Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, my name is Meredith. I recently graduated with my MS in Health Promotion Sciences at the University of Oklahoma. I am also an alumni of the University of Central Oklahoma with a BS in Community Health. I would classify myself as a City Okie.
Currently, I am the Project Coordinator for the Oklahoma Nutrition Information and Education (ONIE) Project www.ouhsc.edu/ONIE . Our project creates educational materials and programs promoting nutrition and physical activity. My life has always been centered around living healthy and helping others learn how to do the same.
When did you start running?
My older sister got me interested in running, she ran cross-country and of course I wanted to be like her, so I also ran cross-country, placing 5th out of the five girls on the team. Despite all that, I was voted to be the cross-country Titan princess, so I guess I have a personality for running. In undergrad, I focused more on group fitness classes and using the elliptical than running, but once I graduated running was my activity of choice.
What was your most memorable race?
The 2010 NYC 5-mile Run for the Parks. My little sister had an opportunity to visit The New York Times headquarters for a workshop, and my mom and I tagged along for the ride. It was a simple weekend, and I was training to run the 12k for the OKC Memorial Marathon Relay. I got online to see if there was a race in NYC that weekend, and to my surprise there were five races going on. After reading about each of the different races, I decided to run a 5-mile race around Central Park. When I registered they asked my exact mile speed was; I was pretty confused, but put down 9:30. While riding the subway to the race, I proudly wore my 9,450 bib and when a group of runners asked my speed, I fibbed a bit saying I ran an 8-minute mile.When I walked up I had never seen so many runners in my life, almost 10,000 runners! I quickly realized how my lie was exposed when they were lining up by bib number (which was assigned based on your speed). I felt silly and hoped I wouldn’t run into the group wearing Boston marathon jackets again. But my fib gave me the boost I needed, because I ended up running an 8:50 mile. That was my fastest race yet.
What is your running diet?
I have been a Pescetarian (a vegetarian that eats fish one to two times a week) for the past seven years and will continue this diet throughout my training. If you ask any of my friends I never have “fun” snack food, but am always stocked up on fruits and vegetables. I follow the MyPlate.com guidelines with majority of my meals .
What do you listen to when you run? (If you listen to anything at all)
I would not consider myself a music buff at all… I’m going to be honest, most of my playlists consist of Google running suggestions or workout mixes from iTunes. I’ll probably be buying a few workout CDs to use.
When was your running “breakthrough?”
The MWC Renaissance Run in 2009. This annual run in September is a highlight of the MWC running crowd. It was fun to see all my high school friends and brag that I had graduated on time from undergrad, while keeping up with my fitness and starting grad school. The race was small with around 300 people registered. I had brought one of my friends from grad school to run it with me. This wasn’t my first 5k, but I think the friendly competition gave me a boost. I ended up getting 3rd in my age group and cutting four minutes off my running time. Thanks to this community run, I got to wear my medal proudly during the whole-wheat pancake breakfast after the run. This race felt invigorating! I had never won anything regarding athletics and was stoked! The energy I felt after that race inspired me to keep running and I ran close to 30 more 5k or 10k races that year.
What kind of cross-training are you doing?
Kickboxing, it lets out a lot of built up frustration.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about public health! Prevention is the key to a better healthy tomorrow. I firmly believe that the majority of health issues can be prevented or resolved by changing daily life habits. However, it needs to be more than just an individual change, it needs to be a societal change. If fresh fruits and veggies are not available, if affordable food is bad for you food, if it isn’t safe to go on a walk, or if everywhere you go people are smoking, it is hard to not recognize society’s impact on influencing our lifestyles. I want the opportunity of a healthy life for all people.
What is your favorite thing to eat before & after a run.
I always chug a glass of water before a run. If I am going to run in the morning I usually eat a banana. If I go for a run in the evening I wait three hours after eating lunch/dinner to go run. I don’t like to have a lot on my stomach. After a long run I have a guilt-free snack usually with dark chocolate and raspberries.
What training plan are you using?
I developed a homemade training plan. I hope it works! I put in holidays (i.e. Christmas/ New Years) and events I will be attending to help me plan according.
What else is going on in your life at the moment?
Other than drinking wine and watching Thunder, I have three weddings in the coming year, two of my best friends Nicole and Thu-Hong, and my little sister Bethany.
How many half-marathons have you participated in?
I completed a sprint triathlon, yet this will be my first half. The triathlon was an experience in training. So I feel based on how I trained for that race I have some insight on how I can train for this one.
What will your blog posts be centered on?
Training for the half and anything else I think is interesting. I would like to share some insights into running, funny, or interesting stories that I have experienced in my running world.