Runner: Daniel L
Years Running: 5ish
Upcoming races: Hamilton (Ontario) Marathon, California International Marathon
Current goals: 3:10 road marathon
Long-term, big shot goals that you someday hope to achieve with running: Complete 100 mile race, half-marathon under 1:30, climb Denali (not a running event, but the fitness will help)
Tell us about your running accomplishment that you’re most proud of and why: Completing my first marathon (San Francisco, 2013, in 4:03:14). I had been really unhealthy for more than a decade prior. Training for and completing that marathon showed me that I could “become an athlete again”! I didn’t reach my goal (4:00), but I loved the process of training and preparation as well as the day of mental effort to manage myself through the race.
Favorite part about being a runner: The mental states it helps me achieve. Firstly, and most importantly, there is the feeling of contentment that I get through an hour-plus of aerobic exertion. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad day if I’ve run 10 miles. Secondly, I love the feeling of control that I can achieve over my body through running.
Favorite Workout: Surprisingly enough, long intervals (800m to mile). The first time or two I do them in every cycle, I fear them and they hurt bad. But I love how I improve at this workout with repetition, both in terms of times, and sense of control over successful completion.
Most Challenging Workout: Tempo workouts! These things hurt! I don’t know why I can run a specific pace in a half-marathon race, but then try to get me to do it for 3 to 5 miles as part of a tempo workout and it seems straight up impossible!!
Best races: Santa Runs Tacoma 2015 (1:32:54), Los Angeles Marathon 2016 (3:19:14), and Beacon Rock 25K (2:45:24). In all three of these races, I knew I was working as hard as I could, but the effort also felt oddly easy and under control.
Running words of wisdom: Have fun! Don’t focus on comparisons to other people or thoughts of what you “should do”. I’m not saying that goals or following prescribed workouts aren’t important – just that you should maintain a positive perspective as you do so. Because in the end, if you have fun, you will want to do it again tomorrow. If you do it again and again, you will feel better and improve : )