Posted November 22, 2008
Meet our Marathoners - KIMBERLY RUSSELL
AEA Stage Manager Kimberly Russell started running marathons this year.
"I ran my first 5K in February of 2007 and as I increased my distances and ran longer races, I realized that a marathon was not out of the realm of possibility and would be a fantastic and challenging goal."
She decided to tackle this feat not once this year but twice in less than 6 months!
"The Marine Corps Marathon was my 2nd marathon. My first marathon was the Paris Marathon (yes, France!) in April of this year. I trained with the charity organization, Team in Training. I pledged to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in exchange for two group coaching sessions a week plus a ton of support over the course of 4 months. I wanted to get some professional guidance and the Team in Training program was perfect. I managed to raise over $11,000 and I met some fabulous people - including my running partner for the Marine Corps Marathon!"
Growing up, Kimberly was not interested in sports or "physical activity of any kind." She caught the running bug however, about two years ago and hasn't stopped since. "When I was about to turn 40, I made a promise to myself to get healthier. That involved exercise and since I was about go out of town with LEGALLY BLONDE, I decided that running would be something I could do anywhere, at any time."
Crossing the finish line of the Paris Marathon was an incredibly emotional experience for Kimberly. "My Team in Training coach ran me in to the finish line and as soon as I crossed it, I burst into tears. It's an amazing feeling."
Her Team in Training coaches helped train Kimberly along the way and taught her a lot about preparation and recovery. "My recovery from the Marine Corps Marathon was great. I was pretty sore right afterwards and had to hold on for dear life to get up a flight of stairs, but the next day I felt fantastic."
Kimberly's favorite part of running the Marine Corps Marathon was taking a moment to soak it all in. "At one point during the Marine Corps Marathon, my running partner and I heard a woman yell to the crowd "Look to your left!" We did and saw the most amazing view of the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. It was almost the halfway point and we were so focused on moving forward that we would certainly have missed it."
The most rewarding part of running a marathon, for Kimberly, is "knowing that you've accomplished something that most people think they couldn't. That old cliché is true - we can all do anything we set our minds to. A few years ago I would have never imagined running a marathon, much less two in less than a year."
Kimbely volunteered at the Expo and at the finish line for the NYC Marathon this year since she didn't qualify to run. "I met some fantastic people doing that as well! Plus, it was reassuring to see that the elite runners look just as tired at the end as the folks who take more than 3 times as long to finish."
Kimberly is looking forward to running in the 2009 ING NYC Marathon which she has already qualified for. She is also thinking of running the Rome Marathon with Team in Training in March.
"It's becoming a habit." Sounds like she's "caught the bug" as Jimmy Ludwig says.