Keri Richardson

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On who you are… 
I think in a nutshell, I’m a sporty Southern belle. I love everything about my debutante Southern upbringing but I’m driven by a love of sports. I currently work for Mercedes-Benz USA as product pricing specialist and am an avid traveller. I will conquer my 30th country for my 30th birthday this fall.
 
On running… 
Running for me has always been an escape. My best runs are early in the morning before the traffic gets started, but I’ll happily take a run any time of the day. Running makes me take time out for myself. Forget all the responsibilities I have and just doing something for me.

It’s always good to see another runner out. You smile at each other and nod. It feels like silent encouragement. 

On your First Run...
Hard to remember my first run, but I do remember the first time I quit. I’ve been a dancer for most of my life so staying active was required. During the off-seasons, we needed to participate in an alternative sport. I joined a cross-country running club during the summer before my senior year of high school. I gave up after 7 minutes of running. Who would have thought 2 years later, I would love running and join a cross-country running club in college.

 On Street culture…
I’m grateful to have travelled a lot of places and can witness the vast differences of street culture. I love living in a destination, if only for a few days. Visiting means just observing, living means experiencing. That’s always my goal when I travel. Street culture tells you a unique story about a city.
 
On running culture… 
I’ve lived in quite a few cities, so the running culture changes a little with each location and with each running group. What I love most about running, though, is no matter who or where you are, you’re always embraced by other runners. If you’re a beginner, you’re never made to feel like a weakling. You get the push you need to challenge yourself without the judgement. With the groups I’ve experienced, you can run in complete silence next to someone and still develop a bond. Running is so good for the soul.

On gadgets…
I’m not much of a techy person but I do need three things when I run: my cell, my Fitbit, and my wireless headphones. I’ve become really big on tracking my steps and my sleep pattern, so the Fitbit has become my best friend. It always lets me know when I’m having an off day. Sometimes, I feel that I rely on it too heavily so when my steps aren’t synching properly, it puts me in a bad mood. I feel like my steps don’t count if they’re not recorded – which is horrible, I know! Wireless headphones are seriously the most amazing things ever. Running without them just isn’t the same.

On injury…
I don’t think I ever took injury seriously. I always thought, “It’s running, it’s activity. Your body is supposed to move.” But injury is real! Don’t let it frighten you, but be smart about your training. Remember the “toos”: Never too much, Never too fast, and Never too soon. I experienced a hip flexor injury in 2009, which put running on the backburner for me for a long time. I thought I could work around it, but was quickly proven wrong when I could barely walk without pain. I went out for a 7 mile run and at the half way point, I had to call an Uber to come pick me up. I had to listen to my body and rehab it. It still troubles me from time to time, that’s how I know when to cool it.
 
On achievements… 
Achievements for me come in many forms. Getting my best friend, (who hates running!), out on the trail. Extending my distance. Shortening my time. Completing a new race. Changing my mood. Goals, in my opinion, should be challenging yet incremental. Don’t try to run a marathon on your first try. Build up to it. The smaller achievements will be just as fulfilling.

On future goals… 
I’m currently working on an Athlete Risk Management firm with the aforementioned best friend who hates running. We’ve found over time that the transition for athletes from professional players to civilians is an extremely difficult one. No one really equips athletes for life after sports, so they fall into a myriad of financial and personal troubles. We hope to make their ‘off the field’ experiences just as fulfilling/successful as their playing days. Other than that, I hope to start a family, qualify for the NYC Marathon and a Triathlon, and chill out a bit.

On your social media… 
I love connecting with people. I mainly use Instagram for my travels and normal life happenings, Tumblr is a collection of images that inspire me, and Facebook is just to keep my family updated about life. Different audiences for each medium, but they all lend to a connection with people. It’s amazing to meet people who inspire you or who you’ve inspired via social media. It’s such a powerful tool. I do make a point to unplug at times, because it can become overwhelming.

On Pink…
It’s one of my least favorite colors. 

On Pain…
Pain is inevitable at some point. Not to be mistaken for soreness. You have to listen to your body. Some days, I need to give my body a break. Most often, I run through it and tell pain to step off.

On women’s running…
Women should run for the same reason anyone else should. It’s amazing. It’s a huge boost of confidence to physically accomplish something. Have a bad day, go for a run. Have a good day, go for a run. You’ll never be upset that you went for a run. 

On the Past you…
“Get your ass up and get to moving. Put one foot in front of the other and repeat. You waste so much time trying to convince yourself why you’re too tired or too busy. You can go slow. Just as long as you go. You’re much stronger than you think.”

When I die…
I want to be remembered as a creative and a conqueror. As a person who loved people and wanted to help in any way I could. And with all this running, I’m hoping that my death won’t be from health related issues.



#RunRevolution


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