Your Questions, My Answers: Running

When I opened up the "floor" for questions, many of the questions I received (and I get many emails about this same topic) were about running. I thought it might be fun to talk about one of my favorite things today by answering the questions I commonly receive. The picture at the top of the page was taken at a race by my run club and posted on Facebook as it appears. I love it and think it goes well with this post!

Did you run in high school/college?
In the sense of competitive running, no, but I ran. I've always run. In fact, I can't really remember a time when I didn't run. Consistently, no, but I ran.

When I was in middle and high school, I figure skated competitively. We had a minor league hockey team in my town which meant we had ice about eight months a year. When I watched Kristi Yamaguchi win the gold in 1992 (I was five, almost six), I knew I wanted to figure skate. When I was around twelve or so, my dream came true when we started having ice skating. I trained under an ice dancing couple who were coached at Lake Placid and competed nationally, and in the summers, I trained a few days a week in Charleston with the Figure Skating Club of Charleston. But because we had iceless summers, I ran to stay in shape (and trust me, you use far more muscles - or at least vastly different ones - running and skating).

Did you start out running 5Ks first or were you always a long distance runner?
First, thank you, Erin, for the long distance runner bit. :) I don't think of myself as a distance runner, but that made me smile. Majorly. And then I had to Google "what makes a long distance runner" and according to Google, I am one. So that's cool. But I digress.

My first few races were actually the Cooper River Bridge Run which is a 10K held in Charleston each Spring. I ran it a few times with friends who aren't really runners and it was more for fun.

My first true race about a year and a half ago was a 5K. My husband's best friend is a runner and got me to run this local 5K with him. I finished just below 24 minutes and ended up being the fourth female overall and first in my age group. You could say that this race hooked me.  Since then, I've raced a good bit and have drastically improved my times with a PR of 20:25 in the 5K. It's amazing to see what consistent running does.

Are you going to run a half marathon or marathon?
I've talked about running a half marathon for a long time. I've written about it, I've almost signed up for one, I've contemplated training for one, but I haven't done it. At this point, I don't know. Here's the thing: I like shorter, fast races. I've only run two true 10K's (take out the CRB). My 5K PR is 20:25. I like to go fast.

Could I run a half? Yes. I don't think it would require that much training either. But I don't know if I really want to. It's one of those things I want to mark off my list, but I just don't know if I want to do it. Is that bad?

I've felt before that running a half or full will make me more of a runner, but then I realize, it won't. I'm just as much of a runner today running 5Ks, 10Ks and just my normal runs as I would be if I trained for a half or full. I can tell you that the prospect of running 26.2 miles is not something I have a desire to do. I just don't.

Do you do anything besides run?
Yes. I work out at the gym about three days a week. I focus on my upper body, back, glutes and abs. I love the 8 Minute Ab workout from YouTube and do it about 5 days a week.

What's your normal running week?
I typically run 4-5 days a week. I did 60+ days straight beginning in April during which I did four races including 2 PR's. My body needs rest though. Once I finished the second challenge I participated in, I took 10 days off and my body loved it. I feel so much better now and I didn't lose any speed. In fact, I had my fastest mile ever during a run this past weekend.

What are your running goals?
I like to set goals, but I don't usually post them. I have two goals I'd like to complete when race season gears back up this fall. I want to break 20 minutes in a 5K and I want to qualify as competitive for the Cooper River Bridge Run. My 10K times aren't indicative of my true times as I haven't run a 10K race in a long time. My 10Ks in practice are right below 43 minutes.

How do you train?
I love to run so I don't think of my runs necessarily as training. If I am preparing for a race, I try to not go all out in the day or two before a race so I have fresh legs. I normally run at least a 5K when I run and I don't go much slower than a race. My 5Ks during the week are typically run at right below or at 21 minutes; my Saturday races are around the 20:30 mark. Races don't seem hard because I'm used to running race pace during most of my runs, but on the other hand, I may improve my speed by running slower normal runs. It's something I was to test. I do track all of my runs and workouts in a spreadsheet, so if you'd like a copy of that for yourself, e-mail me ( and I'll be happy to send you one.

What's your favorite running gear?
I did a post on this last year and it's mostly the same.

I run in Brooks PureCadence2. I love these shoes and am on my third pair in a year. Nike Tempo shorts are my favorite. I don't run in much other than them. I do have some Old Navy shorts that are monogrammed and fit just as good as the Nike. Sometimes, it's fun to add a little monogram. I like dri-fit tanks, mainly Nike or Reebok. I use dri-fit socks as well. I also have a Garmin Forerunner 110.

If you'd like to read a recap of my races, click here.

Favorite Running Posts
National Running Month
Increasing Your Speed
What I Learned in 30 Days of Running
30 Days of Thanks: Running
So You Want to Run
Favorite Gear
Exercise, Nutrition and My Advice
Race Day
The One Time I Ran With An Olympian

If you have any other running or fitness questions, I'm happy to answer them! I'd also love to hear your running stories and how you train!