After all that you accomplished, what drives you to continue running?
At the present, I feel like I've had a re-birth as a runner getting into ultra running! I've always liked to run and run a lot, but I had no idea I'd have the kind of success I've had the past year! I'm very very grateful for my talent and excited to see where it takes me. In my first 100K last spring, I felt like Billy Elliot doing ballet; like I'm born to run long and fast and push the limits of what's believed to be possible. I feel like it's my destiny to break all kinds of ultra records and make history. Knowing and feeling this puts me at peace and ease with what my future holds. Also, I run for "stress relief, relaxation and meditation from my day job and other stresses. I need to run; it makes me feel better, whole and healthy. I equate running to brushing your teeth; I do it every day, twice a day and don't think about it.
How do you motivate yourself on days when you don't feel like running?
This rarely happens! I'm extremely self-motivated. My training log motivates me and knowing I have to stay consistent. I've had an incredible streak going the past 9 yrs, averaging over 100 miles per week. This holds me accountable! I rest when I'm tired, injured, sore (very rare) and after major races. There's times I come home from a stressful work day and I may not run again or simply go for an easy shakeout to relieve the stress. I think you have to listen to your body and what it's feeling!
On average, how many times and miles do you run a month?
I run 11 to 13 sessions a week and about 120 to 130 miles per week when I'm in training mode. So that's about 450 to 500 miles per month. I taper down leading up to big races, 90 to 110 miles per week and then do a reverse taper to build the mileage back up.
What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?
Oh geez, with as much as I run I think I've seen it all! I've seen people doing various sex acts, a dildo by a sidewalk grocery store (which sat there for months), a naked man who said hi to me, a guy peeing into a portable urinal container, lots and lots of condoms and tampons, poop on a glove and someone asking me while out on a run if I had a lighter for their cigarette!
What are your favorite types of fuel for running and why?
I'm a big meat and potato eater, hamburgers and french fries, butter and nut butters, on everything, fresh baked bread from our local bakery Big Sky Bread Co. Coffee and Irish tea with lots of sugar, ice cream, beer, whiskey and Coke, and I love Taco Bell and Subway tuna sandwiches. I'm sponsored by Powerbar, so I snack a lot on Powerbars, sports drink, and consume vanilla Powergels in races.
What's your favorite cheat food & drink?
I eat anything and everything whenever I feel like it; I never feel guilty eating or drinking anything. The only foods I try to avoid are onions, I never liked onions, and minimal dairy/basil (food intolerance issue). I'm a beer connoisseur and I love Irish whiskey in Coke.
Do you like ice baths? Why or why not?
No, never. The research doesn't support taking ice baths for enhancing recovery or performance. However, I will say that lowering your body temperature before bedtime could potentially help you sleep better/deeper. I've experimented with this, using my Hyperwear ice vest.
What's the most important tip you like to give new runners?
Having a coach and maybe training partners can really help and hold you accountable! Having a training log to track your mileage and workouts is helpful. I love Strava! Easy days should be easy and hard days hard. I paid the price in high school and college by "hammering it every day" and had a lot of injuries as a result! The key to developing as a runner is learning how to run easy to develop aerobic fitness and recover properly. There's nothing wrong with simply running easy everyday, to build up your mileage and aerobic volume. I always go through a base period, before transitioning to more structured workouts. A proper, structured training regimen should have variety to it; paces, terrain, paths, distances and even shoes. The body likes to move and move frequently, so being consistent is important.
What is your favorite running accomplishment so far?
Winning the 2015 100K World Championship and leading our Women's Team to gold. I was fueled and inspired by the Team aspect, so that meant more to me than the individual title. It was a joy to share it with the other ladies and represent Team USA with great pride!
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