Today’s guest is a woman that didn’t really get into running until she was almost 40.
Since then she has definitely made up for lost time.
I am looking forward to sharing a few easy miles with Crystal Shinosky as we talk all things running.
Crystal got involved with the sport of running as an adult.
Her first marathon happened at the age of 30, “by accident.”
Prior to the marathon, she was running about 5 miles a couple of times a week with a friend.
The same friend she was running with regularly convinced her to run 10 miles with him.
It wasn’t long before Crystal surprised herself and ran 16 miles with him.
Her friend mentioned he was running the San Antonio Marathon in a week and suggested she sign up for the 5k.
Crystal knew she could go longer than a 5k and quickly signed up for the full marathon.
She managed to finish the race but afterward wouldn’t run another step until 6 years later.
Third Time’s A Charm
After a 6 year running hiatus, Crystal once again laced up and ran a marathon in 2007.
Yet again she took a break from running after the race, not returning to the sport until 3 years later.
In 2010, she was invited to run a leg of a relay and it was during that race that she fell in love with running for good.
Crystal credits her consistency with running in part to her friends.
The group she trained with and the connections she formed made it easy to stay motivated.
Her running connections soon began to extend into the ultra world.
A friend that was training for a 100-mile race convinced Crystal to run a 50k.
After that first 50k, Crystal was hooked on ultras and ran her second 50k only 2 weeks later.
Miles For Pounds
Crystal’s love for running and healthy lifestyle began to motivate her family to make changes.
At a Christmas gathering, Crystal made the wager that she would run a mile for every pound her family members lost.
By the time her 24-hour race rolled around in April, she was committed to running 71 miles.
Crystal had never run that far before, yet she still managed to surpass that goal by a large amount.
It was at mile 99 of her race that Crystal realized she was the first female and still had over an hour left to run.
She finished the race with 106 miles total and a first place female finish.
From that race, Crystal learned that the body could run much farther then you think.
Having not trained for over 100 miles, Crystal also learned that recovery would not go as smoothly as the race itself.
Assume You Can
At present time, Crystal has completed 43 ultras (eleven 100 mile races) and 45 marathons.
All that experience does not make Crystal immune to rough patches during her races.
She has learned that no matter what the rough patch will pass if you stick it out long enough.
Crystal relies on some tricks for getting through those tough moments:
- She carries notes from her husband that she reads when she needs it most.
- Singing while running lifts her spirits and distracts her.
- Releasing emotions can be helpful.
- Ultras are long and talking to oneself can help pass the time.
Pacing becomes crucial in a long race and holding back, in the beginning, can make a huge difference in the end.
Whatever it is that you want to do, “don’t assume you can’t.”
Crystal’s advice for life and racing is to assume you CAN. Try and see what happens.
Mentioned In This Episode:
Stay connected with Crystal by following her on Instagram.
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