Tips to Start Running
- Get fitted for a good pair of shoes and keep track of your miles (Monica puts 500 miles on her running shoes before she retires them)
- Be consistent with your running and build yourself up little by little
- Find a time that works for you, even if you have to create a schedule
- Set goals, there are many programs and training teams that can help you
- Take breaks from running until you find what works for you
- Eat right to make sure you have enough fuel to run
- Just keep running—just go!
Training is Extremely Important
One of the organizations she runs for is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Perez has a nephew that was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, so this made her learn more about the organization and found that it does great things for patients with various types of blood cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myelomas. Her nephew has been in remission for 5 years, but that hasn’t motivated her to stop and she’s run the Chicago Marathon several years, benefiting that organization. This is how she found her team in training.
“I almost feel guilty because I raise all of this money for a great cause, but look at what I’m getting, not only great friendships but this awesome support group that is there with you training,” she explains. When she decided to run for this organization, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society put together a team of coaches, mentors, and other runners. An amazing team that has developed into some really great friendships. Plus a lot of the friends that she trains with have some sort of connection with the disease, which gives her the satisfaction that she’s helping make a difference in the lives of others.
Perez went into the military right after high school for 5 years, but then when she got married and had kids she took a break and signed up to be in the National Guard in 2011. “I think running was one of the reasons why I went back into the military because if I could run a marathon, then I could do the military,” she says. The training that she gets while preparing for marathons and other races made her get into shape, so when she went back to the military, she was prepared. Just recently, she was in Germany doing some training, since she’s part of the National Guard Military Police.
This weekend Monica celebrated her 40th birthday by running the Chicago Marathon and later this month she will run another Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. She is an inspiration to mothers and women of all ages because she is the definition of hard-work and dedication.