Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Runner in the Spotlight: Melissa Oyler

Where do you work?
Melissa Oyler Designs, LLC

What's your favorite restaurant in Charlotte?
Too many good ones to choose from! I love Zink, The Melting Pot, Portofino's and the list goes on...

How long have you lived in Charlotte?
My entire life - 32 years - in the Charlotte area, except for one year in the Lowcountry of SC.

When and why did you start running?
I started running in the workout room of the newspaper where I worked right after college. I would go back there at 3am after work with a couple of coworkers, and we'd play around on the machines while everyone else was sleeping. I remember the first time I ran a mile - it was such an accomplished feeling!

What do you love about running?
I love how my legs look in the mirror when I've been training properly. I love getting some time to myself with nothing but my thoughts and my favorite music to keep me company. I love eating whatever I want.

Favorite place you've traveled and loved for running?
I tend to keep most of my running close to home, although I'm running the Marine Corps Marathon and can't wait for that. One of my first races was the Cooper River Bridge run and I absolutely loved the energy there. I love running at the beach because it's flat and breezy and scenic.

What’s the funniest/strangest/worst thing that has ever happened to you on a run?
I went to visit a friend in Athens, Ga.for a week and I realized I forgot my running shoes. Well, I couldn't go a week without exercise, and I had brought a pair of Old Navy slip-on tennis shoes. I figured I could wear those into the gym and just use the elliptical. Not a great solution, but better than no exercise. My friend was super embarassed to be seen with me wearing those shoes in the gym. "You're actually going to wear those?" he asked. Well, what choice did I have?

So we were in the gym and I was on the elliptical and he was running on the treadmill. All of a sudden he lost his footing and literally did a back flip off the back of the treadmill onto the ground! After realizing he wasn't hurt, I convulsed into laughter - "and you think people are looking at my shoes?!" Serves him right for being so worried about how he looks in the gym!

What motivates you to get out the door every day in this summer heat?
Marine Corps Marathon. I know if I don't train now, I won't be happy on race day. That is the only thing that gets me out in this heat!

Judging from your facebook updates, it seems like you’re a huge fan of blogging. Do you have any good blogging stories as they relate to running?
My favorite blog post about running was my first marathon post. I'm so glad I wrote about my experience as I will remember it through this post for years to come! You can read it here.

What's your most memorable race and why?
Hands down, it was my first marathon, Thunder Road. I wanted to take in every moment of that race. From the bands to the "smile if you need a spanking" guy, to the cheering...I loved every minute. I started crying at mile 25 because it was almost over and I didn't want it to be!

Otherwise, I'd have to say it was pretty memorable the day I ran a half marathon in the morning and a 5K in the evening. I'd signed up for the 5K first, and it was Halloween weekend in Transylvania County, so I couldn't miss it! I resigned myself to possibly having to walk it and went for it - and I ran both - the whole way! That was a lot of fun. I dressed as Rainbow Brite for the 5K.

Favorite Charlotte race?
Thunder Road, followed by the old Frosty 5K series. Someone needs to bring those back!

Where is your favorite place to run in Charlotte?
McMullen Creek. It's close to home and it's shaded and it's crowded enough that I feel safe running there alone. I usually just run from my house, though; I hate the thought of having to get in the car to go run when my feet will take me somewhere just fine!

What’s your favorite CRC group run to join?
I haven't joined any of them yet! To be determined!

Favorite distance? PR?
A surprise to me, I like the long-distance running. I've only done one marathon but based on that experience I'd say it was my favorite! My time was 4:29:37. I hope to beat that in DC!

What’s next on your race calendar?
Marine Corps Marathon, but I hope to squeeze in one more triathlon before then - just need to see what my schedule allows!

Fun fact:
The photo is from Old Mecklenburg Brewery's 1K + Beer run. I dressed as a barmaid and my brother and I crossed the finish line together for the first time ever!


  1. ...proud to know Melissa. She's the personification of a "passionate runner." Good on you, Mello!

  2. Melissa was cruisin along at McAlpine last week and shouted out to us. That is pretty close to a group run so I credit you with at least one CRC group run under your belt. Also you started with that Helms guy and he is a club member so that counts as a group run :)

  3. That was so much fun seeing you guys out there! Next time we'll make it on purpose, and I still think you should have tripped Scott!

    By the way, The Melting Pot has totally blown my socks off. Check this out: