As an online retailer, it can get a bit lonely. When I have the opportunity to travel and meet you all at various expos, I always come away with a feeling of gratitude and good fortune that I'm able to do this and meet such awesome people.
You all are inspiring!
I met our April Blyss Champion in Tampa at the Gasparilla Distance Classic.
When and why did you start running? What’s your story?
I began running February 1, 2017 after my husband told me he was going to run the Chicago Marathon. I told him, “ok, I’ll run with you”. Then I woke up the next day and asked him if I really committed to running a marathon. I had never run in my life and at 48 years old, with Asthma, Crohns Disease and a cancer survivor I couldn’t believe that I was standing there saying such a thing. My husband was so gracious and told me I really didn’t have to do it. I told him, “No, who else are you going to train with. I am going to do this, I meant what I said, so where do we start?” The next day we went out for our first walk/run. I downloaded the C25K running app and got started. To be totally honest it scared me as I really didn’t know if I could do it. That night my husband told me we were going to do the Gasparilla Distance Classic 5K in roughly three weeks and I about fainted. However, we trained religiously, had fun and when the day came for the Gasparilla 5K I was ready. Together we crossed the finish line, got our BLING and never looked back.
Favorite distance? And /or favorite race you have run?
My favorite distance is the 5K. I have run 8K, 10K, and half marathons as well, but the 5K for me is really the most enjoyable. The Gasparilla Classic has to be my favorite race so far. I love the excitement of the race and all the festivities and who doesn’t love PIRATES! The whole atmosphere of the race as the athletes, community, vendors, volunteers and spectators is just amazing.
If you could go on a run anywhere, where would it be? Your ideal run?
One of our goals is to complete a marathon. Unfortunately, in 2017 my husband suffered an injury which really affected his/our training and we did not run the Chicago Marathon. As an inspiration to get back to training we started watching videos of various marathons around the world and gaining encouragement from other people’s stories. While doing this we saw a video of the Barcelona Marathon that really touched me. As my family is from Spain, and Barcelona is like a second home to my husband and I, we decided that one day we would run the Barcelona Marathon. I would definitely have to say that is my ideal run. To run through the streets of Barcelona, cross that finish line and have my medal placed around my neck.
Favorite pre or post run food?
The night before I would definitely say pasta. Nothing like some really good spaghetti or rigatoni and garlic bread for a pre-race meal. The morning of the race, pancakes or oatmeal with banana. Post-race I want a banana immediately after the race. It is our tradition to go and have a big pancake breakfast with all the yummy extras. Of course, we have to go into the restaurant wearing our BLING. lol
Do you cross train?
Yes, I cross train with biking, swimming, yoga and strength training. I have found that by doing the cross training it breaks up the training so that it doesn’t become boring or stagnant. Not to mention it has me thinking that I just might be able to do a triathlon.
Do you use a GPS or track your mileage and if so, which one?
I use an Apple Watch with the Nike+Run Club app and that is amazing. It makes it so much easier to keep track of my training and also encourages me on the go. I really love it
What have you learned/gained through running?
I’ve learned that I can be an athlete and overcome anything. I have found something deep inside of me that I didn’t know was there, a love for training and competing. Not to mention, I learned that I give my own children and grandchildren inspiration to be active which means the world to me.
Your next running goal?
My next running goal is to compete and finish in a triathlon. My husband and I are signed up for one in September and that will be a lot of fun. After that….the Barcelona Marathon.
I still believe Blyss could be wildly successful and big with the right funding and leadership, but at this point in my life I'm not comfortable with taking that financial risk nor am I excited about leading a big company. I truly like knowing each of my customers and had hoped to be able to remain small and successful.