SARASOTA — Krissy Murphy isn’t driven simply by personal satisfaction.
An avid runner, Murphy has learned to train her body to not only record miles but also to build up endurance.
But that doesn’t mean the Sarasota resident still isn’t seeking to get something in the end.
For Murphy, there’s no better reward after a challenging workout than a cold glass of chocolate milk. It may seem odd to some, but the combination of protein and carbohydrates has proven to be the perfect fuel to rebuild her body.
Now, Murphy, who works part-time doing communications for New Balance in Sarasota and is also a certified Road Runners of America coach, is sharing her experiences with others as a representative for Team CHOCOLATE MILK.
Murphy was one of eight people nationwide to join a group of national ambassadors who drink chocolate milk to refuel following a strenuous workout.
Murphy first began drinking chocolate milk following her workouts about a year ago after a friend mentioned it to her.
“It’s weird, but I like chocolate milk,” Murphy says. “It’s not fancy. You don’t have to order it or go to a special store to get it. I wanted to find something that I would always be able to find.”
Earlier this spring, Murphy learned about Team CHOCOLATE MILK from a couple of friends who also are representatives. Murphy applied to be an ambassador by submitting a 60-second video explaining how her post-workout routine is built around chocolate milk.
After all of the submissions were compiled, the top 25 were selected and posted on the Team CHOCOLATE MILK website for a two-week voting process. The top-eight submissions were awarded the full sponsorship, which includes $500 in sponsorship money, team training and race gear, free entries to Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon, IRONMAN, Iron Girl and Lifetime Fitness’ Esprit de She races and other training perks.
“I was really surprised and excited,” Murphy says. “I continue to inspire myself. This is something I like to do. It’s super fun. I only talk about stuff that I like, so that’s what was appealing for me.”
Initially a self-described “non-athlete,” Murphy started running in summer 2010 as a means of exercise.
Murphy was working for Walt Disney World at the time and often found herself getting tired after a long day.
Murphy had tried a variety of sports growing up, but she realized almost as soon as she began them that none was for her. After some thought, Murphy decided running would be the easiest way to get active. After all, all she had to do was lace up a pair of running shoes and get going.
How hard could it be?
To start, Murphy downloaded a Couch to 5K app on her phone. Her first workout combined both running and walking. Her first running segment was 30 seconds. She barely made it.
But, little by little, Murphy got the hang of it, and with each workout she became more and more comfortable with her newfound routine.
“I have two left feet, but somehow I get them to both move forward (together),” a laughing Murphy says. “I have enthusiasm, but I don’t have hand-eye coordination. Running is good for me. Running is simple. It’s not easy, but you can just get up and go.”
Murphy completed her first 5K — the Moss Park Forest Run — later that summer, setting a goal of 30 minutes. She completed the race in 27 minutes. She could’ve stopped there. But Murphy had already caught the running bug.
“It was a weird turning point,” Murphy says. “I knew there was more, but I didn’t know what would happen next.”
Although there was one thing Murphy was sure of — she had no intention of running a 10K. Or so she thought.
That fall, Murphy and her husband, Eric, moved to northern Virginia. Shortly thereafter, Murphy signed up for a 10K. At the time, Murphy had only run as far as 5 miles. But she slowly increased her distance.
With her first 10K complete, Murphy signed up for the Disneyland Half Marathon over Labor Day weekend 2011. With nearly a year to train, Murphy was up for the challenge. But, before long, friends and followers on her blog began to question why she was waiting so long.
It was during those discussions that someone told Murphy about the runDisney Coast to Coast Race Challenge; athletes who run both the Disney World and Disneyland half-marathons in a single year receive a special medal.
Not one to pass up a medal, Murphy signed up for the Disney World Half Marathon scheduled for that January, which gave her roughly three months to train.
Murphy began training three days a week in preparation. Murphy, who became sick the week before the race, didn’t have a goal other than to just keep running.
Murphy finished the race in 2 hours, 4 minutes.
“I was so worried I was going to get swept that I kept running,” Murphy says. “It came out of nowhere. I just knew that I wouldn’t want to do what I just did twice. Although a lot of times I think when you cross the finish line, you think the opposite of what really happens.”
After dropping her half-marathon time down to 1:48, Murphy decided to train for a marathon. Murphy completed her first marathon in November 2011 in 3:59.
“For me, running more is good for me,” Murphy says.
Murphy has completed nine marathons to date. This past week she began training for the Chicago Marathon in October.
Murphy will train six days a week for 18 weeks in preparation for the race; she will run up to 16 miles in a single workout. Murphy is familiar with the regimen, having done the same program in the past.
But she hopes this marathon will be different. Murphy is hoping to use the Chicago Marathon to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Murphy needs to post a faster time than the qualifying time of 3:35. Her personal-best time is 3:43, which she’s posted twice. Murphy attempted to qualify for Boston in December during the Space Coast Marathon, but was eight seconds off the mark.
“I’m just trying to be laidback about it, and hopefully I’ll perform better,” Murphy says. “I’m going to wear a watch, but I’m going to try not to pay attention to it. I just need to train at the pace I need to run and not freak out about it.”
For more information on Murphy and to follow her path to the Chicago Marathon, visit her blog at http://shiawaselife.com.
Contact Jen Blanco at firstname.lastname@example.org.