Today I’m reconnecting with a woman that keeps picking up finisher’s medals, even though her doctors at one point encouraged her to give up running completely.
Gretchen Schoenstein is back for a Round 2 today, and she’s still going strong since our first chat not quite two years ago.
And if all goes to plan, by the end of 2018 she will have finished her 75th half marathon!
The Mad Scientist
Gretchen, like all of us, is an experiment of one.
As such, she’s willing to try new things on occasion to see how her body will respond to different challenges.
And since she is a runner that is diagnosed with two different autoimmune disorders, she’s never exactly sure how her body will respond.
Last year, Gretchen tried double dipping on race weekend by completing the 5k event on Saturday and the 13.1 on Sunday.
Gretchen has learned that her ideal race weekend experience is to do a “shakeout run” two days before a half marathon and then keep the day in between pretty relaxed.
But ever the scientist, she tried doing the double. And it definitely impacted her race.
Her legs were much heavier during the half than usual, and Gretchen even ended up with a wheelchair ride to the med tent after finishing the 13.1 miles.
This year, Gretchen is trying another experiment: back to back race weekends.
She has three back to back race weekends on her calendar this year. Hopefully, this experiment plays out better than the first!
Today’s Episode of the Show is Sponsored By: DKMS
The Allure of the Next Race
2017 was a bit of a tough year for Gretchen.
Her mom had an accident where she fell, hit her head, and suffered a brain injury. And her home was at risk, and she was evacuated for about a month, due to the fires in California.
In each case, a race helped her maintain some stability/normalcy in her life.
A few weeks after her mom’s fall, Gretchen was scheduled to run a half in Chicago.
She wasn’t planning on going, but her mom insisted.
Her mom was in good hands, so Gretchen was able to go and do the race without worry.
A short while later, the area where Gretchen lives in California was evacuated due to the wildfires that were burning out of control in the area.
Thankfully, her home was saved but she still missed a lot of training time due to poor air quality in the leadup to another race she was planning for 2017.
Again, she decided that running the race was something that would be good for her, even if she wasn’t as prepared for the race as she would like to be.
And again, it helped.
There’s just something about the allure of the next race that helps us runners keep things on track when life starts going crazy.
And last year, Gretchen experienced that twice. Hopefully, the rest of this year will be nothing but smooth sailing for her!
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