I have interviewed quite a few runners for my Running Inspiration series and I thought today I would share my answers to the interview questions!
Tell me a little about yourself.
I am 30 years old and currently living and working in Nashville, TN. I am a Registered Dietitian, avid runner, health & fitness blogger, and photographer. I love to travel, read, watch TV shows and movies, and hang out with family and friends.
How long have you been running?
I began running in fall 2009 and ran my first race in spring 2010.
What made you decide to start running?
I was going through a breakup and running was the only thing that would make me feel better! I began by running on the treadmill for however long I could and then I would take a walk break. I continued this method until I could run further distances and for longer periods of time without stopping. Then I was hooked and began training for my first half marathon.
What is your favorite thing about running?
Running helps me to relax. If I am having a hard day or have a lot on my plate, going for a run helps me to clear my head and oftentimes come up with the answer to a problem or to see things more clearly. I also love that running helps me feel accomplished and like I can do anything. There is nothing quite as satisfactory as finishing a hard run, taking a hot shower, and then later getting the best night’s sleep because my body is exhausted but I feel so accomplished! I also love to explore new places through running, whether that be in the city I am living or in places I am just visiting.
How many races have you done?
I have done 49 races including 8 half marathons and one full marathon. Race #50 and half marathon #9 is coming up on Sunday!
What was your favorite race and why?
This really is a tough question! I will say the Wrightsville Beach half marathon in NC. Three of my girlfriends and I made a long weekend of it and I ran a 9 minute PR so it was a pretty great race, experience, and weekend! Also, NC is my favorite state so far.
What was your most memorable race or running experience?
Probably my first (and only) full marathon – Portland Marathon 2013. I did not ever think that running a full marathon was something I would do but one day I got it in my head to go for it and after making it through training surprisingly without injury, finishing that race and the goal I had set for myself and worked so hard for months to achieve, was the best feeling ever. I was exhausted and parts of my body hurt that I didn’t even know could hurt, but I was so proud of myself and had the best sleep that night!
What is your favorite race distance and why?
This really depends on my training state and fitness levels. The half marathon is my favorite distance to train for because it does take time and training but it is not as intensive and time consuming as training for a full marathon. But when I am not training for anything, I tend not to run more than 3-4 miles at a time so that is my favorite distance to cover on the regular.
Are you currently training for any races?
Yes, I am running the Little Rock half marathon this Sunday and the Rock n’ Roll Nashville half marathon in April.
How has running made an impact on your life?
Running has added so much to my life! Running has helped me through difficult times and has been a part of a lot of good times as well. Running reminds me that I can do whatever I put my mind to and that I can do hard things! I have met so many wonderful people through running and seen so many new places through running. If I could run injury free, I would run every day and sign up for so many races! I often get over eager, but I have to reel it in and be more realistic with what my body can handle.
What kind of nutrition strategies do you use to facilitate performance and/or recovery?
Fuel early and often! My go-to pre-race breakfast includes 2 slices of peanut butter toast, a banana, and a glass of low-fat milk. Then I use gels to fuel during the race. I typically begin fueling at mile 5 and try to fuel about every 2 miles after that. Once the race is over, I try to eat a snack ASAP and get a well-balanced meal within a few hours. When I feel leg pain (usually related to ITBS) coming on, I will increase my antioxidant intake by drinking Cheribundi (tart cherry juice) and/or taking a Curcumin supplement (made from the spice turmeric). And always stay hydrated! Even on shorter runs, I will often carry a water bottle, especially if it is a warm day. I get dehydrated really easily and staying hydrated is so important!
What is your favorite race medal or memorabilia?
I love running races for the swag – the t-shirts and the race medals! I love my Biggest Loser half marathon medal from the race in Eau Claire, WI. It was a fall race and the changing leaves were so beautiful and the medal really reminds me of that.
That’s all folks! Have a great weekend and wish me luck in my half marathon on Sunday!