Welcome to Laura! You know her best from her blog, Absolut(ly) Fit. She has been on the blogging scene for only a year and the running scene only two. But in just 2 years, she has taken both the marathon and the blogosphere by storm. Her current goal is to be the youngest female to run a marathon in each of the 50 states. And we have no doubt she will.
Why did you start running?
Because I couldn't do it. Let me explain with a few anecdotes. In college, I had heard of a program called Teach for America (check out their website at teachforamerica.com if you dno't know what it is), but mistakenly thought it was just a program that anyone could get accepted to and do if they weren't ready/qualified for a "real" job. I recently read a phenomenal book called "Relentless Pursuit" that profiled several TFA teachers at their school in LA, and was blown
What is the most challenging part of your running?
I'd have to say it's continuing the challenge that keeps me running. When I first started running, I thought it would be the coolest thing in the world if I could complete a 5K. When I did, I told everyone I knew, whipping out the digital pictures and proudly announcing my 33:00 finish as if it were a world record. Six months later, I worked my way up to a 5 miler, and ran the race having never run more than 4 miles in training (please note that I use the term "training" loosely, to mean the day after any alcohol-filled party where I inevitably developed a vodka-gut and tried to burn it off by going for a run). I just kept going longer and longer, and I still remember my mom thinking I was going to die when I set my sights on a 10 miler in the Adirondack Mountains! Each new race is another chance for me to get that amazing rush at realizing I've gone farther or faster than before, and now that I've started my 50 state challenge, it's a huge boost just to add another state to the collection even if
What are your running goals?
Right now, I'm content to say that my goal is to be the youngest female to run a
How do you fit running into your busy life?
Time management is definitely an issue. I've been one of the busiest people I know, even from a very young age. When I was an adolescent, I was a serious dancer, and managed to squeeze in 15+ hours/week of ballet classes while still attending school full-time; in my teens, it was community/professional theater that took up my time (usually about 20 hours/week of rehearsals); in college, I kept myself busy by taking more than a full course load. One semester, I took 21 credits when a "normal" schedule was 12-15. Despite
Who is your running hero?
Hands down that would be Dean Karnazes. I first heard his name two years ago, when I was running once a week for 3-5 miles at most and he was doing the North Face Endurance Challenge. I thought he was absolutely the craziest person I had ever heard of! Who knew that one year later, I'd be embarking upon my own crazy 50 state challenge?! I had the opportunity to meet Dean briefly at the expo for the San Francisco Marathon, and it was one of the greatest compliments I've received to date when he told me told me that he thought I was crazy. :)
Why did you start your blog?
The first running blog I ever came across was called "Jogging for Normal People." I don't even remember how I came across it, but I thought it was the funniest thing I had ever read (check out http://www.thatsfit.com/2007/04/10/jogging-for-normal-people-admiting-the-truth/ for one of my favorite posts). When I started reading it, the author had already abandoned it, so that led me in search of other running blogs, and one of those that I started frequently reading was Non-Runner Nancy's. She announced a virtual race and I decided to participate, but when she posted my results as "Laura the Lurker" because I didn't have a blog, I was so embarrassed by my new moniker (which sounded to me like some kind of pedophile who hangs out in dark alleys and lures small children with promises of candy) that I decided to create my own blog. At first I had the idea of filling it with tons
Which running bloggers have you met and which ones would you like
I want to meet everyone in person! Seriously, since I'm running a marathon in each of the fifty states, I should be near everyone at least once, so I'm hoping to be able to meet as many running blogging friends as possible. So far, I've met Paul of PLe1der blog, Lam of The
Tell us about your job.
I work for a large global consulting firm, and the best thing about my job is the culture. Like my university, it's very work hard/play hard. I find my friends and other non-coworkers are always getting shocked about each end of the spectrum, but it's when you put them together that it all works out. There are nights I have to stay at work until 4 AM, and that totally sucks, but then there are days when I sleep late and go into the office in the afternoon for a margaritas-and-daiquiris Cinco de Mayo party! Everyone always seems to forget that I have to deal with BOTH parts, and so I'm always getting comments about how my job is either incredible or really terrible. Yes, I may be flying off to cool locations or eating at four star restaurants on the company dime, but to get perks like that, I need to work really hard. For me, it all balances out in the end, and I think that the two extremes fit my personality pretty well. I would rather have the extreme work and the extreme play than be somewhere in the middle all the time - it keeps my life interesting :)
What do you do when you aren't running, blogging or working?
As I mentioned above, I'm really structured in liking to check things off my to-do list, so there are TV shows I watch every week (or at least tape every week and then eventually get around to watching). These include reality shows like America's Next Top Model, Project Runway, The Biggest Loser, and Top Chef; sitcoms like The Office and Privileged; and dramedies like Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, One Tree Hill, Private Practice, and House. I also love to read - I love chick lit, diet/health/nutrition/workout books, and anything written by Jodi Picoult. Oh, and since my blog is called "Absolut(ly) Fit," I suppose I should point out that I do enjoy drinking - though I actually do it a lot less since I've started blogging! I love wines (I took a wine tasting class in college that got me really intrigued), especially a good Riesling. As for mixed drinks, when I'm being healthy I'll go for a flavored vodka and seltzer, but when I throw all caution to the wind, I love a good frozen drink like a margarita, daiquiri, or pina colada - the sweeter and fruitier the better :)
If you could change anything about your running, what would it be?
I want to run more frequently, and keep up a more normal "training" schedule. Which leads me to...
Tell us about your current 21 day challenge and the habit you are
Jenn from Getting Fit and Loving It put out a call for all of us to do a 21 day challenge to either break or start a habit. I decided to do two challenges: trying to break one habit, while trying to start a new one. For 21 days, I'm avoiding what I call all "processed carbs"
Your sidebar blog list is great - any advice on great blogs for runners?
There are so many running blogs out there, and I had a lot of trouble with the TIART where we were supposed to talk about our favorite blogs - I could have gone on for days! I try to read the blogs of everyone who reads mine, and then there are some that I just relate to or
Your race schedule has been unbelievably busy - how do you choose
Not in the conventional way, that's for sure! I'm all about signing up last minute for races. A lot of this has to do with work and my travel schedule - until a week or so before, it's impossible for me to know whether I'll be able to get to a race. This unfortunately leads to me paying a lot in registration fees because I can never take advantage of the early registration, but that's made up for by the fact that I usually don't have to pay travel expenses (see this article on CNN, for an explanation of how that works - thanks to Amanda from Run to Finish for sending that to me). I keep a big Excel spreadsheet with
This week's TIaRT topic is running and weight loss - any tips or
The best advice I can give is to be aware of what you're eating and what you're doing. I've very informally coached some friends and family on weight loss, and the one thing I've really noticed is that so many people think they're being healthy and making great choices, but aren't. My mom had been gaining a bit of weight and couldn't figure out why - she said she was just picking at her food and never really eating full meals. One day I had her write down every bite she put in her mouth (even if it was just a taste), and finally she
What is your biggest running challenge?
Now that I've been doing multiple marathons, it can be hard to stay motivated. In my first few marathons, I'd get to mile 20 and think, "wow, only 6 miles to go! If I just keep the pace up, I can PR!" When I was only doing marathons once a month, it was easy to lay it all on the line; when I started doing marathons more frequently, my attitude changed, and it was more like "meh, I'm kind of tired. I'll just take it easy now and then try for a PR next weekend." I try to keep myself engaged with the reminder that "pain is temporary; pride is forever," but it can be really hard to push yourself so much. People are always amazed that my body can run so many marathons, but I think the real miracle is that my mind has allowed me to do it. Running is SUCH a mental sport, and I think it's almost tougher for us mid-packers than it is for the champions. They're running to beat someone and to win,
What has been your funniest moment while running?
That would have to be in the Portland Marathon, when I saw a spectator sign at mile 16 that said, "Holy crap, only 10 miles to go!" A few minutes later, I had to... well, you know. It was not funny at all while I was going through it, but in retrospect, I think that's pretty
How do your family/friends support your running?
My mom and best friend from high school came to my first race bearing signs that said, "Run to the ice cream, Laura!" It was wonderful to see them on the course, and even better when they dealt with my cranky mood after the marathon when I was sore. My mom and I are extremely close, and she's only been able to come to one other marathon since
What advice do you have for runners?
Alice in Wonderland was one of my favorite Disney movies as a child, and I'd like to pull a short quote from the book. "Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said, 'one can't believe impossible things.' 'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'"