This is part of the Arete Community Series leading up to our 2018 team launch.
We will be featuring Arete members from various chapter on the blog and social media in the next two weeks. Our teammates join us for various reasons: to chase personal best times, reignite their passion for running, or to lean into the challenge and satisfaction of racing. Although each of us show up for Arete for real life running community connection, each running story is different, authentic and inspiring.
In our lead up to announcing our 2018 chapter launch locations and dates, may these stories of our teammates inspire and excite us in our running and beyond.
Connie Shieh is an educator, Mom to Wee-Coach, & brings humor, passion & adventurous spirit to Arete Oakland/East Bay. In her lucky seventh marathon, in an Arete singlet, she broke three hours at the Santa Rosa Marathon to run 2:58:46 to PR by over 10 minutes and place second overall. Catching up with Connie reminds us of the incredible energy the East Bay ladies have been sharing from the start!
Who are you?
I’m Connie, and I’ve been a runner since I joined my high school’s cross country team, freshman year. I love good books, strong coffee, mom jokes, dinosaurs, and generally eating all the things. Except kale. And brussels sprouts.
Why did you join team Arete?
My friend and neighbor, Meg, basically made me a “yes” person – as in, I “yes” the running things she suggests that I normally would not say yes to. She told me about the team, and told me to show up at the meet and greet. I did, with my noisy toddler in tow, and have basically felt like a part of the run family ever since!
How has being a part of this team impacted your relationship with running?
I have a much healthier attitude towards self, team, and competition. In high school I couldn’t figure out things like work-life balance, body image balance, and where I saw my relationship with running going if I thought I had no chance at running at a competitive level beyond high school. These insecurities soured my image of myself, and, of course, my relationships with teammates and run friends.
Joining this team after over a decade away from a team has been especially cathartic during a time in my life where things are crazier than ever with the Sisyphean task of achieving “balance”. This tribe of role-model sole-sisters has helped me forgive myself and believe in myself in all aspects of my life, not just running.
Best Arete memory so far…
Accidentally leading Saige and Katie off a paved path and onto a much more aggressive trail run at Inspiration Point than I had promised. They were such good sports about my unintended lie, and we took some pretty hilarious pictures. The runner’s high wasn’t bad at that altitude, either!
Love it, Connie! Thanks for sharing.