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August Athlete Spotlight

Our GRIT Athlete Spotlight for August is Lainey McFarlane. Lainey is a first time mom who found us through Team Run Run. She is currently working up to her first marathon after having a baby and will be running Chicago 26.2 in October. Here is Lainey's interview!

What are you currently training for?

I'm planning to run a half marathon in the late summer, and if things go according to plan, I'm also running the 2022 Chicago Marathon!

Yes, I run outside all winter long in Chicago. This is a picture of the coldest race I've ever done, I believe it was 6 degrees fahrenheit at the startline. I'm very bundled here!

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I started running in my 20s after moving to Chicago, and I got totally hooked! I joined Chicago Area Runners' Association (CARA), and I've made many friends and explored all of Chicago running with this group. They've also helped me train for and complete two marathons and many half marathons. After a very active pregnancy, which included a lot of running, walking, and yoga, I had a baby in September 2021. I'm currently still easing into my return to running postpartum, and I can't wait to see what my running future holds as I continue to build and get stronger!

How did you get started on your running journey?

I was never active before I started running, but a lot of my friends started running after college, and I thought: maybe I can do that, too? Turns out I can!

Running 20 miles with CARA.

What keeps you motivated?

Running with friends, going out early in the morning and seeing the sunrise, and feeling a small sense of accomplishment each time I run. Also, staying in shape!

Do you have a mantra or quote that you use when things get tough?

I like to distract myself, and I try NOT to look at my watch, when it gets tough out there. Some games I use to distract myself: reading people's shirts, counting something random (squirrels, or instance), and trying to pass or keep up with other runners.

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon 2019

If you could give any advice to another athlete, what would it be?

Take your rest days seriously, and just have fun!

What is your favorite workout so far in your training program?

I love the long runs!

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