Each month, we honor a Running Lush as our Lush of the Month. Join us in honoring Lush Vanessa from Santa Rosa, CA as our April 2021 Lush of the Month.
Fun run in Chicago at the Bean!
What is your favorite race distance and why?
My favorite race distance is the half marathon! I love longer distances - and the half marathon continues to be one that I work towards refining for myself. It is a physical challenge and a mental one too to push yourself during. I continue to come back to this distance because I'm determined to break my PR (Set in 2016), and every time I face it it is daunting but so satisfying to tackle that 13.1 distance!
Do you have any running superstitions or rituals?
Before any 5k race I've ever run I watch the Fun Run episode of The Office when I eat dinner. I LOVE that show and for some reason I feel like it is the ticket to having a successful 5k!
What is your favorite race and why?
My favorite race is the Mermaid Series San Francisco race. Crissy Field is my favorite place to run and the energy at a Mermaid Series race is so positive and contagious. It is so wonderful running amongst so many first time runners, returning athletes and athletes of all ages from young girls to women in their 70's! I always have a huge smile on my face meeting and seeing so many people at that event, and the views are incredible. It makes the miles just fly by.
What is your perfect dream race?
I don't know a perfect dream race but I cannot WAIT to run a World Majors Marathon! I got into Chicago for 2020 and that would have been my first but of course, we all know what happened with races in 2020! I cannot wait to experience a race with such huge energy, participants and cheering crowds and being part of a city where everyone comes out for the race. I cannot wait for whenever my first World Major happens (likely a deferred Chicago in 2022 or 2023!)
Do you have an embarrassing race moment?
All I can say is don't eat Chinese Food the night before a 10k race on a course with no portopotties!
What's your most proud running moment?
Finishing my first marathon - I really did not think I could do it. I have lost a significant amount of weight and had lost 90 pounds before running my first marathon. I really wanted to prove myself wrong with all of the doubts I had about my abilities. After spending so many years of my adulthood being too tired to even walk a flight of stairs and getting winded because of my size, training for and finishing a marathon felt like it was something I could never do. But I did! And I showed myself I could change the narrative of my own life and that I am in fact an athlete.
What do you like to do when you're not running?
I studied musical theater in college, so I love performing in musicals!
What's your favorite post-race drink?
An ice cold coke from a can... but that always goes with a bacon cheeseburger (NO PICKLES) and french fries!