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Conversations with the Inspiring Dale Marie Erdmier

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dale Marie Erdmier.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Dale Marie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started running “for fun” my freshman year of college. By fun, I really mean I wanted a way to deal with being homesick, handle long distance and not gain weight. I had no idea this pastime would change my entire life. After running for a few months, I realized I was pretty good at it. I ran a four-mile race as my debut race, shortly followed by a half marathon. I loved the half marathon. I loved it so much that I ran 20 more in the next few years. But it wasn’t until my senior year of college that I decided to run a full marathon.

I ran the Chicago Marathon in October 2014 because I thought I was capable of handling the distance. I kind of thought I would be a one and done marathoner because 26.2 seemed so insurmountable, but crossing that Chicago finish line changed my life. I instantly thought, “Okay that was fun, but I can do better.” I had ignited a new faith in myself that I don’t know I would have found had I not taken on the challenge of the marathon distance.

I made a promise to myself that following year that I would do everything I could to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me, but I was inspired every year, I watched the Boston Marathon and I wanted to earn my spot to experience the greatness. It wasn’t easy. I’ll spare you all the details of the early Friday nights for early Saturday mornings and the miles in the dark that became a daily routine, but I worked hard. I earned my first BQ in Chicago in 2016. And then, I ran two more with a qualifying time that would get me my spot at Boston. And running the Boston Marathon in April 2018 in the crazy rain was an unforgettable experience. Not only did I love every minute, but I ran a new PR of 3:26:08. All the hard work was worth it.

My love of running has brought me some of my proudest moments, my closest friends, and my career. Seeing the way running changes peoples lives led me to want to help people. I love the nonprofit space and I recently accepted a position as the new Communications and Marketing Manager at Chicago Area Runners Association where I will get to see that impact first hand and share it with the community. It feels incredible to be so passionate about my work and see a small hobby come full circle. Running changes things. It changed the course of my life and has helped me become the best version of myself. 19 year old me had no idea this is the path I would take, but I thank her for lacing up and working hard anyway.

Has it been a smooth road?
Getting to where I am today has not always been a smooth road. I’ve faced injury, rejection, failure. Going after big dreams is risky and you have to be prepared for obstacles. There were plenty of times in the past couple of years where I could have backed down from my goals from fear I wouldn’t attain them. Big goals are scary. I was scared of failure all the time. But I had to have faith in myself. My best advice for anyone working toward their big scary goals is to be consistent. Even if you don’t know if you’re putting in enough work, show up consistently. Focus your energy and have faith in yourself. If you show up and work hard, you will see improvement. You can do scary things.

So let’s switch gears a bit and talk a bit about your work and career.
My full-time job is with the Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) as the Communications and Marketing Manager and I also work on partnerships and writing projects independently with my personal brand. I believe in the good power of social media. I aim to inspire – both with my personal brand and my full-time position. I am a new member of the CARA team and it really feels like the perfect fit for me. I am proud to work for a nonprofit organization that advocates for runners. We believe in the power of community and want everyone to have the chance to have their life impacted by running. I want to share the joys of running and the running community in hopes to inspire new people all the time. There are so many incredible stories to tell and I want to give people the chance to use their voice and share their ‘why.’

It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
The book “Eat & Run” by Scott Jurek helped me realize that running is more than running. You can let running change you for the better. There are quotes from the book that I frequently refer back to.

The Rich Roll podcast offers me regular inspiration that makes me want to work harder. The guests featured are from all walks of life and Rich has a way of getting people to share their stories in such an authentic way. I admire him and everyone he brings on the show.

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