Jodi: How long have you been running?
Raquelita: I've been running off and on for years. In high school and college I ran sporadically and mostly on the treadmill at the gym for cardio. When I went to graduate school I started running a bit more regularly and did a couple of 5ks for fun. In 2006 I moved to Spain and pretty much stopped running for a while. After a year, I was out of shape and wanted to start running again, so in the summer of 2007 I did the Couch to 5k program and got to the point where I could run 3-4 miles a couple of times a week. I still mostly ran recreationally, though.
Jodi: Why did you start running?
Raquelita: I started running because it seemed like that's what the really fit people at the gym did. I could do the elliptical machine for hours, but I wanted to challenge my fitness. Running was tough, but I loved how it made me feel. The first time that I was running outside at a park and someone referred to me as a "runner" I was over the moon ecstatic. When I started running again in 2007, that's the feeling that I wanted to get back.
Jodi: How many years have you been racing?
Raquelita: The first year that I really consider myself to have been racing is 2009. I had been back in the states for a year, had quit smoking, and was in the best shape that I had been in for several years (those last two things are probably not a coincidence!), that spring I decided that was the year that I was going to run a marathon. It had been a sort of life goal for several years, but the timing never seemed right. In 2009 I felt ready to take it on. I built up my mileage base over the spring and one fateful day in June I signed up with Team in Training to run the Columbus Marathon. I ran my first 10k and my first half-marathon that summer as training for the big 26.2. Since 2009, I've run another 5 half-marathons and another marathon.
Jodi: What is your favorite distance to race and why?
Raquelita: It's really hard to pick, but I love half-marathons. Training for them is challenging and gives me that taste of endurance that double-digit training runs provide, but they don't require the time and energy that a full marathon does. I hope to run three or four half-marathons a year for the next couple of years.
|Post Virginia Beach Half Marathon|
Jodi: What is your favorite race memory?
Raquelita: My favorite race memory is probably from a 10k that I ran with a friend a couple of years ago. We were laughing and joking the whole time. At one point we started singing "Eye of the Tiger." It was a total blast!
|10K June 2009|
Jodi: What is your least favorite race memory?
Raquelita: I think it might have been the Mankato Half-Marathon last October. I just couldn't get mentally in the zone during the race, and I really struggled starting from mile 5 on.
Jodi: What is your proudest running moment to date?
Raquelita: I've had a lot of proud moments connected to running. I was really proud that I was able to pace a friend and myself to our goal time at the Madison Half Marathon last month. I didn't want to let my friend down and we nailed our time goal. Probably, my absolute proudest moment, though, was crossing the finish line of my first marathon. At that moment I thought I was capable of just about anything I put my mind to - or at least I would be after a big brunch and a week off.
|Madison Half Marathon|
|Accomplishing goal time with a friend at the Madison Half Marathon|
Jodi: What one item do you absolutely have to have with you on a training run?
Raquelita: Gum. Sometimes I'll run without my Garmin. Sometimes I'll run without my ipod. I don't always take water or gatorade on my shorter runs. I always chew gum, though.
Jodi: What is your favorite fuel during a race?
Raquelita: Currently, it's GU. Two years ago when I was gagging down my first GU, I never thought I would say that, but now I love them. My favorite is Tri-Berry.
Jodi: What is your favorite post race snack?
Raquelita: I love to go for brunch after a race! Eggs and pancakes FTW!
Jodi: Who do you admire most and why?
Raquelita: There are so many people that I admire for being courageous or adventurous or smart or driven or some combination of the above. It's hard for me to pick just one person, but I'll say that I really admire my friend Christina. She is a professor and a runner and she makes balancing research, teaching, married life, and running look like it's easy! When I was training for my first marathon, she was my go-to person for advice and inspiration.
Jodi: Do you have a favorite quote?
Raquelita: In terms of running: "For me, like so many others, running is the answer. Out on the road it is just you, the pavement, and your will." - John Bingham
Jodi: Finish this statement, when I run I feel _______.
Raquelita: simultaneously powerful and peaceful
Jodi: What is your current goal?
Raquelita: My current goals are a PR at my next half-marathon in August and a sub 5 hour marathon in Chicago on October 9th!
Jodi: Please feel free to add anything else you feel will help others lace up their shoes and get out there and run!!
Raquelita: I would say ease into it and treat your body and the distances you run with respect. For me, this has all been about making running being a part of my life and who I am. I would rather take an extra rest day here and there and still be running in 20 years than overdo it and get injured or burn out now. I also recommend finding running buddies or blogging about your training and connecting with awesome bloggers, like Jodi. Not only will it help to keep you accountable, inspired and motivated, but it is also a great way to connect with people and make some wonderful friends.
Thanks again for the opportunity to give you a Thumbs Up Raquelita! Best of luck achieving your current goals!!
Keep running, you're simple the best, and Raquelita YOU inspire ME!!