It's time for another runner spotlight...my favorite time of the week! I love reading other runners' stories about their running journey! If you are interested in being spotlighted on my blog please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I'd love to spotlight you! You don't have to have a blog to be spotlighted...you just have to be a runner! ;-) And I'm running low on spotlights so now's your time to shine!!!
Today I'm spotlighting Whitney from Racing the States! Just like her blog name states, Whitney has a goal to run a race in every state! Wow! Keep reading to learn more about her and her running journey!
State: Denver, Colorado
When and why did you start running?
That’s a long story! But I’ll make it short. I started running when I was in middle school, or earlier, when my Mom and I started running the Denver Race for the Cure. Back then we would challenge ourselves to running to every other street light with walk breaks in between.
As the years went on, I joined the volleyball team in high school, but due to a conflict with the coach, I quit my senior year and the next day joined the cross-country team. I followed up with track in the spring. These two events are what kick started the idea of running for me. In college, I ran for fitness and did the occasional race for a cause. I picked my first half marathon my senior year of college as a way to stay motivated to work out and stay in shape. I continued to run and two years after that I got a brilliant idea to run a race in every state. So, I launched my blog, my “quarter life crisis” as I call it, to keep me motivated. Running was and is still a way to keep me centered and release stress. It’s become part of my identity. There’s a million reasons why I run, those are just a few.
What is your favorite race and race distance?
My favorite race distance right now is the half marathon. I've done one full, but it hasn't replaced the “favorite spot” yet.
My favorite race is the Horsetooth Half in Fort Collins. It was my first half, first race longer than a 5K, and I've gone back to repeat it a few times. It’s a beautiful course yet super challenging. Don’t expect to set any PR’s with this one but you will get gorgeous views (and delicious beer at the end).
What is your race day routine?
Try and tame the butterflies in my stomach! Haha, it never fails, no matter the race I get nervous. I try and wake up at least two hours prior, have my coffee, eat my breakfast, then head to the race for my warm up, track style: I jog for a bit, loosen up with some dynamic stretches and do some form drills (i.e. high knees, butt kickers, etc). I’m not a very superstitious person, I don’t have any weird traditions or special outfits I have to wear.
What is your most favorite piece of running gear?
I’m definitely a thrifty runner and don’t have too much special running gear except freebies I've collected from races. But out of everything I have, I’d say it’s my sweatsports visor. I never used one until this year when I received one for being an ambassador for 3W Races here in Colorado with their logo on the top. It’s perfect for keeping the sweat, sun, rain and my hair out of my face; I have no idea what I did before I had it!
Do you follow any diet or take any specific supplements that complement your running?
I don’t follow a specific “diet” and I hate the word “diet.” My DIET is just generally healthy with a few treats (I’m a firm believer in everything is fine in moderation and you’ll binge if you deny yourself things) but I try to eat genuinely good food and stay away from processed, packaged foods. But nobody’s perfect, even me, and I’m a personal trainer! As for supplements, I do use a pre and post workout recovery/protein drink from UCANN. Love the stuff!
What do you wish you’d known when you first started running?
I wish I would have known to listen to my body more. I used to be a very “by the book” type of runner when it came to training. Now, as I’m training for my second marathon, I’m listening more and basing my training off of how I feel. I’m getting faster and have fewer aches/pains and injuries!
What is your fondest running memory?
Ooof! So many! Besides a handful of races, I've been on a couple “running dates.” The most recent, a guy went for a long run with me. That doesn't sound very significant, but his pace is MUCH faster than mine, it’s almost torturous for him to run at my pace. He knew I needed a long run for training and asked if I would like for him to join. It was sunset time and the path was very enjoyable. Afterwards, he cooked food and we hot tubed. Even though it didn't work out with that person, it was still one of the best runs I've had!
I’m not that secretive of a person, but one thing that most people don’t know about me….I have 5 tattoos, none of which are visible when I’m wearing everyday clothes!
Here are all the different ways you can connect with Whitney!
Thanks so much for sharing with us Whitney!
QOTD: Who raced this weekend? Did you do anything fun this weekend?