Heidi Andre

Describe your experience with the Equinox.  Have you participated in the full marathon, the relay, and/or the ultra?  How many times?

This will be my third Equinox this year.

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 started training in May.  I started doing the Equinox Training Runs and they have been helpful, and they’ve actually been my only time on the Dome.  I’m really just using the Equinox as another training run for the Twin Cities Marathon on October 2. 

What are your key workouts in preparation for this race?

To run as much as I can during the week, and also to participate in all the runs that Running Club North puts on, especially the longer ones like the Gold Discovery and the Santa Claus Half Marathon to get me into that longer run mode.  Those runs really gear me up for the last couple weeks of training to get ready for the Equinox.

What’s your favorite thing about this race?

The atmosphere of the community involvement.  It’s fun, even though it’s painful at times.  The time seems to go by quickly, and you always see someone you know or recognize on the trail.  And the sense of accomplishment when you’re done.

What’s your favorite part of the course? Your least favorite part?

My least favorite part is the out and back, just because I tend to be extra cautious on the rocky sections of the course with all the roots.  Once you go out, you know you have to come all the way back before you can go anywhere else.

My favorite part is the 3rd leg and knowing you’re 2/3 of the way done, and it’s literally downhill from there.

Describe the best moment you’ve experienced during this race. Describe the worst.

My favorite moment was the first Equinox I did with Heather, coming down the hill right by the finish.  I was crying uncontrollably.  I was almost hyperventilating; I was so excited that I couldn’t breath.  I was a swimmer my whole life and to do something like a marathon and doing it with my best friend gave me such a sense of accomplishment. 

Worst moments are on the chute.  I have some knee problems that make it uncomfortable.  I look at my watch and it’s at a standstill while I’m going down.

Do you consider yourself a competitive runner? What are your running goals/fitness goals?

I consider myself a competitive runner with myself in attempting to beat my times from previous years.  I know I’m not the fastest runner, but I’m still competitive with myself, and I think that comes from my swimming background.  Competitive, but in a good way – friendly co-worker rivalry type way.

My running goals this year are to complete the two marathons within those two weeks.  I’ve never run an urban city marathon yet, so hopefully, the Equinox with the tough terrain will prepare me for a smooth, flat course.  I hope to come out of the Twin Cities Marathon uninjured and able to start running again within a few weeks.  My fitness goals are overall health, wellness, and stress relief.

What’s the best advice or training tips you can share with others who are new to this race?

No matter how much or little training you’ve done, it’s doable.  Just enjoy however long you’re out there.  We’re able to run a marathon in one of the most beautiful courses in the country so enjoy it.  Know you’re accomplishing something that many people don’t have an opportunity to do.

Have you made any big training errors, or race day flubs that adversely affected your enjoyment or time in this race?

I haven’t been consistent with my training.

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, and I registered online!  Online registration was excellent!

The feeling when I get when I’m done.  The sense of accomplishment, it’s a great physical feat, and I like the way that I feel afterwards.  It hurts, but I know that I’ve done something amazing, and I’m very proud of myself.

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