Introducing Cayenne!

headshot (1)Hello, Salty runners! I’m Cayenne, a spicy addition to the Salty Running Team. I am excited to join these amazing women as I share my perspectives on all things running!

I am a classical musician for a living and, travel a lot to perform with various orchestras. My current schedule has me based in the Midwest, performing with orchestras in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Indiana. To put it simply, my life has been anything but predictable. Throughout the past 15 years, I have lived in six states as well as a foreign country.

Because my professional life can be so unstable, I find stability in running. Running is something I can do anywhere. Sometimes that requires crashing local running groups wherever I’m traveling, or running on a beat-up treadmill in a hotel fitness center.

Music has been in my life since I took up the flute the age of 10 and earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music. But running, not so much. As a child I participated in gymnastics but I always dreaded having to run in gym class! Throughout college, I made a point to stay in shape, working out at the gym 4-5 days a week. I went to college in big cities where I walked a lot, London and San Francisco. But once I had graduated and moved to a smaller city I found it more difficult to stay in shape.

I decided to take13043457_10156868693745173_4989725747307766794_n (1) up running and my life was forever changed. Because I had always been active, the transition was smooth, and I have been lucky to meet so many amazing and supportive people on the way! I have gained self confidence and purpose, improved my body image insecurities and maintained good health. Because of my driven, borderline obsessive personality, I was able to translate my musical discipline to the sport of running.

I completed my first half in 2:10, and ran at my usual 10 minute pace for a few years until one day I decided to really push it in a race. I completely surprised myself by winning my age group at a 5k! I thought to myself, maybe with proper training, I can really improve. And so the quest began. Although I am by no means elite, I’ve worked my way down to a 1:26 half marathon and 3:04 marathon.

In my career I deal with subjectivity on a daily basis, which makes the straightforward, clear-cut world of running a great contrast. I think it helps keep me grounded. My head is in the clouds but my feet are on the ground most of the time!

kkreme race
Eat and Run: The Krispy Kreme Doughnut Race 2012

In my non-running life my passions are music, coffee, beer, ice cream, my family, my boyfriend, and my dog. Not necessarily in that order! For fun this summer, my boyfriend and I are running the Brain Freezer 5k in Vermont, which involves eating a pint of ice cream mid-race. I’ve got this! I have been training for this race for years!

I am currently training for the Akron Marathon, as well as various other races ranging from 5ks to halfs in between. My long term goal is a sub 3:00-hour marathon, but I won’t beat myself up if I don’t run that on the hilly Akron course; the 3:04 PR I ran this past April was flat. I have run five marathons, ranging from 4:10-3:04 and each one has been a PR. At this point I just want to see what my body is capable of and to reach my full potential. As always, I am happy and thankful for good health and to be able to run regularly, regardless of time.

Follow me as I embark on my crazy running/traveling/musical escapades, and as I chase my dreams and push my body to the limits!

I am a dedicated runner and classical musician. I am currently chasing a sub-3 hour marathon (3:00:38 PR). I often feel like the underdog going up against "serious" runners-I took up running after college, I do not have a typical "runner's body type", and I am mostly self-coached. I travel a lot to perform with different orchestras and run when I can, where I can. I love to (over) eat and that is my number one motivation for running! Follow me as I chase my goals!

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  1. Welcome Cayenne! Your story is an inspiration! Sub-3:00 is yours one day. Looking forward to following your training!

  2. Welcome! Love your attitude and goals. I had a similar progression and can definitely relate to feeling like an underdog against the college stars! And oh my gosh, the Brain Freezer 5K sounds amazingggg!!

    1. Ditto on the college stars. I am always like “what am i doing here??” The Brain Freezer is coming up soon…I am planning on doing a race report! 🙂

  3. Looking forward to reading your posts, Cayenne! I’m an oboist (though now only part-time) – I can definitely relate to the escape from subjectivity that running provides. (And also, for me, the escape from making reeds.)

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! Omg reed making…I don’t practice enough let alone if I had to make reeds…if I were an oboist I would be in trouble! Glad to have another woodwind player on here! 🙂

  4. I played the flute for 13 years growing up, and your words about the clear cut nature of running balancing out the subjectivity of music was so spot on. So impressed by your commitment to both! And by your super fast times – can’t wait to creep so hard on your training logs and steal some ideas.

    1. That’s what I love about running…no one can say “well I didn’t like the way she turned her left foot out on those few steps so….her race time doesn’t count!” Your time is your time and no one can take that away from you. Running is the only way I stay (mostly) sane in the arts industry! Looking forward to following you as well!