Runner profile: Nina Ryan

For my next runner profile, I'm so happy to introduce you to Nina! I first met Nina through the Ottawa Race Weekend's Team Awesome. Nina is an Ottawa based runner who is currently training for the Ottawa 10km (May 28). She is relatively new to running and I'm sure you will enjoy reading her story. Personally, I can relate to what it feels like to be new to running and everything seeming so hard and impossible. Nina's story is a testimony that with dedication and perseverance anything is possible. I am so excited to cheer Nina on at the 10km! Without further ado, meet Nina

Name: Nina Ryan

Location: Orleans, Ontario

Years Running: Almost one year!

Why you run: There's something inspiring about watching the people who are dedicated to running each day in my neighbourhood throughout the year. And the more people around me got into running, the more I began to wonder whether this might be something I could do as well. And at first I could barely get down my own driveway without losing my breath! But the slow and steady improvements with continued practice is what fuelled me to keep going. I never knew what I was capable of achieving until I began running, and it totally blew my mind. It was only a matter of time before I was hooked and eager to start training for my next big challenge!

Race distance of choice: As a new runner I have always stuck to races that were 5k in distance. However, this Spring I started training in a 10k clinic. Movin' on up!

PRs: Now that I'm training for 10ks I have noticed a huge improvement in my 5k times. To date my best 5k has been 32:29.

Favourite Race: The Blackburn Fun Run, which is a 5k all through the community I grew up in. For this reason it will always hold a special place in my heart. This was my first race ever last year, and not only had I never run before, but I was also 2 weeks post-op and walked the whole thing! I was amazed by the people who crossed the finish line so quickly, and from that moment decided I wanted to learn how to run 5k myself so that I could come back stronger next year!

Favourite piece of running gear: I always wear a Garmin Forerunner on my runs - even if I'm just going out there for fun - as it's a great way to keep a log of my running times and distances.

Favourite running memory: I've always run on my own - training and races. So when I heard that one of my friends was doing the Army Run with a couple of her friends, I was excited to be able to join them. We travelled downtown together and took group photos while we waited at the starting line. It was a beautiful, scenic run which we finished up with a delicious cooked breakfast before heading home. It was such an amazing day!

Best running advice you’ve picked up along the way: The 10:1s run/walk technique that I've learned in my 10k clinic was just what I needed in my training regimen. It gives me the right amount of time to push myself and recover, allowing me to improve my speeds as well as endurance for greater distances!

Favourite quote or mantra: "I run to burn off the crazy!" It's funny and true; running helps me feel a lot more centred! ;)

Goals: I would love to be able to do the Army Run half marathon one day. I don't want to force myself to train too hard too quickly, so I am going to focus on improving the quality of my 5k and 10ks this year. I wouldn't rule it out as a possibility for September 2017, however..

Next race: I was picked to be part of Run Ottawa's Team Awesome for Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend in May. So the 10k that weekend on the 28th is the big race I've been working so hard to prepare for. (This is what kept me running through the long winter months, even when it was -40°C with the windchill!) However, I have always wanted to do the Run for Women too, as it is a cause very near and dear to my heart. So I will also be doing that 10k race on the 8th, which will mark a mere third time of me running this great distance! But, hey, I was going to be running 10k that Sunday anyway!

Favourite songs to run to: I love anything that causes me to spontaneously break into dance whenever I hear it! So I've got Morris Day & The Time playing Jungle Love, Ariana Grande's Focus, and Kesha's TiK ToK, for example.

Favourite podcasts and/or books: Currently listening to Jenny Lawson's book titled, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things.

nina ryan

You guys! I'm having so much fun profiling runners and sharing their story. If you are joining us for the first time, be sure to check out my previous runner profiles (most recently: Dave, Kristi, Rebecca, Tracy).

If you have a suggestion for a future runner profile, I would love to hear from you!