Cross-Training: My primary cross-training activity is walking my dog Parker, a Shar-pei mix from the Spartanburg Humane Society. She gets excited as soon as I put on my running shoes because she knows that when I come back from a run, it is her turn to go outside. Having her has made me appreciate the virtue of walking as a cool-down and recovery. There’s nothing like the doggy-stare-of-disappointment to motivate me to get (or keep) moving. I also love yoga though I’m not practicing as much as I’d like right now.
Favorite Race: I have quite a few favorite races: my first race was the Spartanburg Turkey Trot, so I have a soft-spot for that event—plus socks! I completed my first Croft Half-Marathon, which was fantastic. The course is really challenging, but the race is well-organized, and I had a great time. I’ve also especially enjoy the Gaffney Peach Fest 10K, and the SRC Mile run that was part of the Criterion Bike race. I love to watch the bike race, so it was really fun to participate. Finally, I should mention the Nu-Way 5K: the course runs through my neighborhood of Hampton Heights, and the race requires runners to consume a Krispy Kreme glazed donut and a Pabst Blue-Ribbon at the halfway point. You can’t win without finishing both the beer and the donut. I’ve won the women’s race for the last three years (fellow SRC member Stephen Sykes has won the men’s race for the last three years too!).
Running Goals: to stay healthy and enjoy each step.
Favorite Routes: My favorite runs always involve water, whether lakes, rivers, or an ocean. Locally, I enjoy Duncan Park and the Cottonwood Trail. I’m also a regular on the Mary Black Rail Trail and really appreciate the community of familiar faces I see there. Recently, I’ve also started to explore the different trails out at Camp Croft. I feel very lucky to live in a community that has so many different options.
Training For: Big Sur! This marathon has been on my “bucket list” for a really long time–long before I was ever in a position to actually train for it. I went to graduate school in California (UCLA), and Highway 1 is one of my favorite road trips, so I can’t wait to have the chance to run it this spring.
How long have you been running? I’ve run off and on since I was in college, but I didn’t start participating in races until a few years ago. My first race was the Spartanburg Turkey Day 8K in 2010, and I loved the camaraderie of the event–plus it’s for a good cause, and I am reminded to be thankful both for the bounty of the holiday, the friends and family I share it with, and finally for the simple fact that I am able to run (like many runners, I’ve struggled with injuries from time to time). After that, I started signing for a few of 5Ks to benefit some of my favorite local non-profits: the Spartanburg Humane Society and Hub-Bub chief among them, and I’ve been working my way up to longer distances: 10Ks and half-marathons. I’ll start training for my first full marathon after the holidays.
What distances do you like to run? Right now, my favorite distance is somewhere around 7 or 8 miles. I also enjoy longer runs on weekends.
Where are your favorite places/races to run? I travel a good bit, and one of my favorite things to do is run in different parts of the world. In the last year, I’ve had the privilege of running in the shadow of a Costa Rican volcano, through Phoenix Park in Dublin, along the bluffs of Brighton, England, and up the coast of Victoria in Canada. I’ll be traveling to London with Converse students in January, so I’m looking forward to adding the banks of the Thames to that list.
What’s next? I’m not registered for anything until Big Sur, which is April 27, 2014.