Meet Renee Woods: CWHC Team Runner

Posted on June 30

Meet Renee Woods, a CWHC Marathon Team member. As an experienced marathoner, Renee brings strategy and experience to the CWHC marathon team!

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Q: What’s your marathon running history?
A: My first marathon was the Chicago Marathon in 2007. I lived in Michigan but received an entry through a Chicago charity team so I took the Megabus to the city for a couple of the training runs. I met a great running partner at these runs and happened to move to Chicago a year later. This year will be my fourth Chicago Marathon but my 10th full marathon altogether.

Q: Tell us about your strategy for running-what do you do to stay focused, to keep going, and to enjoy yourself while running?
A: Running is like my yoga. I don’t run with music or any fancy gear. I listen to sounds around me, feel the air on my skin, and see things I’d never notice if I was on wheels or had wires in my ears. I love going for my long runs with my running partners who have become some of my closest friends. We chat so much that we hardly notice the miles go by. I typically run in the morning before work, because even though waking up can be difficult, I find that my excuses pile up throughout the day if I try to wait until evening.

Q: What would be your top recommendation to new runners or runners just starting to explore longer runs?
A: Enjoy yourself, and do what’s right for you. Try running without technology for your first couple weeks to learn what you actually require. Really pay attention and listen to your body. It’s always important to have goals, which is not something that most marathoners need to be told, but don’t be so serious about completing your first 26.2 with a specific time goal. Make it more about the journey. Also, your long runs should be practice runs for your big day. If you need to wake up at 5am for your marathon, then get used to waking up around that time for your long runs. If there are only water stations every two miles on the course and you’re not carrying your own water during the race, then make sure you train your body how to take in water at these intervals. The same goes for the toilet. Believe me.

Q: Why do you want to run with Team CWHC?
A: CWHC is amazing. There was a time that I was uninsured and incredibly worried about receiving quality healthcare. A doctor introduced me to CWHC and I’ve considered them my safety net ever since. I’ve recently had a refresher on CWHC’s mission and services, and I am thoroughly impressed. Plus, word on the street is that they have the best paps in town…

Q: Finish this sentence: I believe in revolutionary health care…
A: Because people are diverse and healthcare should be as well. Everyone should have access to affordable quality healthcare without judgment. 

To learn more about Team CWHC and the 2015 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, click here.