Runner Spotlight, Let Me Introduce Joni

Today is Spotlight Thursday

This week I'd like to introduce Joni. 
I asked Joni several questions, to tell part of her story and introduce you all to her 

Joni Blogs At:
Tell us what distances you like to run?

The full 26.2 is by far my favorite because it's such a challenge. It really requires you to take control over your mind and body. 

How long have you been running?

I started running when I was a kid. Growing up my mom was a runner (she was forced to retire because of a bum hip) and she and I ran together. It was through her urging that I started running track and cross country in middle school, I've been a runner ever since.

What has been your favorite race and distance you have run?  Tell us why? 

My favorite race is the Big D Marathon/Half. It was both my first half marathon and full marathon and holds a very sentimental place in my heart. It was there, on two separate occasions that I proved to myself that I can do something awesome.

If you could run any race in the entire world, where would it be and why?

The Pikes Peak marathon. I like the idea of doing something that is truly extreme. Plus, I think it would be an awesome bumper sticker for my car.

Do you run for fun?  Or run to compete?  Both?

For fun. Running is a hobby, I do it because I love it. Though the Garmin has made me care about my speed more and more. It's really making me aware of what I can do.

Have you ever won a race or placed in your age group?

I've never won a race but have placed in my age group a couple of times. The last road race my mom ran was a mother's day race with me in 2010 - a 5k called the Mom Run. She trained for a couple of months to get back into running shape for that race and she was in pain the entire time. We crossed the finish line, hand in hand, in just over 27 minutes. Since we registered as a mother/child team our times were combined, as were our ages. With a combined age of 81, we placed second in our age group! 

Have you experienced any trials/injuries/health issues that you have had to overcome?  Tell us about them.

I had chronic shin splints for most of my 20s. It was my own fault, I wasn't smart about how I ran. I didn't build up mileage gradually enough and I didn't let my body recover well between runs. I would run hard until they hurt so badly I could barely walk, then quit for months at a time because I was frustrated. Repeat. Finally I got smart, did things the right way and beat them. I've been very lucky to be injury free since then.

Tell me what crossing the finish line feels like to you.

It feels like love, pride and accomplishment all balled up into one. No matter how many times I do it, it leaves me with the warm fuzzies every single time.

Do you have a specific distance and PR that you are proud of?  Tell us about it. 

Without a doubt it is my recent half PR, 1:56.28. This was the first time I actually tried to race, I'd always just run for enjoyment. I never really tried to push myself before and I honestly didn't think I could break two hours. It taught me a lot about what my body is really capable of. 

You just ran a half marathon in pouring rain, what were your favorite parts of it, and the not so favorite parts?  

By far my favorite part was running through downtown, Downtown Houston is such a cool place. Least favorite part was the post race party. It was in a park, which because of the rain turned into a mud pit. It's a shame too because it would have been a great party if it weren't for the rain.

When someone asks you why you run, what do you tell them?

I like how it makes me feel, empowered and strong. When I running, I'm convinced I can do just about anything. 

What is your favorite kind of running, solo running or running with a friend or group? 

I think it depends on the day. they all have their place so I don't know if I could choose a favorite. I started doing long runs with a buddy (that's not my husband) for the first time a couple of months ago and I'm really enjoying them. 

Do you listen to music while you run?  Give us the top 2 running songs on your playlist. 

I do sometimes. When I am finding a run particularly difficult I will fire up my running playlist to help me get through. I tend to listen to very heavy music when I run. Top two songs: Broken, Beat & Scarred by Metallica and 6 Gun Quota by Seether

Looks like you enjoy doing a lot of camping and hiking, where are your best recommendations? 

My all time favorite park is Lost Maples State Natural Area. It's located about two hours northwest of San Antonio and is great for recreational camping and hiking. If you're more serious about your outdoor experience I highly recommend Big Bend Ranch State Park, we went last year and loved it. If you're into primitive camping and hiking it's a must. Go prepared though, it's an intense place.

What is your must have running gadget, or item? 

Stroller, hands down. If it weren't for the stroller I'd be confined to the treadmill during the week and I HATE the treadmill. I'd rather push a 90 pound double stroller 10 miles. 

What other hobbies/sports do you do?

I golf. Not very well. My husband taught me how shortly before we got married. 

What type of things motivate you and push you towards success?  

I like knowing that I'm doing something not many people can do. 

Do you have any tips of suggestions for someone who is thinking of starting up running? 

Listen to your body, know what aches and pains are normal and which ones are not.

Looks like both you and your husband are runners, do you find it bring you closer together?

He does run...some. He doesn't quite have the running commitment I do. He runs for much the same reason I play golf, just to share something that I enjoy. For that reason it does bring us closer.

What is the best thing you have learned from being a runner?

Your biggest limitations to success are your own perceived notions of what you're capable of. 

Do you have a great accomplishment you have achieved in life?  Do you mind sharing? 

Sometime in my 20s, at the same time I was battling shin splints I ate too many cheeseburgers and gained quite a bit of weight. It took 10 months of strict calorie counting to lose 45 pounds. It was the single most difficult thing I've ever done.

What are a few of your dreams or bucket list items? 

Learn to play the piano. Become fluent in a second language (Spanish or ASL). Run an ultra.

You can find Joni Blogging at:

You can also find Joni on Twitter @rocksonafence

And on Instagram: Rocksonafencepost


  1. Love your blogs combination of fitness and reading!

    My Top 10 Adult/NA Books and YA Books of 2013

    I am also giving away any of my 2013 favorites here! Please enter!

  2. I always enjoy reading about other runners. We are such and interesting group of people. lol.

  3. I adore you and your blog and love seeing your commitment to the running community.


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