Kayla Six

kalyasix.jpg
 
 

Age and Hometown: 

28, Interlochen

Current Resident of: 

Traverse City

Family: 

My guys… Steve (my husband and biggest race day supporter) and Fulton (my rambunctious 2.5 year old son and training partner via stroller)

Years Running: 

I have been running for about 15 or 16 years, but more seriously in the past 6 years or so.

Why do you run:  How do I list all the reasons???  

I am competitive by nature, so running gives me a great outlet to challenge myself to reach new levels, improve my time or just catch the person in front of me before the finish line!  But beyond that, I have learned to love running in other ways.  It is my therapy after a stressful day at work,  a way to explore new places/trails/cities, bonding time with my son as we run to the library or a park (one of the few workouts I can actually share with him), the “on-the-go” workout (all you need is a good pair of shoes!) and a great social outlet (TCTC Wednesday Night runs).

Running Accomplishments:

I never really considered myself a runner until recently.  After I joined the TC Track Club, I started setting running goals and achieving times I never knew I was capable of.

My proudest moment was crossing the Bayshore Half finish line in 2017 (wearing the TCTC Race Team singlet :) )  with a time of 1:38:10… 14 minutes and 19 minutes faster than my previous 2 Half Marathons and 7 minutes under my goal time.  I was honestly shocked, I had no idea I had it in me. 

Favorite Race(s): 

In my running years, I have lived in northern Michigan and southern California, so I have a few races in each area.  I loved the “Ventura Boogie Nights 5k Summer Series” in Ventura, CA as well as any race in Ojai, CA (one of the most beautiful places in southern CA!).  On the Michigan side, Bayshore is a beautiful course along the Peninsula and I really enjoyed the Farmland 5k and Bike Race (the combo is a great challenge!).   I also loved the Cherry Festival of Races 15K with McKinley as a great mid-race challenge and I really enjoyed finishing downtown.

Favorite Running Race Distance:

 This is the hardest question for me…  I like the 5k for an all out “race-it” event, the 10k for a bit more of an endurance challenge, and the Half Marathon distance as a full on “I have to train for this!” event.  But in 2017, I was introduced to the 15K and I loved it!!! Long enough to pull out the endurance side of me but short enough to not hurt too much.  We’ll see how I like 26.2 after my first marathon this year!

 Favorite Pre-race meal

If its a morning race, I go with eggs and toast or a bagel with peanut butter.  If the race is later in the day, I follow up my breakfast with an apple and some almonds.  And coffee…always coffee.

Any Goals for 2018:  

Yes!  I am training for my first Marathon (Bayshore 2018!).  My goal is to show up at the start line healthy, run strong and as evenly as I can, and cross the finish line.

Favorite Running Quote

“Relax and let the run come out of you.”  When Desi Linden spoke at the TCTC Banquet, she cited this as advice given to her by Alberto Salazar.  I have started to repeat this in my marathon training and I like the mentality it puts me in. 

Best running advice given to me:  

Stay strong and stay positive.  Running is such a solitary sport and mental game at times, it takes not only physical strength to keep going but mental strength to avoid self doubt or negativity.  I always have to remember that… stay positive and trust your strength, but listen to your body when you need to ease off or take care of yourself (a humbling reality at times).

 Dumbest running moment:

Oooh, good question.  My ongoing dumbest moment is going out too fast.  I tend to get excited at the starting line and just throwing the hammer down… only to find I need to pull back a half mile later (I’m working on this one!). 

As far as one moment, I’ll go to college when I was just running recreationally to keep in shape.  A friend challenged me to a race around campus a few weeks later so I decided to start sprinting daily in an attempt to beat him (mistake #1).  On race day, I managed to lose to him only by a few strides, but I also managed to run myself into a stress fracture in the process (mistake #2).  I ignored the pain and continued running on a stress fracture for over a month (mistake #3).  It wasn’t until I could barely walk and went to the doctor over Christmas break that I realized I was actually injured.  The recovery process taught me to listen to my body a bit more and to train smarter.

What other interests do you have outside of running?

 

I really enjoy being outdoors and active, exploring our beautiful surroundings here in northern Michigan and appreciating the great gift we have of living in this area! 

 

I’m also a bookworm.  I have an ongoing library checkout list of anywhere from 2-6 books (I use the library because I read more and actually finish books when I have a return deadline vs. when I buy a book!) and am regularly annoying my husband by reading late into the night.

 

How do you feel about and how do you plan to represent the Traverse City Track Club as a Race Team member?  

 

I joined TCTC in August 2016 shortly after moving from California to Michigan.  It didn’t take long before I was looking forward to the TCTC Wednesday night runs where I found a welcoming community of dedicated runners and a chance to run and hang out with new friends and acquaintances.  But more importantly, I have been continually inspired as I hear about the TCTC’s work to promote health and fitness in northern Michigan.  Everywhere I look, there is another group or organization thanking the TCTC for their generous support.  It is an honor to represent and promote the TCTC as a member of the 2018 TCTC Racing Team.