This week we are highlighting one of our #HogeyeHopefuls from last year! We asked Sarah a few questions that will help you get to know her better as a runner and as a #HogeyeHopeful.
Hometown: Cabot AR, but I’ve been in Fayetteville since 2000
Profession: Marketing Executive
When did you start running?
I ran my first mile in the fall of 2010, but didn’t run regularly until the next spring. I did a few 5Ks in the spring of 2011 and I was hopelessly hooked. Once I was brave enough to try longer distances I really found my stride — I ran my first marathon in 2012.
WHY did you start running?
Running was the exercise I found as a busy, working mom that I could do whenever and wherever. No class schedule to keep, no gym hours to worry about — just me and my running shoes. Running gave me the flexibility I needed.
Where do you prefer to run? Do you have a favorite route?
The trails in Fayetteville are incredible. I like to run the south end — crossing Dickson and out to Walker Park. I love this town, and I love seeing it from the trail.
What was your “I’M A RUNNER!” moment?
I don’t think I’ve had a single moment, but training for my first marathon was that experience for me. I kept getting stronger and kept completing my runs — more and more mileage every week — and I just couldn’t believe that I was really doing it. I felt so proud telling people I was training for a marathon.
If you could go back and give yourself a piece of advice as a beginner, what would it be?
Don’t get caught up in people around you running further or faster — you’ll get there. Don’t compare yourself to anybody but YOU.
What has running taught you about yourself?
I spent most of my life telling people, “I don’t run.” And I pretty much meant it. But my favorite quote from my favorite movie is: “It’s a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself.” That’s never been more true for me than with running.
Do you run solo or with a group?
Both. Doing my weekend long run with a good friend is one of my favorite ways to unwind, but I also love a good boost of solo running with otherwise embarrassing pop music on my iPod.
What motivates you in running? Medals? PRs? Fitness?
It’s the combination of physical exertion and mental break. I can really work through my week on a good long run.
Do you have any racing superstitions or traditions?
No superstitions, but I am seriously dependent on my Garmin. I once ran a marathon without it as it completely died on the shuttle bus to the start line and I spent WAY too much mental energy doing the math on my splits at each mile marker. And on training runs, I won’t stop until my watch is at a nice round number, ha!
Do you have a running motto or mantra or favorite quote?
I hung this quote in my room when I trained for my first marathon, and I’ve never taken it down: You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired. – George Patton
Have you run the Hogeye before, or will be 2015 be your first Hogeye?
I first ran the Hogeye in 2012. It rained and stormed for most of the race — certainly a memorable first marathon! I’ve run the half every year since then and will be running the half again in 2015.
Why do you run the Hogeye? What makes it special?
It was my first marathon – which will always be special, and it’s my hometown race – which is incredible in many ways. During my first marathon in 2012, I wore a shirt (above photo) with our Foundation logo and a phrase my brother Tom used to keep himself motivated through Army Ranger school: NEVER QUIT. He was killed in Iraq in 2007 and that phrase has always been a simple but impactful reminder of his determination. So I wore it for my race. And it kicked off what our organization now calls Project Keeping TIME. It all started at the Hogeye.
How can folks connect with you?
Twitter and Instagram @sarahmartinhood, and I write about running and other topics at www.sarahmartinhood.com
Thanks for sharing your story, Sarah! See you on the trails!