Blyss Running Champion - Meet Liz

 I first meet Liz via email last summer when she wrote to me inquiring about Blyss sizing. She has since become one of our devoted customers. Liz is a 40 year old stay at home mom of two girls (6 and 4). She has been married for 7 years to Jason who is a native Texan. Growing up in Northwest Indiana (Chicagoland area), she is a huge Cubs fan and was so excited to see them win the World Series last year! Liz went to Ball State University in Muncie and has moved around quite a bit (Chicago, Scottsdale, Charlotte), but currently calls Fulshear, Texas (just west of Houston) home. She homeschools her two girls as well as runs incredible distances. Owning just about every piece of running apparel that we carry, she does have a favorite and it's the Trail Skirt! Meet Liz....

(Liz wearing her Blyss Skirt)

When and why did you start running? What’s your story?

I have always run. I ran cross country in high school (even though I wasn’t very good) and ran recreationally on and off in college. I decided to train for my first half marathon in my mid 20’s while living in Chicago. I did the party scene in college and in my early 20’s and I wanted something to train for to give me a reason not to go out on a Friday night. I also met a lot of great people that had the same goals. I loved the running community so much I got a part time job at the local running store. I then found the world of triathlons. I wasn’t a swimmer or a cyclist, but again found an awesome group of people to train with. I moved to Charlotte, NC and continued working at a local running store and with my triathlon journey. I ended up running the Blue Ridge Relay with complete strangers and it was such a fun time. I realized how awesome North Carolina was for running and then I got a job in Houston. Training for triathlons is a bit harder in Houston, so I just continued to run. I lost a lot of fitness due to my travel schedule and because I started dating my husband. After having my second daughter, I was a stay at home mom who was used to having goals (work or life). I found my “bucket list” packed away in a box and decided to cross off the ultramarathon distance. I started training when my 2nd was 4 months old and I haven’t looked back.

Favorite distance? And /or favorite race you have run?

My favorite distance is the 50k. You aren’t out on the course all day, but still feel like you worked hard. Plus if you have trained for a marathon the 50k is only 5 miles more, so it is very doable. My favorite race has to be my first 50 miler at Palo Duro Canyon in Canyon, TX. It was my very first major goal, there was a 12 hour cutoff and I was worried I wouldn’t make it. When I started the final loop an hour ahead of cutoff I was so excited! I was going to finish this race. It was the best feeling ever.

If you could go on a run anywhere, where would it be? Your ideal run?

I really want to run a race in the Pacific Northwest. There are so many to choose from. I had an opportunity to run the White River 50 miler and the day of, I had a fever and ended up with bronchitis. I would love to go back and run that race. My ideal run would be overcast 45-50 degrees. Unfortunately living in Southeast Texas I run in 100% humidity and average temps ranging from 70-90 degrees. Down here we live for the 40 degree runs.

Favorite pre or post run food?

Before any race I always have oatmeal with almond butter and bananas. During my training runs it is usually just a banana. Post race meals have changed over the years. After my first 50 miler, I tried to eat a hamburger, but it didn’t taste good. I then woke up at 3 AM and ate an entire box of Oreos. I always try to eat something after a race, but it takes a few hours or overnight to be hungry again. After my training runs, I eat whatever we have in the house. During the summer it is usually a shake or a smoothie.

Do you cross train?

I run 4 days a week with 2 days of strength. I take one day off completely, however I have joined a group of run streakers, so I have been running at least 1 mile a day. My speed workout also incorporates squats, lunges, push-ups and plank climbers.

Do you use a GPS or track your mileage and if so, which one?

I currently use the Garmin Fenix 3 watch. It can be charged on the run. I also load everything up on Strava.

What have you learned/gained through running?

It has taken me a long time, but I have learned to enjoy my alone time while running. I have always envied the moms who don’t have “mom guilt”. I have always had “mom guilt” and it has taken 4 years, but I am getting better about not feeling guilty about “me” time. I know I deserve the time. I stay at home with my two girls and we have started homeschooling, so I very rarely get a break during the week. It is still a battle though. I am also very lucky to have an extremely supportive spouse who understands I need the time and doesn’t consider it a “burden” if I am gone one weekend for a race.

Your next running goal?

I will be attempting a 100 miler finish early February. I have tried twice before, but was unsuccessful. Third times the charm. ( Liz got to mile 80 before having to pull out on the advice of the medical staff because of her swollen leg.) I am also looking at doing the Tejas Trails 300 here in Texas. It is a 100 miler in October, 100k in January and a 100 miler in February. I have been eyeing this for a couple of years and I am feeling like this would be a good year to try it.

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