Neely Grace

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

There's always a new goal, a new race, more mileage, fresh trails, people to run with. I enjoy competing but I enjoy the lifestyle and daily miles more than anything.

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

I have very few days where I don't feel motivated to train but it certainly does happen, and on those days I'm very grateful for friends to meet up with, or my husband to join me, or our puppy to remind me of the joys running brings me. Starting is the hardest part, but I tell myself that if I get to 10 minutes and still want to stop then I will. It's never happened!


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

When I'm in full training I run between 80 to 100 miles per week. I usually do a double run of 4 miles, 1 to 2 days each week and then the rest of the runs/workouts are between 10 to 20 miles total.


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

The first time I ran the famous Magnolia road in Boulder, my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I were almost finished and we saw this large tan creature running through the field. We both thought it was a mountain lion and started freaking out. But after a very long 10 seconds or so we realized it was a huge lab. We joke about it now but at the time I thought we were goners!


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

Before a workout or long run I always have a Honey Stinger Waffle and coffee. It's my favorite fuel to power me through my training!


What's your favorite cheat food & drink?

Ice cream. I try and limit ice cream to once a week while training and it's the first thing I want after a race. I'm not a big drinker, I have a glass of wine from time to time, but I prefer dessert.


Do you like ice baths? Why or why not?

I used to do ice baths in college all the time. The science is more against it now as a daily thing and so I use it to freshen the legs before a race or if something is sore. I do a lot in the pool as recovery though and I think it helps a lot!


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

Everyone goes through the same process of fitness. I took two weeks off entirely after the Boston Marathon, and the first week back to training was horrible. I actually had a run where I stopped and cried. Running is brutal and it can really suck at times, so be patient, gain a routine, and have people to do it with so that you can have a social component that helps keep you accountable and make it more fun!


What is your favorite running accomplishment so far?

My first State championship in high school, my first National championship in college, being 13th at the world cross country championship, and doing what I wanted to do at the Boston marathon. They all are special and every race provides a great opportunity to learn and grow as an athlete and person.


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