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 Melanie from Aussie Girl Gone Dopey! That's right...she's from Australia! She has an incredible story so keep reading to learn more about her!
State: Melbourne, Australia
When and why did you start running?
I started running regularly about 5 years ago. To be honest I only started doing it because I was applying for a job with a fitness component that I needed to meet. I didn't know I would fall in love with it. Now I run 3-5 times a week with gym sessions in between.
What is your favorite race and race distance?
The half marathon is definitely my favorite distance but that's probably because it's the only distance I've ever raced. I skipped the 5km and 10km races and went straight for the half. Now I'm training for my first full marathon in July and the Dopey Challenge at Disney World in 2015.
The 'Run Melbourne' event in Melbourne in July each year is my favorite race. It's the first one I did and also the course that I did my fastest time, 1:55. I'm hoping to pull up ok from my first marathon to be able to still give it a crack this year.
What is your race day routine?
I always have my outfit, shoes and bag ready the night before the race. I make sure my timing chip is on my shoes and bib on my top. My iPhone and Garmin is charged and the event playlist that I made especially for the event is good to go.
I also put out all my race fuel, which is usually just gummy lollies and Powerade with my bag so I don't forget it.
I get up a few hours before the race so I have enough time to shower and have brekky. I've experimented a bit with pre-race breakfast and have settled on wholegrain toast with tomato and avocado and a couple of instant coffees. Probably not the best breakfast but it works for me and I always make sure I go to the loo before I leave home and then a quick nervous pee when I get to the event.
What is your most favorite piece of running gear?
Do I just have to pick one?
I haven't had the best luck with running gear. There have been giant blisters, black toenails and chafe in places I didn't know could even chafe! I've worked out a good set up that seems to work for me and I wear the same thing for every long run. I've even started buying my favorite Under Armour tank top in different colors.
I'm a big fan of Mizuno running shoes at the moment and I love my Garmin watches.
But the thing I can't run without is my iPhone. I know that sounds ridiculous, but part of my love for running involves the music and the accountability of my running apps. Unfortunately the data from the apps don't satisfy my data love so I take my Garmin too.
Do you follow any diet or take any specific supplements that complement your running?
No not really. I'm a vegetarian with an intolerance to dairy so it limits my diet a little bit. I get most of my protein from fresh veggies, beans, lentils and chickpeas. I think because I eat so little artificial foods, I struggle with most supplements like protein shakes and sports drinks. Powerade and Dextro tablets for long runs and that's it.
I also love a sneaky Quest bar. I'm not entirely convinced they are good for you, I mean, how can they be, they taste so naughty!
What do you wish you’d known when you first started running?
Oh I think I could write a book about this. I've just started a list of "Rookie Errors" on my blog.
1. Double bra
2. Buy your shoes half a size bigger than the perfect fit. Your toenails will thank you.
3. Body Glide, everywhere! You can never have enough.
4. Plan, plan, plan. In the past two weeks I've ended up running on a freeway and running in pitch black because I didn't plan property.
5. Don't obsess over your watch and your time. You actually have more fun and go faster if you don't.
What is your fondest running memory?
I think reaching the 18km mark in Run Melbourne in 2013 and realizing that I was still going and going pretty quick. I saw my partner and his daughter cheering me on and I remember thinking, I'm going to smash this and I did. I beat my best time by 13 minutes. I always feel bad about making them get up so early to watch me run for two hours, but secretly love having them there.
What is one thing that most people do not know about you?
I can find a Grey's Anatomy quote to fit every situation!
I'm obsessed with proving people wrong about me.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I've recently become an Ambassador for an amazing group called Running Divas Australia. It's about creating a support group for women runners online. After reading Kathrine Switzer's book 'Marathon Woman' I felt like I had to get involved somehow. There aren't a lot of groups like this in Australia and I was stoked when Erica, the crazy woman who runs Running Divas who is currently running 12 marathons in 12 months for her 50th birthday, asked me to be a part of it. Sometimes women hold each other back when they should be supporting each other and that's a big part of Running Divas and the community they are trying to create. The site is www.runningdivas.com.au
Here are the different ways you can connect with Melanie!
Thanks so much for sharing your running journey with us Melanie!
QOTD: What did you do this weekend?