A Change of Pace to End Homelessness

“Use what you love, to do what you can.” That’s the phrase that inspired Michelle Lincoln to get moving, literally. On September 22, Change of Pace 5k road race, will run its inaugural race thanks to the efforts of Michelle, who, along with her team, planned and coordinated the entire event. Proceeds from the race will benefit KNO Clothing, a clothing company that, along with their partners, works to end homelessness in over 130 different communities across the country.

I asked Michelle to explain, in her words, how important this race is and how running and doing good are achievable goals.

Ali: What was your biggest challenge in putting together Change of Pace?

Michelle:The biggest challenge in planning the Change of Pace 5K has probably been the unknown. Having run many races in the past, I naively assumed the process would be fairly straightforward. Unfortunately, planning an event of this magnitude is far from a ‘task list’ project. So, not only did we not know the answers to all of our questions, we weren’t even sure what questions we should be asking. It has been very humbling to repeatedly ask for help, but I think those struggles have brought us closer as a team and allowed us to build a network with others who have walked this path before us. It’s been a difficult, but truly exciting, journey; we’ve learned and grown a lot!

Michelle Lincoln (second from left) and the team that's helping to fight homelessness one runner at a time.

A: What would you tell people who want to make a change, support a cause, but feel too overwhelmed? 

M: My advice for people who want to make a difference but feel too overwhelmed would be to just take the first step. It’s too easy to sit back and wrestle through all the ‘what ifs,’ and I think we naturally try to talk ourselves out of things that seem scary. But it is amazing what happens when you step outside of your comfort zone, take a risk, and invite others to join with you. I guarantee it will be hard, but I also guarantee it will be worth it.

A: What advice would you give to beginning runners or ones recently getting back into it? 

M: I think the best advice I could give new runners is to take it slow. There seems to be a tendency to want to dive in head first and run too far, too fast, on the first day. Unfortunately, most people’s bodies don’t respond well to the sudden burst of activity and you spend the next week in severe pain, walking like a zombie.

It’s pretty hard to get motivated to go run again when the post-run agony is still fresh in your mind. I’ve sabotaged myself in that way many times in the past, so this time, I decided to try a different approach. I took it slow, listened to my body, pushed myself when I felt ready, and rested when I needed to. My progress has been slow, but it has been a rewarding and healthy process, free from aches, pains, and disappointments.

The Change of Pace 5K Race is in need of sponsors and volunteers in addition to runners to make this event a success. Plus, bonus, Zealous Good CEO Brittany will be among the runners racing up Lake Michigan’s Lakefront trail! Keep the Change of Pace conversation going on Facebook and on Twitter #changeofpace5k.

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