Krista and daughter Amelia at the 2012 Glen Arbor Summer Solstice Half Marathon. Krista was the top female finisher!
Krista and daughter Amelia at the 2012 Glen Arbor Solstice Half Marathon. Krista was the top female finisher!

It’s a big weekend ahead for Krista Scott, a 35-year-old Michigan runner I “met” when she replied to one of my posts. As luck would have it, she lives in northern Michigan, too, and she’s become a good friend—we finally were able to mesh our schedules and have run several times together this spring. I’m thrilled to share her Michigan running story, especially now as she’s heading to the East Coast to run this Monday’s 117th Boston Marathon. We’re cheering for you, Krista!

Memorable Recent Run: The other weekend I went on a beautiful sunrise run with a dear friend. The roads were finally clear and the company was just what was needed to keep my spirits up for the last weeks of training.

At the Kiawah Island Marathon, where she snagged her Boston qualifying time.
At the Kiawah Island Marathon, where she snagged her Boston qualifying time.

Boston Bound: I ran my first marathon as a bucket list item before my daughter was born, and swore I would never do another one after crossing the finish line. I decided to run the 2011 Chicago Marathon as a member of Team LiveSTRONG after my mom was diagnosed and subsequently lost her battle with cancer. My mom was diagnosed in 2009 and when I daydreamed with her about Boston, she encouraged me to follow that dream. After my mom passed away I found solace in running and I felt the need to fulfill the dream my mom believed in. I spent the better portion of a year doing speed work and building a base for the pace I would need to run to BQ. I thought Chicago would be the chance. I ran a half-marathon PR to get a corral spot and followed a basic training program from the Chicago Marathon. Unfortunately, I felt great in at the starting line and took it out way too fast in Chicago. Even though I knew in my head I needed to slow down I couldn’t force myself to do it. Rather than throw all the training out the window, I signed up for the Kiawah Island Marathon less than two months later (serendipitously it was being run on my mom’s birthday). During those two months I used a modified version of the Hanson Brothers Marathon training program and truly focused on hitting the given pace for each training run. I could not have asked for better race condition or race than Kiawah Island. I ran in control and negative split qualifying with time to spare. I really felt the Hanson Brothers plan worked well for me and I am using the program again for my training for Boston.

Experiencing Beantown: What can I say? It’s BOSTON! I can’t wait for the crowds, the blue and yellow banners, seeing some of the fastest marathoners in the world, crossing that finish line! Initially, I thought about running with a video camera and just relishing in the fact that I made it to Boston. Once I registered and was in I decided to train and race – setting a goal of sub 3:30.

Mitten State Running: I love living and running in an area that is packed with so many outdoor exercise enthusiasts year round. You can see people out running in any weather condition – it can be a blizzard and people are out running. I always giggle at those winter running articles that talk about when it is too cold (ie: below 10 degrees), you should just run on a treadmill. If that were the case us Michiganders would never get outside to run! Locally, I enjoy running on the west end of the TART trail – you don’t have to worry about cars and the scenery is beautiful… trillium blooming in the spring, deer meandering in the woods, and in the fall being surrounded by all the colors of the leaves is amazing.

Embracing winter running in Michigan.
Embracing winter running in Michigan.

Favorite Michigan Race: I love the Zombie Race in Traverse City. Our whole family gets dressed up in costumes and runs together. It is fun to have a race that encourages kids and families to get out and run. My daughter runs a lot with me and I want to pass on to her my enjoyment of running so a race like this offers us the perfect opportunity to show her how much fun running can be.

EXCELerate/Endurance Evolution team running: I was never a runner growing up; I was a competitive swimmer from the time I was little through college. When I first started running I trained by myself, but I missed the camaraderie of being on a team. I missed having some there to cheer you on and hold you accountable when you didn’t want to put in the extra effort. I missed being that person to others as well. I started running with the EXCELerate/Endurance Evolution Team in hopes to meet some new runners to occasionally train with. Instead, I have met an amazing group of friends that continue to offer inspiration and encouragement. The team is open to runners and triathletes of all abilities, making for such a diverse group of people that I would have never met on my own. As a physical therapist I love the fact that this team is open to everyone and encourages everyone to participate. That is what is going to change the health perception for those who think they are too far gone to even try and for our kids who will have a health epidemic if they don’t start trying.  

Passionate about LiveSTRONG: I became involved with the LiveSTRONG Foundation when my mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer in the fall of 2009. Their guidance and free services for family members/care givers was a light in a dark time for me while dealing with my mom’s diagnosis and eventual passing eight months later. The LiveSTRONG Foundation provides free cancer support serviced to help cope with the financial, emotional, and life challenges that accompany cancer. It has become a symbol of hope and inspiration for many around the world, as it did for my family. I felt the best way to honor my mom’s memory was to continue to offer that hope to others. I joined Team LiveSTRONG for the 2011 Chicago Marathon and 2013 Austin Half Marathon to raise funds to continue to mission of providing free services and counseling for those families who felt as lost as I did. Additionally, this spring I was selected to be part of the LiveSTRONG Leader program which works at the local level to build community awareness of the services available. In doing so, I have hopes of formulating a whole health-based community program offering exercise groups, nutritional information, and mental health information for those currently undergoing cancer treatment and survivors.

Krista with her husband Ethan and their daughter Amelia, who will be 6 next month.
Krista with her husband Ethan and their daughter Amelia, who will be 6 next month.

The way I look at it – I run because I can and because there may come a day that I can’t, but today is not that day. So if by putting one foot in front of the other and running a race I can help one family deal with the chaos and uncertainty the diagnosis of cancer brings then it is worth it.

What’s Next: After Boston, I will take a quick break to recover before defending my title at the Glen Arbor Solstice Half Marathon. After that I will be flying be the seat of my pants – maybe a 5K here or there and maybe the Sleeping Bear Half or Full Marathon in October. In the future I would love to represent Team LiveSTRONG in the NYC Marathon. When my daughter is older I would love nothing more than to be able to run a marathon with her as well.

Thankful for Family & Friends: Training for a marathon a humbling experience and requires sacrifice not only of yourself, but of friends and family. It is something that you never truly realize until you have gone through it. So a huge thank you needs to go out to my friends and family that have supported me along this journey. Especially my husband, Ethan, who has gone above and beyond whether it be helping out with Amelia, listening to all the training/diet/gear talk, keeping me on track when there were a million other things to do, and encouraging me in every step of the way – I know I would not be to this point without him!


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