What is your personal record? What personal records do you hold in your life? In your career? On the race course? After all, your biggest competition is always yourself.
Public relations is about how people perceive you or your company. PR reveals what your character says about you and how you act and handle yourself in pressured situations… Running is a lot like this too. Running reveals your character. Are you going to get up at 5AM to train even when you are tired? Are you going to head to the gym after a long and difficult day? Are you going to pick up the pace when your legs are screaming at you to stop?
Running and public relations have a lot in common — and that’s probably why I have found a love for both.
My name is Cassandra Holloway (formally my maiden name was Beck) and I am a communications professional in Cleveland. I am a proud graduate of Kent State University. (Go Flashes!) I work for a world class healthcare system and I LOVE my job. I get to market incredible healthcare that helps to change lives not only in Ohio, but across the world.
I’ve been an athlete all my life. I grew up chasing my two older brothers around and trying to be “one of the boys“. I can remember getting off the bus in grade school and going for a quick run around my neighborhood. It was probably only .2 miles, but even back then I can still remember how great it made me feel. I grew up listening to my dad get up at 4:30AM most days to go teach class at our local gym (so I learned this was a normal behavior, haha!) I also played junior Olympic volleyball and competitive fast pitch softball for 12 years. As you can tell, fitness and being active has always been a central point of my life. My mom jokes that as a child “sports saved me” because I had a bad temper and couldn’t express my feelings. She said that sports gave me an outlet to work out my emotions and they saw a big change in my behavior after that. (I still think this is very true to this day and why fitness is just in my lifestyle.) After high school I started running regularly because it still made me feel like an athlete and I was desperately missing the familiarity of organized sports. I remember the first time I ran 4 miles straight one afternoon in college and I felt like a god! (LOL!) Slowly I began to do 5Ks, then 10Ks and then finally I conquered my first half marathon. From there I only became more competitive and I always wanted to push myself to see what else I could do. In 2013 I ran my first full marathon and in 2016 I ran my fourth. After a few marathons I began to wonder ‘What’s next‘?
In 2014, I began to venture into the world of triathlon. I competed in dozens of sprint and Olympic distance races and then decided to conquer my first Half Ironman Triathlon. (Ironman 70.3 Ohio in 2016.) Training for the Half Ironman was one of my favorite times in my life. I was so scared, but also so excited. It was new, exciting and emotional, but I loved every second. It was a journey that taught me so much and when I crossed the 70.3 mile finish line I thought to myself “This can’t be the end of this journey. Not yet at least.”
With shaking hands and the urge to throw up — I registered for Ironman Lake Placid 2017. For six months I trained for the 140.6 mile race. If I thought Half Ironman training changed my life, it was nothing compared to full Ironman training. Training was a roller coaster of emotions that made me feel so alive and present. It forced me out of my comfort zones, made me make new friends and made me feel so dang lucky and happy to be alive. Training for an Ironman is truly a life-changing journey. On July 23, 2017 I became an Ironman. [14:43] Lake Placid is a place where dreams come true and it was everything I had imagined the moment and day would be. Next to my wedding day it was my second favorite day of all time. Read my Ironman Lake Placid race report.
[For full Ironman training I followed the Intermediate Plan from “Be Iron Fit“.]
Finding the sport of triathlon has forced me out of my comfort zone more times than I can count, has allowed me to still feel like an athlete and has given me the chance to meet so many amazing and inspiring people. Triathletes are a different breed for sure, but it’s awesome to find people out there who don’t believe a 140.6 mile goal is unrealistic. (Crazy yes, but it’s a mutually understood type of “crazy”.)
When people make comments about how ridiculous 140.6 miles is or ask me why I’d even want to attempt something like it, I smile and say “If you have to ask why, you’ll never know.” And I honestly, truly believe this with my whole heart.
It’s the rally of the human spirit. It’s conquering the challenge ahead of you. It’s saying yes when everyone else is saying no. It’s proving to yourself that you can start and finish something bigger than yourself. It’s getting the chance when others don’t have it. It’s about chasing a dream that few people are called to do. It’s living life fearlessly, and I hope you’ll be inspired to live your life like that too!
More About Me
I got married to my husband, AJ, on August 29, 2015. Hands down it is one of my favorite days ever. From the weather, to my amazing and supportive friends, to seeing my husband for the first time as I walked down the church aisle. The day was completely magically. (Read more about our wedding.) My husband is incredibly supportive of my dreams. He always puts me first and I strive to be more like him. He’s so amazing and supportive that the minute I walk through the door exhausted from training, he grabs my bike, helps me take off my compression socks and starts making me food. How lucky am I?! (Trust me I KNOW.) I am constantly flipping out and worrying about things and he is the voice of reason and the calm one in our relationship. I swear the man doesn’t stress about a thing and constantly has a smile on his face.
He popped the question in front of my entire family, so naturally he’s very brave. We met at Kent State, which is funny because I always said I wanted to meet my husband in college! (We met while out at a bar one night – so romantic, I know.) My husband is a MMA fighter and loves the UFC.
AJ and I also really enjoy traveling together. Our goal is to visit all 50 states together one day!
Even MORE About Me
I am extremely close with my parents and two older brothers. I have always thought my parents were hilarious and awesome. I have three adorable nephews, Jacob, Alex and Grayson. For some reason Jacob’s parents trusted me to be his Godmother 🙂 which is actually something I adore. I have also been lucky enough to “inherit” three beautiful nieces as part of my husband’s family. There’s McKenzie and twin girls Amelia and Janae. Being the “favorite” aunt is something I take great pride in and a task I take very seriously 😉
I have had the same group of girlfriends for 18 years. We met in grade school and our moms instantly became best friends as well. (It’s all really quite adorable.) Of course I also had awesome friends in college too, which reminds me. When did we become old enough to have babies and get married? Time runs fast my friends!
I am a coffee and wine lover. Nothing is better than getting together with the girls over said wine. I love to be up early in the mornings, but hate the part about actually physically getting out of bed. I get crabby when I eat too much junk food or go more than a few days without working out. I love fashion and looking cute, but I think I love sweatpants and leggings more. You can catch me at the gym at 6AM listening to gangsta rap and drinking an extra large cup of coffee afterwards!
Disclaimer: This blog contains my thoughts alone. Comments and conversations do not reflect the views of my employer, ambassadorships or anyone else I represent. All images on site that do not belong to me can be found on Google Images or sited within the article.
Double Disclaimer: I started this blog in 2011 in college as part of a course project. I passed the class and earned my degree, but I still use the same blog concept I created back then. (Can you believe that I’ve had this blog for like seven years?!) Thus, my writing and topics get progressively worse and not very interesting as the posts date back. You’ve been warned!