Running in temperatures of 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48C). Just consider how hot that is. Melissa is the latest runner that we've caught up with in Be Inspired and that's what she has to put up with in her home state of Arizona over in the US!
When we heard this, we thought it would be good to find out a bit more about her running exploits:
1 - How long have you been running for?
I've been running for just over four years now. Still waiting on that "runners high' that so far, I only get when I've stopped running and collapse in a sweaty mess on my couch. Kind of like when you bang your head against a wall - it hurts while you're doing it - but feels SO GOOD once you've stopped. Running is like that for me.
2 - What got you in to running?
A friend challenged me to run a half marathon with her. I laughed in her face. A lot. Then I went home and thought about it and figured, "what the heck!" and signed up. I never looked back.
3 - What’s been your greatest achievement to date?
Losing and maintaining a 110 pound weight loss is pretty high up there - as well as finishing my first triathlon last year. Both are things I never thought, in a million years, I could accomplish. Quite frankly it still shocks me I achieved both.
4 - Do you have any rituals before or after a race that must be stuck to?
I retreat into my own mind, meditate on what I want to achieve and accomplish. Beyond that - sometimes I eat a Reese's peanut butter cup. Don't judge.
5 - What’s your favourite post run meal?
After a morning run here in Arizona, where it's usually 120' in the shade, I opt for a protein bar and ice water. As a full meal after a race, I prefer to eat ALL the things. Mostly the pizza things and the fried things.
6 - What’s the best thing you’ve witnessed at an event?
People helping others. I've witnessed and been a part of a finish-line rescue, where a friend of mine quite literally collapsed. Another runner (total stranger) ran forward and together we carried my friend across the finish line. Runners are incredibly kind, compassionate people. I'm proud to be a part of one of the best communities in the world: runners.
7 - You created your own running community over in the States. What made you create Run, Heifer, Run!?
Run, Heifer, Run! was born after I began training for my first race, the half marathon. A friend of mine from "the backwoods country" called me, and in a very southern thick accent yelled "Run, Heifer, Run!" at me. It was funny and it was true. So, after starting a blog with the same name, something magical happened. People started telling me they could relate to my stories, my struggles, and they began sharing their own stories and struggles. Before I knew it, we had a worldwide Moooovement. We have thousands of heifers across the world, on 6 continents.
8 - When you’re not running, what’s your favourite past time?
I love reading and doing jigsaw puzzles as well as spending time with my friends and family. Travel is currently my passion.
9 - If you could run in a race anywhere in the world, where and why?
Well, I don't want to brag but my BFF Bart Yasso told me he'd run a 26.2 with me - and so I'm waiting on him to pick which race, and I will run it with him, for fun (I may even let him win, I think he'll like that). I hope he picks Paris because that's my favorite city, and it'd be with my favorite runner of all time. No pressure, Bart.
10 - If you could host a dinner party with 4 other runners (famous or otherwise) who would they be and why? And most importantly, what would be on the menu?
- I'd obviously pick Bart Yasso first. He's been an inspiration for years - and he's down to earth and just a pretty cool guy.
- Then I'd pick Mo Farah because I'd love to hear him talk about what makes him tick.
- I'd pic Brett Anderson from the UK because I've never seen and been more impressed with the grit and determination of one person to not just survive, but to thrive and inspire others.
- Finally, Dean Karnazes because anyone who runs that kind of mileage must be crazy and have some hilarious stories.
As for what we'd eat, I'd have to go with Giordano's pizza, iced sugar cookies, and nacho flavored doritos, and diet raspberry snapple, maybe not in that order, because, you have to live a little!
That makes us want to go and have a cold shower just thinking about running in those temperatures!!
We want to say a massive 'thank you' to Melissa for taking the time to share her running story and we've no doubt it will resonate with lots of runners out there (on both sides of the pond).
You can follow Melissa on any of the sites below:
Keep an eye out for the next in our Be Inspired series coming soon!