Runners Of Vermont is an ongoing series here at the VTRunCo where we get to meet and start to get to know some of the amazing people that call Vermont home and share our affinity for running. So, sit back and enjoy. The people profiled here are the main reason Vermont is such a great place to live and run. Also, if you know someone that lives and runs in Vermont who you think should be profiled here… Let us know. We’d love to be introduced and give them the opportunity to share their perspective on Vermont’s running scene.
How did you first get involved in running and what was it that kept you coming back? Did you develop your habit easily, or was it something you had to work at?
I started running with my dad just before I started college, and it was something I continued throughout college. When my husband and I moved to Oklahoma, I met some women who were marathon training, and from there, the running bug really bit. Running became something that I craved and needed in my life.
Racing… Did you start racing right from the beginning? What has been your favorite or best racing experience… Your worst… Why?
My first running race was when I met the women training for a marathon. We ran the Wichita Half Marathon, and from there, I started the quest of running a marathon in all 50 states. I’m at 15 states, and 4 international. Since moving to Vermont, I’ve transitioned to trail running and racing. Every race has been one of my favorite and best experiences… I just love discovering new areas and being caught up in the delight of being able to move my body like I can and experience the joy of running.
Do you have a favorite distance…Why?
I love a half marathon… It seems to be my distance that I can really excel, to have the stamina to last 13 miles but also the speed to be at the front of the pack.
Any pre-race rituals or superstitions?
Non-racing experiences… Besides racing and training, what are some other ways you enjoy running, or running has improved your life? Your favorite non-racing experience… Your worst?
I experienced a pretty devastating miscarriage in 2014, and my body was unable to run the way I normally did for a good amount of time. When I could finally get back to running, it was my solace and how I really dealt with the loss and anger at my own body. Running is what pulled me out the darkest point I have been in my life.
Running In Vermont… What do you love about it? What do you wish was different?
Due to the military, we have lived in Oklahoma, Arizona, Korea, Japan, and Florida. Besides my home state of Colorado, I can honestly say that there is nothing I would change about Vermont running! Especially after 3 years of awful (my opinion, of course) Florida, I am so thankful for every single run I do here. There is not a time I run in Vermont that I don’t take a moment and say, “Wow! I live here! I run here!” I love the dirt roads, the trails everywhere, the hills, the terrain, the ability to feel completely at peace with nature.
Do you have a favorite route/trail here in Vermont? This doesn’t have to be a route you run regularly. We’re looking for something you think is special and think other people should experience.
I love to run at Cochran’s. I still haven’t completely figured out all of the trails, but so far, I haven’t become too lost and have always found my way back. I love the climbs, the single track, the view.
During a typical New England winter what do you do to stay in shape, keep motivated, and have fun? Do you continue to run? Do you engage in any other activities?
This is our first New England winter, but since we were in northern Japan and Colorado natives, we have good experience with winter. I love snow shoeing, skiing, running with my awesome Icebug Shoes, and I’m excited to figure out this back country skiing thing!
Can you provide some advice for running during the cooler months then into and through winter?
For cold weather, my mantra is “you’ll feel better if you just go!” No matter the cold, snow, ice, wind, my day is just not complete without exercise of some sort, predominantly running. It helps to have a trio of dogs who give me the sad and abused eyes the longer I make them wait for our run. The guilt they give me–it gets me out every time!
Do you have a mantra or strategy to get you out the door when you don’t feel like running, through those tough moments in training, or during a long event?
The dogs. 🙂 Also, thinking of people who are unable to run, whether through injury or no longer with us. I’m thankful to run, and I won’t waste it.
Favorite/best piece of running gear you own or wished you owned?
I just purchased the Patagonia Houdini jacket, and I am still amazed at how awesome of a jacket it is. Worth the price!
Favorite thing to eat during a long run/race?
Honey packets are my go-to fuel.
Favorite aid station food?
I stick with my honey packets.
Favorite reward (do you do anything to treat yourself… food or other) after a long training cycle/race?
Next season what event or events are you are most looking forward to… Why?
I’m really excited to try my hand (or feet) at snowshoe racing this season!
What are 2-3 Vermont running events/races that people should check out?
What’s the best piece of running or training advice you’ve ever received?
Rest days are necessary. I still struggle with this, but it is excellent advice.
Do you have any running/training tips or tricks you’d like to share?
Daily yoga, even just for 5 minutes, will eliminate any injuries.
Who is a Vermont runners that inspire you… Why?
Thank you for taking the time to read this far. Stay tuned for our next installment of Runners Of Vermont. Our goal is to post a new interview every week until we’ve profiled everyone that lives and runs in Vermont!
Train Smart. Run Well. Do Good.