Team Chocolate Milk – Erika Sherwood
Meet Erika Sherwood, our third Team Chocolate Milk Athlete! Erika will be competing in the upcoming Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon Series on November 12th. Since 1998, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series has made running fun by infusing the course with live bands, cheer teams, and creating a block-party atmosphere for participants and spectators – which is one of the reasons why Erika loves competing in this event! Read on to hear more from Erika about her love for spicy foods, what inspires her to run, and a hidden talent that isn’t quite as easy as ABC!
What is one of your greatest athletic achievements?
This past August, I ran a personal best in the half marathon distance; beating my previous record by nearly 6 minutes. To be honest, it wasn’t necessarily my finishing time that was so important to me, but the actual timing of the race. This past year brought about a lot of tough life changes and decisions for me, and this was the first time in 4 years that I felt like I was on my own when I toed the starting line. So many emotions ran through my mind throughout the race, but crossing the finish line knowing that I had run the best race of my life, all on my own, was the most prideful feeling I’ve ever had.
What is a favorite hobby of yours? (other than running)
I have always really enjoyed spicy food, but recently have amassed quite the collection of hot sauces with my partner. I’m sure that is a strange hobby for most, but finding new flavors and tasting them and seeing how much heat we can handle is a lot of fun for the two of us. And it helps that I always have chocolate milk on hand to cool the burn! 🙂
Who is someone that inspires you?
One of my favorite running events is called Born to Run, through the hills of Los Olivos, CA. It’s a fun event with camping, racing, live music, great people, and a lot of dirt and beer. The race distances range from 10 miles to 60 miles to 200 miles, there’s even the option to do a 4 day run where you try to get as many miles in as possible in 4 days. All of the distances are run on the same figure 8 sort of course, so you’re constantly seeing other runners in other races. For me, running alongside people who are putting in that many miles is so inspiring. The best part is that every person I have ever crossed paths with at Born to Run has been overly friendly. Everyone there, whether on the race course or just sitting by a fire, is a runner and there to support their fellow runners. It’s one of the most centering and uplifting events I’ve been lucky enough to stumble across.
What’s your absolute favorite meal?
I have a serious weakness for Mexican food! Being so close to our border with Mexico definitely has me spoiled! I could (and probably do) eat tacos for 2 or three meals a week, and my favorite late night snack is definitely a quesadilla.
How long have you been competing in races?
I really started competing in 2013. I got this crazy idea to run 12 races in 12 months, and to finish the year off by completing a marathon. Since then, I’ve continued the tradition of running a race each month, and inspired a few of my friends to join me in doing so.
What motivates you to run?
Honestly, I think it’s the fact that I have full control when I’m running. I get to decide how far, how fast, where, when. Some days, and I think that everyone experiences this sometimes, it feels like everything is just spiraling out of my control. Those are the days that I’m most thankful that I can lace up and hit the trails.
When do you train – morning, afternoon, night?
A little of everything! On the weekends, I find it’s easier to roll out of bed and go for a run with friends in the morning. Whereas, during the week, I train almost immediately after work in the afternoon, or in the early evening with group runs.
If you could race anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I just got back from vacationing in Scotland and would absolutely love to return and race there. I was able to put in a few miles in Edinburgh under some light evening rain and everything felt so calm and comfortable. After living in San Diego for some time now, running in the rain was such a treat!
What’s one hidden talent that many people don’t know you have?
I can recite the alphabet backwards!
What made you choose the Rock ‘N Roll Las Vegas Marathon?
Though I’m only running the half marathon this year, this event, the Rock ‘N Roll Las Vegas, holds a special place with me because it was my first marathon, back in 2013. In addition to that, I love that the course is so spectator friendly. There’s something about seeing all the people and the lights that makes the race just fly by.
What’s your favorite thing about Chocolate Milk?
The accessibility! I love that you can find chocolate milk at almost any store, in any country; and that it’s usually really affordable. Racing isn’t always the cheapest of hobbies, so it’s comforting to know that I can recover with something that tastes good and it won’t break the bank.
We are proud to have Erika on Team Chocolate Milk and thrilled that chocolate milk not only helps fuel her races but also tame that spicy Mexican cuisine she loves! Be sure to follow Erika as she competes in the upcoming Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. We will be cheering her on and ready to congratulate her with a cool, refreshing chocolate milk at the finish line!