Between writing a lot about running here on the blog, sharing my daily runs on Instagram, and being known as “the runner” in my friend group, I get asked a lot of questions about running so I decided to compile all my commonly asked questions into one post to share my answers!
How did you get started in running?
My original start to running goes all the way back to middle school when I joined the track team. My friends and I all joined and it was fun to hang out after school and be a part of a team. I ran on the track team for 2 years in middle school, then 1 year in high school. As I got into high school track, it became really competitive (that’s a whole story for another day…) and it just wasn’t fun for me anymore. My friends and I all quit after our freshman year and I didn’t end up picking up my running shoes again until my senior year in high school. My family had just bought a treadmill so I would go on the treadmill and throw in some sprints for a couple months. When I got to college I didn’t keep up with any physical activity and even though I walked EVERYWHERE on a BIG college campus, I started to feel out of shape. During the winter break of my freshman year, I discovered Tone It Up and their winter challenge was to run 100 miles by Valentine’s Day. I decided to jump into it and pulled my running shoes out again (yup, same running shoes since freshman year of high school…). I worked my butt off running regularly through the winter and made it to 100 miles by Valentine’s Day. And I felt AMAZING after that point. I kept running regularly from that point on (don’t worry, I did get new running shoes!!) and have continued to run since then.
How do you incorporate strength training into your race training?
This is SO hard for me. I used to balance strength training and running really well together, but once I started focusing on running races and reaching specific time goals, I started strength training less and less. Throw in training for a marathon and it got even harder to find time to strength train on top of running a lot of miles! Right now, I am training for a half marathon and strength train a couple days a week. On easy days, I do core work, and on workout days I head to the gym to lift. I only do about 15-20 minutes of lifting, but it seems to be working. When I was living in an apartment without access to a gym, I would do strength training in my apartment but always found myself getting distracted or bored out of my mind while I was strength training. Now, I have access to a gym and I head straight there after my run (so I don’t get distracted in my apartment) and get in my strength right away. It seems like I do better with strength training when I am out of my apartment so I try to do that as much as possible.
Are you going to run another marathon?
Within hours of finishing my first (and so far only) marathon, I was already getting asked when I was going to run another marathon. My response originally was yes, I just didn’t know when. I loved training for the marathon and even though running the marathon was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, it was so rewarding in the end. Now that I have done more planning in terms of running, I plan on running my next marathon in 2019. I haven’t decided when specifically and which race, but I am looking forward to training for and running another 26.2 in the future.
Any suggestions which marathon to run next?! Let me know 🙂 I definitely want a race with good crowd support!
Do you have a running coach?
Right now I do not have a running coach. I use the Hansons Marathon Method to train for my races and am a part of the online Facebook group for the community. For now, that is working for me. In the future I would like to invest in hiring a running coach, but for now it isn’t in the budget for me so I am doing what is working for me and hoping in the future to be able to have a running coach.
What do you eat before a long run?
This really varies for me. When I was training for my full marathon, I would usually eat a Long Run Beet Muffin or a bagel about an hour or so before I went for my run. I fuel along the way of my long runs, but having something in my stomach beforehand really helped. I also drank a cup of coffee (usually) before my run too.
With half marathon training, it is pretty much the same. Sometimes I eat two slices of toast with preserves on top, but a lot of the time I reach for a muffin or bagel. I do like to have something in my stomach before running long and I find eating an hour or more before I run works best for me.
What is your running goal right now?
1:45 half marathon! I am aiming to be ready for this goal by my fall half marathon at the Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon.
What are your favorite running shoes?
I love the Mizuno Wave Riders and have loved them for years. They are great for easy runs, speed work, and long runs. They are my go-to running shoe, but I also bought a pair of Brooks Ghost 10s (pictured above) before my marathon and have really liked those as well. Between the Wave Riders and the Brooks Ghost, those are the two pairs I grab for most often.
What is your dream race?
Not going to lie… Boston!
What is the best investment you have made in your running?
Joining the Oiselle Volee team has hands down been one of the best investments I have made in my running. Joining the team has given me a community of runners that support me every step of the way and has given me friendly faces at every race I have run since joining. Second to that, buying Oiselle Roga shorts has made summer running (and treadmill running in the winter) so much more enjoyable. These shorts are SO comfortable and fit perfectly. A bit pricey, but they last a long time and well worth the investment.
How do you balance running and working full time?
For those of you that don’t know, I am a full time middle school teacher. Balancing running and working full time is difficult since there are days I finish work and the last thing I want to do is go for a run, but I do it anyway. I have found a couple of things to be particularly helpful for me to balance between the two. I go into work early (usually I am the first one there) and get started on lesson planning and grading before the school day starts. By going in early, I am able to leave earlier once the school day is over and get my run started in the afternoon. Before I started doing this, I was rushing around trying to get my work done after school got out and was pushing it too closely to the sun going down by the time I was out for my run. Once I leave work now, I try not to bring any work home with me so that way I can go for my run come home and recover and relax before heading to bed. As a teacher, it can be hard to shut off my thoughts about working as there is always something I could be doing, but I treat my runs as my “me time” and don’t feel guilty about taking that time for myself every day because it allows me to go into work the next day refreshed and refocused. Something else that has been working for me in particular is getting ready for my run before I leave work for the day. I don’t have anywhere near my apartment that is safe to run (I live in an area with a lot of car traffic and no sidewalks) so I have to drive over to a nearby park to run. To save time and distractions, I get ready for my run as I am leaving work and head straight to the park to run. It actually feels really to come home to my apartment and be completely done with work and my run for the day. If I am going to strength train at the gym, I go straight there after my run too.
Where is your favorite place to run?
Paint Creek Trail is my favorite place to run! My metro-Detroit readers will probably nod their head in agreement with this one. I love the endless miles of path on this trail and it is mostly flat. Before moving away, most of my long runs were done on the Paint Creek Trail in preparation for my marathon. I didn’t realize how special of a place this trail is until I moved away and realized there is nothing around me that even comes close to PCT. I love going out on the trail on a Saturday morning and seeing all the other runners, bikers, and walkers out on the trail too. Whenever I visit home, I always try to log some miles on the trail.
I also park at the Paint Creek Cider Mill when I run there, which means cider and doughnuts post run! 😉