Despite Challenges, I’m Completely Obsessed with Running

Run Smiles:

What are the 3 P.R.’s you’re happiest about?

Erica:

The three PR’s I’m happiest about are my junior-year high school cross country 5K PR of 18:32, my 10K PR of 40 minutes (which I hit in 2013 on a trail run) and my recent “nautical mile” PR of 6:30.

Erica

Run Smiles:

Besides your PR’s, what have been some of your biggest highlights as a runner?

Erica:

In high school, I was really lucky to have gotten to run at a very high level. I went to Cold Spring Harbor High School in New York. I am so grateful to have had that experience, running at state championship meets, federations state meets and countless Invitationals… I was recruited by over 30 awesome colleges starting in my sophomore year. It was really cool to feel “wanted”.

Ultimately I decided to forgo college running, so that I could continue working while going to college, commuting to Stony Brook University, which is relatively local to where I live. I am happy with my decision but wonder what it would have been like if I did choose to run on a college team.

Run Smiles:

What has challenged you the most as a runner?

Erica:

Overcoming illness and injury while maintaining a positive attitude has challenged me most as a runner. In my freshman year of high school, the same year I began running on the varsity track and cross-country teams, I started to lose a lot of weight. At first it seemed like maybe it was just because I was running so much, but soon it became clear that something else was wrong, very wrong.

Though I miraculously managed to get through high school without injuries, as my health continued to decline into my college years, I continued to run, but also began to get stress fractures, muscle tears and felt sick all the time. Not being able to run was the worst part of it all, since running is my favorite thing to do!

Only about a year ago, eight years after the illness began, did my doctors determine that the problem was due to a hormone imbalance caused by stress. Luckily now I am receiving hormone treatment and have managed to gain weight (about 20 pounds!). I am feeling so much better!

Run Smiles:

What’s a life lesson you’ve learned from running?

Erica:

A life lesson I learned from running is the importance of patience and positivity. When I was sick and injured, I never thought I would be able to run again. Not being able to run for so long, and then returning to running healthier and stronger than ever has been so SWEET. Now I recognize that good things come to those who wait; that patience (and hard work, whether it’s in training or in resting so that you can train again) pays off and things will get better no matter how tough they seem at your lowest points in life.

Women's Asics GEL-Nimbus 17
Women’s Asics GEL-Nimbus 17

Run Smiles:

On a lighter note, every runner has a favorite running shoe. What’s your favorite?

Erica:

I wore Asics Gel Nimbus model for almost 10 years because they were great for my high-arched feet. But recently, on a whim, I picked up a pair of Mizuno Wave Riders, and I love them. Like the Gel Nimbus, the Wave rider is great for high-arched feet. My new kicks are also bright orange… my favorite color.

Run Smiles:

What part of the shoe is wearing out the fastest?

Erica:

Since I am a chronic under-pronator, the part of the shoe that wears out for me quickest is always the outside sides and toe parts, especially on the right shoe.

Women's Mizuno Wave Rider 18
Women’s Mizuno Wave Rider 18

Run Smiles:

Would you buy these shoes again?

Erica:

Oh, I already have a brand new pair of Wave Riders in waiting… They were on sale at my favorite running shoe store. The new ones are ready as soon as my current shoes wear out. In case you were wondering, yes, I’m completely obsessed with running!

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