Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thumbs Up Thursday...Carrie

This week we meet the final member of the recent Thumbs Up Thursday's Trio because the spotlight is on Carrie of Girls Go Running (here).  If you haven't stopped by their blog yet, you certainly need to do that right after you read Carrie's interview!

Jodi:  How long have you been running?

Carrie:  I am not really sure how long I’ve been running. I know mom started it all, but it has been a number of years. I started toward the end of high school. I was a swimmer then, and I never ran competitively as a high school sport. Now, I consider myself a runner, who used to swim.

Jodi:  Why did you start running?
Carrie:  I started running because my mom enjoyed it so much. I also knew that I could not swim for the rest of my life simply because it can be really inconvenient or expensive to swim. So, I also started as a way to take care of myself that was readily available no matter where I was.

Jodi:  How many years have you been racing?
Carrie:  If I’m not mistaken, I ran my first race, The Ox Run, when I was 16. So, I guess I have been racing since then, but I don’t race regularly.

Jodi:  What is your favorite distance to race and why?
Carrie:  I haven’t run a marathon, so my comment excludes a marathon because I really don’t know. I have run four half marathons, several 10k’s, one 5k, and one 12k. I really loved the half marathon. My experience may have been encouraged by a couple things.  I hit a major goal in finishing my first half marathon, which was the Rite Aid Cleveland Half Marathon. I ran a 1:45-something after a friend encouraged me to run 8:00 mile the whole way, which he had no reason to know what pace I ran. We had never once run together.  I ran without a Garmin at that point, and I had no idea how fast or slow I was. So, I figured out what the time needed to be, and I did my best to make it. As luck would have it, I ran 8:01s for the half marathon. I was so impressed with myself that I fell in love with the distance.

Jodi:  What is your favorite race memory?
Carrie:  My best memory is placing second in my age group and fifth among the women for a local half marathon called the Cleveland Spring Classic. I finished with a time of 1:37:23. I was in complete shock. It was an absolute thrill. I hope to return to that level of fitness. I wasn’t even aware that I was capable of running that fast for that amount of time. I hope to break that time the next time I run a half marathon. I hope that’s soon, but I have a lot of work ahead of me.

Jodi:  What is your least favorite race memory?
Carrie:  My least favorite memory is my second half marathon, which I ran on the hilliest course imaginable. Every time I went around a corner in the woods along this course there was another hill. Each hill seemed bigger than the last. I actually walked during the last mile because I was so tired. I ran more slowly than my first marathon, and it was just plain miserable. (Since it preceded my best race memory by only a month or two, I think it may have been a great training run.)

Jodi:  What is your proudest running moment to date?
Carrie:  My proudest running moment is not my own run at all. It was watching my mom and sister finish their first marathon together. I could not have been more proud. They did an amazing job, and I never doubted they could do it. I knew their ups and downs along the way, and I knew how hard they had worked to get there. I was so excited for them both. They were fantastic.

Jodi:  What one item do you absolutely have to have with you on a training run?
Carrie:  I live and die by my Garmin, so that’s a given. I love to know pace and time although now that I run pushing my daughter in the stroller, I rarely have the time or energy to look. Next, my iPod Shuffle is a necessity. It contains only a running playlist, and it’s blue. I love my music when I run. And finally, my Asics Gel Kayanos. I cannot run without them. I have had no luck with any other shoe for running. I am a dedicated fan.

Jodi:  What is your favorite fuel during a race?
Carrie:  Having not run a marathon, I have never used fuel for a race before the upcoming marathon. So, I’m not sure yet.

Jodi:  What is your favorite post race snack?
Carrie:  I usually like to eat a banana after I run. They are convenient, good for recovery, and they have them at every race I have ever run. I do think I would prefer chocolate milk, but I’ll try to find out after the marathon since it’s not a tested theory.

Jodi:  Who do you admire most and why?
Carrie:  I admire my mom and dad most. She inspired both Megan and I to run. She knows how to celebrate small things. I hope to do that for Elizabeth. I admire my dad because he showed us what it means to support someone’s passion. He is a constant support, and I’m not sure anyone has ever been more proud of my accomplishments no matter what they were. They both helped me make the most of myself in running and everything else.

Jodi:  Do you have a favorite quote?
Carrie:  Well, I will tell you that it’s not “Work hard and it will come easy.” I don’t have a quote that I’m fascinated by regularly, but I have a recent favorite quote. “Being an athlete is a state of mind which is not bound by age, performance or place in the running pack.” Jeff Galloway, Galloway's Book on Running.  I think it is a great reminder that running is personal. Being a runner doesn’t have anything to do with qualifying for Boston or running a personal best time or placing or medaling at a race. Running is about the miles you spend out on the road. It’s knowing you are an athlete. It’s knowing you take care of yourself. Running is time alone to deal with stress or celebrate your life. I most admire the runners who do not look like runners. The people who go out and work hard when it doesn’t come easily to them. Those runners are my favorite runners. They deserve the most praise.

Jodi:  Finish this statement, when I run I feel___________.
Carrie:  Confident. I feel good about myself.

Jodi:  What is your current goal?
Carrie:  My current goal is to finish the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon and to break my best time in the half marathon sometime this year.

Thanks again for the opportunity to give you a Thumbs Up Carrie!  Best of luck in achieving your current goals!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and Carrie YOU inspire ME!!