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 Terri from @backroadrunner50.

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

Terri (T): I ran in the CIBC Run for the Cure 5k for several years. In 2012 I decided to run more because I wanted to actually run in that charity event without walking! So I downloaded an ‘ease into 5k’ app and never looked back. I got more serious about running that particular year because I realized what a wonderful stress reliever it was! My mother in law got terminal lung cancer and we moved her in with us. I had to do things for her I never dreamed I would ever do! Give her needles, care for her amputated arm… I needed those runs. After she passed away, 6 months after her diagnosis, I decided to go longer and did 10ks. I was feeling healthy and wanted to live a long time. When I was turning 50, last year, I decided it would be pretty cool to run a half marathon. I did 3 of them! I’m injured right now, but I have a full marathon app on my phone waiting to be used. I’m expecting 2 more grand babies in the next few months (I have 4 already) and I want to see them graduate high school, get married and have their own babies. I want to have a long relationship with them, a healthy one. I think runnng will give me that.

WRC: What Do You Love About Your Body?

T: My body is strong. I wish I loved it more, it certainly deserves it!

WRC: How Has Running Helped You Appreciate Your Body?

T: I have great endurance, higher pain tolerance, more energy. I don’t mind wearing tights when I’m running

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

T: Physically- I’m stronger in my job, I can work hard and I don’t tire too quickly (I’m a plumbers helper with my husband)

Mentally- it’s helped me sooo much! It makes me happy, feel good about myself, takes care of my stress (I don’t like my job, it’s very hard to work with my husband and it’s super physical) I always come back from my run forgetting what I was so upset about. (Being injured, I miss it sooo much!)

Emotionally- doesn’t matter how ‘bad’ the run was, I always come back happy!

In my life-I’ve explored different towns by running through them, my sister and I enter races together to be together, I enter races that my grown kids have entered and we make a weekend out of it, so much good stuff comes from running

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

T: My breathing, how far do I plan on going, how far will I actually go, haha. I don’t listen to any music or anything when I run outside. It’s so therapeutic! On the treadmill, I listen to music. Well, I have it on and sometimes catch a song here and there, but mostly thinking about what I’m doing.

WRC: What Do You Love Most About Running?

T: Mostly I love how it makes me feel. Good.

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

T: I love entering races, I love being in good shape, I love talking to other runners. And, I love when new runners ask me questions and I can answer them or point them in the right direction. I love that I’ve been a good influence for people!

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

T: Golf, yoga, slow pitch, tennis. Golf 2-3 times a week if we can. Yoga, lately everyday. I plan to keep that up! Slow pitch, when my kids ask me to fill in for them. I love that they still want me to play! Tennis, just a couple times a year when my husband and I are on a holiday.

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

T: I tell myself, at least 2 kms. 12 minutes max of my time.

WRC: Most Memorable Race Or Running Accomplishment?

T: Most Memorable Race Or Running Accomplishment? My most memorable race would be the rock and roll Las Vegas! I did a girl trip with my best friends from high school. I was the only one running but the whole weekend was amazing!

Most memorable accomplishment was my first half last May! I trained in the winter to spring, lots of long runs on my treadmill and by myself. Never a group run or anything. And the race was really low key. There were 7 of us, I was the oldest. There were no medals or podiums or anything. No volunteers cheering us on along the way. It was pretty lonely. But I did it! And in 2:05. My first one. What a feeling!

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

T: Stop if it hurts. If the hurt doesn’t stop, you need too! Get good shoes!

WRC: What’s Your Favorite Affirmation?

T: C’mon Ter! You got this!

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