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Karol's Running Story Posted on November 11, 2015


MS: Out of all sports to choose, why did you choose running?

KO: I chose running because it always makes me feel wonderful! Running gives you a great sense of accomplishment, and is a great way to relieve stress.


MS: Tell us a little bit about your story prior to your running career?

KO:  Before running, and even just getting back into the fitness world, I had a severe drinking problem, and it almost literally killed me. When I got out of the hospital and realized that I needed to change my life, I began working out again. Eventually, a couple of my friends got me back into running! I was going to the gym regularly and focused more on weight lifting. When that wasn't quite cutting it, I needed new things to do. Again, running made its way back into my life, only this time I took it much more seriously and became more committed to it!


MS: You just completed your first marathon ever! Congratulations! How was your experience?

KO:  Running my first marathon was unbelievably incredible! I will admit it was a big struggle after about 21 miles! I remember thinking during the first 13 miles how quickly it was going by and thought, "this is a breeze!" I was wrong! It definitely got much tougher, but I used my mental strength to push through, and there is no feeling like crossing that finish line knowing what you just accomplished!! It is a very emotional moment!


MS: Do you see yourself wanting to run another one anytime soon?

KO:  Right now I would say it may be awhile before I run another full. My knees are not in the best shape and I want to make sure I don't do a whole lot of damage to them. Will focus on shorter runs for the time being!


MS: Do you have a group you train with? If so, who are some notable people who have helped your running?

KO:  I did have a group to train with, the Big River Training Team! Some of the coolest, nicest, most motivating people I have ever met! This is such a great group and I'd highly recommend anyone training for any races to join this group! Some people who have helped me along the way are of course my friend and running partner, Lauren Minden! She has encouraged me (or talked me into ;) ) running my first 2 halves and my first full. Some others who have been incredibly encouraging are Mark Spewak and Bob Alexander! Again, such an incredible group of people I am lucky to have met!


MS: What do you think of when you hear More Miles More Smiles?

KO:  When I hear "More Miles More Smiles" I think of an awesome organization that is helping people all over learn to ENJOY the running experience! An organization that changes people's lives!


MS: Where are some of your favorite places to train in St. Louis?

KO:  My favorite places to train have been Queeny Park and down in U. City. I also enjoyed Forest Park and running to the Arch! That was probably my favorite training run!


MS: What's your best piece of advice to anyone interested in starting running?

KO: My piece of advice to anyone just starting out would be to have a positive mindset and never a defeatist attitude! Enjoy the run, take everything in, and stay focused! And of course, stretch and foam roll!


MS: Favorite television show growing up?

KO: Favorite television show growing up would have to be...Mama's Family!


MS: First thing you ate after your marathon?

KO: First thing I ate after my marathon was a delicious cheeseburger and fries dipped in ranch dressing! Water to wash it all down...and rehydrate of course ;)


MS: Favorite flavor of ice cream?

KO: My favorite flavor of ice cream would be anything chocolate with chunks of fudge, brownie, cookie dough, M&M's and Oreos. Topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. I don't mess around when it comes to ice cream!



by Mark Spewak

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