Member Spotlight: Meghan Walsh

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What event are you running with Team for Kids?
I am running the United Airlines NYC Half with Team for Kids. I can’t think of a better group to run with for my first 1/2.

What is your favorite place to run and why?
It’s hard to find a spot that I don’t love running in, but there’s a local park in our area that I do most of my running at. Also, the town that my kids go to school is a great spot. I drop both the kids off at school and hit the road running. Sometimes the views along the Hudson are just too good to pass up, and it’s a must to stop to appreciate the beauty that’s in “my own backyard”.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
Everything and anything! Rock, Country, Pop, Metal, Alternative, the list goes on and on. Music motivates me and keeps me going. I have been known to sing out loud while I’m running…not too loud I hope. However, there are times that I enjoy going out and just running with no distractions. I feel when I do that I take the time to enjoy my surroundings better.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
Usually something home cooked and the kind of meal that sticks to the ribs. Grilled steak, potatoes and vegetables that my husband cooks for me usually hit the spot. If it’s a post-race meal, I like to indulge and enjoy wings and a pint from our local pub. Hey, after all that running I’ve earned it!

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
If you had told me a few years ago that I would be a runner, I would have laughed in your face. I ran because of a sport, to a base, to a hoop, to a goal, or I was being chased (luckily that one didn’t happen too often), but those were the only reasons I ever ran. I never ran just because. While pregnant with my second child and after her birth I was experiencing extreme pain and discomfort in all my muscles, ligaments and joints. I went to doctor after doctor with no real answers. Even having one doctor say, “It could be the start of MS-let’s wait a year and see how bad it gets.” I felt like my world was closing in on me as he said that so simply and “wait to see how bad it gets” repeated in my head over and over again. How could I possibly just sit around and wait to see what happens with two very young children at home? I found a wonderful doctor down in the city and she suggested that I start working out and being more active to hopefully slow down whatever is going on with my body. I took her advice and began the Couch 2 5k app. I swear by this app!

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
Even though I’ve completed 12 races to date I still get nervous before everyone. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 5k or a 10 miler- I get nervous. Pre-race rituals include going to bed early the night before and getting up early on race day. I like to take the time in the morning to stretch and to clear my head. Usually I have a simple breakfast of a bagel with peanut butter, small coffee and get my water intake started. I also like getting to the race site early as well. Gives me time to stretch again and do a light run. I also love getting the chance to talk with other runners.

Why did you choose to run this event?
To be able to say that I ran the United Airlines NYC Half will be such an honor and privilege.

Tell us a little more about yourself
I was born with Cerebral Palsy which affects my muscle tone and overall body. Yes, it is a part of me and who I am, but it doesn’t define me. In a year I have completed 12 races and can truly say that I love running. It has helped me not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well. I still have days that I don’t feel great and that my body is shutting down on me, but those are the days that I realize I need to push harder. Now is the time for me to really focus and get ahead of whatever I can.

What excites you most about running your event with Team for Kids?
The feeling I get from running in general is hard describe in words. The feeling I get from running during a race is amazing. The cheering crowds, the camaraderie you form with perfect strangers who just happen to share in the love of running is awesome! As a parent of two young children and a director of an after-school program I think it is so important to introduce children to a healthy and active lifestyle at a young age. No better way to show them than to lead by example.

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