Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon Michelob ULTRA runner of the week: Kristine Rouleau – Detroit Free Press

Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon Michelob ULTRA runner of the week: Kristine Rouleau  Detroit Free Press

Each week, the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon chooses a runner to spotlight as the Michelob ULTRA Runner of the Week. Whether you’re training for a full marathon, going out on the weekend for a long run or getting back into the swing of running, the race loves to showcase its runners.

The marathon is proud to partner with Michelob ULTRA, the Official Malt Beverage sponsor of the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon. Michelob ULTRA will be sending each winner a prize pack.

Want to be the runner of the week or know someone who should be? Tag your pictures with #freepmarathon and #runneroftheweek on social media for a chance to be featured.

[ Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon moves to a virtual race ]

Location: Dearborn.

Age: 40.

How long you’ve been running: Eight years.

Your running story, and if you feel comfortable, your latest PR or race times: I feel like I have one of those relatable running stories that overlap in ways with so many of the runners I’ve met. I knew I needed something to recharge my mental and physical health after the birth of my twin daughters (bringing my total to three fabulous girls!). Towing a toddler and twin infants to the gym was more exhausting than the actual workout, so running was the most convenient choice. With low barrier to entry, I grabbed my shoes and some music and ran as far as I could. Which, at the time, was probably a block. (We all start somewhere!). The beauty of running is it’s fairly easy to measure progress and connect it to larger life lessons. One block to two, and then eventually I could run miles without stopping. I’d repeat silly quotes and motivations. “You can do anything for 30 minutes” “A bad run is better than no running” “Running is cheaper than therapy” No matter what music and motivation it took, nothing was more addicting than the feeling of empowerment that came with meeting a new goal, and so I kept making new ones. My first big goal was the Freep half, and then the full. 

I’ve done several half and full marathons since then, but Freep holds a special place in my heart. I’ve been there since I started running, either on the course or as a volunteer handing out medals. The only time I missed since 2013 was because of ACL surgery, so it didn’t even cross my mind to defer this year.

I credit running with helping me navigate a lot of the ups and downs in life. I’ve used injuries and disappointments as opportunities to refocus with new goals, and the confidence I’ve acquired along the way has helped me to achieve them. This has extended to all facets of my life, not just running. Each race distance goal I accomplished, from my first 5K through to the full marathon, has taught me a lot about focus, tenacity, determination. It reminded me that I am capable and that pushing through nerves and fear can have a monumental, life-changing impact. I cannot over-estimate how much I’ve relied on running to help me through some tough situations. Running has also brought a community and some fantastic friendships into my life, and for that I’m forever grateful. The depth of friendship you can build while covering so many miles together is really remarkable. Running has become so intertwined with my daily routines, relationships, mental health, stress relief, recreation and fitness that it really is an inextricable part of my identity now. 

This is certainly a year full of stress, new normal and unknowns for everyone, but running has been one of the things that has kept me sane, focused and

moving forward. While I’m really missing longer training runs leading up to the nervous energy of packed start lines this year, I’ve put my focus on a great

virtual half for 2020.

How many miles do you run per week: 15-20.

Favorite running song: “American Idiot,” “Seven Nation Army,” and “Pump It.”

Favorite post-run snack: IPA.

Best piece of training advice: Running is a personal journey. Measure your progress against where you were and where you want to go, not where someone else is. A solid running community can great for motivation, support and accountability without judgment.

Are you planning on running in any Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank events in 2020: Virtual half! 

Follow Kristine on Instagram @k.roolow.