My Running Life

On Running:

I run. A lot. It makes me happy, gives me time to think, and lets me work out more than a little stress. A few years ago, I learned that I also like to race, and on a good day, I can do pretty well. Thus far I have completed eight half marathons, four 10ks, 5 8ks, and a lot of 5ks. In April 2014, I ran my first marathon in California from Big Sur State Park to Monterey–it was amazing. In fact, I liked it so much, that I registered for the next 26.2 miles not 24 hours later: Paris! Thanks to a metatarsal stress fracture, that training cycle was a real challenge, both physically and psychologically, but I got through it and finished the race smiling. The third was Los Angeles 2016. Watching the 2015 LA marathon on TV made me very homesick for Los Angeles, and that weekend, Valentine’s Day, not only featured the LA Marathon on Sunday but also the Olympic Trials race on Saturday. The two were on different courses, and my own race was a bit of a disaster, but it was really cool to have the chance to fangirl for some of the best distance runners in the United States, including my current coach Katie Kellner and many of my Oiselle flock mates!

Recent Races:

I placed 10th in my age group at the 2016 Cooper River Bridge Run. Out of almost 30,000 registered runners and walkers, 1,672 of whom were in my age group. Okay, technically, I was 13th, but the first three women in my age group placed in the overall women’s categories, so for award purposes, they are on a different level. The Bridge Run is the biggest and the most popular race in South Carolina, so I’m pretty excited about having gotten to (finally!) participate, and I will definitely return to “Get Over It” again!

The Biltmore 15K in May 2016. This race was also a MASSIVE Oiselle Volée meet up, so I got to reconnect with some teammates and meet others for the first time! The course only had two hills, but they were Asheville hills, so they were hard. And the second one just went on and on and on. To the point where I actually wondered if I was having some kind of pre-race running nightmare (I wasn’t, or at least not the kind that involved sleep). I took second Master’s Woman in this one, so I can’t complain too much.

The BMW Two Mile Classic. It was really hot. But it was fun to run on the BMW test track.

Partners for Active Living Turkey Trot 8K For the SOCKS! (the first 75 M and 75 F finishers get socks! I have socks from 2012, 2013, 2015, & now 2016 (an injury in 2014 kept me from running but I enjoyed the walk with friends). I wasn’t going to try for the socks this year since I’ve been coming back from an injury that had me sideline for most of October, but when I got out there, it felt so good to go fast again, that I just decided to go for it. My legs were really regretting that decision for the final 2 miles, but I earned those socks.

The Phoenix Women’s Half (1/29/2017) Another Oiselle weekend. I wasn’t sure whether I was going to race this one or just run it with my team. But the night before, a voice somewhere inside whispered, “I think you should go for it.” I hadn’t been doing any kind of speed work or trying to run fast since my return to running post-shin splints, and I hadn’t raced a half since Kiawah more than a year before, so I wasn’t entirely sure what “go for it” might mean, but the plan was to go out conservatively for the first mile or two and stay super-relaxed and easy until mile 8 or 9. I had to stop to tie my shoes just before mile 2, so I guess I got the conservative part down . . . but I was running just behind a few teammates for the first 7 miles or so, and then I started to pick it up a bit, and then a bit more. The race really began around mile 10, where the half runners split off from the rest and had a mile and a half out and back in the sun. This part was lonely. I picked off a couple people, but I was mostly on my own until the last mile and a half or so when one of my favorite Nesters, Volée Superstar Feather Stephens started to run with me. Feather is really fast and she’s also a wonderfully positive person. She told me that I looked strong, and I told her “It’s all about the ugly.” (One of her race mantras, which I had adopted, is “Dig Deep, Get Ugly.” Her face lit up, and she said, “Come with me.” So I did. It was hard. And it hurt. And I really wanted to stop. But I told that voice that urged me to quit to STFU, that I was tougher than it was, that I wasn’t stopping until I crossed that finish line. I occasionally saw a teammate running the other way, and they all cheered us on, cheered me on, and then the team cowbell corner, and the finish. And a new personal best of 1:43:16, which earned me 9th woman overall, and 3rd in my age group.  It was a great day.

Upcoming in 2017

Run Hard Columbia Half (3/4/2017)

The Cooper River Bridge Run 10K (4/1/2017)

The Grayson Highlands Half (5/7/2017)

A few of my favorite things:

Oiselle: If you see me out running, I am wearing Oiselle. Oiselle is a super-cool company by women runners for women runners. They make some of my favorite running clothing. I especially dig the Verrazano bra, the Toolbelt Rogas, and the Flyte long-sleeve. I’m also proud to be a part of the Volée, an amazing community of women runners from across the United States (and increasingly across the globe) of all ages, sizes, and paces. I’ve been the South Carolina team leader since November 2015.

Nike Zoom OdysseyMy current go-to shoe. TBH, I wish that I could wear shoes by someone other than Nike. I disagree with the stranglehold that Nike has on the USATF and its athletes. But when I stray, bad things happen. Blisters. Shin Splints. Black toe-nails. So Nike it is.

Zensah calf sleeves. After this most recent bout of shin splints, it’s likely that my lower legs may never see the light of day again, at least not while I’m running. There are lots of different calf sleeves and compression socks to choose from, and I’ve tried a lot of them but I always find myself returning to Zensah. Currently, I alternate between the Merino Wool version and the Pop.

Picky Bars: All-natural, gluten-free, and seriously yummy. My favs: Fudge Nuts & Need for Seed

Nuun: I’m a salty sweater. That means, among other things, that I need to replenish electrolytes after I run especially in the summer when the heat index is sky-high in South Carolina. Nuun is an easy way to do that, and it’s not as sweet or high-calorie as other sports drinks. To be honest, however, I like the new plant-based formula less than the original. But I haven’t found anything else I like better, so here we are.

Running WarehouseMy favorite online running store!

Underwater Audio Waterproof iPod: On July 31, 2014 I got a stress fracture in my third metatarsal. After throwing myself a several-day-long pity party, it became clear to me that any workouts I did for the next several weeks were going to involve a swimming pool. I have come to enjoy swimming laps. Not as much as I enjoy running, but much more than doing anything while standing upright or laying around on the couch. Aquajogging is another story. I know that aqua jogging is supposed to be a great way to maintain running fitness, but I really don’t like it. Unlike swimming laps, time passes ever-so-slowly when I aqua jog, and I have a very hard time getting my heart rate up.

AudibleI have become an audiobook junkie. Some of my favorites: Night Film By Marisha Pessl. Note: the audiobook doesn’t deal especially well with the multi-media format of the novel (which contains “screenshots from social media, comments from an online newspaper article, and more), but the narrator, Jake Weber, is FANTASTIC. I loved this audiobook so much that I listened to it a second time. Revival by Stephen King, and everything by Tana French, but especially Faithful Place, which features the same narrator as Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Trilogy, the amazing Tim Gerard Reynolds.

PRs

  • 1 mile: 6:48
  • 5K: 21:40
  • 8K: 33:40
  • 10K: 47:19
  • Half-Marathon Road (2017) 1:43:16
  • Half-Marathon Trail (2013) 2:15:56
  • Marathon (Big Sur 2014): 3:52:08

 

 

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