Hello all my little happy feet out there. 

I’m pretty stoked about my entry today.  I’ve decided to start asking fellow runners to be featured on my blog talking about how they got started running and what they do to train for events and what not….My first featured runner is my friend, Kristen!  Kristen happens to be training for the Endurance Challenge 50k due to take place this June in DC.    

Everyone, please welcome Kristen.  Here’s a cool picture of her running a half marathon out in Washington state. 

“HI KRISTEN!”

Lynda:  Good morning Kristin and thank you for taking the time to be here.  So I thought I’d get started by asking you to tell everyone how long you’ve been running.

Kristen: Well let’s see….I ran my first race, at the encouragement of my Uncle John.  The race was our annual July 4th 15k and I was 12 years old.  I placed first in my age group and have been running ever since.  Also, I ran track and cross-country up through college and started running longer distances in my early 30’s. 

Lynda:  That’s so nice.  I love hearing how people got inspired to run especially when it’s someone very close to you who does the inspiring – I hope one day one of my kids will attribute me as their inspiration for running.  So tell me Kristen, what is Gawd’s name made you decide to run a 50k?

Kristen: Hmmm, good question.  I guess there were several things leading up to my decision – I ran a marathon in 2006, completed an Olympic distance triathlon last September, I figured this would be a great challenge and something completely different than I’ve ever done before.

Lynda:  Since you started training for the 50K, what has been your greatest challenge?

Kristen:  My greatest challenge in training for this race has been the back to back runs on the weekends.  Running 20+ miles on a Saturday and then getting up on Sunday and running another 10 really taxes your mind and body.   Being on your feet that long is exhausting.  

Lynda:  Dag, that sounds grueling!  I have no idea how you do it.   Have there been any big surprises while training for this event?

Kristen:  I guess my biggest surprise is that I am actually doing it and enjoying it.  It’s one thing to talk about it and another to go out and do it.  I have fallen in love with trail running.  There is nothing quite like being out in the middle of nowhere running by yourself for 5+ hours.  It’s a great way to start the weekend.  And the benefit is that the trails are so much easier on your body than running on pavement.  I have had far fewer injuries and/or pain training for this race and it’s the most I’ve run in my entire life.

Lynda:  YIKES!  The most you’re ever run in your life???  So how do you stay motivated?   I know when I get toward the end of my training I get soooo lazy and tired of doing those long runs!

Kristen:  My main motivator is finishing the race.  But I would say that staying fit and young is another big motivator.  I’m the type of person that needs an end goal to stay focused.  What better way to do that than to set a new goal for yourself?

Lynda: That is awesome.  So, I’ve got to ask you…while you’re out there doing all those long runs, what do you do to pass the time?   I know a lot of us (I have to include myself in this group) like to use an iPod while training – those long runs can be unbearable and I myself need something to help me get through it.  But, there seems to be a major controversy about the use of MP3 and/or iPods amongst runners.  Are you Pro or Con such devices?

Kristen:  I am probably in the minority, but I am completely AGAINST training with an iPod.  I like to get lost in my own head when I’m running and I find that the iPod is a total distraction.  There is nothing like enjoying the peace and quiet of the outdoors when you’re trail running… not to mention it’s my mental therapy and the ultimate stress reliever.   Running is as much of a mental game as it is physical.

Lynda:  Good for you man.  I guess you’re waaaaay more cerebral than I am.  I’m like a little kid on a long car ride…”are we there yet.”  So obviously you’re an outdoor runner.   Are there any specific trails you enjoy more than others?

Kristen:  So far my favorite two trails are the Cabin John Stream Trail and Bull/Run Occoquan Trail. 

Lynda:  Cool, I’ve got to check them out.  I’ve always been afraid of hurting myself with trail running but you say it’s been injury free for you so I think I’ll check it out! 

Okay, so one final question – will you do another 50K?

Kristen: At this point I would say that I would definitely complete another 50K.  However, talk to me after the race J

Wow!  That’s awesome Kristen.  I’m so impressed.  Again, I wish you luck and make sure to share some photos with us after the race. 

Thank you so much for sharing your story!  I love to hear about how people train and how they push themselves to reach their goals.  Maybe one day I’ll muster up the courage to do a 50k…but for now, I better stay focused on October 31st

If anyone else would like to share their story, send me the info!!!  Like I said, I love to hear people’s personal running stories.  Until next time PEACE my brothahs and sistahs!  And remember, keep on running!!

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