Runner Spotlight: Mike Tosto

Mike Tosto

When did you begin running and why?

I ran a few 5Ks with my dad when I was 10 years old after he trained for and ran the Charlottesville Ten Miler, but didn’t do any running after that for a long time. In the spring of my senior year at college, I was looking for a way to get some more exercise and started running around campus with a few friends. I did my first 10K the next fall, and the following spring I trained for the Charlottesville Ten Miler, which is my favorite race and one I still try to run every year. A year and a half later, I ran my first marathon at Marine Corps.

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

I joined DCRR in 2011 after checking out a few local running groups, looking for some company on weekend long runs. I was living further into VA at the time, and had never run in DC before, so I loved all of the new places to run at SLR.

What are you training for right now?

Cherry Blossom was my goal race this spring, so right now I’m taking it relatively easy for while, before I start training in June for the 2015 Chicago Marathon.

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

One that sticks out in my memory was a training run in the heat of summer a few years back. We were doing the Cathedral-Clintons route and I planned to add a few extra miles on the Mall at the end. Less than half way through I was feeling unusually drained and could tell something was off. By the time I got to Memorial Bridge I was so exhausted and dehydrated I had to stop, lie down on the bridge benches, and walk back to Iwo Jima.

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

All of the weekly group runs – I could run practically all of my miles with other club members!

What’s your favorite route in the area?

Ross Drive is my favorite SLR route. On Ross Drive itself, you can almost forget you’re in the middle of a city!

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

Adapting goals to fit the situation. Just because I could run a certain pace last month or last year, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true today. I may be faster and I may be slower, but either way you can set a goal that will be both challenging and achievable.

What race day traditions do you have?

I like to have a bowl of potato gnocchi the night before a marathon. I’ve done that before each of my last 2 PRs, so I think that’s a tradition I’ll continue.

What’s your proudest running moment?

I ran a Boston qualifying marathon last fall, while five years ago this was so far beyond me that it wasn’t even something I considered a realistic possibility. I only just barely made the BQ cutoff though, so I don’t know yet if I’ll get into Boston 2016. Either way, I couldn’t be happier with the result.

What’s your life like outside of running?

I’m a mechanical engineer working on aerospace structures, and my wife Christina and I live near Clarendon. I like to ski in the winter, and stay indoors (except for running) in the summer.

What is one thing you wouldn’t run without?

My unnecessarily large collection of running shoes!