Dani is a former Hansons Brooks member with a 2:41:32 marathon PR and an Olympic Trials Qualifier. She recently uprooted her life to chase ultra marathons but her heart is still and will always be with Hanson. She still works at their 4 metro-Detroit locations and loves to help people find the shoes of their dreams! She loves to thrift shop and read in her spare time and is also a newlywed though she is still trying to find a distance she can beat her husband in a race. She was an All-American at Northwood University in the 5,000 meter indoors and qualified in the 10,000 as well.
After all that you accomplished, what drives you to continue running?
The people, I truly love the people you get to meet and experience things with. Whether it be pain, joy, happiness, hurt, it’s always better to experience them with people. From the teams I have been on to the people I coach, running has given me each new face, which I am eternally blessed for.
How do you motivate yourself on days when you don't feel like running?
Watch an inspirational video or turn on some crazy bagpipe music that usually helps. Also, the post-run promises of goodies like big ass smoothies or peanut butter slathered on something, can usually motivate me.
On average, how many times and miles do you run a month?
I hover around 60 to 120 a month. It’s a big range but it depends what I am training for. Marathons, I have been as high as 120, but I’ll usually be closer to the 100 mark in the thick of training.
What does your weight training consist of and which exercise do you feel helps your running the most?
I do a lot of core; I have weaker-ish hips. In the Olympic Trials I ran on a sacral stress fracture, so I have been trying to add more glute/adductor/hip mobility. I think core is very important to runners to keep the whole system working, especially when “ish” gets tough in the latter points of the race.
What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?
I’ve pooped myself before. Oops.
What are your favorite types of fuel for running and why?
Anything. I try to stay away from processed crap and eat whole. As a runner, don’t limit though, I see more issues with people not getting enough macro/micro nutrients instead of the other way around. My personal favorite is probably too simple, but I love baked chicken, brown rice, broccoli, a big glass of vitamin D whole milk and either applesauce or cottage cheese.
What's your favorite cheat food & drink?
Beer & Hooters chicken wings; you caught me.
Do you like ice baths? Why or why not?
I love them! I swear by them! I actually would say I do one a week in full training, usually more.
What's the most important tip you like to give new runners?
I consider myself a new runner even after being a former professional since I moved to a new distance, so we can be newbies together! Enjoy the process, even the low points. Enjoy the people around you and encourage each other in a positive manner. Have fun, there is no greater feat than after that race good or bad, wearing your medal, sipping a beer, wrapped in a Mylar blanket and cheering on the race finishers. Also, thank the race crew, volunteers, and sponsors, they do so much for the sport and love it so much that they work their tail off to see us enjoy the big dance.
What is your favorite running accomplishment so far?
Being a coach to so many wonderful people. I ask God every day what I did to deserve the runners and run community I belong too.
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