Why do you run?
Jeff – I primarily run to stay fit both mentally and physically. Running has virtually eliminated the word “diet” for me. Mentally, running makes me happy and helps me with any stressful situation I might be dealing with.
Tamara – I run to escape from the stresses of life. I run to reflect on my life. I run to think about and plan for my future. I run to make me a better Mommy. I run to make me a better person. I run – because I can.
How long have you been running? How did you get started? Why did you choose running over other activities?
Jeff – I used to run occasionally when I was in my 20’s but really started getting serious a few years ago. I started with shorter distances and gradually increased my mileage from there. I chose running because I love the simplicity of it – Give me my shoes and I’m on my way!
Tamara – I’ve been running for almost 18 years, since 1994. I used to watch a neighbor of mine run down our road in the wind, rain, snow, and heat – I thought she was insane! When I finally met her, I realized we had a lot in common – except running – so I decided to join her for a run to see what her obsession was all about. After my first run, I hated it…after my second run, it was ok – but just ok. I didn’t join in the obsession until a few months later when my friend asked me to run a local 5K with her – I wanted to go to the mall that day, not run a race – why would anyone want to run a race?! We agreed to do both – I wasn’t happy about the race…until after it was over. When I found out I won 3rd place in my age group, my addiction for running began – and has not stopped since!
How do you motivate yourself to run regularly? What about on the days the weather is bad or your are feeling particularly lazy?
Jeff – Motivation typically isn’t a factor for me. A long time ago I started posting pictures of my daily treadmill runs on Facebook. The primary reason I started that was to keep me honest and it helps motivate me. I’m primarily a treadmill runner so the weather doesn’t impact me.
Tamara – I don’t have a motivation issue with regards to running. If I’m tired, stressed, lazy, or don’t feel well – I still run…and I do so because I know as soon as I am done running I will feel better! My brain NEEDS me to run!
Do you use a running coach, or read any books to aid in your training?
Jeff – I haven’t used a coach but have relied on blogs and friends in the running community to get advice from. Tamara has been a huge help to me in so many ways. In 2010 I read the Long Run by Matt Long and also read books by Dean Karnazas. Those books pushed me to the marathon.
Tamara – Coach? What a concept – I need one so I can get faster! When I was new to running I read every book I could get my hands on. I don’t have much free time to read now – but I still love to browse through Jeff’s Runner’s World magazines every chance I get!
How do you fit running in with your daily schedule?
Jeff – During the week I’m an early morning runner. I’m fortunate to have a gym set up in my basement and I’m typically on the treadmill by 5:00am. I love running outside too but I generally only get to do that on the weekends.
Tamara – Throughout the years I have adjusted my running schedule based on my life’s happenings – having a child changed it even more. I have a treadmill in my basement (and some great reality TV shows on my DVR!), so I have been running in the mornings before work for the past several years. I miss running outside more – but hoping my 7 year old will soon want to join me for a run!
Do your friends and family support your running or think you are crazy?
Jeff – My family is completely supportive of my running. I made it a point to make sure my parents were with me when I finished my first marathon (Baltimore) last year. Tamara is a runner so she completely gets it – amazing to have a partner to share running with btw. My non-running friends don’t always get it but I have heard from many that I motivate them – I love that!
Tamara – My family is very supportive – and having Jeff as a part of my life and a running partner is wonderful! I’d say my “true” friends are supportive – my acquaintances think I’m crazy. I don’t share a lot of my running experiences with those that do not understand – they just don’t get it – and frankly, I think THEY are crazy!
What is your favorite running terrain (road, trail, treadmill)?
Jeff – Although most of my running is on the treadmill that is not my favorite. There is nothing I love more than a run outside on a beautiful day. I especially like to run in new places and on vacation. I haven’t gotten into the trails yet.
Tamara – I prefer running on the roads – sunny roads – sunny roads by the beach/water – sunny roads by the beach/water with minimal traffic!
What is the hardest race you’ve run to date?
Jeff – My hardest to date would have to be my first marathon that I ran (Baltimore in September 2011). I trained really hard and didn’t expect to hit a wall but I did hit the wall. I’m proud that I pushed through it and finished in 3:58. I decided the next day to sign up for another marathon (Richmond) a month later and finished that in 3:58. Richmond felt better mentally when I was done but I still encountered the wall J
Tamara – The Baltimore 10 Miler was the hardest race I have run to date. It was hillier then I expected, I was in the middle of a leg injury – and the course just seemed hard! I truly think it was basically because I wasn’t properly trained, but don’t have the B10 on my list to run again though!
Jeff – Tamara and I ran the Rock N Roll ½ Marathon in Virginia Beach in September of 2011 and I loved this race. The weather that weekend was perfect and we both ran great races. This race finishes on the boardwalk and it was just an amazing experience running that last mile. Great crowds and we spent the next few days relaxing on the beach.
Tamara – I’ll have to 2nd Jeff’s response on this one – the Virginia Beach Rock ‘n Roll ½ Marathon – by far! Loved the course, spectators, weather, and the company! J It was wonderful to finish on the boardwalk and then stroll the beach back to our hotel – highly recommend this race!
Have you ever been injured due to running? What were the ramifications?
Jeff – I’ve been very fortunate so far and haven’t been injured. I have had the occasional nagging pain but nothing a few days of rest couldn’t fix.
Tamara – Yup, I can’t even count how many times! I had a stress fracture from running about 15 years ago – that was the worse! Typical injuries I get are shin splints and knee pain. I typically scale back my mileage and on a few occasions have had to take some time off – but rarely will take off more than 5-7 days in a row.
Do you use any music or run tracking devices when you run, or are you a naked runner.?
Jeff – When I’m running on the treadmill I’m starring at two TV’s. One has the news on with closed captioning and the other is playing some sort of concert that I have recorded. When I’m running outside I’m listening to either a playlist or local radio. I love running to countdowns.
Tamara – I ran naked (without music!) for about 15 years, than I got an iPod and am hooked! When I’m on the treadmill, I’m watching reality TV or a drama series that I’ve recorded.
How do you get yourself through the difficult parts of your runs? Do you have a personal mantra or do you just give up?
Jeff – I like to think that I’m tough mentally but I still have some work to do in the marathon. I don’t give up but have been affected mentally when I see stronger runners passing by me. Tamara has been amazing during my marathons running with me at times and meeting meet at certain spots to help me through. I will never forget during my Richmond marathon at around mile 19 – I was struggling. Tamara ran with me for a bit and then said I will meet you at mile 23 but “ I need you to pick it up a little”
Tamara – If I’m struggling during a run or a race, I visual myself finishing – and finishing strong. It works – sometimes. I do this frequently in races, I form a vivid vision in my mind of me crossing the finishing line with a great kick!
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?
Jeff – I have been fortunate and so far have been able to avoid this problem. I’m very careful about what I’m eating days up to and nights/mornings before a race. Tamara is definitely the “we r runners” winner in this category.
Tamara – Ha! Yup, I definitely have had the runs – many times!! I’ve had to run upstairs more than 4 times during a short morning 3 mile run on my treadmill – and this has happened on more than one occasion. I do try to be cautious about what I put in my body – but more so before a race. My metabolism is crazy – so if I go out to lunch or dinner I know that the next day I may have a “problem” during my run! Can’t wait until Jeff becomes a real runner with the runs! J
What advice would you give to someone thinking about taking up running?
Jeff – Take it slow and don’t worry about times or pace early on. I literally walked almost 5 months on the treadmill before I ever ran. I started to run at the end of my walks first for 5 minutes then kept increasing until I was running the whole time.
Tamara – I would advise a newbie runner to get fitted for running shoes (yup, was glad Jeff finally took this advice!) from a respectable running store as soon as possible. I would also tell them to seriously consider getting a treadmill. I think new runners often give up when the weather is bad and use that as an excuse to not continuing.
What is your next big race?
Jeff – We are still figuring out our racing schedule but our next big race would be the Rock N Roll USA ½ in Washington. I’m hoping to find a spring/summer marathon.
Tamara – Rock ‘n Roll USA ½ Marathon in D.C. Can’t wait!!
What is your immediate running goal?
Jeff – My immediate goal is to improve my times in both the 5k and marathon. I ran my first sub 20 minute 5k last year and I would like to consistently be able to lower that time. I also want to figure out the marathon. I don’t feel like I’m a 3:58 marathoner and I will improve that time.
Tamara – I want to break a 1:45 at the RnR DC ½ Marathon – but would like to really break a 1:42.
What is your ultimate running goal?
Jeff – I want to run Boston – so qualifying for that would be my ultimate goal.
Tamara – Good question, I don’t know…right now I just want to keep running, racing, and set some more PRs!
Do you have a way we can keep track of your progress (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, etc)