Let me introduce Denise - Today's Runner Spotlight

Today is Spotlight Thursday 
Each Thursday I spotlight a different runner from around the world.

This week I'd like to introduce Denise.
I asked Denise, to tell part of her story and introduce you all to her.  So sit back and enjoy and gain some inspiration!

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

5k and 13.1 are my favorites. 

How long have you been running?  Or when did you start running?

I started running with my school's running club in 5th grade. I stopped and started a bunch of times and wish I had stuck with it. I've been running consistently since 2011 when I began training for my first half marathon. 

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

My favorite race was the 2013 runDisney Tinker Bell Half Marathon at Disneyland. It was my big goal race for a few reasons. I still had about 65 pounds to lose (out of 110 total) after being on restricted activity and bed rest during my pregnancy with my son. I wanted to lose the rest of the weight before the race and achieve the goal of running a Half. I did it!!!

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

The Dopey Challenge during the runDisney Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. I ran the Wine and Dine Half there last November and have had it in the back of my mind for a long time that I wanted to do the Marathon too.  I'm hoping to get in for 2015.

Do you enjoy running in the spring, summer, fall or winter the best?

Since I live in the rainy Pacific Northwest, I enjoy running in the summer the best to enjoy drier streets and warm breezes.

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

I've had two overuse injuries that sidelines me for 2 months each. The first was my right hip, diagnosed as hip bursitis and the second was severe back pain. My hip is fully recovered but my back still aches sometimes. I learned through the process to listen to my body about when to back off and when it's okay to train hard.

Tell me what goes through your mind when you cross a finish line?

Total relief that the training worked and I actually did it!

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

I'm proud of my finish at the Newport Marathon last year. It was my first marathon and a really tough race for me. Around mile 17-18 I started feeling really loopy and in pain. My feet were killing me, my body ached, and it was all I could do to put one foot in front of the other. The sheer determination of finishing and getting that medal was what pushed me. 

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

I have done races with friends but I'm more of a solo runner. It's my time to just be me, crank up my music, and run my heart out.

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

Yes, I love music! My favorite band to listen to is the Foo Fighters - they have been on every run with me since I started running again. My two favorite songs to run to are All My Life and The Pretender.

What is your must have running gadget, or item?

My shoes! I wear Mizuno Wave Inspire 9's and they are supportive enough to correct my overpronation but still lightweight. 

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

Find a good training plan that you like. I really liked Jeff Galloway's run/walk/run training. 

Any goals you are currently working on, that you'd like to share?

I'm training for 2 half marathons in May to qualify for Half Fanatics. As a PNW runner, I've known about them for a while and this is the first opportunity I've had to really go for it.

You've had an incredible weight loss journey, and much success, what tips do you have for someone who is trying to get the drive to start their own weight loss journey?

Start with small changes and do them consistently. I believed for a long time that I would never lose weight or worse, continue gaining. It took walking a little more each day and eating a little smaller portion every meal for me to start to see real changes. I had a bunch of setbacks - times where I turned to food for comfort instead of talking to a friend and would see the numbers on the scale rise again. One day it just clicked for me that I didn't want to live that way any more and I never looked back. I've maintained a healthy weight for over 2 years now.

If you are a race ambassador, give a shout out to whom you represent.

I am honored to be a race ambassador for the 2014 See Jane Run Seattle Women's Half Marathon and 5k. 

You can find Denise blogging at:

She is also on Facebook at:

And on twitter

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