Sunday, June 23, 2013

Meet Runner and Fitness Extraordinaire - Nerissa Mata!

I've had the privilege of meeting some amazing people over the last few years. Some have been runners, fitness enthusiasts and mentors. All have been inspiring and I have had the great honor of calling them friends. Every Monday I plan on featuring an extraordinary runner who motivates me and who I know will motivate you and give you something to strive for. Their passions spark something in me and make me want to train harder, not only for myself, but also to not disappoint them. 

This week I want to introduce to you the amazing and ever so inspiring, Nerissa Mata. Hailing from Toronto, Ontario Canada, Nerissa is a true inspiration. Last year Nerissa, myself and three other girls, whose inspiring stories will be coming soon, were chosen to be the face of the Nike Women's Marathon for the Nike Women division. We were training ambassadors and had the unique situation where we trained for a race together, while living in different states and even countries. The power of social media was evident in our journeys. I learned so much training for this race with these ladies. I am so thankful I had the ability to meet Nerissa. 

Nerissa is a Health Information Technician in Toronto, but in between her day job, she finds the time to run and train to stay fit and healthy. Nerissa began running in 2011 and hasn't stopped. She began running when she read an article on about adding in more cardio to your workout routines and running was an easy way she could do that and get out of the gym. 

I asked her about her running history and here is her story: 

How do you train?
Depending on time weekends and Mondays are my long distance runs with short runs Tuesday (sprints) Wed - Fri (short runs) mixed with tabata and NTC (strength training mode) and then whichever day I don't do a run on the weekend I devote to yoga or rest. 

Are you a part of a running group?
Not in a running group - was trying recently, but the schedules do not work for me.

Do you prefer running with a group or alone?
As I don't really have experience in running with a group I would say running alone is preferred for now...
  • You can work out whenever you want and when it best fits your schedule. 
  • You can skip the chitchat and focus on your breathing and inner thoughts. It's a great time to make mental to-do lists, brainstorm, or daydream about weekend plans. Going solo means it's really "me" time and as of recent I really need that.  
What is your favorite memory from running?
Getting to meet in person you, Renisha, Tiara and Elizabeth and Nike peeps at the 2012 Nike Women's Marathon and Half Marathon and running my first ever 1/2 marathon. 

She killed it by the way!

What race(s) is your favorite? Why? 
I only have the NWM 2012 under my belt so that will have to be my favorite - scenery and atmosphere was AMAZING.  I do 5K's here and there with @anywhere5K on twitter. 

What advice do you have for new runners? 
Start small, think big - Deciding to run a 5K in a month is doable with proper training.  Perhaps you can consider a 10K in 8 weeks, THEN a half marathon.  This not only gives you short-term goals, but also keeps your eyes on longer term (and longer distance) goals.

How do you use your blog/social media to influence your running? 
I've been really bad at updating my blog to be honest, but reading other running blogs and Facebook running groups has definitely motivated me to get out on days when I wasn't feeling it.  It's simply amazing how logging into any of those social media sites and seeing those running gifs/quotes turns your mood around.

How do you fit running in with your daily schedule, work, etc…?
My work is located right next to the beach and a huge park on the other side - so usually I hit those up on lunch break or after work 

Do you have any favorite running gear we should know about?
LUNARGLIDE+4 for long distance or newbies - the cushion support is like a marshmallow and the Relay Running Capri.

As you can tell, Nerissa is devoted to fitness and very inspiring. I am always amazed at how supportive she is on Twitter when I have a good or a bad day. If I need motivation she is always there to offer it. There are definitely big things in her future! If you have any questions or comments please leave them below!

You can follow Nerissa on her blog:
Instagram: missfitriss
Twitter: @nerissa_ann

~Happy Training!