Ulyana is a great writer; funny, expressive and honest. She is also an amazing runner: she has many small distance runs under her belt and a few longer distances as well. And, she is known to run under a 7 minute mile!!! UNDER! Just last weekend she took first place female in a 5k. So yeah, girl can run. And this year she completed her first Sprint Triathlon- YEAH for triathletes 🙂
I can’t remember how I first came across Ulyana’s blog, I just remember loving the name of it: Shaped By Running. And after going back and reading past posts, I became aware of just how much she has overcome and how pivotal a role running has played in her life. And while she has been through some major crap and been struck by tragedy you won’t find her feeling sorry for herself one bit. Instead, Ulyana has perfected the art of looking at the bright side.
In December of 2008, Ulyana ran in the Dallas Marathon with her friend Erin. Ulyana has said Erin was “just a running friend” but we all know how important our training buddies become to us. Erin was the perfect run buddy for Ulyana…they ran roughly the same pace, had the same goals and were running in the same race. They ran most of the Dallas Marathon together, they were on pace to qualify for Boston and then tragically, at mile 23, Erin collapsed and died. Ulyana, having finished the race with the assumption that Erin BQ’d, found out later the horrible news.
Putting on her sneakers to run again was not easy; running took her friend away. Running stood for something new…something painful. But as Ulyana does best, she turned this into something that could be positive. She put on her shoes and began running again. In January 2010 Ulyana is running in the Houston Marathon- a race Erin had planned to run but was sold out. Instead Erin ran Dallas with Ulyana. Now Ulyana is running Houston for Erin and she “thinks she will BQ”. I however, KNOW she is going to kick some butt and get to Boston! And I am sure Erin will be with her all 26.2 miles.
Ulyana inspires me to have confidence, be more positive and keep running no matter what obstacles stand in my way. I admire her strength and her resilency…and her ability to run under a 7-minute mile!!! And she cracks me up too!
Go check out her blog- follow her journey to Houston and get some laughs along the way 🙂