This week’s Strong Runner Chick is Catherine G., runner and spray paint artist who recently made a bold move across the country (from MN to AZ)! With past times including cooking, painting and a variety of other hobbies, Cat shares her wisdom on living a balanced, enjoyable life in and outside of running. We can all learn something from this one!
Spotlight: Strong Runner Chick of the Week – Catherine G., runner and spray paint artist
- Who are you? (Name, Age, Hometown, Clu
b/Team if applicable, Career)
Catherine (or Cat), 32, born, raised and lived in MN until last July. Now living in Scottsdale AZ. I moved for the weather – just couldn’t take another winter! But it’s a lot hotter in AZ than I expected so I’m not sure if this is my “forever home”.
For work, I’m a healthcare IT business analyst and project manager consultant.
For fun, besides running, I’m an aspiring spray paint artist and love creating paintings of things I love or of pictures from various places and adventures.
Art Website: RunningwithSprayPaint.wordpress.com
Email for painting inquiries: RunningwithSprayPaint@gmail.com
Check out some of Cat’s artwork!
- What is your main event or distance?
I love 5ks! That is my main distance, but this year I finished two 10ks for the first time! I look for fun 5ks and 10ks in the area. Any race with good swag – sign me up! Maybe someday I’ll complete a half but for now I’m just not ready to up my training for that.
- When/how did you start running?
My niece randomly said two springs ago that we should both train for a 5k and do one together by the end of summer. That spring and summer were difficult and tiresome. I remember when I couldn’t even run for 5 minutes straight! But by August we both registered, ran and finished our first 5k! We loved the feeling of success and accomplishment so much we both kept up the sport of running.
- What is your favorite part about running?
I love running for mainly three things: 1. The feeling after a run. Your endorphins are kicking in, you feel accomplished, you just feel good. 2. When I have a “good run” I get in almost like a meditative state. I don’t wear headphones when I run and I listen to nature, to my mind and thoughts, and just get lost in the repetitive motion of each stride. 3. The races! Do I need another t-shirt? Probably not, but race swag and the competition against myself I just can’t get enough of! I’m a huge sucker for medals and have been guilty of signing up for a race just because of the “cool medal”.
- How do you spend your time outside of running?
Now cooking and painting, mostly. When I was in MN I enjoyed doing lots of gardening and yard work. I also love hiking with my boyfriend and biking on my awesome and cute beach cruiser complete with a basket for my little dog.
- What is your goal or dream that you want to achieve (in life)?
I think just having a balance in life – work, learning, play, love, hobbies. I think balance is important in life and, for me, definitely keeps me sane and happy. A good paying and rewarding job mixed with loving friends and family mixed with adventures and learning new things mixed with being creative and driven. Not sure how I’ll measure that but for now I’d say I’m on track.
- What has running taught you about life?
You get out what you put in.
- What does being a Strong Runner Chick mean to you?
Well, for me running is a constant in my life. Whether it’s below 0 in MN, or 105 in AZ, whether I’m in a relationship, or single with my dog, working, in between work, summer, spring, winter, fall….. I’m running. I may be training, I may be staying in shape, I may be just trying to get my body moving….Doesn’t matter where I’m physically at, emotionally at – I’m going for a run.
- What is your favorite pre-workout snack or meal? Ultimate post-race meal?
Pre: If it’s a run during the week or weekend I really just get my shoes on and go! Before a race always a banana and coffee.
Post: My absolute favorite food after a race is Mac & Cheese! I actually think about it as I’m pushing through those tough miles.
- What is your running motto?
Any run is better than no run.
Sometimes I’m frustrated with my pace or distance and then when I’m stretching after I think “Well, I’m glad I went”
- A random fact about you:
I can tie a knot in a cherry stem in my mouth, no hands. True story. Haha – is that random enough?
- What is your favorite strength or core exercise? Why this one?
I definitely need to get better at adding in strength and core workouts to my routine. Right now I mostly just browse the Nike Training Club app and pick one.
- What are your top 3 must-have running accessories, clothing articles or pieces of race gear?
Sunglasses, my Polar watch so I can watch my pace, and a headband (yup, no pony tails for me)
- Last words? (tips/advice for readers or a shout-out to someone?)
Running Related Tip: I set a goal for each race. Maybe it’s the same, maybe its different. Maybe it’s a stretch goal and hard to achieve, maybe it’s just a goal to get me through the race. Anything from just showing up and starting the race to this time it’s gonna be a PR. Goals get me through training and each race.
Life in General: Try Stuff. Sounds simple but a lot of people I find are scared to try this or that. There are few things I wouldn’t at least try. If it weren’t for that attitude I never would have started training for a 5k (which now I’m in love with running and has been so rewarding), started painting (which is now my passion and favorite hobby), moved to Arizona (which has been an awesome experience and I’ve met a really great and wonderful boyfriend) or found new interests and experienced amazing things (like hiking, camping, seeing beautiful sights like our national parks).
Shout Out To my niece Anna and her friend Sarah who got me into running – it has literally saved me.