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Open Mic Friday: Carol

Open_mic_friday We first met Carol (her profile name is coyotegirl) through her stories she submitted through the ExtraOrdinary Runners Awards - Saturday Morning Fever and Running For Two.   We enjoyed her stories and were interested to learn more about the person behind her running.   As you will read, she is a busy mom who is passionate about running with a goal to run a faster 5K (22 min) this year. 

What is your favorite run (a trail, a training run, a distance, an event, etc)?

I love trail running. I run with a group called the Wile E. Coyotes, we're the trail version of the Rockford Roadrunners. I just completed a grueling trail series that consisted of a 5k, 10k, 15k and 20k, one a month from December through March. We braved white-out snow storms, sub-zero temps, knee deep snow drifts, icy and muddy trails, creek crossings, stair climbs, rope climbs, and hills and more hills.

It was collectively the toughest challenge I've been crazyCarol_2  enough to partake in. I loved every minute of it! I've never run a marathon, but the high I got from completing this series will be a tough one to top.

How do you find time to run?

I have a 7 year old, a 3 year old and a 11 month old. I have a graphic design business that I run from home. At home, life is minute by minute, bouncing between my "mommy" role and "graphic designer business woman". Sometimes I can pull it off, other times I realize, I'm not fooling anyone:o) Running helps me know how to laugh at myself, and not take everything so seriously.

My health club has wonderful childcare, so I just plan it into our day. It is my time. It is good for me, therefore good for my children. It is important to get that time apart so I can run off the stress, and regroup, so that when I am with them I can be in the moment and at my best. My little ones need their own time too, so it works out for the best. It is very hard to keep up with our life. When I am running I leave everything else at the door. I push myself hard, and find it very satisfying at the end of the run. Running keeps me healthy and sane. I feel strong, and healthy...I've never felt better. Thankfully, fitness is a priority for my husband too. He  is amazingly supportive. He really makes it possible for me to race. I was never an athlete until now! I love racing and pushing myself. My goal this year is to get a 22 minute 5k. I'll even take a 22:59! It will be hard work, but I'm determined to do it. My best at the end of last year's racing season was a 23:28. We shall see!

The stories you have submitted to RL are so interesting, do you write for a living? 

No, I'm not a writer. I figured out though, that good writing can come through me when I have something important to say.  I'm an artist. I am a mom and a graphic designer by day. I love making art, but don't have much time for it right now with three little ones at home. I believe that creativity is in me and will find it's way out of me whether I plan for it or not. It is fun to see the Carolform it will take when I am not able to let it out in my usual ways.

What keeps you going? 

Passion. I am passionate about everything I do, which is a blessing and a curse. I love it though. I need to have one. If one of my passions gets shut down, a new one imerges.  It was art, but I can't do that right now. I always need to have something that is just mine. Something that challenges me. Something I can be proud of. Something I never thought I could do, or be good at. I just started running about 6 years ago and currently it is my passion. Running is my "thing"! It drives me. I push myself, surprise myself and I have a stronger self because I run.

Now that you won a free pair of shoes, we're curious - what's your favorite running shoe?

I love shoes. I've always loved shoes. I'm embarrassed to say, that the highest heals in my closet are currently training shoes. (and of course, the lowest...racing flats!) I have had a good run with my Asics Gel Cumulis, and Landreth.  Asics Trail Attack for trail running which is my new love.

How do you treat yourself after a good run?

My greatest treat after a run is laughing with friends. I have many great people that I run with. I love to have a cup of coffee after a morning run with my pals. We laugh at ourselves and eachother, we plan our next run and enjoy the great opportunity we've been given, TO RUN! I am grateful for every run.

What is your advice to other runners?

Have fun.


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With dedication like Carol's, she's bound to make that 5K goal! Thanks for inspiring the athlete in all of us . . . and reminding those of us who are working moms that taking care of ourselves IS important for our kids.


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