Saturday Spotlight- Kristin McNamara

Name: Kristin
Age: 39
Occupation: 3rd Grade Teacher
Residence: Smithtown
Family: Husband: Michael, Son: Liam 4 ½
Pet: Dog: Buster
Hobby: Shopping

When Lou asked me to be the Warrior of the Week, my first response would be I would be honored, as I sat down to write my story many thoughts crossed my mind; do people know who I am? Do I really have anything interesting to say? Is my story interesting? Do I really want to put myself out there to everyone???

Well here is my story:

Growing up I was never into sports. I had an older brother who was the sports star of the family. I was a chubby child and very shy. I never really had any self-esteem and never had the courage to try things. My parents put my in cheerleading, dancing, piano lessons, and clarinet lessons. None of them worked out to well, but sports never seemed to be an option. I always took walks and bike rides with my mom, and I enjoyed them very much. When I started junior high it was the first time I was presented with the opportunity to play a sport, I tried out for field hockey, but I got cut from the team. In high school, I guess my dance lessons paid off I finally got the courage to try out for color guard and kickline. I was so excited I made the team; not a sport but I was finally part of a team. In 11th grade not really sure why but I joined the winter track team. My parents thought it was funny that I joined so I think I took it as a joke, I enjoyed the workouts but never really enjoyed the meets, I was too nervous. Then one day we did a long run and I loved it, it was the first time I felt a running high, my coach asked me to move to the longer distances, I did not want to because I would have to run around the halls 8 times instead of 4, so I stayed with the shorter distances. I then joined spring track and again enjoyed it. Then in 12th grade I got a job to support my shopping habit and track was forgotten about.

Fast forward to the summer of 2007, it was the summer before my wedding, I wanted to lose weight for my December wedding, I did not belong to a gym so I started to walk everyday, after a while I got bored and decided to try running, I would run a few blocks then walk. I did this for the whole summer. I had worked up to running for many blocks. Never went any further with the running but lost weight and had to have my wedding dress taken in! After my wedding the weather changed and it was too cold to be outside so I joined a gym. Spin became my go to cardio.

During this time I was obsessed with watching Access Hollywood and reading anything to do with celebrities. I saw that Katie Holmes ran the NYC marathon. I remember saying I want to run this. From that day forward the NYC marathon was on my bucket list.

December 2009 during a blizzard, my son Liam was born. It was terrible winter weather wise and I did not leave my house very often, by the spring I still had not lost all the baby weight and joined a mommy fitness group. Here I was had the opportunity to run again. That spring I ran my first 5K with my sister in law and loved it. Over that summer I had met a small group of people and started to run a few times a week. I went back to work in September of 2010 and did not want to give up running, but was not sure how I was going to be a working mom and still run. I decided to sign up for the Long Island Half Marathon in the Spring 2011. I followed my plan the best I could with many treadmill runs late at night. I finished my first half in 2:15:29. I was so excited. I now officially had the running bug.
December 2011 the Vegas Half Marathon fell on my anniversary weekend. My husband and I love Vegas so we made plans to go for the weekend and I would run the half. My husband, Mike, who was not a runner at this point decided to run with me. We had wonderful weekend and continue making running our time together.

I still had not run a marathon and NYC was something I had not forgotten about, I put my name in the drawing year after year and never got in. In 2013, Mike heard about the 17.75, which gave you guaranteed entry into the MCM marathon. We decided to do it. Now I realized I really needed to train. The current group I was running with was great to run three miles and have a few beers but that was not going to get me to the finish line of a marathon. So I went onto Facebook to find a group and I found the hills. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I am shy I do not just meet random people to run with. I am not a fast runner, what was I thinking, but I wanted to run this marathon. I put it out there and on July 13, 2013 I made my first trip to the hills. The whole drive there I was talking myself out of it and into. I am glad I did not turn the car around because going to the hills that day was one of the best decisions I ever made. I have made so many friends and have accomplished may running goals since then with one just yesterday of running a sub 25 5K and placing in a race!

I am so excited this November I will finally be able to cross the NYC Marathon off my bucket list. I am nervous to run it, but excited to be doing it with so many friends. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

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