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December 2014 – Mary Mickley

Originally from Parkston, SD, Mary has 7 brothers (1 deceased) and 3 sisters. She moved back to SD from CA in 1993, had wanted to live in Sioux Falls, but there were no nursing jobs. After interviewing in Rapid City at Regional in July of 1993, she moved that September.

She is married to husband Dave and together they combined his two boys Brian and Matt, and her three kids, Megan, John, and Sarah. They have 3 grandkids–2 boys Declan and Dylan here in Rapid City, and Maddison in Gillette, WY. Her oldest daughter and her husband live in CA, Jason lives in Kansas City, and the youngest in Gillette. Dave’s son Bryan and his family live here, and his son Matt attends school at USD

Mary started running at the ripe age of 44 after watching another gal at the gym running on the treadmill next to her while she walked. She and her husband mentored me, and she ran with Mary on her first 5K–the Black Hills Symphony run! Mary joined the BHRC after deciding that she wanted to train for the Brookings marathon (her second). The first time she went she was scared and intimated–it was the first New Year’s Eve run and she knew no one. “The Walkers and Pfeiffers were there and took me under their wing! I’ve met many great people through this club and many have become great friends!”

She now enjoys running with just a small group or just another person and used to be addicted to running to music–no more! Now she just loves to experience nature’s sounds and the sound of her own rhythmic breathing—“or should I say panting?!?!”

Mary just finished her 20th half marathon at Crazy Horse, and has done a total of 5 marathons. “I’m still running but have decided I’m done with racing. I don’t want the stress of a schedule and as a mid-50’s runner, I don’t recover quite as easily as I used to! I now run for fun! My favorite distance is the Half. It doesn’t take me all day to do and I still have gas in the tank when I’m done! I have also done some of the Black Hills trail series, but that’s a little harder on me than roads!”

When not running, Mary enjoys circuit training and just recently added Stott Pilates at Nucleo Fitness to the mix. She taught land and water classes at the swim center for 6 years and is certified land/water instructor. She left the swim center at the end of June to focus more on herself and family.

Mary’s pre-race ritual was always the same. “Clothes and supplies readied the day before as I hate surprises, with veggie thin crust pizza being my favorite pre-race food! After the work was done, my go-to was a big fat cheeseburger and beer!” Her favorite piece of equipment is a person!! “My husband Dave has gotten up countless early hours these last several years to be my water and support person. He is encouraging and is my biggest cheerleader out there! Even when things don’t go as planned some days, he reminds me why I’m out there to begin with, and that’s amazing!”

Her advice to new runners – “I would encourage you to just start. One foot in front of the other always gets you to the goal! It won’t always be easy, but the tears of joy when I’ve finished particularly hard races reminds me how even in life, half the work is the journey to reach the end! Read different running authors. I’ve used both Jeff Galloway and Hal Higdon methods and schedules. Do what works for you alone and the method that best fits where you are physically at the time. I would also advise keeping it fun! Find people who are both faster and slower to run with. It really helps with the training and helps build your level of confidence while pushing you to be better. I’ve mentored 3 people who are all much better runners than I, but I love passing on what I’ve learned along the way.”“My goal for the future is to spend lots of time with those cute grandkids of mine, and continuing to inspire and motivate people to embrace a healthy, happy lifestyle.

Each day is a precious gift and I love unwrapping it to see what’s inside every day. Life is just not good–it’s the best! Get outside and take it in!”