Welcome to the second part of Amy’s interview. Today’s questions cover general running questions and topics. Enjoy!
Amy with her running partner SuLee.
-Do you have a pre-race ritual to mentally/physically prepare?
I can’t think of anything specifically that I do before every race. I typically get up an hour and ten minutes before I need to leave and during that time I drink a cup of coffee, glide my WHOLE body, force myself to eat, stretch, take about 3 trips to the bathroom, triple check my garmin and ipod shuffle and for some reason I always put my dtag on my left shoe. That’s about it… nothing fancy.
-What is your pre-race dinner and breakfast, and how do you fuel during a race?
My favorite pre-race dinner is sushi; I feel like it has the perfect combination of protein and carbs. I am not big into stuffing myself with pasta, I can’t think of anything worse than waking up feeling heavy. In Chicago, I couldn’t find sushi around my hotel, so I ordered a bowl of pasta, although I didn’t even eat half. For breakfast, I’ve changed it up a bit. Up until Chicago, I would eat a plain bagel about an hour before the race. Training for Chicago I bought picky bars (pickybars.com) that I love… I feel like it’s the perfect combination of protein, fats and carbohydrates. During a marathon I typically take in 5 to 6 GU and drink one or two swallows of gatorade at each aid station; this works for my body, I have never “hit the wall” and always feel strong at the end of the race.
-How do you fit running into working woman/being a wife life?
It is pretty easy for me to fit running into working and being a wife. I get up in the mornings and run before work and on the weekends when I do long runs I tell my husband to go play golf in the morning and we typically finish our activities at the same time. I think it’s hard fitting running into being a friend – my close friends don’t run and it’s hard when I want to go out on Friday night while eating, drinking and chatting until the early morning hours. I feel like a party pooper when I’m looking at my watch and thinking about how many hours until I need to get up and run. What I have done to work on that part is have my off days on Sundays… which means I try to make my social plans for Saturday nights. My friends are totally supportive, but it’s just something they don’t quite understand. It will be tricky when I have kids, that will be a different ball game…. I’ll deal with that when the time comes.
-What do you do to take care of yourself/recover from runs and races?
In the perfect world after a long run and a race I would drink a protein shake, stretch, taken an ice bath followed by a massage the next day. I was really good about that last year, but now after a long run I like to sit with my running partner at coffee for at least an hour while talking about things we weren’t able to cover in the previous hours while running together 😉 We will get our coffee (I have an americano) and share a bagel. I do try to stretch afterward, but I’m not always the best at that. I will say I am a HUGE believer in massage. I’ve got a great masseuse and I faithfully get a massage 24-48 hours after a long run or race. Also, I do a lot of foam rolling while I’m at home in the evenings watching television.
-What is the #1 item you have to have when you run?
That is a toss-up between my garmin and ipod. If I am going for a long run with my running partner, we always talk the whole time so it would be my garmin. If it was a race, I think I would need my music. And as a side note, I wear the old school kind of ear phones, for the life of me I cannot find ear phones that work for my ears, they always fall out. Recommendations?
-Any advice for those contemplating their first marathon?
When I was training for my first marathon, I got a lot of advice from different sources and there were a few things that stuck with me. #1 It is better to be 10% undertrained than 1% overtrained. #2 For your first marathon, your only goal should be to finish while feeling good. And a few of my own ideas #1 You first goal when training for a marathon should be to make it to the start line… a lot of people get injured and can’t even start the race. #2 The race really starts at mile 20, it’s amazing how many people slow down starting at mile 20. #3 If you can do a half, you can do a full… mind over matter.
-What has been your favorite run ever?
Chicago obviously is the first race that I think about. Also, the Yukon Do It Marathon was meaningful because I became an official Maniac (Marathon Maniac).
I have had a lot of great long runs with my running partner – in the beginning when we first started running together I asked about her daughters (she has three adopted daughters) and she started telling me each of their birth/adoption stories. I could have run hours on end listening, crying, and running. It’s those times when we run together and get into deep conversations that gives us a strong bond on the streets. We have a had of hilarious moments together running during the week, on weekends and races. We are both loud and probably slightly obnoxious to others, but we don’t care. For most of our races we wear matching clothes, as if we’re not dorky enough.
-What is the one thing you can’t deal with while running?
I can’t deal with having to go poo… my body doesn’t give me any prior notice, it just goes into “high gear” and I have to find a bathroom immediately. When SuLee and I first see each other in the mornings before our runs, the first thing we ask each other is, “did you go poop?” – It is important to get the system moving… a good poop = a good run!
-How do you get through the hard running times…those times when you don’t feel like running, or miles that make you want to cry?
I find that the hardest thing sometimes about running is lacing up my shoes and getting outside. It is really helpful that during the dark and cold months I have my running partner who I meet in the morning, otherwise I am sure I would skip some runs. Furthermore, it helps when I am registered for a race and have a schedule to follow, It is difficult when I am running just to run and not following a program. During a run, if I am feeling slow, sluggish or tired, I have no problem slowing down – some runs are just better than others.
Rapid Fire Q&A
-Favorite distance to run? 26 miles and 385 yards.
-Favorite post-race treat? Beer – after all that GU, I need something that isn’t sweet.
-Music while running? I listen to everything from Taylor Swift to Jay-Z to Bruce Springsteen
-Next Race? I am planning on the Seattle Marathon (November 25th)
-Is there anything you would like to add?
I really love running – it is not something I make myself do. I thoroughly enjoy the pomp and circumstances of races and seeing hard work pay off. For some, running is a form of exercise and that is all, but for me it is so much more than that. I have learned a lot about myself through running and it helps me a happier person!
Thank you so much Amy for taking the time to answer all the questions and share your running experience with us! If you find earphones that work, let me know! I need a recommendation as well!