Fit Mom: Running in “THE ZONE”

KRISTEN WRIGHT’S fitness journey began five years ago when she went to work for AutoZone. With a strong culture of wellness, AutoZone has many health and fitness programs and initiatives available to its employees, or “AutoZoners.” Kristen, the Senior Vice President and General Counsel & Secretary, was introduced to the Extra Milers running club—a large group of AutoZoners who train together and participate in several major races in the area. Prior to joining the Extra Milers, Kristen says she “hadn’t run a mile.” That changed as the team helped her develop a plan for her first 5k and a half marathon in the year following. Passionate about her family, work, fitness, and travel, 40-year-old Kristen trained for her first half marathon while on five continents. “I love to run and explore on my travels. It’s a great energizer and allows me to see cities from a different perspective,” says Kristen.

As a natural goal-setter, Kristen thrives on creating visual training plans for races. She typically picks a race, backs out 10–12 weeks weeks, and maps out her training. Then, the mom of two tapes it in the bathroom mirror as a reminder not only to herself to keep up with training but also as an example to her children. Kristen typically runs 2–4 miles, 3–4 mornings per week with a long run on the weekend. “When I mark up my training log and post it for everyone to see, it serves as a reminder for myself and for my children to realize the dedication you need to reach a goal,” she says.

Next on Kristen’s calendar is the Great American River Run on May 28, which culminates the annual Memphis in May events. “The GARR is one of my favorite new races, with a great route winding through Downtown Memphis and along the Mississippi Riverfront.”

“Like most mothers, my driving motivation for what I do is to set a good example for my children. I want them to know that with hard work, determination, and a great support system, we can accomplish anything.”

AutoZone as the presenting sponsor of the race, and Kristen, Chairmen Elect of the Memphis in May International Festival, looks forward to running the half marathon with fellow Extra Milers as well as runners from Colombia, this year’s Memphis in May honored country. “I actually started my training for the Great American River Run while in Colombia with the Memphis in May delegation, so it will be exciting to finish my training at the race in May,” Kristen says. Her children will also participate in the 5k for the second year in a row. Her twins are very competitive and enjoy doing races together and watching each other’s times.

As a Senior Vice President at AutoZone as well as a wife and mother of two, Kristen keeps a busy schedule between work obligations and family time. She says a combination of running and yoga helps with stress management and allows her to be a better person in all aspects of her life. “Like most mothers, my driving motivation for what I do is to set a good example for my children. I want them to know that with hard work, determination, and a great support system, we can accomplish anything.”

By Christin Yates. Photo by Greg Hastings.

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