Profile: Asst Coach Michelle

This is AC Michelle’s first year as a coach and second year with Portland Fit. She runs because it makes her a better person which is one of the best reasons I can think of. Michelle has completed the Portland Marathon and is competing in the Eugene marathon this spring.

Favorite marathon:
My only marathon so far was the Portland Marathon last year. It was so much fun and such a great first marathon. I learned a lot from it and am currently putting that knowledge to use in training for the upcoming Eugene Marathon.

Biggest obstacle you face in training:
Having to run on the treadmill for weekday runs. It is dark when I get up in the morning, and sometimes I cannot get runs in before the sun goes down at night. Being female and running by myself in the dark is not safe, so I must resort to getting on the treadmill, which is very boring. I have remedied this by creating an awesome playlist and subscribing to several magazines.

Favorite race day musician/song:
I love upbeat remixes. My favorite is “The Reeling (Groove Police Remix – Club Mix)” by Passion Pit.

I finished my first marathon in 4:21:57. It was a little disappointing, but I had a sore hip flexor and stopped to use the restroom twice, so I was happy with it. I recently finished the Heart Breaker Half Marathon with a 1:49:22, which was a PR in that distance.

What motivates you to keep going when the going gets tough?
I just remember 2 things: I never regret going for a run, and both my mood and ability to deal with stress is greatly improved after working out. Also, I can’t slack too much because it will show on Saturday morning when I show up for the long runs!

Best advice you’ve ever received:
Always carry hydration on long runs. I drink a lot of water, and one day in the off-season my running group and I decided to make our route longer than was originally planned, on a day where I forgot my hydration pack (which also carries my gels). It was a really rough day because there was only 1 fountain on the route we took. I haven’t forgotten my pack since.

Strangest sight while out on a run:
During our 18 mile training run about a month and a half ago we got rained on, then snowed on, then hailed on, snowed on again, then the sun came out. That day I completed my run feeling like a champion.

Favorite running gear:
Nike Pro workout clothes. They stay right where they’re supposed to!

How it all started:
I was really chubby from about age 10 through high school. My senior year of high school I decided something needed to change, so I hopped on my dad’s treadmill and started out jogging 3 miles at 5.0mph speed. My cousin, an avid cross country runner, got me to enter my first 5k about 5 years ago, and the rest is history. It’s a funny thing because I started running to lose weight, but I continue running because it makes me a better person both physically and emotionally.