How did you get into running?
I started doing a little bit of running – up to about the 5K level – during grad school (summer of 1998). When my sister, Stephanie, had her first relapse of Hodgkin’s Disease the following February, I found out about Team in Training and decided to do the Marine Corps Marathon as my way of supporting her. Funny thing is that I never wanted to run a marathon until after I’d already started training for one.
What motivates you to go out and run?
The thought of my butt doubling in size.
Seriously, besides the desire to stay in shape, I enjoy running with others. Running to me is social. So the club runs, plus running with others during the week, keep me going. There’s a marked difference in my running when I run alone and when I run with friends.
What is your favorite running route?
Locally: I love the Mount Vernon Trail, especially starting from Mount Vernon even though I don’t do it that often. I have yet to find a better route to run on a crisp fall day when it’s cool and the leaves have changed color.
Others: Fairmount Park in Philly and the Coastal Trail in Anchorage, Alaska (in the summer, of course!).
What made you decide to join the DC Road Runners?
I started doing the track workouts while training for the 2002 Chicago Marathon. After the marathon, I decided that would be my last season with Team in Training but I still needed the support of others to stay motivated (see above). I’d made some friends in the club and started running SLR. (And Kerry coaxed me in to it!) And the rest is history…
What is your favorite SLR Route?
I like most of the courses that take us on Rock Creek. But on any given day, depending on how I’m feeling, I could also hate it!
What is your least favorite SLR Route?
Any of them that involves trail running – especially when I’m not in the greatest of shape! (yes, that’s me you hear complaining on Glover Archbold)
What was your favorite race?
That would probably be the 2002 Chicago Marathon. My training had gone terribly so I had really low expectations. But all of the elements combined that day for what I still consider my best marathon, even though it’s no longer my PR.
What was your race from hell?
Ooh, I’ve had too many of these to narrow it down. I’ve only ever not finished a race once, but there are plenty of others that I should have dropped out of!
What does your race calendar look like this year?
Right now, the plan is to do the Chicago Marathon. Also, I’ll probably do the Bunion Derby races. Maybe the Philly Distance Run (depending on my schedule). We’ll see what else comes up.
After a race, which do you prefer: (a) beer, (b) a hot shower, (c) beer, (d) blister popping, (e) beer, (f) complaining about the weather/course (g) a nap?
And h) using the “I just raced so I deserve this” excuse to do all of the above (and anything else I want to do).
How many pairs of running shoes do you go through a year?
Probably about 3-4. It depends on the shoe and if I’m training for anything.
What’s your favorite running shoe?
I don’t have a favorite right now. But when I first started running, I loved the Saucony Swerve before they updated it.
What does it mean to you that your friends are willing to go up to New Jersey to run the Stephanie Burke Beach Run with you every year?
Eh, I know they’re just using me to get a cheap trip to Atlantic City!
No, really, I can’t express the gratitude I feel when others come up with me. While it is a fun trip, it’s also amazing and comforting to see how much my friends support me and my family.
What keeps you busy when not running?
There’s life outside of running? Who knew?
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
Selling women’s shoes. We actually had to fit the women (i.e., not just hand them the shoes to put on). If you think runners have some messed up feet, you should have seen some of these women. Ick!