In Her Shoes: Virjinia from With Purpose and Kindness

Hey friends – hope you’re having a great week! Today I’ve got another interview for you with a fabulous runner, blogger, and friend. Not to be all Train here, but…Meet Virjinia!

Welcome! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us today. 

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My name is Virjinia and I live in Houston, TX with my husband and our spunky pitbull. When I’m not running, I’m a project engineer for a construction company that specializes in protective coatings. I come from a big Hispanic background and I LOVE to cook while I sing and dance in the kitchen. This lead to me auditioning for my church worship team on a whim and I’m currently in training to be on the of the principal
singers. I’m also a HUGE science nerd and you can find me watching YouTube videos in my spare time and reading weird science books about topics like quantum mechanics as “light reading”.

What’s a typical day like in your shoes?
I’m an early riser so my days usually begin anywhere between 4:30-5:30AM. I attribute this to my marathon training and it just stuck! I’ll head out for a run or the gym and I like to be done and eating breakfast by 6:30AM. After that I do my usual routine of bible study and getting reading. Thankfully I have a short commute so I am at my desk by 8:30-9AM. Depending on my training, I’ll opt for an afternoon workout around 5 or 6PM before dinner. Lights out is usually 9PM because of my early mornings! Depending
on the day of the week, I’ll have bible study and worship team practice sprinkled in there too so I do stay busy. So thankful for Google Calendars!

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How long have you been running, and what made you get started?
This is pretty funny because I was in an ROTC program in college so I HAD to run. However, I hated it and made every excuse to not do it. I wasn’t bad at it, I just didn’t like it. After college, I began to gain weight since I had a desk job and basically stopped working out altogether. It wasn’t until the fall of 2014 that I finally said enough was enough and dedicated myself to my health. Running was the easiest thing for me to
start with. It was hard at first but I slowly began getting into my groove. It became a thing I HAD to do because it made me feel good.

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What are your proudest running moments?
Running a marathon for sure! That’s my latest accomplishment because there was MONTHS of work that lead up to it. Learning that my body can handle it and actually making it across the finish line was amazing. My husband was there for me during every long run so it was just so amazing running into his arms afterwards and crying like a baby!

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My first half marathon experience was the same way. It was in that moment that I was hooked. I got butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it. I remember knowing that it was going to take a lot of work to do it but I was so ready. That’s when running became like a drug to me. As soon as I finished that race, I wanted more!

Why do you think that weight lifting is so important?
Coming into running, I never cared for weight lifting. I learned the hard way and this lead to injuries. After speaking with my chiropractor, it turns out that a past car accident had its lingering effects. This meant that I REALLY hard to work on muscle balances and making sure that certain muscle groups were not over correcting.

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Weight lifting for runners is a big help because it keeps your core strong. Keeping your core engaged and strengthening your legs really helps your running mechanics fall into place. I’m a huge believer in building strength from head to toe so I think it’s complimentary to any stage of fitness you’re in!

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Are there any goals that you’re currently chasing?
It’s always scary to type these out because then you have to commit! I’m really focusing on one marathon this year: the Chicago Marathon in October. I want to PR and finish the marathon in 4:30. This will only be my second marathon but I think that I am stronger this time around and I can push for speed this time!

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Why did you start With Purpose and Kindness?
There’s so much negativity in this world and I want to be a small hope of love and kindness for something. Everyone is in different parts of their fitness journey and you never truly know what someone is dealing with on a personal level. I started With Purpose and Kindness as a place for people to learning about different parts of running and health and fitness in a positive and encouraging environment! I want to be everyone
else’s cheerleading because I get all the goosebumps seeing my friends accomplish their goals!

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What’s your advice to someone who wants to change their lifestyle and start working out consistently?
Start small! It truly takes time to create a lasting change so patience is part of the equation too. I would recommend starting with walks and slowly graduating to small weights and different forms of cardio. Also, find something you LOVE doing and stick to that. You’re more likely to stick to something if it’s something you enjoy doing!

What fitness products do you swear by?
I just upgraded to the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and I LOVE it! I enjoy having a tracker all day to really keep me accountable and not just sitting for hours on end. It’s also great for tracking my runs and my gym sessions. My Peloton bike is also a staple because it helps me with endurance training. While it’s not a substitute for running, it’s a big compliment and has helped me knock off time in my races!

What are some of your favorite things in life, apart from fitness and staying healthy?
God is a HUGE part of my life and I think that spreads into all portions of my life. I love to volunteer and help at community events held by my church. It’s so amazing to see people’s eyes light up when you give them basic care supplies and food. As someone who’s been on the other side, I truly believe in giving back. I’m also known as the “listener” of the group since I love to grab a coffee and just listen to people’s life
stories!

Just for fun – what are three things that you’re grateful for?
I am extremely grateful for a husband who encourages me when I get crazy ideas to sign up for marathons or try out new things. He’s willing to give up sleep just to ride his bike alongside me during long runs and puts up with my requests for Instagram photos!

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I am grateful for all the awesome friends I’ve made online and in real life through this crazy running community! It’s so awesome how one sport can unite so many different people from different backgrounds!
I am grateful for the opportunity to share my story with people in hopes that they will be motivated or encouraged with my testimony. Whether it’s in fitness or in ministry, if I can help one person then my job is done!

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Follow Virjinia on her Instagram and Blog.

Read past interviews with other inspiring women!

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