In an effort to get to know more about fellow runners who follow my blog as well as divulge more about myself as a runner I’m posing the following questions with my answers. Feel free to copy any/all the questions into the comments section and post your answers as well!
Do you remember your first race?
I consider 2 races to be my “first”. The actual first one would be the 400m dash I ran in 4th grade as part of an elementary school track meet. I remember my parents driving past the high school track in advance of the meet and thinking that one lap didn’t look very far. I ran the race and promptly cried after because I felt as though I couldn’t breathe. I can’t remember if I placed or not.
The other race I consider my “first” race would be my very first 5k. It was the River Run in Wrightsville in May 2003. I was in average shape coming off track season, but being a sprinter/hurdler I had no distance base and running the race would be my test if I could handle running cross country. It was a light rain and I ended up way overdressed and overheated within the first mile. The highlight was passing my dad up the final (and only) hill and beating him. I have never beaten him in a race since that day.
What do you consider to be the hardest distance to train for and/or race?
I think the half marathon is the hardest distance to train for because it requires so many weeks to get a solid base and you have to keep up the consistency of running. You also have to keep increasing the long run mileage. Not to mention I feel like I want to eat nonstop while training for a half marathon and I get bored of eating. Granted I have yet to train for a marathon, but I would imagine that’s even harder.
I think the hardest distance to race is the 5 miler. It’s probably my favorite distance to race, but I always have to remind myself I can’t go out as hard as in a 5k. It’s always a challenge to figure out how hard to push as I don’t want to push too early and burn out, but I also don’t want to wait too late and have too much left at the finish. I think it’s also challenging because it’s not a common race distance so I don’t get to practice racing it as often.
What is your ideal race course?
Back country roads with rolling hills. I prefer this for aesthetic purposes as well as it closely matches with my typical training routes. Rolling hills allow for a change up in my leg muscles that keep my hips from tightening (super flat courses make me ache) and while I can handle tough hills, I prefer rolling ones because I can recover faster. I run a lot of my long runs alone and these type of races usually don’t draw the huge crowds that city runs do. This means there are sections of the race I can run by myself and I prefer that. I have only ran 3 half marathons to date but I would say the Blue-Gray half marathon in Gettysburg is my “perfect” course so far.
What is one stereotypical runner behavior you perform?
After years of training without a watch I now find I can’t run without my Garmin. If I finish a run and it’s almost to the next quarter mile (Ex I ran 5.90 miles) I have to jog around until the watch hits exactly on the quarter mile.
What is one weird/unusual thing you do as a runner that most other runners don’t?
I complete the majority of my runs wearing boys’ mesh basketball shorts. For years they were the only type of shorts I wore to run. I’ve always found them comfier particularly in hot and humid weather when I want to go commando. I do now have UnderArmour running shorts that I wear for my longest runs while training for half marathons and use for racing, but I still run in my other shorts most of the time.