Wendy Kosche-Gelinas

Wendy Kosche-Gelinas

Wendy Kosche-Gelinas

Positive Pants (“PP”)??? Someone gives you that nickname and you actually admit it to people writing your Runner’s Profile? That is just a glimpse of the candor and positive view of life demonstrated by Wendy Kosche-Gelinas (aka “Wendy Two-Names”). The next time you are having a bad day, consider the year Wendy recently experienced (see “Personal Accomplishments”). When you read in detail about her “Best Race/Most Memorable Running Experience and Why”, you will be amazed….and likely join us in stating that no one’s “memorable race story” will come close to hers. Wendy is always smiling….always. For that reason, it was tough to note that her ever present smile was even bigger one recent Wednesday at the track…the reason was that the night before was her last official day as a law student…next will be graduation, the bar exam and then “Hello World, meet Wendy Two-Names, smiling lawyer……….”

Name: Wendy Kosche-Gelinas
Age: 30
Nicknames: P.P. (positive pants) – newly acquired in law school. A friend in college told me that you can’t pick your nicknames……
Hometown: Lancaster, CA (no judging allowed)
Employment: Legal Assistant by day, law student by night.
Family: Married and have 2 amazing dogs.
Other sports, hobbies, interests, etc.: Swimming, hiking, and scuba diving
Most Prized Possession: My dogs
Favorite Food: Burritos (especially breakfast burritos) and sushi – Sadly, they are there own food groups in my diet
Favorite Movie: Tommy Boy
Favorite Spectator Sport: Football
Car I’d Love to be Driving: One that has auto-side mirrors that tilt down when backing up. I might actually succeed at parallel parking with that fancy little option.
My friends describe me as: Strong-willed (some like to use the words stubborn or hard-headed, but I’m convinced they mean strong-willed), positive, hard-working, and mildly sarcastic from time to time.
My trademark expression is: “Shut up! That’s awesome!” Simply because a lot of things are.
If money were not a consideration, I would love to: Travel, and volunteer en route.
In the next 5 years, I hope to: Complete another marathon, and to PR.
In the next 10 years, I hope to: Regardless of what I achieve, I want to look back with no regrets and know that I gave at least 110% to everything I attempted.
Personal accomplishments: While I am proud of a lot of my personal accomplishments up to this point, the last 3 years have provided the most challenging situations to overcome so far. Some of those obstacles include getting past losing property in the Tea Fire, dealing with a stroke (more commonly referred to as my “medical incident”), donating my appendix to medical science, and losing my dad, while simultaneously keeping a full-time job and excelling in law school. = Personal growth and strength building on steroids. Fast forward to this time next year, and I hope to add to my achievements: Graduated from law school and being admitted to practice law in California.
Personal fact that will surprise my friends: I like to eat my ice cream with a fork!
Favorite Running Shoes: Recently switched to Adidas Sequence and I’m loving them so far.
Favorite Distance and PR (post collegiate): Still a marathon. I respect the distance, because for me it’s as mentally challenging as it is physically challenging. Based on that, regardless of how good or bad a marathon goes, every completion is a huge learning experience. My PR was at SBIM this year, through co-pacing the 4:30 group with Arnie Brier. New PR to break at the next marathon: 4:26:18.
Best Race and Why: 2009 SBIM. I had never trained as hard or been more prepared for a marathon since I started running in 2003. Debbie Kovanda and I planned on running together, since we had trained side by side for the months leading up to the race. We were progressing toward the finish line with ease, for what would have been a 30-minute PR for me. A little past mile 21, my race took an odd turn, and my vision became distorted. Thinking that it was just a typical migraine coming on, I ran for a minute or two more. After my vision problems didn’t subside, Debbie asked if I wanted to pull off of the course. My answer was of course “no”, but I agreed to do so soon after and moved to the side of the road and sat down. Debbie’s husband, Ted Gillett, thankfully was riding by on his bike as part of his race day volunteer position. He sat with me for a few minutes, as other runners cruised by and checked if I was doing okay. With my eyes closed, I felt great, couldn’t even tell anything was wrong. However, when I opened my eyes, it was a whole different story and double vision took over. After a few minutes, Ted spotted a fire truck coming in our direction, and asked if wanted him to flag it down. I again said “no”, but changed my mind pretty quickly. Ted got their attention, and in a few more minutes I was on my way to the emergency room with an ambulance driver kindly chauffeuring me there. Due to the hard work of my team of doctors, I went home after a short stay in the hospital with the diagnoses that “my incident” was caused by my abnormally normal high platelet count. Of which, I am now being treated to lower that. I luckily had no repercussions besides being a little tired and jolted. I moved on immediately after that to take exams for my second year of law school approx. a week or so later. That quick transition would not have been possible without the support of amazing friends, many of them runners. A huge thank you again to all of you for that. Multiple things made this my best/most memorable race, although some might have thought it would’ve been my worst: 1. I know that I would’ve pulled off a PR of around 30 minutes had I been able to finish the race; 2. I wouldn’t have gone to the emergency room had that same problem arisen at home; 3. The support of my close friends in and outside of the running group, and family, was touching and immeasurable, and gave me more strength than I think they realize.
Worst Race and Why: 2006 San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. I was ready to run a marathon (not race one by any means). However, I walked a couple miles from my hotel to and from the expo the day before the marathon. Being the genius that I am, I proceeded to walk more that night to and from dinner. Then, the morning of the marathon, it was hot and humid out, but I felt confident that the run was going to go okay. That feeling continued until about mile 5, where I proceeded to crash and burn. Knowing full well that I was in for it for the next 21 miles, I finished hours later with an order of burning legs on the side.
Average Weekly Mileage (last 12 months): 45ish
Favorite Local Race: Going to have to go with SBIM. It feels great to know the running community behind the race, see the hard work and time that’s put into the event, and get to experience the final and successful outcome each year.
Most Memorable Running Experience: See above.
Favorite Place to Run: More Mesa still tops my list.
Glory Days PR: I’m not sure if I want to get there, but I definitely haven’t yet
Realistic Running Goals for this Year: Keep up with mileage and improve my speed, without breaking/getting injured.
Wildly Optimistic Running Goals for this year: Keep up with mileage and improve my speed, without breaking/getting injured.
Lifetime Running Goals: Find the fountain of youth that Gary Clancy has discovered, yet appears to be refusing to share with the group.
Local Running Heroes & Why: I have endless respect for everyone in the running group, but to call out a few by name: Rusty Snow, Vida Strong, Debbie Kovanda, Arnie Brier, Katie Kirkmire-Vining (I second the super-friends comment mentioned in Katie’s profile), Susie Adams, Bob Tmur, Jim Sloan, P2, Brooke Powell, Tamara Berndt, Tony Borek, Gary Clancy, Rob Olson, Paula Waldman, Joe Howell, and the entire HRT crew. Each of your personal strengths, experiences, determination, wit, supportiveness, and friendship are priceless.
Personal Training Tips: Rumor has it that sleep is an asset. I’ll report back when I find out if that’s true or not . Aside from that, cross-training has been key for me. Adding back in swimming to my exercise routine has provided positive results, including increased strength and less downtime due to injuries. Thank you Tamara for reintroducing me to Masters swimming!
Why I Run: Great exercise, fantastic friends, priceless stress reliever.
I love runners who: Are hard-working and focused, yet have great senses of humor. Because there aren’t many things that are better than waking up early to run at 5:30 a.m. and laughing for a couple hours before the day gets started!
I don’t care for runners who: Fail to say hi or smile when you cross paths during runs.
Suggestions for Local Races: Zero
Suggestions for SBAA: More socials, and Brooke has requested more Rod Dixon sightings!
My views on: Life is too short, make the most of every day. And when dealing with life’s challenges, always remember: “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.” Dodgeball
Add Anything: Joining the running group with all of you has been one of the best decisions I’ve made so far.
Favorite Quote: “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” Charlie Chaplin
SBAA Member since: 2007ish

By Joe Howell and Gene Deering

Wendy Kosche-Gelinas’s Races