Congrats to the July Ultimate Fit Runner of the Month, Nicki Stremming! Here is more on Nicki:
"I'm 41 years old. Married to Eric Stremming. I have 2 sons, Michael and Mason, ages 12 and 10. I grew up in and still live in Evansville. I'm a Dental Hygienist. I graduated from the Dental Hygiene program at USI."
What motivates you to run/walk
My boys and my health motivate me to run. After I had my kids, I was overweight and out of shape. I knew I needed to start taking care of myself so I could keep up with my 2 active boys. So I started exercising, but I always wanted to be able to run. Runners just look so free, outside running down the road, not chained down in the gym. So I tried it. It didn't go well. But I was determined so I kept trying until I could run a mile, then 3 miles. Then someone suggested I join Team 13 to train for the half marathon. I did, and finished my first half that year (2010). And the rest is history.
How many races have you participated in?
21 marathons, 35 half marathons, and tons of 5k 's
What age did you start running/walking for fun & competitively?
I started running when I was 31. I had never run before, but always wanted to try. I started after I had kids as a way to lose pregnancy weight and get back in shape, and just fell in love with it.
Favorite place to run/walk?
I like to run all over the place. I change it up every run. Some of my favorites are the USI Burdette Park trail, Newburgh Rivertown Trail, Friedman Park, and Bluegrass FWA.
Favorite local race?
Evansville Half Marathon of course! It was my first half marathon and my first experience with running a big race. I've done it every year since my first.
Favorite race outside of the Tri-State?
The Mill Race Marathon in Columbus IN. It's a nicely organized race, not too big, that's in a neat small town. It's the flattest race I've ever done so it can be a fast race depending on the weather. The community support for the race is amazing. We do it every year.
Farthest you have traveled to do a race?
The farthest I've traveled for a race is Las Vegas. I've done both the full and half marathons on the strip at night. Pretty cool!
Favorite race distance?
The full marathon is my favorite. It's the hardest, but the feeling of accomplishment when I cross the finish line is worth it. I just keep signing up for more.
Favorite race memory?
My favorite race memory was the Chicago Marathon in 2016. I ran the race with my now husband. He proposed to me right after we finished the race in front of Buckingham Fountain. Perfect proposal!
Funniest race memory?
Probably the race that a friend of mine convinced all of us girls to wear tutus. She hand -made the tutus and I guess they were cute. But I spent the entire half marathon yanking on that darn thing. It kept spinning around and getting stuck between my legs. Never again!
Craziest thing you saw at or during a race?
I saw a guy finish a race while juggling. He juggled the entire half marathon! Crazy!
Favorite pre & post-race meal/drink?
I don't really eat much before a race. I don't actually "carb load" because it gives me a stomach ache. I just eat a light dinner. Then maybe a banana before a marathon. Then I use energy gels during the race. Afterwards I like pizza and beer!
What is your favorite brand of running shoe?
Hoka's! The Clifton is my favorite style, but I've been experimenting with the Carbon X for 5 k's.
How many miles do you run/walk a week?
It depends on where I'm at in my training cycle. Around 20 a week when I'm not actively training. 30 - 40 a week if I'm preparing for a marathon.
What are your future goals for running/walking?
I just want to be able to keep on running as long as I can. And run as fast as I can. I just love to run!
Favorite time of day to run?
I prefer to run in the evenings during the week. I'm not a morning person. But for weekend long runs I like to start early in the morning.
Favorite weather to run in?
Cool fall weather is my favorite, around 45-50 degrees. Summer heat and humidity is my least favorite.
Music or no music?
No music if I'm running with my kids or a girlfriend or on a busy road. Yes to music otherwise.
Brandon L. Barrett