Meet Tracy Zylstra! Tracy is married to her high school sweetheart and is a mom to two young ladies, 19 and 23. She is an RN and has been at Hackley/Mercy for the past 26 years. She currently works in PACU but will be transferring to Heart and Vascular in a couple of months. She used to come to Wednesday night group runs pretty religiously but her work schedule changed and she now has to work most Wednesdays. However, she is an active member of Run Muskegon and you can almost always find her with members of the group at most local races.
As a part of our Runner Spotlight, we also asked Sanchit to answer a few fun questions:
1. How long have you been running?
I started running to quit smoking. I tried 2-3 times and officially quit July 13, 1998 at 1pm. I would run and only make it a driveway. Then I progressed to 5 K's. I was overly thrilled back then if I did a 5K in 33 minutes. Now my PR is 24 minutes!
2. Do you race? If so, what is your most memorable race experience?
Yes I love to race. I still get nervous before a race no matter the distance from 5K’s to Ultras. My most memorable race is the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon with my favorite ladies and friends. The post race party and lunch was a blast!
3. Ever run in a costume? If so, what?
I did the Whoville 5K with my friends and we dressed up like Whoville and Christmas attire.
4. Only running shoes for me are...
I use to only run in an Asics Keyano for many decades; now it’s the Saucony Guides for me- a lightweight stability shoe.
5. What is your worst running-related injury?
My worst running injury would be Tibialis Anterior Strain 5 weeks before my Bayshore Marathon which I was training for to qualify for Boston. I ran the race with a PR but I was not able to qualify; just not enough miles and speed work done to get me there. Maybe one day.
6. Hot or cold weather runner?
My favorite running temp is 40-45 degrees. The heat is brutal for me.
7. What is your motivation for running?
My motivation for running is my friends (if you don’t show up they are like why weren’t you there?) haha. I like to run with people. It helps me meet my goals and it helps me with sanity. The roads or trails help to clear my mind of the crazy business of life.
8. If I didn't run I....
My gosh I would get cranky. My hubby has sent me for a run before so I wouldn’t be crabby. Side note he is my biggest fan supporter. He will ride his bike to get me at a certain speed or distance. It’s so nice.
9. I can't run without...
I can’t run without gum. It helps to keep my mouth from drying out and hacking the whole time.
10. What's the farthest you have run at one time?
My farthest distance was a 50 miler at Hungerford. I earned the walking stick.
I’m so grateful to my friend Shannon who convinced me to join Run Muskegon and Kim who introduced me to trails and welcomed me at Run Muskegon. Running is something I love and hate sometimes, but it has helped me meet some amazing friends and showed me I am capable of doing really hard things.
Side note, in middle school I had to run a 10 min mile and didn’t think I could do that. My dad took time with me and helped me accomplish that goal. He always told me I can do anything I put my mind to and never let anyone tell me differently.
Thanks for this honor of sharing my love and lifestyle of running.