In this series of posts, we highlight some of our awesome team members and the things that capture their interest outside of work. We encourage everyone at Alley to follow their passions because being personally invested in something sparks creativity, drive, and a refreshed view of countless areas of a person’s life. Sometimes those benefits even follow the person back to work.

Pattie Reaves is a Principal User Experience Developer here at Alley, but she does not spend all her time behind a screen. In this Alley Spotlight, we talk to Pattie about how she got into competitive running and what the training process has taught her.

Tell us how you got into running / participating in marathons.

A few jobs ago there was an incentive program to exercise for those who participated in the company insurance plan. It was a team competition for the most points. Running earned more points than most other activities, and I’m competitive, so I started the Couch to 5K program to earn more points for my team. I had never really run before then and it delighted me. That was more than 10 years ago and I’ve since run 5 marathons, dozens of half marathons, and completed a 70.3 mile triathlon. Many things have changed in my life since I was 25 but running outdoors has been a constant.

What is it like training for events? What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of training?

A successful event starts with a training plan. If you’re new to running, Couch to 5k is an excellent resource. If you’re looking to train for a longer event for the first time, I recommend Hal Higdon’s training plans, and you can get a calendar integration with his plans at yourtrainingcalendar.com.

I’ve had my share of unsuccessful events as well as successful ones. For me, the key has always been a team to train with. I love how versatile running is. You can do it while traveling, you can do it with friends, you can do it alone. You can do it inside on a treadmill or outside around your block. Having a partner or group of people who count on me to run with them has been key to keeping me motivated. Otherwise it can be daunting to go out on my own for 5-plus hours on a training run.

Why do you do it / how does it give you self esteem?

I love being outside. And I love surprising myself just how much suffering I can endure. 😂

Have you realized any things about yourself through training that have changed your life at home or at work?

You know the quote “the hurrier I go, the behinder I get”? Yes, my career is important to me and I’ve poured my heart into my work. I have found that taking the time to stop and make space in my life to train, and to be a role model to my daughter has helped me prioritize the truly important tasks in my day. Endurance sports teach you to pace yourself and conserve your energy for when the proverbial finish line is in sight.  

Do you have any pictures you would like to share from your events?

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