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Tanya Ickowitz


Why did you start running?

A few years ago, I broke my foot and spent 4 months in a boot with a scooter. I was so nervous about breaking it again that I wanted to test out how active I could be. I set a goal to run a mile without walking, which I had never done before. After 20 seconds, I was ready to stop, but I hung in there. It took about 2 months, but one day I made it to ¾ of a mile and decided I had come too close to start over again, so I stuck it out and finished the mile.

How long have you been running?

About 2.5 years. A bad bout of bronchitis sidelined me for about 3 months right after I got through that first mile, but once I got the all clear, I worked my way back up and kept going.

What is your favorite thing about running?

I love how it constantly moves the needle on what I think I’m capable of doing. I love the empathy and camaraderie that runners share. I love the reaction that people have when I tell them what I’m doing. I love sharing the joy when someone I talked into reluctantly heading out on a run with me begins to love it too. Sorry – that’s more than one.

What are your goals?

For the most part, I feel like I’ve done everything I’ve set out to do. I’m training for my third half-marathon, and 5ks are my jam. I never thought I’d be able to say that so nonchalantly. But if I’m being honest…I’d love to crack 30:00 this year on a 5k, eventually get suckered into doing a full marathon, and get my kids more interested in going out for a few short runs with me each week.

What is your favorite race?

Oh, that’s so tough! I’ve really only run a few official ones, several of which were destination races. I’ve done the Smoky Mountain Half, New Orleans Rock N Roll Half, VMC’s Donut Dash, and I’m about to do the National Women’s Half in DC. But the Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon was so special – that has to be it. I ran the relay with my Girl Scout co-leader and our husbands, and the support among our team, as well as seeing all of the BotPE cheerleaders throughout the course (and the week leading up to it) was just on another level

What are your current running shoes?

Asics Gel Cumulus

What would you tell someone who's hesitant to start running?

Prior to hopping on a treadmill 2 years ago, the closest I’d come to being athletic was when I lettered in Theatre in high school. I was 39.5 years old, and I definitely did not look like a typical runner. Give it a try and start out focusing on slowly adding distance over how fast you’re going. Take walk breaks. Download C25K, and if you hit a wall, go back a few weeks and repeat.  Commit to doing one mile – you’ll probably end up going longer. You’ll hit your goals, and it will usually be on a day that you didn’t set out to do anything special.

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