Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
A: Born and raised right here in Binghamton. I graduated from Chenango Forks and went to undergrad and graduate school at SUNY Oneonta. I now work for Owego Apalachin as a middle School Counselor.
Q: How long have you been running and how did you get started?
A: I have always hated running… no seriously. I sobbed during the presidential test and having to run the mile numerous years. I was always very overweight and running was very difficult with bad asthma. I didn’t start really running until I was in my 20s and competing in MMA. I used it as cross training and did my first 5k at the age of 26. After that it was obstacle runs and the Bridge Run 1/2 marathon. I gave up running when I switched to bodybuilding. I came back to running after a really difficult breakup. That is when I found trail running. For me there was nothing better than being out in the middle of nowhere on the trails with just your thoughts.
Q: Would you rather run with a group or alone? Trails or road?
A: Both! Just depends on the day. I love running with so many of the groups. It is always great to meet new people when they join and I get super excited when I meet new trail runners. Company on the 12+ mile runs is always welcome!! That is when I find I need a friendly push the most. You will always see my trusty “pawtner” Tank by my side training with me. TRAILS!!! I have been getting better about doing some training on the roads. For awhile you would have to force me to run on the road.
Q: What is your favorite distance or race or running gear?
A: Not sure I have one yet. I was super proud of completing the Boulder Field 18 miler that I entered on a whim. That was the furthest distance I have run. While I do not always like training for long runs, I find that I am most proud of myself completing longer distance. As for gear, I loveeee my Altra Superior 4s even though they smell like something died in them. I am a huge fan of Under Armor’s fleece lined leggings as I am always freezing. As far as nutrition I cannot make it through my long runs without NUUN hydration. For long races I turn to Untapped Waffles and SaltSticks have SAVED me during long races.
Q: What's the most rewarding thing about running and how do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?
A: If you asked me before I got involved in the running community I would have said the sense of accomplishment in finishing something you didn’t think you could. Now it is all the amazing friendships I have developed and the amazing people I now have cheering me on. As for motivation, The dog. Seriously. He has a really good side eye where he looks at me like he is judging me for being lazy. Plus he needs the run too. Also the amazing friends I have met in the running community!! There have been days I did not want to train and I text them and they offer to go with me or do a virtual run.
Q: What is your favorite running memory and any goals for the future?
A: It is funny because it is not a race. Obviously I have been really proud of my 18 miler and 20k races, but my favorite memory running was the first time I took my rescue dog trail running. We were up in the catskills running a fire tower and he was just so happy and at home. Well… sadly my big Triathlon and basically all of my races have been cancelled this year. The one that I am most nervous and excited for that has not yet been canceled is Many on the Genny. A 40 miler at Letchworth State Park in June
Q: Who inspires you most?
A: So many people. From the new badass friends I have met in the running community to the people who are just joining up and telling me their stories and how they got started running. Also, not to sound conceited, but myself. In losing over 120lbs, I have come to realize that I really can accomplish anything. Running continues this feeling of pride within me.
Q: What advice do you have for new runners?
A: Just get out and do your best!! Do not worry about your pace or how far you go at first. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, continually set goals and get involved with the amazing running community! There are so many wonderful people willing to offer their help and motivation.