Diana came to the U.S. in 1999 on vacation from her home in Bogotá, Columbia… And stayed here. She and her daughter, Natalia, moved to Libertyville almost 6 years ago. As Diana expressed to me, they nearly left Libertyville until the LRC made her feel at home. She recalls Facebook-stalking the LRC page since October of 2014 and seeing me run past her house often (we live a 1/4 mile apart). Though she’s unsure exactly when she decided to show up to a run, she’s glad she did and only wishes she had done it sooner.
She started running for fun with her dad about 30 years ago – amazing, since she’s 21 years old, right? They would get up early and take advantage of Ciclovía, a practice originating in Bogotá in which certain main streets are blocked off to cars for runners and bicyclists every Sunday from 7am – 2pm. During this time, stages are set up in city parks and various fitness instructors and musicians lead people through performances. She continued to run when the mood struck because she liked it and she knew it would keep her healthy.
Diana was what you would call a group-run virgin, having never run with a group before meeting the LRC. I sing the praises of running with a group so often that I sound like a broken record so I’ll let Diana sum it up here by saying it gets her out the door on those “blah” days, it holds her accountable which helps motivate her to run longer and faster, and it’s just more fun with friends. Considering that her pace went from about a 10:30 min/mile to a 8:50 min/mile in this past year, I would say the system works. I’m always amazed at how much she’s improving when I pick her up on our run over to the Breakfast Club run.
Being a single mom of a 10-year-old daughter can prove difficult when wanting to run with and participate in all the LRC social events. Luckily, we don’t bite and Natalia fits right in; we’re pro-kids! Occasionally, Natalia will ride along side mom on her bike, accompany us to an event (like volunteering with mom at our Poker Run 10K), or join us for post-run dinner and drinks. But as far as making time for herself? Diana just hides in the bathroom leaving Natalia to think mom takes too long to go. Whatever works!
Diana is going to complete her first half marathon on May 7th at the Wisconsin Marathon & Half Marathon in Kenosha after months of following LRC’s What-the-Hell-Does-Mike-Brunette-Know? training plan. She finds motivation on those long runs just knowing that running is something that many people are physically unable to do. She also enjoys getting faster and stronger, and setting a good example for her daughter. She looks forward to returning to spend time with her after the run… And after a good nap.
Libertyville certainly has no shortage of routes to run. Diana would choose to run the Des Plains River Trail for the rest of her life IF only it extended to a coastal city. But the real choice as of late is, when picking a “side” for track workouts: Church or Cult? Libertyville Running Club’s not-meant-to-be-offensive replacement of the traditional and boring “Club” with “Church” and “Cult” has left all of you in the same quandary. Diana is aligning with the Cult – dark, naughty, fun, and sweaty things come to mind for her. Whoa! Save it for Hook Up Wednesday Night Fun Runs, Girl.
Running with a group can be bad news for people that don’t want to push themselves. After her first half marathon, Diana is joining the LRC for our return trip to the Denver half marathon in June, signed up for the Chicago Marathon this fall, and is planning to do a 50K after that. She isn’t so intimidated by the challenges because she and the LRC share similar philosophies of keeping it fun and enjoying the run. Because of that, she tells people that haven’t taken the leap to show up to an LRC run or event yet to just do it. You’ll regret not doing it sooner like she does.
Join the LRC throughout May for a group run of varying kilometers. And if you’re looking for a fall marathon training plan, join Diana and the others when ours kicks off with a party on June 18th!