Gold Story: Pushing Limits and Achieving Goals — Running, a Baby, and a Business

January 13, 2020 | Kimberly served in the Air Force for five years. After being stationed in Hawaii, the birthplace of the Ironman events, she decided to start training and competing in Ironman events.

Eventually, Kimberly decided she wanted to focus just on running and see how well she could do in a marathon if she only had to run (and hadn’t first swam 2.4 miles and biked 112 miles!).

In 2012, she competed in her first marathon in Hawaii. She continued to improve, with the help of her husband, who Kimberly says is a natural runner, and she gained a respect for the sport.

Kimberly’s Gold Goal: Run a marathon in under 3 hours (after having a baby and while also starting a new business!)

After switching from Ironmans to marathons, Kimberly decided she wanted to try to run a marathon in under 3 hours. But then, just a couple months after setting that goal, she found out she was pregnant.

She didn’t know if she’d actually be able to do it anymore. She said it was the biggest mental barrier that she had to get over.

“Now that I’m going to have a baby, I’m never going to get my body back,” she thought.

But instead, she ran throughout her entire pregnancy and started an Instagram account to document her running journey.

She even ran four miles the day she went into labor, and then ran her first postpartum marathon five months after giving birth. She said that she believes continuing to run throughout and after her pregnancy really helped in her recovery.

In addition to this amazing running goal, getting pregnant and having a baby, Kimberly, who now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and daughter, also co-founded a new company, NakedPoppy, where she curates personalized clean beauty products.

After running her first San Francisco Marathon in July 2019, with an official time of 3:11:59, she posted on Instagram, “So many exciting things happening in one week! I ran two marathons (pain free!), got two PRs, and today I publicly launched NakedPoppy, the company I launched with Jaleh Bisharat. It’s been quite a journey over the past two years – getting pregnant, starting a company, having my baby, navigating a business (also in its infancy) with a newborn, and then getting back into running shape postpartum.”

The San Francisco Marathon in July was a training run for Kimberly, on her way to accomplishing her 3-hour marathon goal.

It was a long, challenging journey, but on Dec. 8, 2019, Kimberly ran the California International Marathon in Sacramento in 2:58:51.

After accomplishing her goal, she posted, “I‘m honestly still in disbelief because this goal I set was pretty laughable a short 2 years ago. I cried immediately after crossing the finish line. I can’t believe I achieved it.”

Kimberly said there are so many analogies between running and life, and she’s taken what she’s learned from her running experiences into creating and building her business too.

“In order to get faster you have to do hard workouts. You have to train, do speed work, pacing work. And sometimes it’s really uncomfortable and you don’t want to get out there and do it,” she said.

“But a lot of it is because you’re afraid that you can’t and that emotional build up — I just don’t want to go out and fail. So when you have to get out there and grind and get it done, you learn something about yourself when you achieve it. And then that extends over into other parts of your life, like starting a business — there’s a lot of hard things and you don’t know if you can achieve it, but then you push through, you work hard, and you do it.”

Kimberly says, “If you get out and you train, you work hard, you push, and you grind, you can see results.”

“It’s a really cool experience of pushing limits and seeing myself achieve my goals and working beyond anything I thought I could do,” she said. “And I think that’s what gets addicting — the minute you start to see a little progress, you have a light bulb of, ‘I can do this! This is wild! I never thought I would be able to. So let me do it again, try a little harder, and get to that next step.’”

Running has become a necessary part of Kimberly’s life, especially as she became a mom and a business owner.

“Running was my only form of mediation, and it became a necessity for me. I started blocking out time, and everyone on my team knew that I needed those runs,” she said.

As a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area now, she also said that the Golden Gate Bridge has become a frequent part of her runs. She lives just north of the bridge in Marin, and she’ll frequently run across the bridge as her commute to and from work – “it’s my new secret weapon to beat the traffic,” she says.

Now that she’s accomplished her 3-hour marathon goal, Kimberly said she’s going to take it down and focus more on half marathons moving forward. Her new goal is to break 1:20 for a half marathon. She’ll also continue to build her business and raise her now 18-month-old daughter as she continues her running journey.

In honor and celebration of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games that will be happening at the same time as the 2020 San Francisco Marathon, we are telling runners’ Gold Stories.

For many, running in the Olympics may be a far off dream, but we know you have your own goals and achievements that we want to hear about and celebrate, because everyone can have their own version of a Gold Goal!

So, what’s your Gold Story? Share your story with us here and we may feature your story next!

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