Name: Cynthia T.
Location: Lincoln, RI
Sport of Choice: Walking – mainly half marathons.
2014 Race Plans: I Plan to finish 60 half marathons in 2014 to celebrate turning 60 yrs. old.
What makes you a Tough Chik? I am a Tough Chik because at 56 yrs old I completed my first half marathon with RI Team In Training and in the last 3 years have completed 46 half marathons, 4 full marathons, one sprint tri, and many 5ks. I will never win a race as I am a walker but I still finish every race I enter and love encouraging those along the way.
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My race belt.
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Everything happens for a reason.
Fun Fact: I try to ‘dress up’ for my half marathons. Makes the distance much more fun.
Name: Heather B.
Location: Onawa Iowa
Sport of Choice: Running, newly found.
Hobbies: Love to go for walks with friends, watch my daughter in Volleyball, Dance, Gym, track, and Basketball. Love seeing her grow and learn what her body will let her do. I love challenges to better myself. I love to read when I get a chance.
Now my newly found love in running has been so helpful to me in many ways like the support you get from people you don’t even know, support from friends and family and the smile on my daughters face when I completed my first half and she said I knew you could do it!
2014 Race Plans: I am going to do a FULL MARATHON. I am not sure where yet, but will do one for sure. I also love the mud runs, which we will have some around here, and I will do another half to see if I can get a better time.
What makes you a Tough Chik? I think just being a woman will make anyone a Tough Chik. I have a lot of determination to make myself healthy and fit. Like most women we have so much on our plate so to do something like running, walking or exercising to get out and get our ducks in a row makes us healthy but most of all for me is the satisfaction I get.
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My running shoes
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live!
One day at a time.
Fun Fact: Dry sense of humor.
Name: Sheila K.
Location: Steinbach MB
Sport of Choice: Currently I am running. I have done a half marathon, a 10 mile and a 5K race this past year. I will be starting swimming and cycling in the New Year.
2014 Race Plans: 2014 will be a 5K resolution run, a half Marathon, a full marathon, as well as Try a Tri… in late august.
Other than that, we will see how the year progresses
What make you a Tough Chik: The fact that I am 100 lbs overweight, and am training for events. I have Hypothyroidism, which makes weight loss extremely difficult. I therefore run with extra weight on my body. I am trying to break the cycle of obesity/diabetes/health issues in my family
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? GPS – mileage/speed
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Get ‘er’ Done.
Fun Fact: I am 45 overweight and in the best cardiovascular shape of my life (when I was slim, I could not physically do the things I do now!)
Name: Julie F.
Location: Mt. Morris, IL
Sport of Choice: Running
Hobbies: Running, family, reading
2014 Race Plans: I would like to do another half marathon next year. Now that my daughter will be graduating from high school, she can run more 5k’s with me.
What makes you a Tough Chik? 5 years ago when I turned 40 I started on a weight loss journey. I lost 60 lbs over 2 years. It is an every day battle to keep that off.
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? phone
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Find a way.
Fun Fact: I have naturally curly hair.
Name: Wendy R.
Sport of Choice: Running, Swimming, Triathlon
Hobbies: reading, hiking, biking, orange Theory, yoga
2014 Race Plans: Women’s Half marathon, Fiesta Half marathon, Pat’s Run, multiple masters swim meets, various 5K and 10K events
What makes you a Tough Chik? At the age of 40, after knee surgery, I lost 80 pounds and now, at 48, the weight has stayed off and I am as active as ever. I keep working to improve my fitness and my race results and as a high school PE teacher, pass along the importance of fitness to my students.
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Nike GPS watch
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Never Give Up-Winston Churchill
Name: Colette A.
Sport of Choice: Running
In line skating
2014 Race Plans: Hot chocolate 15k
What make you a Tough Chik: All of us have a tough Chik inside of us just waiting to come out. This will be my second year is a TTC and I’m so excited to see where my toughness leads me.
There are always those thoughts … I wanna do this, I wanna so that… Then we worry… Will I be able to? Can I really do that?? With the support of all our sister toughies, the answer is … Oh, Hell yeah!!! Just step aside and watch!!! This past year, I have conquered obstacles I’ve only dreamed about. :-).
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My iPhone
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? ” I like to look in the rear view mirror and which life try to catch up with me “
Fun Fact: I love to do handstands in the pool
Name: Amy S. – 1st year member!
Location: Fullerton, ca
Sport of Choice: Running
Hobbies: Racing, traveling, shopping, reading, spending time with friends and family.
2014 Race Plans: Oc half, Huntington Beach half, LB half, Nike in Dc (fingers crossed)
What makes you a Tough Chik? I’m dedicated! Through injury I keep
Coming back!! I am always trying new runs to push myself and keep motivated!
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Nike plus
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Run your own race!
Fun Fact: 3 years ago I started running and my goal was to complete a 5k. This weekend I am running my 8th half marathon, rock n roll in Vegas!
Name: Xanthe – 2nd year member
Location: Campo, CA
Sport of Choice: Triathlons
Hobbies: Geocaching, animals, reading, softball, triathlons, hiking
2014 Race Plans: Jan:
5-Kendall Webb Triathlon
2-Surf City Marathon
8-Tour De Palm Springs
9-Palm Springs Half
22-Race the Base (maybe)
23-San Diego Women’s Half Marathon
1-Desert Tri (Sprint)
2-Desert Tri (Oly)
9-San Diego Half Marathon
16-Superseal Oly Triathlon
23-Zion Half Marathon
13-HITS Napa 140.6 Triathlon
20-Mustang Half Marathon (maybe)
27-La Jolla Half Marathon
4-OC Half Marathon
18-HITS Colorado 70.3 (maybe)
What makes you a Tough Chik? I have been last and didn’t quit.
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission. -Eleanor Roosevelt
Fun Fact: 20+ military Veteran, retired.
Name: Valerie D. – 1st year member
Location: Arlington, VA
Sport of Choice: Running
2014 Race Plans: Dopey Challenge January 9-12, 2014
GW Parkway Classic 10 mile – April 14, 2014.
What make you a Tough Chik: I may not be fast, but I hang in there until I get the distance covered.
Name: Betsy S.
Sport of Choice: Running
Hobbies: Running, Reading, Golf, Scrapbooking
2014 Race Plans: I have quite a few 1/2 marathons lined up already, and I’m seriously considering my first FULL marathon…NYC!.
What makes you a Tough Chik? I’m a single mom of 2 little boys. I don’t want them to feel like they are missing out on anything. They are my first priority, and most of my time is spent on the soccer (or baseball or basketball field). It’s hard to squeeze in me time for running…but I wouldn’t have it any other way
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? ipod
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? “Success isn’t how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started.”
Name: Nikkol M.
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Sport of Choice: Running
Hobbies: running, biking, swimming, rowing and hiking
2014 Race Plans: Arizona Rock n Roll Marathon
Xterra Trail Series
As many Triathlons as I have time for
Tour de Scottsdale
El Tour de Tuscon
Soma half iron distance triathon
What makes you a Tough Chik? I didn’t start running until I was about 29 and have since completed 5 full marathons, countless half-marathons, several bike races, two half iron distance triathlons and several olympic and sprint distance triathlons. I was diagnosed with Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) when I was 11 years old. I’ve had 7 knee surgeries for it and spend many years on medication. I was told I would most likely be in a wheel chair by the time I was 30. Consequently, that was the year I ran my first full marathon. I am very thankful to have defied the odds and that I am still running and enjoying all life has to offer for as long as I am able. I am now a personal trainer and I specialize in the elderly population because I know that together we can really improve their quality of life and someday, I’m going to be one of them.
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Armband for my phone
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? I run because I can.
Fun Fact: I was running the San Diego marathon and when I got to the place where they were handing out popsicles, they were all out because the half-marathon had already been through that area. I actually started to cry. Every race after that, one of my girl friends meets me at the finish line with a Popsicle.
Name: Debbie H.
Location: Chicago, IL
Sport of Choice: RUNNING
Hobbies: food, healthy foods, cooking, exercise, spending time with my family, playing board games with my children
2014 Race Plans: In 2013, I ran 15 races, which was the most I’ve ever done in a year.
I’m hoping to surpass that number with a new PR in 1 or more races.
What make you a Tough Chik: I don’t quit! I try to encourage others. I’m encouraged by others. I lead by example!
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? A good sport bra & Nuun
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Run through head trash!
Fun Fact: My children love animals & we have a ball python, 2 Russian Tortoises, golden doodle, guinea pig and that’s it for NOW!
I am going to be very honest, there were 2 reasons that I signed up for this race. 1) I thought the medal was cute. (I should be “above” racing for a cute medal…but I am not)
and 2) Jen Small was going to be there! Jen was one of the first bloggers to embrace Tough Chik. When she emailed me and asked to partner with Tough Chik, I was skeptical. But one thing you will learn (or know) about Jen is that she is honest, enthusiastic and loving. She believed in my brand and work hard to get out my message. I pretty much owe my early social media connections solely to Jen. She really changed my business. We live on the 2 furthest points from each other, me in So Cal and Jen in Maine. So I was NOT going to miss my chance to
hug this amazing woman be picked up my this amazing woman.
Back to the race…well…not yet…
Saturday before the race we had a Tough Chik meet-up/beach party. A few of the Team Tough Chik members who were running and some locals
braved the parking dropped by.
It was great to meet some of the new Toughies and catch up the members who are now my friends.
This race morning started like every race morning, with an alarm so early my cats look at me like I am nuts and don’t even get up to beg for treats. When you confuse the cats and they are to sleepy to beg for food, now THAT is early. Stupid early. I was concerned about parking, as this is a HUGE race, so I was able to catch a ride with one of my team members brother-in-law, who lives down the street. It is kind of weird to get picked up a 5:30 AM by a complete stranger, but we had a lot in common and chatted non-stop to the race.
Some of the Toughies met before the race started for a group pic and Julie woke up and rode down to cheer us on! Now she is real trooper!
After a quick photo op, we went our separate ways and I headed to my corral. I was shaking uncontrollably I was so cold. It was probably 50, I mean not cold, but I admit that I am a total weather weenie. I was suppose to take off at 7:57 but I *might* have been in the wrong corral, because we didn’t take off until quite a bit later and there was the 2:30 pacer right in front of me. But I hate feeling like everyone is passing me, so I was okay starting with a slower group.
We finally got moving and I remember a friend telling me to start of painfully slow. So that is what I did, and it wasn’t that hard. There were so many people, and I was so cold that it was hard to get faster than a 10 min mile that first mile. I had studied the course map and knew were the one hill was at around mile 3, so I told myself to keep it nice and slow until past that first hill. About 2 miles in, I had to go to the bathroom. OF COURSE! Now you have to go! Sometimes you and your body are NOT on the same page. The lines for the port-a-potties at that first stop were very long, so I kept on going. My plan was to go either on the way up the hill or at the top, knowing that I can haul butt down hill and maybe get some of my time back. I had also decided that I was going to stop my Garmin and not count potty time. LOL
Right before mile 5 there were some port-a-potties and I begrudgingly waited in line to go. A couple minutes later, I was as good as new and ready to move on. I was feeling really good. Pacing myself, drinking water and moving. Except everything was moving. I wore a flip belt with my phone and money and a race belt. Both of which wanted to twist, turn and rise up on me. It was driving me nuts. I didn’t want to snag my new team shirt by pinning my number, but this was crazy annoying. I think around mile 9 or 10 both final stayed on my hips.
Around mile 10 I started to get stomach cramps. Not buckled-over-cramps, but my stomach-is-unsettled cramps. This is also the point where I realized that I would be cutting it very close to the 2 hour mark. I really, really wanted a sub-2 hour race, but knew that it wasn’t a sure thing. This is the point where I am doing the math in my head and to what pace I need to run these last miles. I started to feel down, realizing that I was going to miss it. I was close to tears, when I see Sara. Sara is amazing and one of the coolest gals I know. She is on Team Tough Chik and also lives in the OC. She knew I wanted a sub-2 hr run and I was actually using her training plan. She came up to me and asked me how I was feeling and what time I had. At that point I was an hour and a half in and had over 3 miles to go, plus a gradual climb. She told me that I would be cutting close, but I could do it. She blew me a kiss and was off.
After that I just pushed as hard as I could, at this point it was right around mile 11. I think I started pushing to early and around 12.5 I hit a wall. I looked at my watch and knew there was no way I was going to cover the next .6 miles in 5 minutes. I just didn’t have it in me.
I finished my first real Half Marathon at 2:03. Even though I was a little bummed I didn’t get my sub-2, I knew that I gave it my all. I left everything out there and I did the best that I could do.
Overall this was a great race. Beautiful, well organized and pretty dang flat, which is huge for us! I have a sub-2 hour half in me, so I guess I will have to try again next year!
Name: Rachel E. – 1st year member
Sport of Choice: Basketball volleyball and track
Hobbies: running*reading * sports
2014 Race Plans: to run a 1/2 marathon with my friend in June.
What make you a Tough Chik? Just ran a race for my high school. It’s called the Rambo run. Its only 1.5mi but it was below freezing‚ there was snow on the ground and went through water that was to my shoulders.
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? cell phone
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? If you’re in control you’re not going fast enough
Fun Fact: Your foot is as big as your forearm
Name: Monica C. – 1st year member
Location: Tallahassee FL
Sport of Choice: Running, Triathlon, Boxing
Hobbies: Knitting, Politics, Jeeps
2014 Race Plans: All the Disney races! A few sprint and super sprint triathlons
What makes you a Tough Chik? I’ve had to work really hard to get where I am and the journey is still just beginning.
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Gymboss Interval Timer
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Suck it up, Princess!
Fun Fact: I always wear or carry something that belonged to my late grandmother when I run.
Name: Phyllis S. – 2nd year member
Location: Norwalk, CT
Sport of Choice: Running, biking and Spinning
Hobbies: I do enjoy knitting but have a tough time sitting still that long.
2014 Race Plans: Miami Half Marathon on Feb 2 Miami FL
Nike Women’s Half on April 27 Washington DC
Runners World Hat Trick Boston MA June 2
Iron Girl Triathlon- Syracuse NY August 2014
Marine Corp Marathon – My First October Washington DC
What make you a Tough Chik: I am a tough chik because I live everyday to the fullest thanks to my wellness transformation. My healthy and active lifestyle is an example for my family and co-workers to follow that lead them to become healthier.
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? iphone
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, just take the step”
Fun Fact: My husband and all three of my children are left handed. So random!!
Name: Suzanne W.
Location: Madison, AL
Sport of Choice: Running
Hobbies: Being outdoors with my husband, Reading, Volunteering, Playing with our two yellow labs
2014 Race Plans: I am planning to complete my first ultra early in the year and then I hope to set a new 5K and half PR in the summer/fall.
What make you a Tough Chik? I just completed 25 half marathons in 2 years and I wasn’t even a runner until 2.5 years ago!
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Nathan handheld that holds my iPhone
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? “The difference between good and great is just a little extra effort.”
Fun Fact: Chances are I’m the only person you’ll ever meet who is an Animal Scientist with a Master’s in Animal Breeding & Genetics!
Name: Tina N.
Location: Guyton, GA
Sport of Choice: Football
2014 Race Plans: Team Ortho Minneapolis Dualathon Relay
Disney Wine & Dine 5K
Disney Tower of Terror 5K
Various virtual races
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Ipad
Name: Jennifer S.
Sport of Choice: Triathlon, and each of those three sports individually
Hobbies: Music ~ performing it and listening to it.
Reading (everything,) knitting, crocheting, creating all forms of arts, cooking, gardening, farming, hiking, skiing, soccer + coaching, scouts!
2014 Race Plans: Lots of fun localish races, Old First Ward Shamrock 8k, Ride for Roswell 62 mile, Musselman Sprint, Tough Mudder, Fingerlakes Olympic, Rochester Half Marathon, and my first century ride.
What make you a Tough Chik: I have a fibromyalgia diagnosis. I have an osteoarthritis diagnosis. I have “piggy backer” conditions. I manage these everyday. I have will. I have desire. I have strength. I have determination. I have passion. I have love, for myself, my sports, & my team.
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Ninja Blender
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? “Don’t compromise yourself, you’re all you’ve got.” ~ Janis Joplin
Fun Fact: I love to cook. The best thing I do…I create soups, stews, and chowders, that folks rave about. I once thought of opening a luncheonette called Simply Soups, in our local college town.
Name: Angela C – 2nd year member and Ambassador
Location: Homestead, FL
Sport of Choice: Triathlon, Running, and Cycling
Hobbies: Rock climbing, kayaking, the gym, bird watching and hanging out with my amazing family
2014 Race Plans: Superhero Scramble January 12, 2014
Ragnar Keys February 7-8, 2014
Fort Lauderdale A1A Half Marathon February 16, 2014
13.1 Miami Beach March 2, 2014
Miami Man Speedway Edition Int’l Tri May 25, 2014
Escape To Miami Olympic Triathlon September 28, 2014
Miami Man Zoo Edition International Tri November 9, 2014
What make you a Tough Chik? I’m tough because I never give up. I may not be the fastest, but its better to be out there and slow than not at all. Balancing all the balls is never easy, but at the end of the day, a happy family and a tired body means I was TOUGH ENOUGH
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My phone . . . music and a camera to keep me entertained and document my journey!
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? Right now . . . Don’t be a prisoner of your past. Be the architect of your future.
Fun Fact: The first time I told hubs I wanted to do a triathlon he laughed in my face. The first time I told him I wanted to run a half marathon he called me crazy. He now does both
Name: Beth S. – 2nd year member
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Sport of Choice: running
Hobbies: reading, music, theatre, all things Disney, movies, yoga
2014 Race Plans: Confirmed:
January – Walt Disney World Marathon
February – Castaway Cay 5K (informal fun run, but still!!)
July – The Great Alaskan Running Cruise
October – ING Hartford Half Marathon (may change to the full pending training)
Planning but pending lottery and/or timing:
Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run
Broad Street Run
MORE/Fitness Women’s Half
some other Spring/early Summer half
What make you a Tough Chik I stick to it when things get tough? Example: when I ran the RnR Country Music Half in April 2013, it was raining the whole time – anything from a drizzle to an out and out downpour (they almost called the race after one severe lightning flash, but no other came, so they let us continue). I was cold and wet, and all I wanted to do was stop, but I kept going, even though I was limping my way to the end due to cold-related cramps. I finished, and I’m proud of myself for toughing it out!
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Totally NRR, but my nook
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” ~ Walt Disney
Fun Fact: My sister and I have the same birthday. But we’re not twins.
Name: Christy H. – New member
Location: Goshen, IN
Sport of Choice: Running
Hobbies: Running, biking, dancing, reading, listening to country music, singing even though I am off key
2014 Race Plans: The Carmel Marathon in April, want to find one more marathon (not sure which one), St Louis Rock N Roll Half in October, maybe a Tri, and at least 2 or 3 more half’s
What make you a Tough Chik: I am a fighter and always come out of any situation stronger and learn and grow as a person, friend, wife and runner. Runner has taught me how Tough I really am. Because of running I am empowered and I can achieve anything I desire.
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? My I Phone
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? I don’t have a favorite but I start each day with one to guide my day
Fun Fact: At the young age of 39 I am a stepgrandma and I love it!
Name: Catharine M. – 2nd year member
Location: Washington, DC
Sport of Choice: Triathlon
Hobbies: When I’m not biking, swimming, or running?!? Sitting in my underwear in front of the TV on the sofa. Also skiing, rock climbing, baking, and trying out new restaurants and foods.
2014 Race Plans: RnR USA Half Marathon, South Beach Triathlon, Eagleman HIM, Augusta HIM, Humbolt Half Marathon
What make you a Tough Chik: I’ve always loved the inclusive nature of the business end of Tough Chiks, that’s what got me to join. It’s pretty hard to find businesses, especially small business that carry anything larger then a Large when it comes to tri gear. So I love to support those that support bigger girls. But what kept me in is the amazing and supportive nature of the the members of Team Tough Chik. I am a Tough Chik because I know I can do antyhing I put my mind too. But I have a team behind me to keep pushing and pulling me along when I stumble.
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? IPAD!!! What was my life like before this time sucker?!?
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? ”Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.”
Fun Fact: I’m a swim coach even though I am one of the slowest swimmers in the masters group I coach. But for some reason it makes me one of the most popular as well.
Name: Rebecca B. – new member
Location: Cumberland Maine
Sport of Choice: RUNNING!!!!!
Hobbies: I don’t consider running a hobby, it’s a part of the fabric of my daily life although I do consider it fun!
I love getting together with friends, attending sporting events, reading, outdoor activities in general and spending time with my family.
2014 Race Plans: My race plans for 2014 have been altered slightly with the new found knowledge that I am pregnant (shhhh not public knowledge yet!) I ran until my 36th week with my last pregnancy and am hoping to do the same this time. The current goal is to run a half marathon in April when I will be 6.5 mo along with a bunch of other races leading up to that as well as a comeback half in the fall. Wish me luck!!
What make you a Tough Chik: Running for two is definitely touch but even beyond that when you have children, a husband and a full time career, carving out time for yourself and the things that are important to you is tough but oh so worth it!
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? Nike Plus watch
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? There will come a time when you can no longer do this, today is NOT that day.
Fun Fact: I am a sign language interpreter
Name: Chrystal V. – new memeber
Sport of Choice: Running! I also like biking, yoga, and the gym, but everything I do is to improve my running ability.
Hobbies: Running is my hobby (honestly, running is pretty much what my schedule revolves around) but I also read a lot, draw/paint, and spend a lot of time with my furbabies.
2014 Race Plans: Where to start! In April I’m doing my first Half Marathon, in March I’m doing my second Half Marathon! I also have a handful of races I did in 2013 that are on my list to do again.
What make you a Tough Chik: I don’t believe in giving up.
What is the one gadget you CAN’T live without? GPS!
What is your favorite inspirational phrase? “I don’t quit when I’m tired. I quit when I’m finished.”
Fun Fact: I started running BECAUSE the doctor told me I had “Runner’s Knee”. I decided if I had it, I was going to earn it.