Goals don’t often work out the way we plan. Life gets in the way in small ways and significant ways. For Northwest Winter Challenge participant Anna Gullickson, her 2018 plans were significantly derailed during the 2018 Challenge. She was hit by a car on one of her January runs. That accident led to a readjusting of her goals. With a positive attitude, she’s recovered and ready to tackle the 2019 Challenge and more.
Anna started running in 2017 when she joined a “couch to 5K” running program. This program helped her quickly develop her love for running. She signed up for the 2018 Northwest Winter Challenge to help motivate her to run more during the 2018 winter. The challenge was going great for three weeks until she was hit by a car in a crosswalk. “It was a bright, sunny day, I was wearing neon running clothing and crossed at a pedestrian crosswalk after waiting for the driver to stop at the stop sign. The driver wasn’t paying attention and drove right into me as I was crossing. I was fortunate in that I did not break any bones, and only sustained soft tissue damage.”
Despite having the accident, Anna still completed the 2018 Challenge. Instead of wallowing in her injuries, she was quickly back in action posting walks instead of runs. Some days she posted multiple slow walks during the day. “Being part of the 2018 challenge helped with the mental aspect of recovery and kept me motivated to keep moving, no matter how slowly, instead of sitting at home and feeling sorry for myself.”
While still in physical therapy for her injuries, Anna continued to participate in many running events in 2018. She participated in most Northwest Trail Runs events with her husband cheering her on. “My husband is my biggest cheerleader and comes to all my runs. I am very grateful for his support!” The epitome of a positive attitude, Anna is always friendly with a smile and a greeting for other runners. This friendly attitude led her to meet her friend and running buddy Joe. “We run many races together, and he has encouraged me across the finish line more than once. I am very fortunate to have a great support system!” Anna and Joe participate together in the 2019 Challenge as Team Fly Cat.
Despite her injury, she still was able to run her first half-marathon in 2018, and has big plans for 2019. “The major goal of 2019 is to finish the Chicago Marathon. It will be my first marathon, so I don’t have any lofty time goals. I just want to cross that finish line! The other big goal is to run the Vancouver Half Marathon. It will be my third half, and I want to try and PR if my physical therapist gives me the green light for more speed work.”
You can follow Anna on Facebook @anna.gullickson.509