Behind the Chair: Runner, Designer: Laura Parks

A lot of us may have our love/hate relationship with social media, but one thing I really love about it, is the people you meet! I follow a lot of runners on Instagram and get inspired by their stories, struggles, and accomplishments, that is where I also me Laura Parks. She's an incredible runner, who goes out everyday and trains for marathons with her daughter Stevie. Laura is currently training for the Boston Marathon in 2018!!! I'm so thankful to have Laura on Behind the Chair today, and cannot wait to meet up in Chicago later this year!

When Laura isn't running you can find her designing a space for your dream home ;)

When Laura isn't running you can find her designing a space for your dream home ;)

Hi I am Laura and I love to run! When I am not running, I am using my creativity to design interior spaces or I may be in search of a dream home for someone.  I am a proud mom of 3 children who also keep me busy when I am not working or running.  I live the beautiful city of Chicago where the winds off of Lake Michigan can literally blow you over some days.  No you cannot find an ocean or mountains nearby, but I run year round outside on gorgeous running trails.  Here you will always find beauty in the change of season from the bold colors of the fall, the sparkle of a first snow, the smell of the spring flowers or the summer’s sun’s warmth on your skin.

My story goes like this ☺ In 2010 someone challenged me to run a 5K.  I was a runner, well sort of ;) but only in my neighborhood and I had never run in a race.  I remember the morning perfectly.  I signed up, told no one and showed up a few minutes before the race. When the race began I was tired after starting way to fast and slowed down a bit trying to catch my breath. All of a sudden someone passed me by and something inside said hold on what’s happening and I just took off.  I ran as fast as I could and remember my legs wanting to give in and how I could hardly catch my breath.  But that all was forgotten when I turned the corner and saw the finish line and ran towards all of the people cheering for me!  It was so exhilarating and in the end I placed 3rd in my age and from that point on I was hooked on running.

Laura Trail Running.jpg

My first Marathon was the same year 2010 in Chicago.  Wow was that hard!  When I finished at 5:50:24 I wiped off tears of joy and knew this was just the beginning.  That year my daughter Stevie also ran her first marathon and this was just our beginning to a life of running.  Three marathons later Stevie qualified for Boston.  So in 2013 there I was on the finish line waiting for her to finish the Boston Marathon.  She had just passed by, a mothers dream watching her daughter run by, I was on top of the world with joy.  But then as I started to walk to meet her at the finish line the bombs went off and the unimaginable happened.  In all the chaos I found her, we both were uninjured and we ran to what we thought was safety, now knowing what was happening.  This experience forever changed the both of us.  I did not take simple things for granted after experiencing such a tragedy.  I did come out stronger though, a fighter in a sense.  I have worked hard on my running since then and last year I qualified to run Boston in 2018.  I am training hard this year so that I can run strong through that finish line and not away from it this time.

As always, I love asking this question, what is your go-to hairstyle for when you're running/what is your favorite way to wear your hair? ;)

In my crazy running tights, pony tails and a braid if I am feeling daring ;) you can find and follow me on Instagram as Designer_on_the_run. I promise to always be honest, uplifting, encouraging and hopefully my pictures, words and inspiration will bring a smile to your day.  

I'm thankful for this running community that I've been a part of for almost my entire life, and to have met and continue meeting new people anywhere I go. Make sure to follow Laura, and her training for the Boston Marathon, head over to her page and cheer her on!

Do you have any running goals this year? Let me know in the comments below! 

As always, don't be afraid to try something new,

Have a great hair day! xo