To kick off the new year and the Libertyville Running Club’s new monthly featured member segment, we couldn’t separate these three women. Ann, Melisa, and Carrie met through the LRC at the beginning of our free speed workouts at Libertyville High School over the summer. Ann (from Long Grove) was relatively new to running so her niece suggested she try running with a group and recommended the LRC while Carrie (from Grayslake) and Melisa (from Antioch) found the Club online. All were looking for people to run with and motivation to get out of bed for those Saturday morning runs. At the track workouts, they witnessed a wide array of paces and gravitated toward the slower paced runners to do the workouts with. The “Back of the Pack,” as they called themselves, became fast friends and have been running and hanging out together ever since.
One of Carrie’s most inspiring moments occurred at a track relay event in which the LRC participated that had seven members alternate running 1 mile each over a 4-hour period. Her anxiety over being the slowest runner on the team quickly dissipated with the carefree attitude and unwavering support displayed by the LRC. Carrie felt so encouraged by this that she ran her first mile in 10 minutes; faster than she had ever run a mile before! She recalls how fantastic it felt to see Kate Wichmann, one of the fastest women in the LRC, enthusiastically cheering her on. Carrie attended every single track workout for the summer and won a free race entry for the Twilight Shuffle 5k for her perfect attendance.
Collectively, these three ladies cite freedom, relaxation, weight loss, and health improvement as reasons for running. Once they found each other, their aspirations grew. Carrie set personal records in every distance in every race she did in 2014. By the end of 2014, they completed the Hot Chocolate 15K and the Schaumburg Half Marathon together, firsts for all three of them. Those are big accomplishments, especially when you consider that Carrie just started running at the end of 2012 with a 16-minute per mile pace for 20 minutes after a lifetime of being, as she puts it, “morbidly obese.” In those two years of running she has managed to lose a lot of weight and to feel healthy again. Though Ann started running in high school, she ran her farthest distances in 2014 and lost 17 lbs in the process! And Melisa credits the LRC for helping her just get back to working on running goals.
Ann and Melisa have been so inspired by their accomplishments that they are planning to run the Chicago Marathon in 2015! Carrie is planning to do her first sprint triathlon and, if her schedule allows, her first full marathon also. So when you see Ann, Melisa, and Carrie at the next group run or track workout this summer, congratulate them on all their success!