What are you doing during this pandemic?
It stinks that I cannot get into the gym, which has childcare, and cross-train. So, I run on the treadmill while my husband is at work. I have to cut my runs shorter when my husband is home, or I give Augie [her son] a tablet so I can run on the treadmill. I do have things at home like a treadmill, bike, weights, but my workouts are more sporadic. I can even ride my spin bike outside while Augie plays in the yard. Before this [stay at home order] we had a schedule and people could watch Augie. It is weird that I finally have all the time in the world, but I really don’t.
When did you first understand that you enjoyed running?
When I was about 12 years old, my friend talked me into [running] cross country. I did not want to do it, but she told me that I got to miss school. So, I did it and I was not good at all. But I stuck with it. Becoming good at it helped and when you no longer hurt, it becomes more fun. I knew early on that I enjoyed it. It felt effortless and eventually felt good, but not at first. I had shin splints and thought "I am never going to do this again".
What do you wish people knew about running?
I wish people would just stick with it. There are seasons when it does not feel good at all and there are seasons that you can glide through it. Nothing in life is easy. Right now, we should be sticking at home, but we [society as a whole] are struggling to stay at home on our couches. We like to quit things when they get hard. We come up with excuses to give up and not to be successful. If we stick to it, there will be a pay out of some kind. And there are ups and downs through the whole journey.
What is a unique thing about running you wish others knew?
There is a camaraderie, runners just unite in some weird way. Runners are all kind people. I have never met a mean runner. We all want others to do well. Runners are competitive, but we like seeing other people succeed.
Is there something about running specifically that you enjoy?
I do not like winter running. Right now, when the sun is out and burning your skin feels good, and crisp air. It [running] becomes very rhythmic and music is very rhythmic, and it puts you at ease and soothes the soul.
If you could run any race what would it be? Is there a bucket lists of runs?
I do not think it really matters. Neat destination races, London, Berlin, but racing is racing. I just like racing. There is no bucket list. With the way my life is right now, with a young child and husband working, I stick to choosing races where I can also visit family, or race when we are on road trips. It would be neat to do Boston and depending on what season [of life] I am in depends on what race.
What is the most unique thing you have done with regard to running?
The Women’s training group at YRC. Influencing others. Seeing the impact of helping and coaching others, it is super special. It makes me appreciate running more. Watching other people, I work with succeed, helps me appreciate running.
How would you describe yourself as a runner?
I have changed and evolved over the years. I go through different seasons of running depending on my life. I am definitely competitive and goal oriented. It is a passion and love. I do not like to lose, but I am finding a new wave in running. There is always a goal to reach for. Do you have any current goals? No. I am pregnant, so I am training through that. When pregnant with Augie I was injured, so towards the end [of the pregnancy] I could run some more. Currently, I have been running 50 miles a week for 3 months. I thought I was going to kick it. But [during this pregnancy] this is the worst I have ever felt. I am sticking to it and pressing on. Once this baby is out of me, I will continue. Right now, it is about survival and I cannot give up.
What is it about YRC?
I work there because I reached out and we clicked. We are pretty low key. You can walk in some running stores and they are so intimidating, and you feel like you cannot call yourself a runner. YRC is very relaxed. We see everyone as a runner. Walkers are full of worth. Everyone who walks into the store is of value. It does not matter what type of shoes you are getting; you matter!
What would you tell others NOT to do?
I think a mistake people make is to do too much too soon. If your goal is a 5k, you cannot do it that day. It takes months to get there. When people start running, they think they can go and run three miles, but they need to start with half mile. Do not rush it, you will get there. You literally have to take it one step at a time.
What do you wish others knew about you as a runner?
I have failed way more than I have succeeded, but I still get up and run. I hurt too, just as much as everyone else. It is hard for me too. I even find myself crying during my runs right now because of my breathing, but I stop every mile and regain my breath. I wonder sometimes, is it worth it? Yup, it is always worth it! As long as it is not physically injuring you, it is always worth it!
Anissa spoke about how she used to define herself as a runner and through time and wisdom, which comes with age, this has changed. Beyond being a runner, she is a mom, wife, daughter, friend, couch, and much more. She states she has learned her value as a person beyond being a runner. This value is evident when you hear her speak about the Women’s Training group through YRC, her dedication to them, but also the customers who she values and gives her wisdom to as they enter the store. This value is also viewed in her love for her son, Augie, who is often with her, at the store, and along for a run and as she would say, “not in front of a screen.”
From an outside perspective, Anissa seems fearless. She seems like she could conquer anything. She is quick on her feet as she runs and outruns her counterparts. She is willing to put training sessions together and stick to them with a group of people and watch them succeed. She handles apparel inventory for YRC and can help any customer. She continues to run, succeed, and strive for a goal through pregnancy and having a young son. I am not sure if Anissa, would say she is fearless. But it looks like she does not let fear stand in her way, she just runs around it!
This is Anissa.