This has been floating around, and I’m a sucker for these types of “about me” posts, so here you go:

1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?

This year I’ve been using Clif Shot Bloks as my main race fuel. But sometimes I like real food, and I find pretzels and orange slices are great. I’ve also tried Honey Stinger gummies and waffles, Jelly Belly Sport Beans (the red/purple flavors), and Clif Shots (chocolate or mocha) and liked those.

2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?

I love every distance (although I’ve never tried an Ultra). 5K’s are fun because you can go fast and they are over quickly. 10K’s also mean you can go fast but not as fast (so not as much “puke speed”).  Half marathons are great because they are a challenge but attainable and don’t take over your life. And having just done my first marathon, I can see why they are addicting. Especially big marathons like Chicago … the experience was amazing.

sparkle skirt

3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants or Other?

I prefer shorts, capris or tights, depending on the weather. (And if I want to deal with Body Glide or not.) I do own two running skirts – one is a sparkle skirt, so I only wear it for fun occasions with a group. The other is a black running skirt that I got because I’m a ZOOMA ambassador. I wore it once. I felt like I’d rather just wear tight shorts sans skirt. It did have some nice pockets though.

4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?

Water with solid or gel fuel. Post-run, I like chocolate milk or coconut water. I hate the way sports drinks taste. The only powdered or tablet stuff that I’ve tried and like is Zipfizz.

5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?

My motto is “there is no bad weather, just bad gear.” If you dress properly, you can run in just about any temp. Running in the heat is fun because you work up a great sweat and feel like you are really working. But, I like to go fast, and the heat slows me down. So the cold is nice too. Honestly, I enjoy running after a snowfall (or during, if it’s a light snow). It’s so peaceful.

6. Running Shoe Brands: Suacony, Mizuno, Nike, Brooks, Asics or Other?

BROOKS. After multiple gait analyses and trying a couple other brands, I keep coming back to Brooks. The Adrenalines, to be specific. They work for me.

7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?

Nothing before a race under 5 miles, except a little coffee, unless I’m going to be up for more than 2-3 hours hours before the race. For longer races, I’ve been eating bread or tortilla (NOT whole wheat or whole grain) with peanut butter and banana. Although I’m kind of getting sick of this (I ate this before all my long runs for marathon training) so I’m going to try other things now that marathon training is over.

8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?

I prefer to run 4x week – one long run, one speed workout (intervals, tempo or fartlek) with two easy runs in between. So that leaves 3 days for rest, strength or yoga. However it falls depends on what I have going on that week.

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?

When I started running, I had to run with music. And I spent so much time messing around with playlists, and skipping over songs during runs. Eventually I realized that stressing over my music was … stressful. Also, I would run with my phone and use it for both music and as my GPS. One day my phone decided it couldn’t do two things at once, so I had to pick, and went with the GPS mapping. And I haven’t run with music since then.  It’s been over two years and I love not running with music. Yes, even when I do long solo runs. Sometimes it’s nice to not have noise in my ears, and just listen to what is around me, or enjoy the peace and quiet. The only exception is the rare time I run on a treadmill.

10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or Other?

I run because I can. I have two healthy legs, two healthy lungs, and a healthy heart. I never want to take that for granted, whether it’s through running or another form of exercise. Also, yes, a great side-effect of my dedication to running has been not just a 30-pound weight loss, but I honestly feel better than I have in a long time. I’d like to keep feeling good.

Vera & me

I also run because I’m curious. I want to see how far and how fast I can go. So, racing helps to satisfy that curiosity. Before I was a runner, and Vera would talk about her running and marathons, I thought she was crazy and it never occurred to me to take running seriously. I would run for fitness every now and then, but it never stuck. Eventually she convinced me to do a half marathon. It was challenging. My first half marathon was NOT pretty, and I seriously questioned ever doing another half marathon. So to go from that, to someone who ran a marathon and enjoyed every minute of it, is a huge accomplishment to me. And I want to find out what else I’m capable of. A sub-20 5K? A BQ? An ultramarathon? Who knows. But I’d like to keep trying and find out.

And, I’ve made a lot of awesome friends during my running journey. Now, running isn’t just about running … it’s about hanging out with my friends! It’s a win-win. Sometimes I go to a group run not because I have to run that night, but because I want to see my friends!

And finally … I just love running. I enjoy getting out there. Alone, with a group, at a race, short and fast, long and slow … I enjoy it. It’s fun for me. So, for the same reason some people take dance class or play an instrument (oh wait, I do those too sometimes), I run. For fun. True story.