Q&A with Co-Blogkeeper Melissa S
I had the pleasure of meeting Kristin S during training for the 2021 NYC Marathon while we both were running with Team for Kids (TFK). We met late in the season when I joined Kristin’s group for a 3-hour training run. It was early October, but it was hot; it hit 80 degrees early that morning! Kristin dubbed that run “The Death March.” Bonding over misery, we became fast friends. Here are the highlights from my recent conversation with now new Flyer Kristin.
Melissa: Hi Kristin! Where are you from? Are you a native New Yorker?
Kristin: I grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. After spending some time in Florida, I relocated to New York City for work about three and a half years ago. I always dreamed of working in NYC so when I received an offer with a full relocation opportunity, I grabbed it and ran (so to speak)! I’m a sanctions compliance advisor for a bank by day.
Melissa: Have you been a runner your whole life?
Kristin: I ran in high school but wasn't very good and just did it for fun. As an adult, I started running in 2008. My mom ran marathons, and when I wanted to get in shape, she suggested I give long distance running a try! Thanks Mom!
Melissa: Aside from the 2021 NYC Marathon, have you run other marathons?
Kristin: My mom and I ran Chicago in 2009, which was my first marathon. She wanted to run together and get a “holding hands” finish line picture! But, I was too nervous and persuaded her to start in her own corral which was ahead of mine. A few miles into the race, I regretted not starting together and looked for her the entire way!
It turned out that my athletic mom beat my time by more than 10 minutes! She didn't go all the way through the finish chute in hopes of spotting me coming through, but there were so many people that we missed each other. But, lots of other random runners received a hug from my mom after crossing the finish line as she got wrapped up in a complete finish line hug-fest! I absolutely loved the Chicago Marathon. I was well trained and injury free. We had ideal race day weather and most of all, I had my mom with me! I felt great after the race and was eager to run another marathon.
My second marathon was not as pretty—the St. George Marathon in Utah in 2011. I was well trained and injury free for this one too but on race day, it reached over 90 degrees. I felt awful and thought it was never going to end! I finished with a gnarly sunburn and vowed I would never run a marathon again. Famous last words.
After St. George, I took a 10-year hiatus from running except for an occasional Turkey Trot race. After moving to NYC, I was looking for ways to meet more people and decided a running group would be my best bet. I heard it was going to be the 50th anniversary of the NYC Marathon and Team for Kids (TFK) looked fun, so I signed up to fundraise and train with them. At the first practice, everyone was talking about how excited they were to run. I decided not to mention that I didn’t actually like running and was just hoping to make some friends! ????
Luckily, it didn’t take long for me to love running again. I met so many wonderful people while training with TFK, including fellow New York Flyers and Thursday Night Fun (TNF) run friends Dave K and Carla M. Race day weather was perfect and I had both of my parents in the city cheering for me (they’re the best!).
Another highlight was that I got to meet and do a shake-out run with Meb before the marathon. I had always wanted to meet him and it was so much fun.
Melissa: When you’re not running, what do you do for cross-training?
Kristin: I’m a big fan of CrossFit because it's full-body functional strength training. The classes can be tough but similar to running, it’s always easier to suffer with friends! I love practicing the fun stuff like rope climbs and hand stand walks!
Melissa: Why did you join the NYF?
Kristin: After the NYC marathon, I was in group run withdrawal! Dave K told me about the New York Flyers, and he invited me to the Thursday night weekly 6:30 PM group run (aka TNF). Everyone was so welcoming, funny, and easy going — it was Flyers Love At First Sight ???? for me and I joined the same night.
At the TNF run, we catch-up on our week; Carla M. tells us funny work stories, Dave K. shares updates about his cats, Guy S. makes us laugh, and I usually spill my guts about whatever happened that week (Jeff Z. says it’s a safe place!). The TNF run provides fitness, friends, laughs and therapy… who knew?! ????
Now I look forward to the TNF run every week. We have faster paced folks, a more “sexy pace” crew, and a run/walk group. There is truly a place and pace for everyone and nobody is left behind. I’m a big fan of running sexy pace on Thursdays.
The post-run social (with burgers, fries, and tater tots) is just an added perk! I also signed up for the Flyers SpeedPass program -- SpeedPass Coaches Amy and Jim rock my socks!
Recently, we brainstormed ideas for my blog post as I wasn’t sure what to write about. I thought maybe I should just write a Haiku about the TNF run. ???? Although I was convinced to do a bit more than a Haiku, I will leave you with this:
Thursday night fun run.
Round the park to All Stars Bar.
Pass the tater tots.