TSR Runner of the Week-Kayla Searcy Sea
By: Kayla Dodd
Congratulations to TSR runner of the week Kayla Searcy Sea. She said, “I never considered myself a runner until toward the end of 2014. Before then, I would tell you I hated running. I was going through a very difficult time in my life at the end of that year and needed an outlet to channel all the stress. I remember that it was the peak of fall. I just decided to put on my tennis shoes and go for a jog. From that point on, I was hooked.”
The Eric Chrisman Memorial 5K (2016) was her very first race and took place in her hometown! Some of her dearest friends from high school put on the race in memory of Kentucky State Trooper Eric Chrisman every September. The money for this race goes to a scholarship fund that’s named in his honor and Kayla said this was a great race to take part in! Her current 5k PR is 28:49. Kayla said, “To many, this may not seem like much but in exactly a year, I’ve dropped about 7 minutes off my PR time. That’s huge for me.”
Kayla said that she is a firm believer that you should always have goals in life. This is what pushes you and keeps you accountable. Her current running goal is to work on her speed and she said that there is always room for improvement. “I incorporate a lot of speed training, even more so than distance running. Speed training has increased my endurance far more than long distance running alone. My speed training includes sprinting, stairs, jump rope and HIIT training. Variety is key.”
When asked what motivates her to run she said it was for health benefits! “I have four children and a husband that I go home to everyday. I want to stay healthy and energetic for them. They are my world and I want to make sure I do what I can to keep as healthy as possible. Running doesn’t just have physical health benefits. It’s a huge component for mental health as well. You’re only as healthy as your mind. Mindset is everything. Running clears my head. During a run, everything becomes right in the world. It’s only you and your music blaring in your ears. It’s a form of meditation. It’s a mood stabilizer and form of anger management. It keeps me centered and mood uplifted.”
Her dream race would be to run in the Walt Disney World Marathon. She may just want to go to visit Disney World, but she said she has also heard great things about the race! Her favorite running/motivational quote is, “Fitness is a life long journey. We need to love the process because if we don’t, life will pass us by and we will have missed everything in the process. Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud of every step you take towards reaching that goal.”
Running has been a wonderful experience in Kayla’s life. “At one point in my life, I couldn’t run a mile if my life depended on it. I wasn’t healthy and didn’t depict as someone you’d consider athletic by any stretch of the imagination. I’d say my best experience with running has happened over a period of time. The experience of running in general has shown me that with dedication and grit you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. My mind was my worst enemy. If you tell yourself you can’t, then you won’t. I have proved to myself through my runs that the world is at my fingertips.”
Her favorite brand of running shoes are the Brooks Ghost 5 running shoes. She said that they have been lifesavers for her feet! The FlipBelt, Brooks shoes, apple music and Bluetooth ACELEC ear bud headset are a MUST for all of her runs. Her furthest distance she has ran to date has been 10 miles!
Her advice that she would give to a beginner runner would be to never give up. Take baby steps and don’t beat yourself up. Be gentle on yourself. This is a journey. Find a reason for your drive. Those reasons are what’s going to keep you going when you feel like giving up. Kayla said, “We all started from somewhere. Don’t let others dictate what your dreams are. You CAN do ANYTHING you put your heart and mind to. It will take time and hard work but I promise you that if you keep it up, you WILL cross that finish line.”
Running has had a positive impact on Kayla’s life and benefited her in many ways. Running has taught her so many things about herself that she never knew were possible. She said, “Our bodies are amazing and can accomplish what was once thought of as impossible. Our minds are the main culprit to our failures. We talk ourselves down and out of achieving our dreams. Life is short and we must enjoy what time we have here on earth. We have one shot to live our lives the way we’ve always wanted to. Is there a risk of failure? Sure. Is there a chance of being ridiculed? Of course. But the reward is much greater. To finish on top, we must sift through the negative and seek positive. I have learned that I am so much more. I am worthy of loving myself and treating myself to happiness. I am strong and can beat any task I chose to set before myself. I now know without a doubt that I can do ANYTHING I put my mind, heart and soul into. I am worthy and so are you.” Congrats to Kayla on all of her running accomplishments. Team TSR will see you at the finish line!