Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Runner Profile: Meet Sara

I met Sara during the last two years of college when we were Business School and the biz Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi. Earlier this year she completed some races and posted pictures on Facebook. After seeing her awesome stride and smile after finishing a marathon, I was determined to follow in her footsteps. (Well, not entirely in her footsteps because hers are wicked fast!) She just got her acceptance letter to run in the Boston Marathon in April of next year and that is so exciting! Here's Sara's story...

1. What is your favorite stretch?
I have had IT-band issues in the past so I like a good IT band stretch. I do this one where you cross your right leg behind your left leg and cross it as far as you can (almost like a side lunge). Bend at the waist and lean to the left. I also apparently have weak/tight butt muscles so I like this one too.

2. Do you have any pre-race rituals?
I ALWAYS eat pizza the night before longer races. It's the tastiest way to get some carbs in.

3. What motivates you to run?
It's fun, keeps me healthy, and I like the competition.

4. When did you start running?
I started running my freshman year of college to stay in shape and I needed a competitive outlet after high school sports ended. I started with 5ks and 10ks here and there, but really didn't run consistently until 2007 when I did my first half marathon.

5. Running shoe of choice?
Right now Mizuno Wave Nirvanas for the road and Brooks Cascadias for the trails. I also like Brooks Adrenalines and Glycerines, but I haven't been running in those as much lately.

6. Best advice received?
Run mostly easy, sometimes hard.

7. What do you think about when running?
A lot and nothing. I only wear my iPod like 1% of the time so I'm usually left with my thoughts and the scenery. Much of the time I can't remember what I was thinking about or more than likely I wasn't thinking at all. Other times I think about what I am going to eat when I get home, what I have to do that day, where to step so I don't fall on my face, what races I want to do next, the meaning of life, etc., etc.

8. What is something you cannot run without?
I try to keep it minimal and can go without most things, but one thing I can't run with is underwear. Doesn't work. Sorry TMI.

9. What race distance is your favorite?
The marathon.

10. Most outrageous running story you've heard or experienced?
Well, I have two recent ones that come to mind. The first happened this last weekend. Around dusk, I was running on a local paved trail that is generally fairly populated. About half-way through my run, out of nowhere a guy on a bike comes flying by (going same direction) and slaps me hard on the ass. Dead serious. I screamed in shock and shouted "f*** off!" as he sped ahead of me, but I was otherwise helpless. There was no one around at the time and he sped up while laughing. He was going too fast for me to catch up to him (believe me I tried) so I couldn't knock him down and rip his face off like I was planning in my head. For the next few miles I fought the urge to cry, scream, and throw big rocks at every other cyclist I saw thinking it was him. I still can't believe there are people that think this is acceptable. I didn't get a good look at him or the bike and I still feel totally violated, helpless and angry. I guess I just wanted to share this to remind women to be careful out there. This is far from the worst that could happen when you are out there running alone.
My other story is better. Last month I ran my first 50k and the pre-race briefing was totally inspiring. I showed up to the race and 10 minutes before the start the Race Director was nowhere to be found. Just seconds before the start he comes running into the campground that served as the start area to give the briefing. This guy had apparently left the night before at 10PM to mark the himself. So he was out there all night, with no aid stations, running on no sleep, and hanging tape so we would know where we were going. It look him 9 hours and he covered the entire 33+ miles (course was long) including 8,000ft of elevation gain. I couldn't believe it; I was so impressed and humbled. This successful ultrarunner was telling us how tough the course was while still catching his breath. His tired and ragged appearance did not help my nerves, but he finished with a good point. He said, "You all are out here because you are choosing to make life harder than it has to be. If you figure out why while you're out there...let me know." So true. It gave me a lot to ponder over the next 7.5 hours.


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