Rock My Running World: Meet Meghan

I could talk to you for hours on end about how inspiring this next runner is.  Meghan manages my favorite running store (=PR= at the Reston Town Center) and there could not be a better person for that job.  She is passionate about running.  She sincerely enjoys talking with people who run – whether they are just getting started or are seasoned racers.  She is open, honest and real – always more than happy to offer helpful advice and tips on anything from gear to nutrition to apparel.  
For years I had been shopping in that store and talking with Meghan, yet I had no idea what an accomplished runner she was.  It wasn’t until one day when I was reading my Runner’s World magazine and came across an article in which she was quoted that it finally occurred to me.  The article mentioned that Meghan had won the Shamrock Marathon in VA Beach in 2010, a race I had run that year also (and she finished nearly 2 hours sooner than I did!).  I just had to smile when I read that – I was instantly even more amazed by this person I had already grown to admire!  Meghan is also a mother and knows what it’s like to make the time to train while balancing the responsibilities and joys of having a family.  She works harder than hard.  She is humble and gracious.  But as amazing as her running records are, I think it is her “attitude of gratitude” and the way she carries herself in life that inspire me the most.  
I am truly honored to introduce you to Meghan!

Name:  Meghan Ridgley
Age:  32
Location:  Ashburn VA 
What do you do in “real” life?  Manage the Potomac River Running in Reston Town Center 
How long have you been running?
17 years

Why did you start running?  To try high school cross country.  Loved it and everything else fell into place from there.

How many marathons have you run? 

Personal Records:
Marathon:  2:46:38
Half Marathon:  1:20:58ish 😉
10 Miler:  I haven’t done one believe it or not.  Did Army the year it was 11.3 miles!
10K:  35:30

8K:  28:35ish
5K:  17:36
What are your proudest running moments:  Qualifying for the 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials during my first marathon, Philly 2003 ~ 2:46:52 ~ 3rd female.
Running the Shamrock Marathon in 2008, six months after Miranda was born via c-section. It was my slowest marathon to date but so awesome because I ran freaking 26.2 miles (those were my words after the race!) after having a baby 6 months prior.  Came back to win the Shamrock in 2010.

It goes back to wanting and believing.  I wanted to get back in shape and lose the baby weight so bad that the moment I told myself I would, nothing would stop me.

Even slower then planned or not good races can be major accomplishments! 

Pick one of your favorite parts of the lululemon manifesto and tell me why it speaks to you:

A daily hit of athletic-induced endorphins give you the power to make better decisions, helps your be at peace with yourself, and offset stress.  This is so true because when I don’t do a run or have plans for one, I can’t think straight, I get frustrated, and actually feel sad.  When I get a run in I just feel so pumped and powerful afterward that I can handle most things that come my way each day. 

Do you have a favorite running mantra?  Why does this work for you?  You have to want it 100% and believe in it 100% for it to happen.  It really is mind body and soul.  No one can take that desire away from you and it’s what you feed on when it gets hard.

Tell us a little about what you do to strengthen your running (core training, yoga, Pilates, etc) and what do you do to protect yourself from injury?  Now I take Pilates at Reston Pilates.  Such an awesome experience each time.  I learn so much about my body each session.  This is what is going to help me reach my ultimate goal that I once thought was slipping away.  I feel so strong and know it will keep me tough in the later miles in the marathon.

I also see my Chiropractor once a week to help keep my feet and legs healthy.  Recover properly by eating right and taking my easy days easy.  That is key.  Running easy or taking days off when you are supposed to.

If you run with music, tell us a few of your favorite running songs:  I don’t run with music but I do like any music I can visualize me doing a workout or racing to.  That can be Enya to Eminem, anything really. 

What is your next race?  What is your goal for that race?  My next big race is a fall marathon in 2012, Twin Cities probably.  It is my favorite by far!!  I of course want to run a great PR.  I would like to go 2:42-2:43.

What are your long term running goals?  Long term is to qualify for the Marathon Trials again in 2016.  Run an awesome race there and retire from the marathon. 😉  I would like to see how close to sub 2:40 I can get.

What advice do you have for other runners out there?  Always love it.  Remember you GET to get up and go run.  It is such a blessing that should never be taken for granted.

Who rocks your running world?  Tell us a little about someone who inspires you to be a better runner.  My family.  My Husband and Daughter help me out so much and are always cheering for me. I want to do well for them.  I love seeing them at the end of just about every race, marathon or shorter.  I think about them being there during my race all the time.

Customers and folks I get to interact with on daily basis who run.  Just seeing how excited they get about a run or race keeps me pumped in my running.  It reminds me to keep having fun and never give up.

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