Over the next several weeks, I will post interviews that I have had the opportunity to conduct with some amazing people doing extraordinary things in the realm of fitness, food, and finances. As many of you know, I love to run. Throughout my journey, I’ve met several people on the pavement. I’ve completed several half marathons, two full marathons and several 10k and 5k races for fun!
Recently, I cornered my friend KW with a list of questions about running. KW is not your average runner, she is an ultramarathon runner! She runs 50 miles in one day. I don’t even drive 50 miles in one day! How does she do it? Not only does she run for enjoyment, she is a certified run coach, personal trainer, and a sports nutritionist. She has dedicated her life to health and wellness and she has helped others meet their fitness goals.
Moetips: When we met, you were a run coordinator with The Black Girls Run organization. You’ve also run with several other community groups. Since then, you’ve participated in the Baltimore Women’s Classic training program as a coach amongst other training programs to encourage women to run and participate in races. What motivates you to help others want to do what you love?
KW: When you find something that you love, I think that it’s natural to want to share that thing. You want other people to love it as much as you do. I’m excited to share what I can with others, to teach, to learn, and to help when needed. People help each other. It’s what we were meant to do.
Moetips: Many people have shared with me that they would like to run, but they are afraid of sustaining injuries. What advice would you share with them?
KW: Go slow and listen to your body. A few things that will help runners avoid injuries:
- Warming up and cooling down before and after your walk/jog/run
- Getting fitted for the proper running shoes
- Running with a relaxed posture that feels natural to you
- Strength training on a regular basis
- Staying hydrated
Moetips: According to a recent article posted on competitor.com, statistics show that participation in marathons and half marathons are declining. You are an ultramarathoner! What motivates you to exceed 26.2 miles? How many ultramarathons have you participated in?
KW: What motivated me then: On or about mile 10, running becomes a moving meditation for me. On my first long run, after the death of my father, mile 20 was magical for me. It became therapeutic. That was when I could finally let go and feel everything that I needed to feel as I was feeling it. I could cry for a mile while I thought about how much I would miss him. I could scream for a mile while I was having angst about things that were left unsaid between us. I could laugh for a mile thinking about his favorite jokes.
What motivates me now: I’m always excited to see how far I can push myself. To date, I have completed 4 ultra-marathons (one 50k, two 50-milers, and one 12-hour race)!
Moetips: You are a certified run coach, a personal trainer, and a nutrition expert! What motivated you to become certified in these fields? How often do you have to obtain recertification?
KW: I love to learn. I was doing a lot of the “right” things to get faster and stronger, but I wasn’t seeing any progress. I didn’t know why. I started reading and researching. The information that I found online was confusing. It seemed like the information that I was looking for was being taught in certification classes, so I enrolled. Most certifications must be renewed every 2 years. That’s definitely more motivation to keep learning!
Moetips: You recently started eating a vegan diet. How did that change affect your overall performance?
KW: Technically, I’m vegetarian. I don’t eat dairy directly. If I choose to eat a cookie, I’m aware that it may contain milk or eggs. Labels are something that is challenging to get away from. We have a tendency to label things so that they fit into the tiny boxes that we store in our brains. If I say that I’m vegan, and I’m eating pasta, someone might say, “Should you be eating that?” Probably not, but it’s damn delicious! Performance-wise, I think of food as fuel. It helps to think of your body as a performance car. Who would put crap gas into a Lamborghini? If I want to perform well, then my food choices need to reflect that…most of the time.
Moetips: Lastly, can you offer our community any advice related to overall fitness?
Overall fitness begins with 3 sentences. Decide. Commit. Succeed.
- Decide on what one small thing you want to do to develop your fitness.
- Commit to doing that one small thing.
- If you do those two things with intention, you will succeed.
- Then, keep doing that with bigger things…if you want to.
As you can see, KW has a wealth of information and she constantly educates herself about fitness and nutrition! I thanked her for taking the time out of her busy day to answer questions for our community. Readers, what are your fitness and nutrition goals? Maybe it’s time for you to re-evaluate your goals if you are not making any progress. Is it time to seek help from a professional? If you have any specific questions for KW, please visit her website at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading!