Ayla Granados

After all that you accomplished, what drives you to continue running?

The reason I continue is because I feel I haven't reached my full potential and not only my potential as a runner, but my potential overall. This sport has given me so much life, as corny as that sounds. I feel that as long as this sport continues to challenge me physically and mentally, help me grow into a person I'm proud of, remains something I am strongly passionate about and of course as long as I can keep running faster, why not keep going and see where it can take me?

How do you motivate yourself on days when you don't feel like running?

Having teammates or a group you can count on to run with makes a world of a difference. I meet with my team and coach twice a week for workouts. I am beyond grateful for them. I also coach a junior college cross country and track team and that has been great because even on the days I don't meet with my team, I can get my easy runs in with the guys I coach. I believe surrounding yourself in the right environment and with good company are the biggest motivators you can have.


On average, how many times and miles do you run a month?

70 miles a week is my average weekly mileage which totals about 280 miles a month. I run everyday with an occasional day off some weeks and double 2 to 3 times a week.


What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?

Oh wow! Too many too name! The things people yell out of their car windows always give me a good laugh, I've gotten everything from "I LOVE YOU." To "Marry me!" To "SLUT, Put some clothes on!". Getting reactions out of people like that always gives a good laugh. Weirdest would have to be things that happen with my body while running. Recently I got a bad sloshy stomach, I felt great running but my stomach wouldn't stop sloshing. I was running with the guys I coach and it was so embarrassing, I think they thought I had to use the restroom but I didn't! I was trying to talk over it but it got louder and louder, and wouldn't go away. Finally I had to slow down and run behind them because I felt bad that they had to listen to that awful sound.


What are your favorite types of fuel for running and why?

I believe the best fuel are lots of greens, legumes, beets and yams! I try to incorporate a lot of these foods into my diet on a daily basis. I believe whole, natural foods are the best fuels. I also use Beet Elite for faster, shorter track sessions to give me an extra boost but I try not to use it for every workout because I don't want to become reliant on any one product, but I will say Beet Elite is an awesome and all natural supplement for any endurance athlete looking for an occasional extra boost.


What's your favorite cheat food & drink?

I have more than one. More than a few actually. But I'd say my favorite would be a good burger and a good beer.


Do you like ice baths? Why or why not?

Yes, I'm a fan of ice baths. I don't overdo it with the ice baths though. I keep it to a few every season. Maybe 2 to 3 throughout a season. During the weeks when my legs are just completely thrashed from weeks of mileage and hard workouts, usually a few days before a big race.


What's the most important tip you like to give new runners?

Stay patient and trust the process. Running is a sport where you really have to stay level headed and not get too ahead of yourself. You have to have a certain level of maturity to handle the disappointments that inevitably come along with this sport and you need to have the resiliency and discipline to pick yourself up and try and try again if you want to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. Also keep it simple. We tend to get so caught up in the tangibles, but always remember at the end of the day, it's just running. All you need is a healthy body, a strong will and a few good people to help you along the way.


What is your favorite running accomplishment so far?

I have a few. But my most recent is last thanksgiving I had the chance to run the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 5k, where I got the chance to compete alongside some of the best runners in the country. It was cool to mix it up with so many pros who I've watched from afar throughout my time in college. I also walked away with a top 10 finish and a 26 second personal record of 16:12 which was the icing on the cake!


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