|"If you want to run, just go outside and run."|
My reasons for running have changed periodically since I began, but stress-relief, personal challenge, and "me" time have definitely become the main reasons I keep with it!
How long have you been running? How did you get started? Why did you choose running over other activities?
I started running in 2006, after I quit my gym membership when they messed up my account and getting them to fix it was beyond frustrating. I was living in a city apartment with a view of Lake Michigan at the time, and was really feeling stir-crazy without an active outlet. Around that time, a couple of my friends were in training for the Chicago Marathon. I thought "if they can run a lot, so can I!" and set out to run on the lakefront path. Of course, I was hobbled before I even reached a half mile, but I didn't care. Something just clicked that day, and I was hooked! At this time, I was also in the middle of wedding planning, so it certainly helped keep my stress levels down....although my new running habit meant I lost a bit of weight and my dress was a little too big on my wedding day!
How do you motivate yourself to run regularly? What about on the days the weather is bad or your are feeling particularly lazy?
I've worked out a pretty set morning run schedule, but I allow myself some flexibility if I'm not feeling well or my work schedule changes. I always try to remind myself how much better I feel after running. When the weather is bad, I'll jump on the treadmill and watch bad reality TV or a silly movie. I really struggle with long runs on the treadmill, so I usually do hill repeats or speed runs on the days I can't go outside.
Do you use a running coach, or read any books to aid in your training?
The most help I've had with running has been through advice in running magazines/running forums, or from other recreational runners who race regularly.
How do you fit running in with your daily schedule?
I aim to run 5-6 days a week, and for the most part have been successful in sticking with that. Right now my schedule is such I'm able to easily run in the mornings before I go to work.
Do your friends and family support your running or think you are crazy?
I'm lucky! I have a wonderful family/friend moral support system.
What is your favorite running terrain (road, trail, treadmill)?
Trails are awesome but I don't get the chance to run them very often. Otherwise, I love road running through quiet neighborhoods.
What is the hardest race you've run to date?
2009 Georgia Half Marathon. I had been sick the days prior to the race with food poisoning. I was still feeling really awful on race day, but I couldn't bring myself to back out since I was running with family members. The minute I started running, I immediately felt sick again, but kept going. I'm stubborn enough I forced myself to hobble/walk the entire race just so I could finish.
|"my ever-growing laundry room race display"|
2008 Chicago Half Marathon. The remnants of a hurricane had worked its way up the Midwest, and it was POURING. Not only was the rain coming in heavy sheets, but the wind was constant at 20+ mph. Even though running 13.1 miles in a constant sideways downpour wasn't exactly pleasant (and my shoes were so soggy they mildewed and I had to toss them), I felt this odd sense of empowerment and camaraderie with the other runners toughing it out in these conditions.
Have you ever been injured due to running? What were the ramifications?
After I ran the 2008 Georgia Marathon, I developed acute Achilles tendonitis in both ankles. I was ready for the race distance, but not at all prepared for the hilly racecourse. My right ankle cleared up pretty quickly after a week off from running and a LOT of icing, but my left ankle was a little more stubborn and needed a brace. All in all, I didn't run for two weeks, and then was able to build back up slowing with run/walk workouts and calf strengthening/stretching exercises.
Do you use any music or run tracking devices when you run, or are you a naked runner.?
I never run with music when I run outside, but I use a sport watch for timing. I'm looking into getting a GPS watch soon.
How do you get yourself through the difficult parts of your runs? Do you have a personal mantra or do you just give up?
When I start to feel like quitting, I will either decide to "run for _____ more minutes" or pick a point in the distance to run to, and continue the cycle when I reach that time/point. When I set mini time or distance goals for myself, it really helps distract me from feeling tired.
A lot of runners know that "Who has the runs" has a double meaning. How do you deal with the occasional "problem" that plagues every runner at one time or another?
Hasn't happened to me yet. Knock on wood!
What advice would you give to someone thinking about taking up running?
If you want to run, just go outside and run. Don't worry about your speed or how far you go, or looking "silly" because running is new to you. You're a runner if you keep putting one foot in front of the other!
What is your next big race?
Chicagoland Spring Marathon in May
What is your immediate running goal?
To continue to increase my long run pace. I started out at 11:45-12:00 pace for long runs, and now I'm getting comfortable at 9:30-10:00. Would like to get in the 9:00-9:20 ballpark soon, at least for a half marathon.
What is your ultimate running goal?
To qualify for the Boston Marathon before my 40th birthday.
Do you have a way we can keep track of your progress (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, etc)
Daily Mile: sassclops