Multi-sport lover Kandace Chapple

Welcome to Michigan Runner Girl’s very first guest post! Let me introduce you to my friend Kandace Chapple, a talented writer and athlete who along with her twin sister Kerry publishes Grand Traverse Woman Magazine here in northern Michigan. After noticing in recent months that Kandy was posting more running-related updates on her Facebook page, I became intrigued. I knew she was an avid mountain biker, but didn’t know she had an interest in running. Since I’m a sucker for new-to-running stories — not to mention tales of multi-sport athletes — I had to contact her and learn more. She graciously agreed to share her running story here — thank you, Kandy! She tells me I inspire her with my pavement pounding and trail-running stories, but I have to say she’s inspiring me to explore other endurance sports like mountain biking and skate-skiing. Read on …

I’m a mountain biker. I’m a skier. I’m a writer, a mother, a cat lover. Oh, and I might, when pressed by a polite friend, be called a runner too. But… I’m slow. And I don’t go far. And I hate it.

So, why do I do it? Because it gets me from ski season to bike season. Sure, I could spin like all my other biker friends and avoid all the grief of running, but I don’t. And here’s why:

  1. It’s accessible. While biking and skiing are seasonal, I can run any time, in any weather. Some times are better than others. A run outside is ideal, but there’s also something about pulling on a pair of shorts and a tank for the first time in 3 months, getting a firm reminder that swimsuit season is coming and hitting the treadmill. Granted, some days I imagine what it would feel like to fall off the back of the treadmill and slam into the wall, but I carry on. I love that I can run here, in my basement with the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, or there, outside with Mother Nature.
  2. Square one. I feel fit and capable after miles of biking or skiing. But put me in running shoes on a straightaway and that all falls away. Running is like no other sport. Biking and skiing can’t prepare you for the persistence of one foot after another, mile after mile. The challenge begins again. And I like that.
  3. Break time. It keeps my favorites from growing old. Right now my anticipation for the start of a new bike season is pushing me to run harder, half killing myself – so badly do I want to kick my biker friends’ butts.
  4. Every half-mile. I always go out gangbusters in March, trying to crank out a 5K on the first day. But about a half-mile in, I’m looking into passing cars for someone non-killer-like enough to give this outlandish yet wildly beautiful runner a ride home. But each day, the advances are measurable. The stretches of non-stop running get longer, the miles faster. I can mark it in my exercise log, my quiet creep in the right direction.
  5. The equipment. It’s a relief to do nothing more than put on a pair of shoes. I get a break from waxing, oiling, cleaning, loading, unloading of equipment. There’s a freedom to the simplicity. I can make the decision to just go, grab my shoes and be out the door. It’s much easier to talk yourself out of a bike ride when there’s a bike to load, a trail to drive to and spandex to squeeze into.

In fact, this is the first year that I’ve loved to hate running enough that I’m thinking about doing it all summer!

Kandace is a freelancer writer, mountain biker chick, closet runner and publisher of Grand Traverse Woman Magazine. Learn more about Kandy and her work here.

Kandace at the 2010 Iceman Cometh finish ~ Next up, finish line photo for her running race!

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