The #WhatARunnerLooksLike Wednesday series features everyday women runners and their real thoughts on running, their accomplishments, struggles and bodies. We created this series as a way to help ordinary women runners tell their extraordinary stories. We have been inspired by the stories of other women runners and received much strength to know that we are not alone in our struggles. Some interviews are silly, some are long, some are short, and some are profound. We hope you enjoy, and if you’re interested in sharing your #WhatARunnerLooksLike story with us or know someone in your running circles that has an inspiring story to share, simply use this online form to submit your story.

This week’s #WhatARunnerLooksLike Wednesday feature is Lindsay from @lindsayhannah3.

Women’s Running Community (WRC): What Made You Take Up Running?

Lindsay (L): I played basketball in college but always wanted to run a marathon. I would see Runners and have always loved it. After my first race I was hooked and am addicted now. I wanted a competitive hobby after college and a way to inspire and give back to others.

WRC: What Do You Love About Your Body?

L: My bald head! It took me so many years to accept and embrace my alopecia and being a bald woman and honestly now I love it! I love the good luck preface head rubs, educating others and never having to worry about my hair.

WRC: How Has Running Helped You Appreciate Your Body?

L: Running has taught me so much! It has taught me strength and beauty. I feel so free and like I can conquer anything when I’m running. I never think about my alopecia, not having hair but instead it’s become my escape where it’s just me and Road and I think of how lucky I am for everything I’ve been able to do and accomplish. It’s taught me I don’t need hair to be fast or a runner.

WRC: How Has Running Helped You Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, and/or
Generally In Your Life?

L: Running is my escape from bad things. I was made fun of so much as a kid for being bald and I felt so ashamed. I hated myself and felt worthless and that I would never accomplish my dreams. But now when I run I feel this strength and power and like I can do anything. It is so freeing to run bald, I embrace and love myself and feel like I can conquer the world when I run.

WRC: What Do You Think About When You’re Running?

L: All of the beautiful alopecia kids I represent and who look up to me when I run. I think of how beautiful I am, how much I love my bald head and that I can do anything; bald head or not. It’s the most freeing feeling!

WRC: What Do You Love Most About Running?

L: The feeling when it’s you and the road, you can do anything! I love the long training runs, the early mornings when training for a marathon. I’ve always been a hard worker so this is very satisfying to me to be able to compete and train everyday, I feel so lucky! Nothing compares to that feeling of mile 25 and crossing the finish line, the crowds and all the excitement and energy! I live for this feeling!

WRC: What’s Your Favorite Part Of Being A Runner?

L: The opportunity to inspire others, to run for a cause and know kids look up to you. Alopecia has blessed my running life in so many ways!

WRC: Do You Engage In Other Sports or Activities? If So, What And How Often?

L: I played basketball in college and still play pick up. I also golf, and play softball! I am always watching and talking sports.

WRC: How Do You Stay Motivated When You Don’t Want To Run?

L: I think of all the kids with alopecia who look up to me, who have inspired me and believe in me. I’ve met so many incredible brave and special kids who keep me focused and humbled.

WRC: Most Memorable Race Or Running Accomplishment?

L: After my first marathon my goal was to run 27 marathons before age 27 and this past June I ran San Diego and it was my 27th marathon! (I turn 27 in September) I fundraiser and dedicated my race to children’s alopecia project and gave me special medal to a sweet little alopecia girl, I will never forget the look on her face.

WRC: What Is Your Best Tip Or Advice For A Newbie Runner?

L: Keep going. It’s going to be tough, and you’re going to want to quit at times but anything worth is hard work. You can do it, it doesn’t matter your pace just keep going. The running community is amazing!

WRC: What’s Your Favorite Affirmation?

L: When people rub my bald head for good luck before races!

WRC: Is There Anything Else You’d Like To Tell Us?

L: Running has truly helped me accept my alopecia, love myself and find the strength and beauty I needed in my life. I love running, racing and inspiring others through running. It has been the greatest blessing to have kids and adults look up to you, to have the opportunity to share about alopecia. Going out bald and embracing it has been a journey for sure!

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