Interview With 26-Time Marathoner!

Happy weekend readers! Thank you for all of your comments Thursday and Friday—I have randomly selected the winner of the SPIbelt Giveaway (congrats Seana!). There will be more giveaways in the future, so stay tuned! I truly appreciate you guys checking in to JRW :)

Highlights of this weekend include:

  • 20 mile marathon training run this morning (wish me luck!)
  • Seeing the new Star Wars movie 
  • Spending time with some amazing friends at a holiday party!

I’ll check back with you after I get through it all! In the meantime, I am grabbing some gloves, honey stingers, ipod, Spibelt, several layers of clothing, and my Brooks shoes, and heading out the door on my run!

For some Saturday inspiration, as I am sure many of you are starting to train for Boston Marathon or other spring marathons/races, I wanted to share an interview I had with an incredible friend of mine. Dani has run 26 marathons to date, including 9 consecutive Boston Marathons. She is currently training for her 10th Boston. Read about her favorite marathon experiences, race-day essentials, and how she fits marathon training into her life. Enjoy!

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Question: You’ve run many marathons, including Boston many times as a qualifier. What inspired you to start running marathons? How did your running career start in general?

Answer: I’ve always enjoyed running and knew that a marathon was on my bucket list. A friend of mine was running Miami and I decided to join her. I missed qualifying for Boston Marathon by 4 minutes (at the time, the qualifying time was 3:40), and decided right then and there that I was going to re-attempt to qualify at the Chicago Marathon that fall. I ended up qualifying for Boston at Chicago, and the addiction of marathons began there!

Question: What is your marathon PR/what race?

Answer: My marathon PR is at the Richmond Marathon in 2012 with a time of 3:20:00. I was supposed to the run the New York City Marathon that fall, but as it was cancelled due to hurricane Sandy, I ran Richmond instead!

Question: Which marathon is your favorite and why?

Answer: My favorite marathon is Boston. It’s the only marathon I’ve run where the entire city shuts down and supports the race. People are genuinely excited to be a part of the day- whether they are running, cheering, or providing support throughout the course. 

Question: What is your most memorable marathon experience?

Answer: My most memorable experience- even though it’s not a happy memory– was the 2013 Boston Marathon. I had run a really good race, and was participating in our favorite post-race celebration (Bloody Marys at Stephanie’s on Newbury Street), when my memory of a good marathon was changed forever [due to the bombings]. Another memorable experience was when I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 2010 over Halloween weekend. I thought a lot of people would dress up for the marathon, but no, it was just me in my 80’s outfit and all of the marines!

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Question: You are running Boston Marathon this April. What does your Boston Marathon training regimen include?

Answer: I review the Hal Higdon marathon training plan to determine my weekly long runs. The plan allows me to ensure that I do not increase too much per week and cause risk for injury. My weekly plan is to run 3-4 days during the week and then one long run per week. Sometimes I incorporate my long run into my weekday schedule to ensure each weekend is not based around my running. I believe a big part of my training is having a “work” / life balance with my training and my everyday life.

Question: What keeps you coming back to run Boston?

Answer: My goal was to run 10 Boston Marathons in a row! This year will be my 10th, so that is the first thing that motivated me once I had run the race a few times in a row. I also love the vibe in the city- not just on race day, but the entire race weekend. My whole family is in Boston, and I run the race with one of my friends from home. The feeling you have as you run down Beacon Street and see the Citgo sign, and then turn and see the finish line on Boylston is like nothing else!

Question: What is the hardest part of training for Boston?

Answer: Now that I live in Atlanta, I don’t have to deal with the cold winter of Boston for training, which was probably the hardest part of training when I was living in Boston. Now I would say the hardest part is the hill training. We have lots of hills in Atlanta, but getting that initial 2 mile downhill start would definitely help with Boston training, so I need to hit up those hills! 

Question: What is your favorite post-race meal?

Answer: Usually I am not hungry right after a race. But hours later and into the next day, all I want is a cheeseburger and beer!

Question: What are 3-5 essential race-day items for a marathon? Specifically for Boston?

Answer: Essential race-day items include body glide, GUs, running watch and my gym shoes! I also make sure that I have long enough shorts to prevent chafing and my name written on my shirt so I can get people to cheer and motivate me throughout the course. Specifically for Boston, since you’re shuttled to Hopkinton hours before the race, I bring throw away pants and top, magazines to keep me occupied, and plenty of pre-race food.

Question: What is the top important lesson learned after you ran your first marathon? Is there something you learned over time/tweaked in your training that has enabled you to complete so many marathons at such a fast pace?

Answer: I have learned that the best way to finish fast is to run a negative split. In my first few marathons I tended to run positive splits, but then my running changed for me once I ran a negative split race. I quickly realized that by conserving my energy to a point, I was able to run faster in the second half have a better race outcome. One thing I tell myself repeatedly during a race “you are only at mile 10, you still have 16 to go, do you think you can keep this pace?”

Question: What will you be doing the day after the Boston Marathon?

Answer: The day after Boston, I enjoy walking around the city, hanging with my family and finding that one food item in which I treat myself. Usually, it’s a cupcake from Party Favors!

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Question: What are your future running goals after you run Boston in April?

Answer: Since I am running my 10th Boston in April 2016, I felt like it was a good time to also run my first Boston to Big Sur. So following the Boston Marathon this year, I am running the Big Sur Marathon in California 6 days later! After that, I have no big plans for my next race. I will definitely be running Boston again the next year!

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Readers, is anyone currently training for Boston? Any other spring marathons? If so, how’s your training going so far? 

What is your favorite race? For me, the races that stick out include NOLA and LA marathons with my sister, Chicago with my sister & brother, and Big Cottonwood for my BQ!

What are your weekend plans? Long runs? Holiday parties? Christmas shopping? Have fun!

 

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8 thoughts on “Interview With 26-Time Marathoner!

  1. What a great interview! Good advice and humbly delivered. I always like to hear another’s running story no matter how great or small.

    I pray the 20 miles went well. More inspiration for me to get out there consistently. Thank you for the added inspiration/motivation.

    Like

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