Athlete Profile: Shelby Thirkill

2017-01-30T14:06:12+00:00 January 30th, 2017|HRL Athletes|


Tell us a little about yourself…

I moved from Los Angeles to Oahu in 2011 to finish by undergraduate degree in psychology. Took a year off and then started my masters program at Chaminade studying marriage and family therapy. I played soccer for fifteen years and I love sports. I love road and trail running and being outdoors in general. In July I switched to a vegan diet and I’ve never felt better. I try to have a spiritual connection to running and appreciate all challenges along the way.

How long have you been running?

In December 2011, I was invited by Coach MG to check out the marathon at the 6​ th​ mile marker and the finish. I needed to do something for myself at the time, and I thought maybe running could fill the void. In January 2012 I began my journey as a runner.

Please list your favorite races and PR’s.

My favorite road race would definitely be Honolulu Marathon because of the challenge and wide variety of runners. I also love all the HURT trail series races because the trail Ohana and community has an unbelievably kind energy and I always feel my happiest at every race.

What are your 2017 racing plans and running goals?

It would be great to qualify for Boston this year and I want to run two ultras in the latter half of 2017. Mainly, I want to continue to grow and become more in tune with my body when running and really learn how to listen. Oh yeah, and getting faster would be sweet.

Any “bucket list” races?

I want to run all the marathons and ultras in the state of Hawaii. Yep, HURT included.

What is your average weekly mileage?

Until I graduate in May I’ll be living in the 40-45 mile range and then after I plan on running 50-65 per week.

What is your favorite workout?

I love running the 10 m Tantalus loop and thankfully it’s less than a quarter mile from my apartment (yaaaaaas).

Favorite pre-race/post-race foods?

Before a race I always eat an apple banana, pb & j, and an orange. Later that day after a race I can’t deny fries or BBQ chips.

What is the piece of running gear/food/drink that you cannot go without?

Lately no matter what time I go running I always wear a hat; I have enough sun spots already.

What is your favorite running moment or running quote?

One of my favorite moments was coming down the finish shoot of Honolulu Marathon 2016. I ran a PR that I never assumed was something I could do. At the beginning of 2016 I was coming off a five month injury, gained weight, and only walking/jogging for 20 minutes as my workout for the day. Realizing I had left that dark place behind was an overwhelmingly amazing feeling. Not sure about the quote but my favorite running mantra is “ love the process and you are very strong”.

Describe your running before HRL and after.

Before joining HRL, I would get advice and pointers from my running mentors but it was more in the moment and necessarily long term. I tried to keep up with them but they were (fast) grown men and their goals were different than mine. I often trained too hard and too fast which led to injuries. I also absolutely dreaded long runs (over 10m) and I often skipped them which leg to my progress becoming stagnant. Now I have a plan that is specifically tailored to my variety of goals and needs. I am training in a fashion to avoid injury which is great because I don’t have to question any of my workouts, I know I can do it. I am a completely different runner than I was a year ago and now things I thought were never possible are becoming easy habits.

Why does training with Hawaii Running Lab work for you?

Training with HRL works for me because my limits and strength are pushed at a smart and appropriate degree. MG knows how to enable myself to test my own mental and physical abilities in a way that I can apply to other areas of my life besides running.

Do you have an Instagram/twitter handle that you would like us to include with your profile?

IG: shelbbbgt500 Twitter: shelbbbgt500

Anything else that you would like to add?

Being a part of HRL has truly changed my life and made me believe in myself more than I imagined possible. I am grateful for all of my experiences with HRL and it has given me some of my most memorable days of my time on Oahu.