This week we are highlighting one of our past #HogeyeHopeful. Last year we asked Hillary a few questions that will help you get to know her better as a runner and as a #HogeyeHopeful. Thanks Hillary!
WHY did you start running?
My mom has always been a runner, and I began running with her when I was in jr. high. It helped me in school sports and quickly became our normal routine after school together.
Where do you prefer to run? Do you have a favorite route?
I LOVE to run outdoors, but the cold winter months force me back in the gym onto the treadmill. I’m a huge fan of the lake Fayetteville trail in the fall and love Craighead forest trail in Jonesboro when I’m there in the summer. There’s such a sense of home for me there.
What was your “I’M A RUNNER!” moment?
I ran my first half marathon when I was a senior in high school. While preparing for that, I did my first “long run” of 14 miles. This was the first time I had ran anything over 10 miles. When the 14 miles were completed, I was hurting and soreness was already setting in. However, I was not tired at all. Ironically, I had never felt more energized and full of excitement. In that moment, I remember thinking that exact thought to myself, “I’m REALLY a runner.”
Have you run the Hogeye before?
The 2015 Hogeye was my fourth time to do the race. I have run in this specific one each year I have been in Fayetteville as a student. It has been such a special part of my college experience on “the hill” and something I will always remember. My freshman year my mom ran the Hogeye with me. It was her first race and my second–such a cool experience! This is a memory I will always treasure (…and always remember I finished before her. Ha!)
If you could go back and give yourself a piece of advice as a beginner, what would it be?
I would give myself this piece of advice as a runner: You will ALWAYS have both good runs and tough ones. Cherish the tough ones. Those are the ones you will grow from, both mentally and physically, the most. Always keep pushing. You’re healthy. That’s a blessing. Take advantage of it.
What has running taught you about yourself?
Running has taught me that I am capable of accomplishing so much more than I think I can in all areas of life.
Do you run solo or with a group?
Growing up, I always ran with my mom. It was “our thing”. I loved every minute of it and miss that 6 miles with her daily. While being in college I have become a solo runner. It is my “me time” & “God time” and has also become something I love every minute of. It is my time to really come close to the Lord, meditate of verses that He has placed on my heart that day, and a time to draw closer to Him. It’s really cool to see all that our bodies are capable of and see that HE is the one who equipped them to run marathons. I am so grateful that for that.
What motivates you in running? Medals? PRs? Fitness?
Being a dietetics major, I take very seriously caring for my body and health, so the fitness side of running is very important to me. I am even more motivated by the mental clarity that running gives me. I pride myself on not being an over-thinker of situations or a worrier. I credit that to the hour or more a day I spend on the pavement sorting through thoughts and always ending my run with a clearer mind than when I started.
Do you have any racing superstitions or traditions?
I do not. My only weird running habit is running on the side closest to the road. This is probably the total OPPOSITE of where I should be running, but we runners are mental people. It just happened.
Do you have a running motto or mantra or favorite quote?
My favorite running quote: “That’s the thing about running: Your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is.”
Why do you run the Hogeye? What makes it special?
The reason I want to run the Hogeye is the same reason I wanted to come to the University of Arkansas for as long as I can remember. I wanted to be a Razorback because of the traditions that all Razorbacks share together. From hog calls at Baum and the alma mater at football games to the historical senior walk, Old Main, and the Kappa House, the University of Arkansas is ALL about tradition for students. I have made the Hogeye a new tradition for me during my time here. It is something I plan to do annually even after leaving Fayetteville, and something that will always bring me back to my first time running as a Freshman.
How can folks connect with you? Instagram: hillfelts