Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
A: I grew up in Hyde Park, NY. I'm in my sixth year of teaching orchestra at Cortland Junior Senior High School.
Q: How long have you been running and how did you get started?
A: I started running about 16 years ago when I was in middle school. I joined the indoor track team because I wanted to get in shape for soccer in the spring, but I stopped playing soccer because I liked the people on the track team. I started Cross Country the next year because they had sweatshirts and the track teams didn't :)
Q: Would you rather run with a group or alone?
A: When I have a workout where I need to run specific paces or meet certain goals, I prefer to run alone. I want to do my own thing and not worry about staying with someone else. I love running in a group when I don't have a specific pace goal, just miles. The Sunday Group Runs have been great for long runs during marathon training. It is much more tolerable to go out for 20 miles in the pouring rain when you have a few friends with you, even if they are only there for a few of the miles. I also like leading the Beginner Runs because it allows time for me to relax and focus on the needs of other runners.
Q: What is your favorite distance or race?
A: I prefer longer distances so I tend to gravitate toward half and full marathons. My favorite local race is Vestal XX because it's hilly and there are no frills. My favorite destination race is the Adirondack Distance Festival in Schroon Lake, NY because the course is scenic and I love the area.
Q: How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?
A: I remember that I'm paying my coach to tell me what to do! I also know that I will feel better after I get out and do my workout. The hardest part is getting out the door and through the first mile or so. I think about my goals and I know I need to do in order to achieve them. I definitely think long term.
Q: What are your running goals for the future?
A: This year I am hoping to complete my first Half Ironman. Then I would like to complete a full Ironman. At some point it would be nice to qualify for Boston, but mostly I would like to continue to train well and be able to run into my 80s.
Q: Who inspires you most?
A: I dedicate my workouts to a girl named Kennedy who lives in Virginia. A few years ago I was matched with her through and organization called I Run 4 Michael, which pairs runners with people with various special needs. Kennedy has been through a lot and is often hospitalized due to an auto-immune disease. Although the doctors rarely have answers for her, she is an extremely up-beat and positive kid. She loves ballroom dancing, spending time with her family, and horseback riding (when she is well enough.) She has been through so much and never complains or questions why her. Her perseverance and determination is inspiring.
Q: What advice do you have for new runners?
A: Run for yourself and don't compare yourself to the people around you. At a lot of the beginner runs, people worry they are too slow or don't go to races because they think they aren't good enough. We all started somewhere and no one is going to judge you because of your time, size, age, etc. We want everyone to be their best. Also, ask us for advice! If you can count on one thing, it's that runners love talking about running.