Peer Pressure

I've seen the following running meme on a couple of different blogs, so figured it would be fun to complete it, as well. :)

1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
I think 10 years ago was around the same time that I tried to pick up running, again (I had been a mediocre sprinter--100, 2o0, relays--in HS), but this was pre-internet (and pre Couch-to-5k) and I didn't realize that there were actually BOOKS about running for beginners.  I kept trying to go out and crank out 2 miles or so off of no fitness.  Needless to say it didn't work all that well.  I also didn't know anything about proper footwear and ran in whatever random pair of Nike Air trainers I had...same shoes I wore for yard work, walking, and at the gym.  I was plagued by shin splints and shit-fer-lungs and pretty much gave up after a couple of weeks.

2. What is your best and worst run/race experience?
This is tough...I have had some really great races.  My "best" may also be one that was on the most challenging course.  It was a 15k back in March the morning after an awful snowy, icy blizzard.  The course was slick and super hilly (at least for this area), but having spent the entire Winter maintaining ~30 miles/week 100% OUTDOORS during a particularly brutal Winter in MI really proved to be an advantage for me.  I placed 3/7 in my AG and ended up with my first and only (so far) medal.

I think this may be a 2-way tie between a 10k last Summer (Grand Haven Coast Guard Fest Run) in miserably hot weather...not nearly enough water on the course and they ran out of water at the finish--and I was nowhere near the back of the pack, but still had to buy water from a vending machine.  How lame is it for an OLD race to not be prepared.  I'm much more forgiving when relatively new races aren't adequately prepared, but this race is almost always a HOT one.  And it's at least 25 years old, too.  The previous year it had issues, too (mostly in the form of a poorly marked course), so I won't be making the mistake of registering for that one again.

My other worst was this year's Fifth-Third Bank Riverbank Run 25k, aka the 15.5 mile asthma attack.  Just a few days after this race I got in to see my PCP and was diagnosed with mild/moderate persistent asthma, an "upgrade" from my previous "exercise-induced" variety.  I still PRd this race, but was about 6 minutes slower than I expected to be, given training and my prior half marathon PR.  A gal I have raced with before and beaten by at least a few minutes in every race we've done was under my goal time, so I know it would have happened with a healthy set of lungs.

3. What is the best or worst piece of advice you've been given about running?
I think the best is simply run more, run slower.  There's definitely something to this.  I recently ran a 5k under super humid conditions and lung issues...but I still finished 10/31 in my AG and about 3.5 minutes faster than my very first 5k on 15 miles or so/week.  Had I been in better health I'm certain that time would have been well over a 4 minute difference, which is pretty substantial over the course of only 3.1 miles.  I still don't do a lot of speed work, but simply increasing my mileage and being consistent has gone a long way towards making my race times drop with each passing year.

Hmmm...not sure what the worst would be.  What works for one runner doesn't work for all, so even advice that might not be "best" for me might be great for someone else.  Maybe the worst was the shoe guy who put me in a moderate stability shoe when I really only needed mild stability--but the difference there is subtle and it's perhaps not something that would be easy to detect during a brief gait assessment.

4. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.
• I can cross one eye independent of the other
• I'm the first "runner" in the family (my brother runs, but mostly just for fitness, doesn't really train for races...some might call him a "jogger" *gasps*)
• I love snooping to find my Christmas presents
• I don't know the meaning of the word boredom...I'm happy as a proverbial clam doing nothing at all for hours on end.  There's no excuse for boredom with the Internet.


  1. ack! you PEEK at Christmas presents????

    This is a great meme. You've got a lot of races under your belt, girl!

  2. Ha, I love knowing what I'm getting for Christmas, then I get to anticipate a sure thing! ;)

    Sometimes I think I've run a lot of races in 2 years, but there are people out there who do a race/month or more. I seem to average about half that many. I'd maybe do more if they weren't so $$ or so far away. There are only a handful that are less than an hour away.

  3. Found your blog via Sherry!

    Great post! Very interesting!

  4. Nice to meet you, as well! Tris...ugh, if I didn't have to do the swimming part I'd love to do a tri. Too bad we don't have any duathlons around here. :)

  5. Great post! I might have to steal it from you. :)