When did you begin running and why?
I didn’t begin running seriously until my mid 20s, but I was competitive in sprint distance and mid-distance track and field events when I was growing up. I was always interested in doing the Iron Man in Hawaii and the Boston Marathon, because of the rigorous training and athletic ability needed to do both events. I decided to only stick with running, because it was challenging enough on its own. Qualifying for Boston was a proud achievement for me, because of the amount of time and training I dedicated toward the goal.
How did you find out about DCRRC and when did you join?
I found out about DCRR in 2015, because of the SLRs that started in Rosslyn – just a few blocks away from my apartment. Even though I didn’t immediately join the club, I really enjoyed the SLRs and the people I met and ran with on Saturdays. I don’t regret it at all, and wished I had joined the club sooner. I eventually joined DCRR officially later in 2015.
What are you training for right now?
Right now, I’m just training for “life.” Coincidentally, I don’t have any races on the calendar, but I might do the Navy-Air Force Half in early fall. The route is great, and it’s only a few thousand people, which makes race-day logistics a lot easier for people like me (I always decide to check my bag way too close to race start). My mileage hasn’t been as high as it was in recent training cycles, but I’m easing my way back up there now.
What is the toughest run or race you’ve ever participated in?
I’m going to give two answers to this question:
1) My hardest race was when I ran my first marathon (Chicago), and was not well trained to run 26 miles at my very aggressive goal pace (7 Min/Mile). At Mile 16, I started cramping severely and had to do a few miles as a walk/jog pace. The next 10 miles were the latest longest of my life, but I was determined to finish. It was this experience – as awful as it was – that really motivated me to train harder and be smarter about my training and racing in the future.
2) Terrible training aside, I ran a half-marathon with a fellow DCRR, Rochelle Basil, in Ashland last summer. I knew this was a risky choice at the time of agreeing to run this race, and the high heat and humidity on race day confirmed my risk-taking fears. The race was extremely hot and hydration was definitely important. Even though I was 30 sec/mile off my PR, I placed much better than I anticipated (4th OA). It was truly a race of survival and a question of, “who has the most efficient internal cooling system?”
What’s your favorite part about being a DCRRC member?
The camaraderie and the option to do trainings and races whenever your heart desires. I’ve really enjoyed the friends I’ve made and the SLR events have been a fun start to the weekend. It’s been a really great community to join, and I’ve recommended it to others as well – really glad I found it!
What’s the most important lesson running has taught you?
If you’re persistent and dedicated to achieve a physical goal (within reason), you can absolutely do it. Too many times, people’s mentality of their physical abilities place artificial limits on what is possible. I remember thinking a sub-3 hour marathon was impossible for me to ever achieve – slowly, I was able to chip away at this mental barrier and achieve what I once thought was impossible.
What is your favorite route in the area?
Even though I run up and down Rock Creek Park very often, the 3 mile loop on Hains Point is absolutely my favorite. Whether it is during a race or for a training run, it is fast and usually peaceful. Unfortunately, the Strava CRs around Hains Point are really competitive, so I don’t have any records on my favorite route.
What race day traditions do you have?
I don’t think my pre-race day traditions are anything special: The usual Peanut Butter bagel and slightly too much coffee is always on the menu. It may be my post-race tradition that is more notable – more than a few beers to celebrate!
What’s your proudest running moment?
Qualifying for Boston for the first time was great and running the Boston Marathon the year after the bombing was a very emotional experience – especially after running it for the first time during the year of the bombing. It really brought me closer to the event and the city of Boston. I’ll definitely be back to run it again sometime, but not in any rush to do so now.
What’s your life like outside of running?
I just finished part-time Graduate School, and that had been consuming much of my time – along with work. I’m hoping to start using my free time toward more training and destination races. This is all to be determined.
What is one thing you wouldn’t run without?
When I train, I can’t run without music. I realize this isn’t pure or peaceful in many natural running respects, but I need music to keep me going. I don’t know how I would survive training runs without it.