I have a special treat for you today- an interview with elite runner Elizabeth (Liz) Turner!
|Liz at the finish line of the Boston Marathon 2013|
I met Liz through the Calhoun Beach Running Club, though she races with the Twin Cities Track Club and is part of the Saucony Hurricane elite team. She recently moved here from New Mexico, and she is such an enthusiastic and inspirational addition to the Minneapolis running community. She’s friendly to all the runners in our club. At any given race in the Twin Cities, if she’s not racing, you know she will be cheering with some cowbell on the sidelines!
|Liz racing as a turkey last Thanksgiving|
On to the interview! Here are some basic stats about Liz:
Marathon PR: 2:50:12
Half- marathon PR: 1:19:04
Hometown: York, Maine
Education: Colby College, Tufts University, University of New Mexico
When did you get into running? Have you been running your whole life? What motivated you to start?
What are you training for now?
What is your training like: peak weekly mileage, two-a-days, any rest days?
I do have a coach currently. He lives in California and we spend a lot of time on the phone (normally when I’m running!) I’ve been working with him since January and couldn’t be more excited for the future. Having a mentor, someone I want to really work for, makes all the difference. It keeps me accountable, and it makes me want to be better. I want to make my coach proud of me. I’ve felt that way with every coach I’ve worked with, high school, college, and post-collegiately. They’ve all shaped me in different ways. Having one is certainly not necessary for everyone, especially if you get the same benefits from a larger training group (CBRC what’s up!)
What are your running goals?
This has been in my mind for a long time, and it’s sometimes difficult to see “what’s next.” I think about triathlons, ultras, mountain racing. Ideally, I’d love to be more involved in youth programs and to play a role in making the sport accessible to kids. The sport has given so much to me in terms of friendships, travel, and life experiences. I hope that I can help pass the torch along!
What’s your favorite distance?
|Liz WINNING the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon in 2014|
Chicago Marathon medical tent, having passed out in a wheelchair at the finish line. I ran 3:26 and though it wasn’t my goal, there was still post-marathon euphoria while lying on the cot. They kept me in there for a few hours before my family and friends snuck me out. Lesson was that I didn’t respect the distance. I went out with an unrealistic goal for my training, thought I could just muscle through to the time I wanted, and paid the price. But as miserable as it was, I loved it, and couldn’t wait to do another. I don’t have a favorite race, because they are all so different, but Boston will always have a special place in my heart.
Let’s talk nutrition. How do you fuel yourself for two-a-day runs? What are your nutrition challenges?
What’s your favorite way to recover after a race? What is your favorite post marathon indulgence?
Bloody Mary and a good burger with friends and family. Followed by a vacation.
|Liz cheering as a hot dog at a race in New Mexico|
What’s your best advice for preventing injury?
How do you cross-train? What other exercises/ strength training do you do to supplement your running?
What’s your least favorite type of running workout? What’s your favorite?
I struggle with very long tempos and marathon pace workouts. Unless I have company, it’s just tough to remain focused for that long and not get bored! I love track stuff, 400s and 800s mainly. Even if there are a lot of them, it’s fun because it’s all broken up. And everything is better with company, even if you run different paces!
What’s your advice to someone who is training for their first marathon?
Enjoy the process! Love your training partners and the uninterrupted time you get to spend with them, appreciate the changes of the seasons, be happy your body is sore, treat it well because you put it through some rough stuff. Some days are tough. Those are the days that when I go for a run, I think I make the most progress mentally and physically. Take in the sights and experience of the race, smile at the spectators, and recognize that you are part of a community of people that share a common work ethic and goal mentality. And then CELEBRATE!
Personally, I have struggled with the pushing through during a race when it starts to hurt. What’s your advice for staying mentally strong?
I carry a Sharpie with me, and write on my wrist. Something visual to remind myself what I need to do. I have trouble “being here now” and focusing on the task at hand. Others use a single word, like “believe.” Another trick I learned from a sports psychologists is to count. I count to eight, then repeat. It takes my mind off of the hurt. The hardest one for me is keeping the negative out and the positive in. It helps to make a list of all the negative things you say during a race or training, then turn them around so they are positive. “I’m tired” becomes “I’m well rested and prepared for this.”
If you weren’t a runner, what sport would you do instead?
I wish I knew how to play any ball sport since all the leagues for softball and kickball look like a blast. Tennis, golf, swimming, biking, Nordic skiing, the list goes on, and gets longer when I watch the Olympics.
If you have any further questions for Liz or you just want to follow along with her quest to qualify for the Olympic Trials, you can do so on Twitter or Instagram @lizzzturner
|Liz getting help to get her pants on after the Philadelphia Marathon|