Today’s warrior is Penny. This is a woman who has been a guiding force for so many runners in Calgary. She takes new and seasoned runners and continues to get them across the finish line.  She is the backbone to our community.

Do you have a nickname? How did you get it?

I actually don’t have a nickname. I do have one runner that always calls me, “Coach”, though. It’s based off my many years of being a Running Room Clinic instructor.

What do you love most about your sport?

I love the freedom it gives. You can do it anywhere at any time. I also love the comaraderie of the running community. 

Where did you start? What was your beginning?

My start was in March 2004. After my separation/divorce, I didn’t really have a lot of friends. At first, my sons were dependent on me enough that I didn’t really have the free time to notice. As they got older, I missed being out in the world. I’d also gained a lot of weight. I figured that running would take care of both my issues. I made it my goal to be able to run the soccer field with them. To start, I joined the Running Room Learn To Run in Kensington. 

How do you ensure you are at your strongest on race day?

I’ll take on any activity for the most part but right now I enjoy Rumble, BodyPump and yoga.

What's on your playlist?

It’s ever changing and I’m continuously adding to it but right now it’s packed with Lizzo, Bruno Mars, Carrie Underwood, DMX, Ludicris. I have eclectic tastes.

What's your fave piece of tech or gear?

I love my Garmin VivoActive 3. I wear it even when I’m not working out. It tracks everything I do, allows me to see my sleep patterns and control my music without having to have my phone in my hand.

What motivates you? What is your 'why'?

I just want to stay healthy. I’d like to be an active senior citizen. I’d love to be the one that inspires younger people to run well into their 90’s. When I lack motivation, I call on my friends to help. I make gym/run dates and hold myself to them.

How do you deal with race jitters?

Deep breathing. Refocusing – most of the time, I’m helping someone else calm their nerves. 

What is your favourite thing to do after a race?

Honestly, my first thought after a race is, “where can I find a good burger and fries”.

What one word describes you? What word motivates you?

Introvert.

What are you most proud of?

Since January 2007, I’ve led three half marathon clinics per year. I’m most proud of helping those runners complete their first, fifth, tenth, etc. half marathon. Their win is my win.

What challenges do you struggle the most with?

I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression almost two years ago. Around about the same time that I became peri-menopausal. The medication that I take helps BUT it has also caused me to gain weight. Which affects me emotionally and physically. I’m not completely happy with my appearance because it doesn’t fit my internal picture of how I would like to look, how I looked before medication. It’s affecting me physically because my body is not used to the extra 20 pounds I’m carrying and I can feel it in my speed and endurance level.

What advice would you give to someone just starting their athletic journey?

I would definitely say be open to experimenting because you never know what will spark your joy and give you something that will make you happy AND keep you healthy and fit.

Thanks for all you do for the running community Penny! You are our biggest cheerleader and many of us wouldn’t be nearly as epic as we are without your guidance and support!

Wednesday’s Warrior – Penny
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