Thursday, September 12, 2013

Runners Spotlight Let Me Introduce HEATHER

Every runner has a story, which pushes and drives them to do what they do. Because it's fascinating learning about others.  In return it also inspires and motivates us, so each Thursday I run a Runners Spotlight.

This week I'd like to introduce HeatherI asked Heather several questions, to tell part of her story and introduce you all to her. 

Heather Blogs at
Heather Runs Fast


Tell us what distances you like to run?

I like to run any distance, but I love to race the marathon!

How long have you been running?  Or at what age did you start running?

If you consider playing soccer, I've been running since I was 10ish, but running as a sport, for about 6 years.

What made you want to become a runner?  What is it that keeps you at it?

At first it was to loose the freshman 15, err 20, but now I run because I love it. I love challenging myself and seeing what my mind and body can do.

You have a lot of Bling pictured on your blog, brag a bit for us.  How many marathon's, halfs have you done to get a beautiful set of medals like those? 

Marathons: 8 Halfs: 8 and a dozen or so 5/10ks. As we runners know, the best medals come from fulls and halfs though :)
You travel a lot to do marathons, tell us some of your favorite parts about traveling to different races?

My husband and I love to make vacations out of races. Being from FL, we don't have too many local races to PR in, as there is a short window of good running weather. Traveling lets us experience all four seasons, haha. We also get to explore different parts of the good ole USA! Two birds with one stone :)

What has been your favorite race and distance you have run?  Tell us why?

This is a super hard question! Here's my best summary: Marine Corps was cool because I ran it with the hubs and the scenery was awesome, plus it was our first. CIM was memorable because we ran it on our honeymoon! Chicago was our first big marathon and it didn't disappoint. Virginia Beach=PR... enough said. Boston, well, it's Boston. 

If you could run any race in the entire world, where would it be and why?

Another tough question, but I'd have to go with the Athens Classic Marathon in Athens, Greece, back where it all started. And it doesn't hurt that it's in November... my wedding anniversary month! Hope my husband reads this post!

Do you run for fun?  Or run to compete?  Both?

Both for sure! If I am running to compete I look for a course than is conducive to setting a PR. But if I'm running for fun, the course or weather won't really matter, it's more the destination :)

Have you ever won a race or placed in your age group?

I have won one 5k (a race distance I rarely run) and one half marathon. Not going to lie, I was pretty stoked winning a race! I typically place in my age group in local races, but not in the larger marathons like Chicago, Boston, etc.

Have you experienced any trials/injuries/health issues that you have had to overcome?  Tell us about them.

Ugh. Yes I have. About 4 years ago I had plantar fasciitis, the beginning of this year I hurt my knee and currently I'm nursing a tight glute. As with all running injuries I did a lot of resting and active recovery like stretching and foam rolling. I hurt my knee by banging it on the corner of our coffee table. It was about a month before a big race I was hoping to PR at and totally crushed my spirits. I ended up scraping the race to heal up before Boston. As much as it sucked, I'm glad I didn't race, as Boston was an amazing experience, all things considered. 

Tell us what crossing the finish line feels like to you.

Crossing the finish line, I am overwhelmed with happiness and feel a huge sense of accomplishment every time.

Do you have a specific distance and PR that you are proud of?  Tell us about it.

I am pretty darn proud of my Marathon PR of 3:13:48. It was at Virginia Beach and as happy as I am with it, I KNOW I could have done even better had the weather been nicer. I don't think I stopped smiling for a week after running that race :)

Have you ever ran a race in costume?  Would you?  

I have not, but totally would!
Do you have running goals?  If so tell us about them.

My main running goal is to qualify for the Olympic Trials one day. I know I have a loooooong way to go, but I know I can do it. My knee and glute injuries have held me back this year, and starting a family is going to "set me back" another year, but of course it will worth it!

What states/races are in your future outlook that you can't wait to go run in?

I can't wait to run NY. I have never been there so, like so many places/race in our past, it would be an awesome vacay! I also really want to run Big Sur. I LOVE California and if it weren't for my parents, I'd move there in a heart beat! There are probably too many to list.

Have you run races in any other countries?

Unfortunately, no. One day though!

What is your favorite kind of running, solo running or running with a friend or group?

On most occasions, running solo is my preference, but once a week with a friend would be awesome!

Do you listen to music while you run?

Nope. It's just me, my thoughts and my footsteps.

Do you cross train?  What types?

Not really, unless I'm injured. I do lift weights and take Pilate's/yoga, but I consider that more complimentary training than cross training.

Do you have any tips of suggestions for someone who is thinking of starting up running?  

Run for the fun of it. Don't worry about pace, distance or comparing yourself to others. Just.Run. Once you get hooked and genuinely love running, you can start to think about adding the other stuff in. The only thing you should worry about in the beginning is looking cute... get yourself a colorful bright outfit :) 

What is your must have running accessory?

I immediately think Garmin. I love recording each run and seeing my progress. Plus, it makes doing speed work alone that much easier. I do believe that you should run GPS-less once a week or so, though. It's important to remember that we run for fun just as much as we do for the competition and this allows me to do so. A visor is my next go to accessory, keeping the sweat out of my eyes and sun off of my face.

Favorite pre and post run food?

Depends on distance. Pre food for runs less than 10 miles, toast with jam or something small, more than 10 miles I opt for oatmeal. For marathons I eat a large bagel and a half. Post run, of any distance, pancakes and a protein shake :) And by pancakes I mean, good ole carby pancakes, not those Greek yogurt/protein/low carb wannabees, haha.
Your a pretty fast runner, tell us what are your favorite types of speedworkouts?

I love tempo workouts. I definitely prefer longer distance speed than the shorter 400's and such. Hence why I hate racing a 5k and love racing a marathon, haha. 800's is about the shortest distance I mind. I'd run a 6 x 1m tempo over a 6 x 800's any day, but I know those shorter faster runs are the base to faster marathons so I do them anyway.

Tell us something unique about you.

I have a playful dog-ter Riley (human kids are in our near future), I am super corny and sarcastic, speaking of corny... I love candy corn, my husband and sister are my best friends, sometimes I put ketchup on my broccoli, I live in workout clothes when I can, I eat oatmeal every day and froyo WAY too much, I like to smile, smiling is my favorite :)

If you are a blogger, what types of things do you blog about?  What can readers expect if they start following your blog?

I blog about a lot and most of it is so random. Obviously my blog, HeatherRunsFast.com, is about running (shocker!), but I also share recipes, advice and just general happenings in my life. Kind of like a journal, oh wait ;)

You Can Follow Heather On Her Blog


Heather, thank you so much for letting me spotlight you!  I seriously love that one of your goals is to make the Olympic trials!  You'll make it, and one day I am going to see you on T.V. cheering for you, and telling people, I did a spotlight on that awesome girl:)  Oh and I hope your husband reads this, and takes ya to Athen's in November for the Marathon!  I also hope you run NY and Big Sur one day, both of those are incredible races and on my top 5 favorite list, you'll love them!  Look forward to following you on your blog as you work toward conquering all your goals!!!

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