Last week we told you we would be giving you a chance to get to know your coaches. Their running styles, training techniques, favorite workouts, etc. You had a chance to get to know Nick. This week, you have a chance to get to know Joy.
How long have you been running?
I started in 7th grade. I did chase the ice cream truck before that though. Does that count?
Tell us about your running history:
As I kid, I was very active. I really enjoyed sports and games (although I wasn't very good). I started running track in 7th grade, so about age 13. My hand-eye coordination is sub-par to say the least, so track was an ideal sport for me. I ran track and cross country all through high school. I had knee surgery my freshman year of high school and had to take some time off to heal. To this day, that knee still bothers me. But you know what? It bothers me most when I don't exercise. I think that running regularly and taking care of my body is the best thing I can do for it.
I took some time off from running my freshman of college, but still hit the gym regularly. I realized I missed running, and picked it back up quickly. Last week you read about Nick getting back into running after his injury. We started running workouts, and racing a little more. We then started training for a half marathon. We both ran our first half in the spring of 2009. This was a really cool experience for me (1:44), and it made me want to train harder, and get faster. During my first year of law school, I made the crazy decision to train for my first full marathon. I'm grateful I did as it kept me running, but balancing the workload and training was a task! I ran my first full in Oklahoma City in April 2010 (4:07). Since then, I've done quite a few half marathons and 5ks. A big shout out to Jamie for being one of my favorite travel running buddies! I've dropped my half PR to 1:41 and I'm shooting to break into the high 1:30s this spring/summer. I'm working to go sub 20 in the 5k, and I think I've convinced myself to run Chicago in 2017 assuming I can get in.
Tell us about your training style:
I enjoy running, but what I really enjoy is pushing myself. For me, running is very freeing, both physically and mentally. The faster I run, the more free I feel. I have a hard time just going out for an easy run. Sure, some days you need an easy run and that's fine. Every once in a while it's fun to have a quick easy run with a friend. But honestly, if I'm really training - I want to get better and stronger. If I'm not pushing myself to get better, why bother?
I actually don't really like to run with people most of the time. I prefer to run alone, unless it's a weird, dark, creepy place of course. Physically, I like to see what I can do. I want to make my run really count. If I am training with other people, I want to run with partners who are willing to push me. I believe in really pushing the last part of your run. Your body remembers what you do last. If slow is what you do last, slow is what your body remembers. I don't want my body to remember slow.
Why do you train this way?
It's what I like, and I've seen results. Plus, the faster I run, the faster I can have a snack.
But really - most of the time I push myself simply because it's what I enjoy.
What is your favorite workout:
200m or 400m repeats
Least favorite is 1600m repeats
What is your favorite race distance and why?
The 400. But, since there's not many chances to race that, I actually really enjoy the 15k.
What is a piece (or two) of advice you have for someone new to speed work?
Speed work is hard and uncomfortable. Don't think it will be easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it. But here's the deal - if you're willing to put in the work, you will see results. It doesn't matter your current pace - speed work can be beneficial to you. Whether you run 7:00 minute miles or 10:00 minute miles, you can do it - trust me. It's the best way to get faster and stronger. Don't be scared of it. If you are scared to try it, ask yourself what you're really scared of. I bet it's not the actual workout.
Track your progress. Write down your workouts and your times. Seeing the progress you're making will help keep you on track and help you stay motivated. You can track your workouts in an online training log, a paper calendar, a training journal, or just use Excel. Find what works for you and stick with it.
Don't get discouraged if one or two workouts don't go your way. I've had months where every speed workout I did was "off" - don't give up. Keep working, and listen to what your body is telling you. If you're seeing slow times and poor workouts, maybe something else is wrong. Are you getting enough sleep? Low on iron? Are you eating well? Stressed about work? Figuring out what is going on can help you in more than just your running.
Oh - one other thing. Ignore the naysayers and their negativity. You'll always have people telling you "you can't do this" or "you're crazy" or "it's bad for your knees" or "you think you're better than everyone else don't you?" or "see, this is why I stay on the couch" - that's fine. Let them stay on the couch. Get out there and kick some butt. Watch yourself get stronger and faster physically. Plus, you'll probably notice you're sharper mentally as well. Remember, the people who put you down are the ones who wish they could do what you're doing. You don't have to be perfect at what you're doing. You don't even have to look good doing it. Strive for progress and ignore the negative people around you.
What do you like to eat before a race?
The night before? NOT fried chicken. I actually like to eat my larger meal at lunch the day before (usually pasta), and have something like Panera or Pita Pit for dinner.
The morning before? A banana and half of a bagel plus water.
After a race? Just about everything I see.
Do you crosstrain? What do you do?
Yes. Hot yoga, weight training, boxing/kickboxing, and core work. I also enjoy SUPing, hiking, and dogsledding.
Tell us a few of your favorite quotes:
"If it's both terrifying and amazing, then you should definitely pursue it" - Erada
"The truest version of ourselves stands well beyond comfort's perimeter."
“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.” - Kerouac
We hope your spring training is going well and that you're rocking your workouts. ShamRox is just around the corner! If you haven't signed up to run with us, don't miss out!
Remember, we are here if you have questions! #thefitclub417
Who Picks the Topics?
Each week, we notice different things. We try to incorporate the questions we are receiving or the training issues we are noticing into our post(s) for the week. If there is something you'd like us to cover, let us know!