Pacer Rachel

Where are you from?

Originally, Frankenmuth, Michigan, now Mansfield, Connecticut

Current P.R.

1:55 half marathon

Typical pace

8-9 minutes per mile

Number of marathons

15 full and 30+ half marathons, post-knee surgery

Occupation

College Professor

Favorite marathon

Disney Marathon

Hobbies

Yoga, knitting, and baking

Favorite Running Food

Honey Stinger bits, Hammer Gel, and cookies of any kind

What are you reading now?

I like to read trashy “chick lit” to balance out all the academic books I’m reading. Right now, I’m reading HLM6 (gripping, I know)

Who do you train with?

The Willimantic Athletic Club in Willimantic, CT

Personal goals

Return to my post-knee surgery pace!

 

 

A quotation you like…

“Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.” - John Bingham (The Penguin)

and

“Running is not, as it so often seems, only about what you did in your last race or about how many miles you ran last week. It is, in a much more important way, about community, about appreciating all the miles run by other runners, too.” -Richard O’Brien

 

Why do you run?

 

Simply – because I love it. I love the feeling of freedom I have while I’m running.

Describe your best marathon memory.

 

In 2015, I ran the Disney Dopey Challenge with my whole family. My crazy brother ran the Disney Marathon as his first marathon while doing the Dopey Challenge. Running through Epcot, next to my brother as he finished his first marathon was an amazing experience.

Why do you pace?

 

I love the community running provides and I get so much joy from seeing others achieve their goals. Being there when someone does something amazing is a wonderful feeling.

Tell us your best pacing experience.

 

I “paced” my mom in her first 5k ever, at age 57. Seeing her cross the finish line, and knowing I inspired her to keep going when she felt like she couldn’t, is one of my best running memories.

Why should someone run in your pace group?

 

I like to talk when I run. Run with me and be prepared to talk about anything and everything, or listen to me talk about random thoughts. Some of my favorite topics are: food, the scenery, and wildlife. I also like to make up songs about running and talk to squirrels and rabbits I pass. Fun, right?!

Any tips for runners about to join your group?

 

Have fun! Stay in the moment and enjoy! Don’t wish away the discomfort, or worry about your performance. Enjoy the run for the pure joy of running with these people, on this day, in this race.

Anything else you’d like to share?

In 2012, I had knee reconstruction after a major injury playing soccer. I was on total activity restriction for 6 months and had to start running again after 6 months off. That first run, I ran with a limp and made it a half mile before I was too exhausted to go on. Rebuilding and gaining strength as a runner again has made me appreciate running so much more. Though I am slower now than I was pre-knee surgery, I love running more and am incredibly grateful for all the joy running brings to my life.

 

If you need inspiration, watch the finish line of a 5k or a kids’ run. I love to see other runners achieving their goals. I could stand at the finish line for hours, cheering on other runners. I am always inspired by a community of runners doing amazing things.

 

What philanthropic activities do you have?

I am active in the professional organization for my field, marriage and family therapy. I serve on the editorial board of our major journal and on the Connecticut chapter board. I also serve as a board member for a local sexual assault crisis center.

 

 

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