How Running Helped Me Become ‘A More Confident Person’


Deanna Petcoff

Welcome to the first of a new series we’re introducing, Runner of the Week, by Carissa Liebowitz. In our first installment, we meet a 53-year-old mom who took up running just a few years ago:

Runner: Deanna Petcoff, 53

Years running: 6

From: Auburn, Indiana

1. Favorite race distance?

The half marathon. Challenging but doable.

2. Proudest racing moment?

My 2nd marathon by improving my time by 1 hour 23 minutes! Pretty proud

3. Guilty pleasure food?

Sweets – cookies, desserts, chocolate of any kind.

4. The gear you cannot run without?

I can’t run without my Garmin watch.

5. Do you have all your toenails?

I do now. Just reclaimed them since my marathon last fall.

6. Favorite workout?

Progression runs and tempo runs.

7. If I were given free entry to a race, I’d race…

The New York City Marathon.

8. Embarrassing running moment?

My most embarrassing moment was when I didn’t make it to the port-a-potty on time during a race. However no one knew it but me.

9. Weird race ritual?

I’ve been known to travel with a toaster so that I’m sure to have a toasted bagel prerace.

10. Favorite place to run?

My favorite place to run is San Diego. I’ve visited there a few times and I love to run Balboa Park along the water. It’s beautiful.

11. How has running has made you a better person?

I’m a more confident person and it has brought me out of my shyness so that I have no problem interacting with strangers. I feel like I always have something to talk about now.

12. Best medal or award you’ve received?

My favorite medal is the one I received at the Rehoboth Beach half marathon.

13. Impress me with your biggest running achievement? (distance/PR/races run/charitable giving)

My biggest running achievement would be my PR of 1 hour 23 minutes in my 2nd marathon in Columbus, OH. I ran my 1st marathon in Chicago 3 years earlier and I had numerous breathing problems and was in and out of medical tents and just trying to put one foot in front of the other and finish.

0.1. If I’m not running I’m…

Working out in my fitness classes doing yoga or weight training, I love to shop with my daughters, and I love to travel and hang out with my husband.

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