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Published on October 22, 2015

lisa kolda at the boston marathon

A Change of Pace Leads to Boston

Lisa Kolda, a four-time Boston qualifying marathoner who was recently named one of the 2015 Sioux Falls Marathon’s elite runners, has spent the last nine years on the run.

“I wasn’t always a runner,” says the 37-year-old radiology surgery technologist at Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center. While growing up in Miller, S.D., Kolda stayed active with basketball and 4-H rodeo. She even placed fifth in goat tying at the National High School Finals Rodeo during her senior year. “I never gave running a second thought unless I was running down the court or goat tying,” she laughed.

However, in 2007, she decided it was time for a change of pace when her sister-in-law Marci talked her into running the Avera Race Against Breast Cancer 5k. “I was hooked on running after that, but I still thought running a full marathon was crazy.”

Three years later, Kolda lined up for her first full marathon with the simple goal of finishing. When she crossed the finish line, she was surprised to learn that her time of 3 hours and 30 minutes qualified her for the prestigious Boston Marathon. Since then, she’s qualified three more times and has run the Boston Marathon twice.

“Running the Boston Marathon is amazing,” she said. “It’s hard to describe the emotions, the excitement at the start line and camaraderie throughout the 26.2 mile run.”

What’s next? “My crazy, big dream is to qualify for 10 Boston Marathons in a row,” she says. With three consecutive Boston qualifications under her feet, she’s well on her way.

Looking for a change of pace in your own life? Kolda offers these tips on how to get started:

  • Run in the morning. With a full-time job, Kolda discovered that her best time to run is first thing in the morning – even though she wasn’t always a morning person. “It sounds counterintuitive, but running in the morning energizes me for the day ahead.”
  • If exercising after work fits best with your schedule, go directly from work to workout. If you go home you’re more likely to get distracted or unmotivated.
  • Fuel your body. “Although I am a hamburger and fries girl at heart, I eat more fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grain carbs to keep my nutrition on track.”
  • Wear reflective gear. “I love running outside. To stay safe, I always wear reflective gear so drivers can see me.”
  • Schedule your workouts. Make it a priority by reserving time on your calendar and setting goals.
  • Don’t focus on the scale. Weight isn’t always the best measure of success when you’re working out. Since muscle weighs more than fat, you may actually gain good muscle weight, especially if you’re lifting.
  • Warm up. “When it’s really cold out, I’ll run inside on a treadmill for a half-mile before heading outside to run. That warms up my body more quickly.”
  • Simply go. Kolda says her biggest advice is to never give up. Everyone can run. You just have to put your mind to it and keep taking the next step.

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