Tag Archives: Q&A

Running for a Cause (and for meaning): The Recycling Runner

I was going through some of my new followers on Twitter last week and one jumped out at me. His name was “The Recycling Runner” and his bio said “Running enthusiast that collects all roadside recyclables as he runs. Redeems the recyclables & the $$ is donated to the American Heart Association.”

I followed him back and sent him a direct message asking for his email address because I needed more information. He responded with an inspirational story that was BEYOND what I could have expected. I wanted to post about Joe’s story and his cause on my blog simply because you don’t come across great people like this very often and I thought his story should be shared (and shared, and shared).

Name: Joe Sullivan

From Joe:

I am excited and honored that you want to do a feature about me and my project on your blog.

I am an Army Veteran (17 years service), Husband of an Army Officer and Father of three boys – we just had twins last week!! I went to Virginia Commonwealth University and earned my Bachelor in Fine Arts and since then I have been working as an Independent Artist.

I have been a lifelong runner, but in May of 2004, shortly after my return from Operation Iraqi Freedom, I suffered a Heart Attack after an Army Physical Fitness test. I luckily survived what my doctor called the “Widow Maker.” Since then, with great rehabilitation both physically and vocationally, I now have a new chance on life.

I worked hard on getting back to running because I missed it so much. In 2009, I ran my first Marathon in 4:18. This proved to me I can do anything in running again, just not with the fast pace I once had. In 2010, I met a running coach that trained the Fort Lee 10 Miler team and with his expertise I was able to compete in that year’s Army Ten Miler. I ran it in 74 minutes and that was what I call my comeback race. Since then I have run a ton of half marathons, improved my marathon time to 3:52, and started the Recycling Runner Project. The project kept me running even if I didn’t have a scheduled race. At first it was because I was tired of seeing my running routes filthy, but then I thought, “There has to be something else I can do with this junk.” Considering I am dealing with heart disease every day, I figured I should redeem the recyclables and donate the money to the American Heart Association.

Q&A:

Where are you located?

I am in Upstate New York in Fort Drum.

Do you collect recyclables on every run?

Yes I do this on every run. I never pass up a chance to grab a recyclable.

What do you carry with you?

I carry a Camelbak daypack for short runs and a larger hiking rucksack like pack for longer runs- both have a 120oz Camelbak, in some random pockets you’ll find some GU packets and the main portion of the packs are always lined with a trash bag, so the often filthy recyclables don’t stink up my gear too badly. I usually train/run at 8-9 min miles and usually keep my eyes peeled as I run down the road or trail. When I see a recyclable I drop my pack, open it up, I usually inspect the can or bottle (don’t pick up cigarette or chewing tobacco filled bottles or cans) empty it of dirt or liquids the best I can and crush it up to save space – then throw my pack back on and get back to pace as quickly as I can. This does greatly effect consistent pacing over long distances, but it can be a great quick recovery, can simulate practicing surges, and it really makes the run oddly more fun & rewarding. My only issue is the removing of the backpack sometimes as quickly as 2 steps later can often get frustrating – the on & off of the pack really holds things up as for the running aspect. So I am engineering a pack that I can expedite the collection process without taking the pack off my back. I am hoping to have fun with the engineering portion of the project by creating a pack, a pull cart and a push cart to hold the recyclables just to see what would be more efficient for the job. In designing these things I hope to create a product that maybe other runners would consider wearing in order to do the same thing. I mean who else has a closer look at our road sides and can clean them up easier than us runners, right?

Does anyone else help?

No I do this alone.

Do you organize any runs with others?

No, if I run with others I often say “Don’t mind me while I stop for these things.”

Do you organize clean ups of any areas, trails, running paths?

I have not organized anything, but would love to one day see a town, city, state or national run day that everyone does this – it would be amazing!!

Do you keep track of how much you pick up?

I am keeping track of my numbers as I get home just to see how much I collect. Although I have been doing the cleaning up for a number of years I only recently started calling myself the RecyclingRunner for a little over a month and started tracking my project’s results since then. Below is one of my recent posts (and the numbers have climbed quite a bit since):

              • 7 days of running: in 38 miles I found 47 plastic bottles, 59 Aluminum cans, 4 glass bottles, 23 Nonrefundables and even watched someone toss some cans out their window as they passed me (they must’ve known I was the RecyclingRunner)!

How much money have you donated to the AHA?

Sadly because it is only 5 cents at a time, it takes a while to build any serious amount. I opened an account that is strictly for the redeemed money and when I reach $100 dollars I will be making my first donation. I am currently a little over $20 dollars, but have not made the initial donation because of the goal I set to meet. I hope to one day maybe have financial backers that will maybe match 10 cents to every item I redeem or something of that nature to help the donation amount become more substantial. Regardless of the amount donated (which one day may be a significant amount), the project is the idea of cleaning up the world we run in, recycling these discarded items and giving the money to someone or some organization that can use the money for good. I wish it was a tremendous amount for you to pass on to your readers, but sadly it is a slow process.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States (source, source). I really feel that he is doing a wonderful thing for the cause as well as our community and of course our environment. Please share his story! Perhaps we could all be involved in some way in the future!

For further information on Joe’s Recycling project, please visit his Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/RecyclingRunner.

recyclingrunner

Photo Credit – RecyclingRunner

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Running Pop Quiz!

A few years ago a few friends and I used to send quizzes and surveys back and forth to one another during work (it was a necessity to get through the work day, clearly). I was pumped to see Janae from The Hungry Runner Girl post this pop quiz gem last week (and she encouraged others to answer, and share it)! Survey heaven. Here we are:

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

I used to use Gu and Gu Chomps, but they were too sweet for me to take down continuously over the course of a marathon and gave me awful stomach aches. Now I try to stick to natural food-based energy now, raisins or dried fruit. My favorite snack/fuel is Try Chips. Both work perfectly!

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

My favorite distance is probably the half marathon. The distance is tough, but it’s a perfect amount of time to still be able to give it your all!

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

I love shorts. During any weather. I wear the  Lululemon Run Speed Short. My favorite thing about them is the lining underneath has a perfect elastic. Your butt doesn’t shake too much and it doesn’t cut off your circulation like A LOT of other running shorts.

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

I fuel with Nuun during all of my training runs. I don’t really like carrying a bottle during races so I will take the water/Gatorade.

5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?

As long as my hands are kept warm, I will be fine in the cold! Running in humidity is awful. I think it helps my training, but it is still awful.

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

Mizuno. Always. After a 3 year run in the Wave Riders, an injury led me to switch to a stability shoe. I now wear Wave Inspires for longer runs and Wave Elixir for faster paced runs (and most likely all races).

FAST

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

I am good with a bagel/english muffin with PB&J or Oatmeal with granola and PB.

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

I rest when my body calls for it. I do not over train (anymore) because I don’t ever want to be injured. It sucks. Generally I have 2 rest days week, more if I need them and more if I am being lazy.

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

Definitely use music if I am not running with someone, but I prefer a conversation 🙂

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?

Running is my stress-reliever, a means to happiness, a way to build confidence, a way to meet new friends and a way to better my mind and body. I love how I feel when I am running. I wouldn’t trade it. Plus I want to eat bagels all the time. Running allows me to do that.

Answer the questions in the comments below! Or on your own blog, just leave me a link in the comments so I can check out everyone’s answers!! I love surveys.

Blogger Q&A: Fitness Instructor Erin

I met Erin Bulvanoski in college. I became close friends with her only a year ago. I am very upset (and I am very sure she is as well) that we wasted so many years not being close friends.

I started reading her blog, One More Cupcake Please, long before I started my own. I can honestly say I have never met anyone with so much contagious energy and love for teaching fitness. She inspires me to keep moving forward and pursue new fitness goals. With that said, we had a little chat and I wanted to share her wisdom with everyone 🙂

Why did you want to become a certified fitness instructor?

At the time I decided to get certified, I was looking for some structure. I had grown up swimming on team after team and graduated college with a huge hole in my life. I had no one telling me what to do and when to do it and I struggled to find a workout routine. I eventually got hooked on Turbo Kick (a version of cardio kickboxing) at my local gym and found I truly looked forward to it all week. I began feeling like instead of wanting someone to tell me what to do, I could become certified and be the one in control. A month later, I got certified and was ready to go!

What do you consider to be your favorite part of being a fitness instructor?

I have many favorite things about being an instructor, the biggest one being, motivating my classes. If I could, I would quit my job and just become a full-time motivator. It gives me so much excitement and joy to see people working out and pushing themselves and even smiling while doing it. To come up afterwards and tell me they love my class or they can’t wait until next week. It is amazing. Selfishly, I love the structure it gives to my working out. I have set days and times that I am always at the gym, and I can tailor the music and workouts to things I want to improve or work on. No matter how tired or lazy I feel, I have no choice but to get there for my class.

Any defining moments with a member of your class that you feel made the job fulfilling?

There are so many little moments that make the job fulfilling but the biggest ones for me are those who try the class for the first time and then enjoy it. Fitness classes can be super intimidating. You think everyone else knows what they are doing, or that you are too uncoordinated or you can’t keep up, but, if you give yourself a chance, you soon realize that you are just as good, if not better, than everyone else around you. When I see someone say it is their first time in class and then the next week I see them again, and then again, I know I am doing my job. For some reason, they built up enough confidence in my classes to keep going and that means everything to me.

What is the hardest part of being a fitness instructor?

The hardest part of being in instructor is getting rid of classes. I grow so attached to my classes, especially the ones I have held onto for a while, because they are all a part of my life. We chat, we laugh, we yell and sweat together and I get so upset when I have to move on. Sometimes its just new schedule conflicts like when I got a new job and started working later, I had to get rid of earlier evening classes and things like that. I feel empty for a while when it is over because I have grown so used to the people and the routine. Like all things though, I do find other ones to teach and new people to meet and life goes on!

I have been in a class before where I probably shouldn’t have signed up (tired, hungover, too sore etc.). What do you do to motivate your class, or an individual in the class that is slacking?

If I can pick out an individual or a group that are not pushing it, I may or may not drag them to the front. I won’t call them out directly, I will act like it is random, but sometimes just moving them to the forefront motivates them. Other times, if the entire class is low on energy, I will stop the music and try to pump them up, may even jokingly threaten to start over 🙂 That usually works to get them moving! My final tactic is when we take a water break, to explain that you can burn a maximum of 1,000 calories a class if you are pushing it and only 750 if you are dogging it. Most people are there to burn fat so hearing those numbers can be motivating enough!

Favorite class to teach and why?

My favorite class to teach is TurboKick. It was my first love and after 2 years of teaching it, I am pretty comfortable with the format and can easily play around with the music and workouts. It is completely choreographed to music and has some random dance elements to it on top of the sheer power of boxing so the combination can really get you working hard, but also having fun. I also choose all of the music to get everyone going and get so many requests from the students that it keeps it very interactive as well.

You’re also a runner and have run a number of races, including half marathons, can you give an example of a week’s training schedule that incorporates the fitness classes and runs?

Teaching fitness classes on top of running training can be tough. I have hit a spot many times where I have had to scale back a bit on my running in order to prevent injury. The key is to view fitness classes as a great cross-training workout, especially when you incorporate weights. If you are just running and running all the time, your body is building endurance, but not strength. You can also plateau or wear your body down. I run on days I don’t teach to let my body rebuild. Some days, I will double up and do a run in the morning or class in the afternoon but not everyday. The key is to keep your body building because it will all help your running. So right now I teach Mondays and Tuesdays, therefore, I run Wed-Friday and then fit one in on the weekend as well. Sometimes I will add another personal strength training day on Thursday afternoon but other than that it is fitness first, running second.

What do you consider the most difficult part of running?

The hardest part for me is listening to my body. When I workout, I go balls out. I don’t know how to just leisurely run or casually hit the gym. I am always trying to push myself in my workouts and maximize. When I would train for runs in the past, I would run before teaching, then go teach, then do abs, and repeat the following day. I thought I wasn’t allowed rest when I was training. This past half marathon training, however, taught me to slow down. I got terrible shin splints in the beginning of training. Instead of giving up, I began to scale back my running, focus on days where I wasn’t teaching to get my miles in, stretch, and be okay with taking a day off if my body was beyond exhausted. I ran my best time for that race and realized that sometimes over-doing it can just back-fire. It is okay to rest your body because it will reward you for doing so.

What was your favorite finish line and why?

Hands down the best finish line was for my first half marathon: The Diva’s Half Marathon. If you are a woman looking for an awesome race, or if you are running your first half, I highly, highly recommend this race. It is so motivating and fun that you forget you are running 13 miles. In fact, at mile 12, they give each woman a hot pink boa and a tiara to wear for the last mile. Then they have photographers lining the final mile to take pictures of you like the paparazzi, and when you cross, a hot fireman/hottie in a tuxedo hand you a red rose and a glass of champagne…I am not even joking. Then they take more photos of you with your rose. The last mile flew by as I posed for pictures, adjusted my tiara, and awaited my hot man at the finish line. Major score!

Do you have any advice for anyone who is looking to become a certified fitness instructor?

If you are looking to become a fitness instructor..stop hesitating. Don’t tell yourself you aren’t sure if you can do it, if you will get a job somewhere, or if you will like it. The answers are, you can do it, you will find a gym if you keep at it, and it will become the best decision you have ever made. I mean how amazing is it to get paid to workout, free gym memberships, tailor the workout to what you like, listen to songs that pump you up, make new friends, and jazz up your day? It is an unbeatable experience that I wish everyone could have. Find a class you love, look into where to get certified and just go. You will never regret it.

What was the first blog you read that inspired you to create your own?

To be honest, I didn’t set out to write a healthy living blog. I set out to find an outlet for my feelings. At the time I started One More Cupcake Please, I wasn’t happy with the way I looked, I couldn’t find a groove at the gym, and I was starting a new and scary life in the real world. I wrote forever without telling anyone and eventually I sent it to a few friends and it grew from there. I started learning that a blog should have a central topic and I realized that most of my posts were about food and workouts so I chose the healthy living route. I began discovering blogs like Eating Bird Food, Carrots ‘N’ Cake and Peanut Butter Fingers and they all had a unique style that was easy to learn from. I hope to one day make this my living because my passions are truly thriving with each and every post.

Erin’s blog is awesome. The writing is sincere and workouts are seriously sweat-inducing. Once again, her blog is One More Cupcake Please, head on over and check it out!

Laura, Erin and I after the AHA Wall Street Run

 

 

Blogger Q&A: Melissa

Melissa and I worked together and were friends in high school. Thank goodness for the internet because she moved to Florida for college then to Austin, Texas (where she currently resides). We remained friendly over the years but have become extra close in the past year (we are even running the Philly Marathon together, literally, side-by-side, in November)! Melissa is solely responsible for helping me start my blog! She helped me with every step from creating it, to fixing things, to my first post. I am very grateful for the help! I admire her as a friend, runner and blogger. I basically forced her to answer these questions for my blog. Just kidding, she wanted to…

You were the person who inspired me to start a blog about running. Did you have anyone in particular who inspired you? I started reading Chic Runner and SkinnyRunner in 2009. As time went on, I quickly realized how huge the blogging community was and continued adding running blogs to my Reader. I finished my first half marathon in the fall of 2010 on top of the world, and knew it wouldn’t be my last race. I decided it was time to create my own blog.

How did you use social media to build your blog? Blogging requires a pretty decent amount of your time: writing posts, reading blogs, commenting on blogs, responding to comments on your own posts, responding to emails, etc.  But it’s incredible and I love it. It’s just like a business in that you have to work at it and put a significant amount of effort into it to make it grow. The relationships you form are 100% worth it. Also I LOVE Twitter! When I first started using it a couple years ago I didn’t really “get it” but now I’m pretty much obsessed with it. It allows me to geek out about running 24/7, which I think my boyfriend appreciates. If he has to hear me profess my love for compression or my foam roller one more time…

I had NO idea about how many people I would meet when I started participating in the healthy living community via social media. What do you love most about the healthy living community? I love the support we all get from the healthy living community. No one judges, cuts one another down or criticizes. We’re all on a level playing field trying to balance life, staying active and maintaining healthy eating habits. The support system we have in each other cannot be rivaled.

What do you do to motivate yourself to work out? I’m not going to lie – I really struggle with staying motivated to work out. The alarm goes off at 4:45 and I generally don’t get home until around 6, 6:30pm. After the 90 minute commute and decompressing from my day, the last thing I want to do is work out. I’d much rather get in a pair of sweatpants and post up on the couch with a glass of wine! But that glass of sauvignon blanc isn’t going to help me nail a PR or button up my favorite pair of jeans. I make sure to always have a race on my calendar to stay motivated. Also I schedule every workout into Google Calendar, just like a work meeting or any other appointment. NO EXCUSES!

Can you please explain how you became a ZOOMA Ambassador and what you learned from the experience? Last winter I applied to be an Ambassador for ZOOMA Texas. I loved the idea of leading group runs and encouraging local women during training for their first (or tenth!) race. Running is a huge part of my life and I wanted to share the passion for it with others. It was definitely an amazing experience. I met so many great women and formed countless friendships. There’s something to be said for the inevitable bond runners experience while ticking the miles away out there on the trails. Hopefully I’ll be able to participate again next year!

You have run one full marathon and are signed up for another this fall. What do you consider to be the hardest part of marathon training? For me, the hardest part of marathon training (especially since I keep choosing fall marathons…) is the weather here in Austin. Most of my long runs last summer started at 4:30 or 5am when it was already 80 degrees and 100% humidity. BRUTAL. And that was before the sun even came up. It was always a battle with the snooze button on the weekend. Wake up at 4am or sleep in? Hmm… tough choice. But it’s one of the sacrifices you have to make while training for a marathon.

What is your favorite race distance and why? My favorite race distance is definitely the half marathon. With 5ks & 10ks it seems that just when you’re getting settled into a rhythm, the race is over! 13.1 is the perfect amount of miles, in my opinion.

What was your favorite finish line? My favorite finish line was hands down the Marine Corps Marathon. It was my first full marathon, so that in itself was incredibly overwhelming. But high-fiving two Marines as I crossed the finish line? Amazing. Receiving congratulations and a medal placed around my neck by a Marine? Humbling. The thought of it still gets me emotional! I highly doubt any race will ever come close to topping that one.

What are your exercise and/or running goals for 2012? Quite the lofty running goals for 2012: PR in {almost} every race distance. I knocked out the 5k on January 1 and half marathon on January 29th. I have my eye on an October 10k and plan on PRing the crap out of Philly in November 🙂

Can you give a piece of advice for someone who wants to start a blog or is new to the blogging world? BE YOURSELF!! Start the blog for you, not for anyone else. When you write it like a journal, your true personality comes out. I think a lot of people get wrapped up in fitting a specific “blogger mold” and their content suffers. The best blogs are the ones that are nothing like the rest. Be honest, write from the heart, and most importantly – have fun with it!! The more you enjoy writing, the better content you’ll create.

Thank you for the honest and thoughtful answers. Melissa is an amazing person, friend and blogger. She is hysterical and drinks more wine than I do (maybe? I am not sure, but she does have a section of her blog dedicated to it). Check her out here at MelissaRuns.com. And you can also follow her journey to a SERIOUS PR at the 2012 Philly Marathon 🙂

The First Blog I Ever Read

When I decided to run the NJ Marathon in May 2011, I googled it, because that’s what you do when you want to run a race. It was my first marathon. I was f’ing nervous. I wanted to run with a pacer. I picked a pace group that was right for me on the NJ Marathon website and saw that the pacer was some absurd marathon runner. She broke the world record as the youngest woman to run a marathon in all 50 states. I thought, “CRAP. Now what? I can’t run with an elite.” 

Anyway, during my training I started reading this impressive/world record breaker runner’s blog. Her posts inspired me. I would read training posts and I would read race recaps. It helped to read about her different experiences racing. I loved that someone could just share stories for everyone else! It was real and it was helpful and I won’t forget it. 

***If you read my blog, you know I did not end up running the marathon with anyone except myself, because I was late to the marathon, FAIL.***

Over a year (and another much more successful marathon later), I still am an avid reader of her blog and Laura was kind enough to answer a few questions regarding the sport (my questions/comments are in red):

Name: Laura

Age: 26

How many marathons have you ran: 71! Including one 6-hour ultramarathon. (holy shit)

Is the marathon your favorite distance? The marathon is by far my favorite distance. I love the challenge of it, and I think it’s a really good metaphor for life. There will be fun/easy parts, there will be boring parts, and there will be tough hills – but you just have to take it as it comes and remind yourself that the course may completely change in another mile or so.

What is your favorite marathon to run and why? I always divide this into my favorite big marathon and my favorite small marathon, because I think you can’t really compare the two. My favorite big marathon is the NYC Marathon. It was my 33rd marathon but first in my hometown, and I’ll admit that I got teary eyed when “New York, New York” played at the start. The crowds were incredible, and I loved having my friends and family there to cheer me on! My favorite small marathon was Run With the Horses in Green River, Wyoming. It was exactly the opposite of New York! You started at the top of a mesa at sunrise, and all you could see around you were mountains and sky – no buildings, roads, or even farms for miles. It was such a small field for a race that by halfway through the race, I was running all by myself with no other runners even in sight. The course was a dirt trail that was used by wild horses and they would pass the runners at a gallop. It was just incredibly scenic and beautiful.

What finish line meant the most to you and why? This April, I trained a group of women for their first half marathon – including my mom. She had never run more than a 5K before, and had not been a regular runner for about 40 years, but she rocked it! We ran side by side and I was so proud to cross the finish line holding hands 🙂 I love that feeling! I’m running a half marathon with my best friend in August (her first!!!), I am guaranteed to cry hysterically when we cross the finish! 

Worst marathon experience, how did you overcome it? I attempted to run the Breakers Marathon in Rhode Island on a day when it was 39 degrees, pouring rain, and with 40mph winds (the aid stations themselves were getting blown over!). I ended up dropping out at the halfway point because I was shaking so badly I could barely walk – and was devastated. In order to tick off Rhode Island on my 50 state challenge, I returned a few weeks later to run a 6 Hour ultramarathon, and covered 33 miles – my longest run ever! After finishing the 50 states, I went back to Rhode Island to try the Breakers Marathon again, and finished in 3:54, one of my top 5 fastest times. It felt great! Amazing. Nothing better than showing a race who is boss. 

What type of training works the best for you? I believe in not running too much, but allowing your crosstraining activities to get you ready. I think the ideal mix when training for a marathon is 3 days of running (1 speedwork, 1 hills, and 1 long run), 2 days of weight training plus some additional cardio (Zumba, elliptical, spinning, etc), 1 day of yoga, and 1 day of complete rest. However, I think the best training plan is the one that works for YOU – do what you enjoy!

Favorite thing about pacing? Which pace/mi is your favorite to pace? I love getting to help people push past their boundaries and do things they never thought were possible. I love seeing the looks of joy at the finish line, when they realize that they’ve achieved their goals. For marathons, I really enjoy pacing the 4:30 group (10:17/mile), because the group tends to have a lot of first-timers, which makes the experience even more special!

Favorite workout class? I’m all over the place with this one! I like to mix it up and take a lot of different things, so the answer depends on when you ask me. Recently, I got crushed by a Figure 4 barre class; I also have been thoroughly enjoying some kickboxing videos on DailyBurn.com when I’m traveling.

Favorite healthy recipe? Lately I’m obsessed with Buffalo blue cheese quinoa. Make the quinoa as usual (I like to add thyme for an extra kick); in a separate pan, saute some mirepoix (chopped onions, carrots, and celery). Mix it all together with 1/4 cup cottage cheese (if you don’t like it lumpy, you can blend it first till smooth) and 1/2 tsp hot sauce. Finally, use a microplane grater to shave in some blue cheese. The cottage cheese makes it creamy but a little bit of blue cheese gives it a lot of flavor, so it comes out like mac and cheese but incredibly healthy! Bonus: takes less than 15 minutes 🙂 Great recipe – I’ll be sure to share!!

Favorite place in NYC? I’m in my happy place when it’s a sunny summer day and I’m out by the Hudson River in the 60s. I like to run there in the morning (the water is so peaceful!), lie out in the grass and have a picnic on Linda’s Lawn in the afternoon, and then get drinks with friends at Pier I and Boat Basin in the evening. Perfect day would just be spending it all right there!

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to become a runner, what would it be? Don’t worry about training plans or doing things “right”; just get out there and run! Always try to push yourself a little further than you went the last time and you might be surprised at what you can do.

Amazing Q&A with Laura from 50by25.com

PLEASE check out her blog. She is an inspiration for all of us. Seriously, 71 marathons, 26 years old? Badass.

Special Thanks to Laura!