When did you begin running and why?
I went through an emotional time in 2016 and as an attempt at meditation and an outlet I started running regularly with a women’s group in Orlando, FL. It took me a while to get past “being bored” while running, and once I was over that hump I was good. Once I realized how many calories I could burn in an hour of running I was hooked. As for the deep “why” I run? Cheesecake. That’s why.
How did you find out about DCRRC and when did you join?
When I first moved to the area I was run-commuting to work daily. About 8 miles into my commute one chilly February morning, I passed the Monday morning club run (on their Mt. Daniel route) wearing my flashy pink run-backpack. Former president Rich Mendelowitz had just broken off the Custis trail and I passed him as we came in to Ballston. Later, on Strava, we found each other and said “Hi.” Rich complimented me on tackling the Custis hills and invited me to the Monday run. I had already been interested in DCRRC from the Strava club but this was my more formal introduction. After I met my future husband and found out he knew Rich and was an active member, I signed up formally!
What are you training for right now?
Can I say cheesecake again? For 2019 I have the Shamrock Marathon and Chicago and am hoping to qualify for Boston again. What is the toughest run or race you’ve ever participated in? The DC Ragnar Relay on an ultra team. I was runner 6 and that means I did 47 miles between my 6 relay legs. The last leg of 12 miles in the middle of the day through DC at 100 degrees was very tough. I didn’t expect the dehydration and it was the first time I felt like I was going to be sick after a race. I learned a lot about multi-leg races and would love to do it again!
What’s your favorite part about being a DCRRC member?
I love seeing everyone at the series races! I wish we could make it to more fun runs.
What’s the most important lesson running has taught you?
That you can last a lot longer if you pace yourself.
What is your favorite route in the area?
I love running on the Mt. Vernon Trail especially down near Old Town Alexandria. Most of my runs take me out from Falls Church to Vienna. I like knowing where my distance markers are without my watch having to tell me.
What race day traditions do you have?
Race-eve traditions generally just involve trying to make sure I get enough sleep and remembering to take my allergy meds so I’m not super sniffly the whole run. Race Day? Bodyglide everything and have caffeine and gum. For post-race my tradition usually involves finding the most indulgent dessert in town.
What’s your proudest running moment?
When I ran a BQ time on my own for a training run while I was on the phone with a friend the whole time. That was Christmas Eve 2016. Finishing that Ragnar Relay was a pretty proud moment too.
What’s your life like outside of running?
I have quite a few hobbies that I enjoy. At the moment I’ve been really into bread-making and baking in general. So if anyone wants me to make them a cake where I can practice my decorating skills hit me up! I love playing vintage (and not-so-vintage) video games. I love party games and lots of sci-fi. Otherwise, life is spending time with my wonderful husband John Stilling.
What else would you like to share about your running life?
In 2017 I met John Stilling on Strava at the GW Parkway 10 miler. We kudos’d our way to meeting for a run the next weekend. I did my first 50k with him accompanying me for the last half. The rest is history and we will celebrate our first anniversary at the GW parkway this year. I’m so thankful that running brought us together.