Arete Teammate Profile: Liz Mak

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[Note: So many different circumstances bring us to running, or for some of us, bring us back to running after years. Some of us discovered running because a PE teacher in grade school picked us out as the fast kid, or for others, maybe we just weren’t good at any other sports. Some of us discovered running in our twenties or thirties after children or to balance responsibilities. Some of us are chasing elite times, or still others are aiming to finish our first race. While our stories may be unique, each path–regardless of age, talent, or goals– brings us together in our Arete sisterhood. Sharing these stories brings us a little more insight into these women we are privileged to call our sole sisters. Our stories are who we are. Our stories bring us to each other.

Thank you to our new teammate Liz Mak who shares a bit about her background, what running is to her, and her 2017 goals. P.s. She’s an INCREDIBLE knitter and artist. For some crafty inspiration, follow @beathons on Instagram I live vicariously through her knitspiration! 🙂

If you’d like to share your story or a race report (or think there’s someone on the team I should reach out to) email runarete@gmail.com.

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Who I Am, Where I Came From, & Why I Run With Arete

By Liz Mak

Who Am I: Liz Mak, 35, mother, knitter and lover of pretty things!

Background: I grew up in San Jose, and moved out of my house at 16 to Santa Cruz. I was a very confident & independent girl, and I worked hard to support myself at such a young age. I received my GED and applied to  go to fashion design school at 25. It was a dream come true to be able to go to college but I worked full time so I was only able to attend school once a week. During this time I also married my long time love. He was a kind and gentle man but made some very bad choices, and eventually I found myself dealing with addiction.  Someone I loved deeply was changing and turning into someone I no longer recognized. I dealt with it for two years and realized he was not willing to stop, and I was no longer willing to stay. This crushed me emotionally, and I put school on the back burner and tried to just work as much as possible. Time passed and I met Chris, we became best friends and inseparable. He supported my dreams and nurtured my fears. I went back to school full time and then became pregnant with my first child. Then the second one came along. So now I am blessed to be a stay at home mom, but plan to finish school one day.
Running: In my early 20’s I decided to go for a run and fell in love with it. I stopped running for a while, but came back to it after my divorce. It helped me process everything I had been through. Running for me is meditative, I process emotions, set goals and take time to have gratitude towards my loved ones and appreciation for my environment.
This Team: Naturally I am a introvert. I have always wanted to be part of a team but have let my fears and insecurities hold me back. One thing my girls have taught me is to be more social and just have fun. I was drawn to the team because of outgoing personalities and everyone’s kindness. It is an opportunity for me to grow with my running as well as allowing myself to let go of self doubt and be empowered by other women. My goal this year is to complete a 1/2 marathon. I truly look forward to joining all you women and can’t wait to learn and grow this year running alongside all of you.
Fun Facts: I have a crush on Joanne Gaines from Fixer upper. Partying for me consists of a beer and knitting! Always daydreaming about new projects from decor to designing a garment. I Can eat Mexican food everyday.
Quick takes:
Motto: The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.
Favorite place to run in town: Santa Cruz Harbor
When I’m in a funk…I tell myself “this too shall pass” and I make myself get up and go outside and do something productive
Running is… a release for my anxiety attacks and has saved me many occasions
when I feel one coming on.
Running makes me feel… Alive, grounded, and like a kinder person.
You’ll find this song topping my running playlist:  “Get By” by Talib Kweli
My non-running playlist favorite: “Humble & Kind” by Tim McGraw
My 2017 running goal: Learn to run a faster pace and finish my first half marathon!
Thanks, Liz, for sharing your brave and honest story! See you out there!
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