, you are capable of more than you think so do not sell yourself short. Finally, let go of noise from outside that doesn’t support what you want to achieve in this area.
If we could share one message on your behalf to the World, what would you want to say?
Yikes Terry that’s a pressure question. Since we are talking to a group of runners here I would want to encourage us by saying, we are all created for a purpose and things we choose to do should be things that support our purpose, running included. So, whether our running is a good example to our kids about hard work and dedication or maybe it’s a time to build relationship with neighbors, maybe its an opportunity to clear our head before we head back into the battle of job or caregiving; whatever it is figure out how running is supporting your purpose and see if it doesn’t open up a whole new area of love for the sport!
What are your goals for the rest of 2019, and beyond?
2019 – I have the 25K coming up soon. I get to run this one with Meg, whom I met at Active at Altitude, and I am really looking forward to that! I also plan to get more and more involved with our local Ultra running groups to learn and train with seasoned ultra runners. Goals for beyond. I would like to run at least one 50 mile and one 100K next year, perhaps more but right now I have my eyes focus on the November run and the upcoming 50K in April with my AaA friends.
Erica, thank you for taking the time to share your story with us, and we look forward to many more years of running for you! We wish you success with your 25k coming up soon, and look forward to seeing you in Zion in April. Your clients are very fortunate people, you have a precious gift!
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