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In light of all the recent events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we at Moms on the Run want to share uplifting stories about what our members are doing to stay active, to continue to crush goals, and to remain in community as a team. If you or your team are doing something fun or unique or cool, please email us here. We'd love to share it with our members.
Dana Parisi, a coach with Eau Claire Moms on the Run, was on track to run her first marathon — the Eau Claire Marathon — on May 3. Like many others training for a particular race, she was disappointed to learn it was rescheduled to September because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Down to tapering her runs in her training schedule, Dana decided to run a solo marathon — something she'll never forget as her first. Read on to learn more about her story and what her family did to commemorate her experience.
Q: When did you start running with Moms on the Run?
A: I started running with Eau Claire (WI) Moms on the Run in the spring of 2018. I was a not a runner before then, but I started in order to connect with other active women. I found out that I love to run! I love running with the group, I love the intervals and strength workouts, but I also love the quiet and peace of running by myself.
Q: Can you share a bit about your training and how your solo marathon came about?
A: This year I decided to challenge myself to train for the Eau Claire Marathon, which was supposed to be May 3. I mapped out a training plan and blocked off time in my schedule to run. My youngest of four kids is in half day 4-year-old kindergarten four days a week this year, so I decided I would use that time to run. Last year I ran two half marathons and I was interested in the next challenge. But unlike my training for the half marathons, my training for the full didn't go according to plans. After one long run, a heel injury took me out of running for two weeks. I was so sore I was walking on my toes to avoid pressure on my heel. As it started to get better and I was able to get back into running, and build back my miles, I was cautious that the long runs were potentially going to cause a repeat setback. I found myself wishing the marathon was sooner rather than later. Then of course, the COVID-19 situation came up and now all four of my kids are home and we're trying to navigate the new scenario of school from home. The Eau Claire Marathon, that I was training for, looks like it will be postponed until the fall, so my plans to do my first marathon this spring were falling apart. Looking at my training calendar, trying to think of a new plan, I realized that I had basically been unintentionally tapering from my last long run. On Tuesday the 17th, I brought up the idea to my husband that I wanted to go for my own solo marathon on Saturday the 21st. He had been working at a hospital out of town the first week of the school shut downs, and I was looking forward to him getting home, and me getting a break from the house. He was more than supportive of the idea and said he and the kids would try to make it a special day for me. I only told one other person, Sarah McCutcheon, to ask her advice on it.
Q: Tell us your marathon story!
A: Saturday I got up at 5 and prepped for a marathon! I was excited to get going and accomplish a goal. No cheering crowds, but it was a great run. I ran six miles to a park where I connected with Sarah and a few of my MOTR team. Sarah ran about 12 miles with me, and then I ran back to my house where my husband finished the last two miles with me. 26.2 done! Since I ended my marathon at my house, I was greeted by all my kids cheering for me. They had made me a Parisi Marathon shirt, a medal made out of can lids and gave me a PR bell to ring. It was a great moment. I set out to train for a marathon, and although it didn't look at all like I pictured it would, I accomplished the goal and made great memories.