Nicole started running when her oldest daughter joined the cross country team in middle school.
“I thought running was something we could do together, but I soon realized that she was too fast!”
Her daughter was very supportive of her, but Nicole learned that she needed to take baby steps to get where she wanted to be as a runner.
“I remember when I ran that first mile without stopping and how great it felt. Then I ran my first 5K and the Twin Cities 10K. I trained for those all by myself. I was nervous about running with other people because I thought maybe I would be too slow, but I ended up joining a local running group called the Chatty Chicks. It was so much more fun running/training with others and best of all, I have made some amazing friends! They have a motto: No Chick Left Behind.”
What’s your most memorable event so far? The Twin Cities Marathon. I was joking around with my friends about running a marathon, and then it just sort of happened. I never thought that I would actually run a marathon. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it was also one of the most rewarding. The cool part about the Twin Cities Marathon is that there are so many people out there supporting the runners. Most of the time I was just looking ahead telling myself to keep going. But I could hear these young girls, these little voices, who were cheering all of us on. It was just amazing. Around mile 20, I was feeling very nauseous and had terrible leg cramps. I was terrified that I wouldn’t finish.Then I heard my husband yelling my name toward me. He said, “That’s my wife! She’s running her first marathon!”
My girls were yelling, “You’re doing great, Mom! I’m so proud of you!” I didn’t know my family was going to be there to cheer me on, and this changed my whole mindset at that point. I learned how strong I could be mentally and emotionally. In those hardest miles, runners sometimes just want to give up. And some runners do give up. But I didn’t. I pushed through all of that.
What do you want to accomplish in 2020? This year I really want to get stronger. I run three days a week, and I want to incorporate strength training and yoga. Beyond that, I keep thinking about how I have not met my time goal for the half-marathon. That’s still in the back of mind.
What keeps you going? My family has always been so supportive and encouraging. They have cheered me on during most of my races or joined me in a 5K. They are all such an inspiration to me and motivate me to always try harder and never give up. My daughter's favorite quote is, "If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you." It’s so true!