My name is Jone Elizabeth Roberts Mues. I was born July 9 1978 in Tarrytown NY and Louisville is my home. You may call me J.R. or Jone or Mues or Elizabeth and occasionally other words apply to me and I know it so that’s okay too.
I have had many occupations and likely continue to do so but I will always be a visual and verbal artist and also an iconoclast and a serious funner.
I never liked athletics. In school I was never an athlete or even mediocre in physical education and I was almost always picked last for any team sport. In 1989 I was diagnosed with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and the treatment included exercise. That was when I started running.
Running and stretching and weight lifting and push ups strengthened my body but to this day I still have an 18 degree curvature and stand with my right leg bent to cover my mismatched hips in photographs. I also never became a team player or even a competitive runner in school but in 1992 I earned the national physical fitness award during my school fitness testing. I now had respect from many of the basketball and football players and cheerleaders because most of them did not earn one though they tried.
Running is a sport you have to do for yourself. Others can coach you and you can have friends support you but it's really about you and your ambition and your courage to be the best. As a non team player this is probably why I liked it as well as hunting and fishing which overtook running when I was in my 20s and 30s. I even adopted my eastern box turtle Leona while on a fishing trip.
There was a renewed interest in running in 2013. I turned 35 and started gaining weight and the old workout was no longer hard enough to keep me in shape. The start of competitive running began in 2016 after a few friends passed away and another retired and one moved away. I no longer had people to talk with regularly or to go hunting and fishing with so I needed to fill that void with something else I enjoyed.
I started running River City because some of the events were on weekday evenings and on Sundays when I am best available. I am happy to meet so many strong and friendly runners at River City of whom I can test my ability and I have yet to meet a runner with a bad attitude.
I was in a few races but even at my top performance I was only finishing in the middle at best. Suddenly I wasn't okay with that because it bothered me I was running longer and longer distances and not getting any faster. I wanted to be fast because I never was.
In the summer of 2017 I cleaned out the garage and found my national physical fitness award patch. I remembered how hard I had to work to earn it and it wasn't even the top presidential award. I figured some people had natural speed and athletic abilities but I didn't.
But then I heard these words from a once very fast friend: “You can be fast and maybe even faster than anyone else. Most people are born with everything they need to get where they want to go but most of them don't use what they have and settle for less. You should know after you earned that patch and caught all those big fish.”
So following his suggestions on December 31 2017 I started running 200 m wind sprints before running regularly 3-4 times a week a one mile wind sprint every two months to see how much my time has improved. Wind sprints strengthen your core muscles and if you develop a strong core you will increase your endurance and speed. No natural ability is needed, only grit and discipline.
Running is hard. If something is easy for me doesn't mean as much. In a race you never know what you will run into out there so I find any race potentially difficult. I have no favored distance but the weather and terrain can make you or break you. I am not a trail runner or a hill runner. Keep it hard and flat with no grass and I will stay fast but if there’s wind or rain or ice or snow or it’s just gonna blow.
In 2018 I also learned running recovery is just as important as preparation. I changed my diet and eat chicken and fish and broccoli and carrots and celery every day so I will stay fueled and keep my muscles from getting sore. After a long distance race like a half marathon I have two to four days of rest. Eating a high protein and carbohydrate dinner the evening before a race and eating a light breakfast like a bagel and one or two eggs the morning of will give you the added fuel you need to push yourself.
I do not run well in hot weather or cold weather but I do it anyway because every day you run is another day of progress. The more you do the more you can do. In the last year I went from 10+ minute mile best averages to 8.5 minute mile averages. My blood pressure and weight also dropped and I was able to meet my goal of running a 10K in less than 60 minutes in September 2018. On January 1 2019 I broke that 59:58 record and ran a 10K in 55:30 after getting a new pair of practice shoes. Do not neglect your feet because they can really hurt you. It is good for your body and soul to keep your soles in shape too.
One of my goals in 2019 is to run 7 minute mile averages and run a half marathon in less than 120 minutes. I don’t worry about not meeting a goal by a certain time because I know one day I will reach it just like Leona eventually gets where she wants to go thought it might take a while for her to get there. It has taken me decades to get this far and I expect this is just the beginning. I always remember to go and go with the flow and never stop moving even if it’s slow.