When and why did you start running?I was a tomboy growing up. I loved what we called “field day” when I was in elementary school. I would always compete in all the running competitions and I was so excited to consistently get 1st and 2nd place in my races (for a girl) and thankfully, my Mom is a sentimental Mom and she has kept those precious ribbons in safe keeping for me all these years! I also dabbled in running in high school, but never fully committed to it as my sport of choice since I was also a volleyball player. After turning 25 I found myself in the rut of my mid-twenties on the slide to 30 and I had gotten out of shape, so I joined a gym and began working out and taking aerobics classes 6 days a week. In between workouts I would hit the treadmill for 6 miles every day. Then after turning 35 I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and found myself right back at the threshold of needing to get back into better shape. I began working out at a gym and then took several months of bootcamp classes and then a long-time friend reunited me with my love of running I had found in my mid-twenties and I have never looked back.
What is your favorite race and race distance?
My favorite race distance is the half marathon, though I have not participated in a full marathon yet, that is on the calendar for 2014. Completing the half marathon is such a feeling of accomplishment. Defeating the elements, proving to yourself that you can push through anything and crossing the finish line with so much emotion that you are chomping at the bit for the next one! It’s my total runner high and I live for it!
What is your race day routine?For me it is all about being organized and ready to go the morning of. I place all my gear out in what we call a “Flat Mama” the night before so that it is ready to go in the morning. I like to get up early on race morning, mostly because I am always terrified of being late to the start (bad race experience this year being stuck in traffic and almost missing the start) so early rising race day is #1 on my list of TO-DO’s. Making sure that I have enough water, but not too much and that I eat my banana and bread with peanut butter, it’s a crazy ritual that I started earlier this year and I make sure it’s all out and ready to grab when I am ready. There’s always a lot of trips to the bathroom before the race start, just to make sure I’m good to NOT HAVE TO GO during the race!
What is your most favorite piece of running gear?Oh for me, the runner, it's all about the shoes! For many years I was a Nike girl, but last year I was introduced to Mizuno's line of running shoes and have trained and raced with them ever since. When I run I have an odd foot plant which makes me supinate (land on the outsides of my heels instead of neutral or inward) and if I do not have the proper shoe or foot bed in my running shoe it makes my legs fatigue much faster. I know a lot of people would say a certain brand of clothing or maybe their favorite piece of equipment, but for me it's all about the shoes!
Do you follow any diet or take any specific supplements that complement your running? I don't follow what society calls the traditional version of "diet" but I am a newbie vegetarian, about 2 months now. I do not eat dairy at all and I only consume meat once a week if at all, but must know where it came from and how it was raised. My requirement for all food I eat is that it is hormone-free and pesticide-free and I do not eat fast food or traditional processed food items. Other than that, I pretty much keep it simple and on race day my energy source when I am feeling a little low is Extreme Sport Beans and I keep them in my FuelBelt for when I need them.
What do you wish you’d known when you first started running? Running is a race with yourself and you must find what fuels your passion for running. Run your race or train for you with all your heart. Putting time limits on your running will cause quick burnout, which I experienced in my first six months of running again. When I checked out and stopped focusing on time and focused more on quality of my runs, I truly found my stride and began to enjoy it even more.
What is your fondest running memory?
Completing the Breast Cancer Half Marathon this past February. It was my first and most memorable race to date. I think I cried at least once every single mile, but tears of joy and not angst.
What is one thing that most people do not know about you?
I am an extremely shy person until you get to know me. It comes from growing up being picked on for having red hair. My Mom always said, one day they will be sorry they ever picked on you, you are beautiful and they will be sorry. Though it was tough, I always hung onto that little joy that she brought me with those words. Words hurt, but they can also be very inspiring and comforting in our darkest hours.
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Thanks so much for sharing with us Tammy!
QOTD: Are you staying home or traveling for Christmas?