Runner Spotlight: Eunja Rau

Eunja Rau

When did you begin running and why?

I started running in the summer of 2012 when I joined the Reading and Running program at Cherrydale library to lose a few pounds. It was basically a couch to 5K program preparing us for the Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5k, and we read Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run, which might have fanned the dormant runner in me.

How did you find out about DCRR and when did you join?

DCRR sponsored the Reading and Running program mentioned above. After I finished my first 5K, I wanted to continue running. Naturally, I checked out the DCRR website and learned about “less expensive” races in the Snowball Series. Even less expensive once you become a member. So I joined DCRR in February 2013.

What are you training for right now?

I plan to run the Snowball Series races and the GW Birthday Marathon Relay with my running buddies. I hope the weather cooperates this winter.

What is the toughest run or race you’ve ever participated in?

The toughest race so far was my first marathon (Marine Corps Marathon) this year. My longest run during the marathon training was about 23 miles and never experienced cramps or numbness on my legs. Well, for the first time during the marathon, I experienced both, which was shocking! Additionally, I couldn’t sprint at the finish line because my legs weren’t behaving as they were told. It didn’t feel right not to sprint at the end of a race, but maybe that’s not expected at the end of a marathon.

What’s your favorite part about being a DCRR member?

There are many good things I can say about DCRRC but my favorite part is the fact that it’s a volunteer organization run by people who are passionate about running and want to dedicate themselves to the running community, which I believe attracts good people.

What’s your favorite route in the area?

Running on Beach Drive during the marathon training on the weekend was fantastic as there were no cars. It felt so free and wide. But routinely I am fortunate enough to be living in Arlington to run all the trails surrounding the county.

What’s the most important lesson running has taught you?

You don’t have to be fast to feel sense of accomplishment in running as it’s all relative but if you work harder, you do get faster. It’s reassuring to find that honest good work pays off even in running to some extent.

What race day traditions do you have?

I guess I follow all the other runners’ traditions by carb-loading the night before and making sure everything is ready. I get up early in the morning on race day to take time to prepare for the race.

What’s your proudest running moment?

It’s yet to come. When I can sprint at the end of a marathon with a smile on my face while finishing it in less than 5 hours, that would be my moment. Has anyone done it yet?^^

What’s your life like outside of running?

I’m a typical working mom with a teen age daughter. I work as an accountant and like movies and books for entertainment.

What is one thing you wouldn’t run without?

My lovely Garmin.