I did the full marathon once in 2010.
When do you start training for this race? How much of the course itself do you incorporate into your training? How often do you incorporate the Dome into your training?
This year I did Team in Training, and we started the beginning of May. We spend a lot of time on the course, especially running up Ester Dome. We ran the Dome probably every other weekend this summer.
What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?
Mostly just running. I try to get out on the trail a lot. I was new to trail running last year, so getting used to watching out for roots, rocks, and sticks was completely different.
What’s your favorite thing about this race?
I love being able to run with other people, and not having to listen to my headphones. There’s always tons of people I know out on the trail and participating in the race. It’s fun to get to know and talk to other people who are out there running.
What’s your favorite part of the course? Your least favorite part?
I’m not a big fan of the out and back. It’s kinda creepy out there, especially when you’re by yourself! It’s also a place where if I get hurt, how long would it be before someone found me out there?
The Alder Trail is my favorite. It’s beautiful, especially this time of year with all the leaves covering the trail, and the trees going over the top. It looks like you’re running out in the middle of no where, but you’re not. Especially in the race, because I’m so far behind the pack and everyone is spread out. It feel like I’m out there all by myself.
Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst.
I don’t have a worst moment. I think I blocked out all the bad memories!
It’s the furthest I’ve ever run. I’ve never done anything like that before, so when I came up on the trail behind UAF, and I caught my first glimpse of the white satellite, I almost cried because I realized where I was and how close I was to being done. That was amazing.
Do you consider yourself a competitive runner? What are your running goals/fitness goals?
I definitely don’t consider myself a competitive runner. I’m not fast by any means; I just try to go out and do my best. I keep track of my times, and I try to beat my times from the year before. I compete against myself, but not with anybody else.
My running goals are to run throughout the winter, and to not have to start out each summer.
What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race?
To find a running buddy to get out on the trail with. It makes a huge difference. Last year, I did my long runs mostly by myself, and it was boring. This year, I have someone to go out with me, and we just did a 20 mile run last weekend, and it flew by. It wasn’t hard at all. You forget you’re out there running so long when you have someone to talk to.
Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race?
I did. I actually wore tights that I never wore before. My friend let me borrow them because I was so worried about being cold, especially going up Ester Dome. I’ve never worn them on a long run before, and that was a mistake. I was chafing in unexpected places! It didn’t happen until the second half of the race, and I forced myself to forget about it because there was nothing I could do about it. I definitely won’t be making that same mistake this year!
Any plans on participating in the Equinox this year? This race has been described as one of the most grueling marathons in the country! What keeps you motivated to participate in this event?
Yes, of course!
The emotions at the end really got to me. I was so proud of myself for having done that, and I wanted to make sure that I could continue to do it. Overall, I had an amazing, fun time. It’s definitely something that’s going to be on my list to do next year, too.
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