Lisa Wissner-Slivka: Marathon Runner, Tri-Athlete, Chef Extraordinaire
“You do know where the defibrillators are right?”
Not the question you would think to ask someone who has now run 10 marathons, 22 half marathons, and competed in 8 triathlons. But that’s how Lisa’s first days of training began, with runs around Green Lake and a training partner constantly ribbing her about cardiac arrest.
At age 38, Lisa Wissner-Slivka realized that if “I didn’t do a triathlon by the time I was 40, it would never happen.” One month later she entered her first 5k – the Komen Race for the Cure – and a year after that she ran her first marathon. From then on it was official, she was hooked.
Now you might ask, why? Why the grueling training, the hours of work, the runs in Seattle drizzle when most of us are curled up with a good movie and a not-so-good-for-us snack?
“I love the feeling of just being able to pick up and go. To have that time to get into your own head space – it’s very relaxing.” (Yes, you read that right. Running 45 miles a week can be relaxing.) Lisa also finds that she is more consistent with her workouts when she has a goal to aim for, a race to finish. “It’s a mind over matter sport.” And there is a social aspect. Lisa trains four times a week, and at least half of that is spent with friends.
As you could probably guess, someone this active needs premium fuel. Luckily, Lisa is an amazing and dedicated cook. She does a ton of baking and serves “as many veggies as the kids will tolerate.” For Thanksgiving she prepared a turkey and a goose to meet the diverse desires of her family. Her husband attests that she racked up 11 hours in the kitchen (he’s still working off those "wonderful Lisa calories").
Lisa’s next race is the Napa Valley Marathon in March, and although the thrill of the race has worn off for her family (they no longer attend every event), Lisa’s favorite finish line memory was from the Seafair Triathlon. “My kids were there, and when they saw me coming they started yelling – ‘There’s Mommy, there’s mommy!’” The announcer overheard this and picked up the call: “Here comes mommy!”