I had the extreme pleasure of hanging out with Tiffany (a.k.a. Hutch) while at Fitbloggin. She is an absolute doll and I definitely got teary eyed while reading the responses to some of the questions I asked her!
What inspired you to run a marathon?
The idea of running a marathon was an impossible one, yet so many people were doing it. HOW?! My first marathon was a personal challenge to see if I had what it took. Could I do the impossible? I was scared to death, but when I got a mailer from Team In Training explaining they would train me, it was less scary. I signed up and then running that marathon became about helping other's do the impossible, beat cancer.
What was your training like?
Awful and amazing. Aches and pains everywhere from neck and shoulders to back, hips, knees, toes. My first year of running was full of little injuries and aqua jogging. However, training with a team made it social and gave me accountability. Running with a pace group made the miles possible. Fundraising for cancer research and meeting "Honored Teammates" fighting to live put my pain into perspective and taught me to feel blessed to be able to feel the pain of a 20 mile walk/run.
What was the worst part of the marathon? The best?
It took us 5:45 to finish, so it was really ugly hot and it felt like it would never, ever end. I had ankle pain that started at mile three and ended a couple weeks later. Everything hurt. That was the worst part of it (which isn't that bad honestly). The best part was running the entire marathon with my boyfriend (now husband). We kept each other going and finishing together really solidified our relationship. Also, there's nothing like your first marathon finish line. I can't explain it but it's a religious experience and it changes you.
What advice would you give to those just starting to train for a race?
Set three goals for your race. Goal #1 is always to finish, that's it. Goal #2 is to finish STRONG, having run a good, hard race. And Goal #3 is to run a perfect race and the PR the heck out of it! If you don't meet Goal #3 or even Goal #2, know and embrace the fact that Goal #1 is still an accomplishment to be proud of.
What is your biggest challenge to staying fit?
I get distracted. Fitness (running, CrossFit, etc.) is just one of many areas of my lifestyle that battle for my time and energy. I tend to dive into projects full force (spending days at a time fixated on one thing) and realize I've not really exercised in a few days. If I'm able to smartly discipline myself by putting a bit of time each day into exercise, and a bit into my other passions, it goes a lot better for me.
What keeps you motivated to workout and eat healthy?
Results and races. When my lifts are improving or I have a goal race on the calendar, I'm in motivation overdrive. I actually enjoy eating healthy when I'm seeing the positive benefits of it and when I know I'm doing everything I can to get the most out of training.
Sum up your blog:
Matters of Course is a fitness and faith lifestyle blog heavily focused on long distance running and simplified living. I tell stories to encourage and challenge readers, but also provide a light-hearted perspective with some self-deprecating humor and a touch of sarcasm.
Link to your 3 most popular blog posts:
Anything else you’d wish to share?
If you're healthy enough to exercise at all (walk, jog, run, water aerobics, ANYTHING), do NOT take that for granted. You're blessed with the ability to improve your body and quality of life. No matter how hard it is to get it done or to get through it, you're still lucky to be able to do it.