I mentioned in this post that after Boston, my next running adventure will be pacing my sister Erin again. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you’ll remember when I ran Twin Cities Marathon with her. It was so much fun for both of us, so when she told me she wanted to run Grandma’s this year I was all on-board to run with her again!
With that said, I thought it would be fun for you guys to get to know her a bit more through an interview here. (We also were both recently certified as RRCA coaches and we’ve been throwing around some ideas of having her help me coach a bit through this blog- stay tuned!)
Take it away, Erin!
Marathon PR: 4:35 at the Twin Cities Marathon
Half-marathon PR: 1:59 at Trailbreaker (Wisconsin)
Hometown (and where do you live now?):
I currently live in St. Charles, IL. I’ve also lived in Beloit, WI, Madison, WI, Coventry, England, Nottingham, England, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Chicago, IL, Muskego, WI, and St. Charles, IL (current). (Erin studied abroad several times!)
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, but am currently a stay-at-home mom of two kids, who are ages 6 and 8.
Bachelors in Psychology and Social Work, Masters in International Law and Masters in Clinical Social Work. (Erin, don’t forget RRCA certified running coach!)
When did you start running and why?
I started running the summer of 2002. I saw a friend of mine run the 2002 Chicago marathon. I was so inspired by it that I decided I wanted to run one. I trained with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to run the 2003 Chicago marathon.
What are you training for now?
Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth in June and then the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. in October
Tell me about your first marathon experience:
My first marathon was in 2003. There wasn’t much information on marathon training available online then and I didn’t know any runners. I bought the book “Marathon, You Can Do It! by Jeff Galloway.” I used that in combination with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s training to prepare me.
I trained all summer along the Lakeshore Path in Chicago, since I was living there at the time. My training pace was around a 9:30 mile. Everything went well during my training, outside of a bad 20 miler; I bonked at the end. I thought I would finish my marathon around 4:20-4:30. Instead, my IT band blew up at mile 16 and I had to shuffle to the finish line. I was so disappointed. I felt like I hadn’t had a “real” marathon experience because I didn’t run my expected pace. Little did I know at the time, that my experience was just a bad part of running; sometimes the race results don’t reflect all the training you put in.
What other exercises/ strength training do you do to supplement your running?
I foam roll, stretch, take epsom salt baths after hard work outs, and use compression socks after long runs. I am also a big fan of sports massages- I highly recommend them to ward off injury and to aid in recovery.
Fitness Fashion! What are some of your favorite gear/fitness fashion items and why?
I love, love, love Handful Bras. They are so flattering, super comfortable, and never cause chafing.
What’s your advice to someone who is training for their first marathon?
Try to follow the training as best as you can, but don’t become a slave to the training plan. Listen to your body. If you’re super tired or sore or you had a really stressful day, do an easier workout or rest.
What’s your best advice for preventing injury?
Don’t skimp on your strength training, especially as you get older. It’s so important!!
Do you have a coach?
Yes! I have an amazing coach I met through my run club, Mark Sekelsky. (You can reach Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org or learn more about him through this site! He’s quite an accomplished runner and sounds like a great coach!)
What role does he/she have in your training?
I have learned so much from him! Prior to having him as a coach, I never incorporated speed work into my running and never thought much about fueling during a long race. He’s taught me the importance of the various training runs and helped me become a smarter runner.
What’s your favorite distance?
The half marathon. You can run this race and still feel recovered enough afterward to do something that night.
You have cut a significant amount of time off of your races in the past year or so. What did you do differently in your training?
I started working with a coach.
I’d love to PR at Grandma’s marathon with a 4:15 hour marathon. Then I’d love to PR again at the Marine Corps Marathon with a 4:00 hour marathon.
If you weren’t a runner, what sport would you do instead?
Yoga. I love what it does to my body and wish I had time to do it more often.