Spotlight: Michelle

My Name: Michelle

Where I live: Orange County, California

Favorite Excuse: I don’t really have an excuse for not working out, although there are sometimes reasons I can’t. I try to run at least five times or 25-45 miles a week and usually do. I’m almost always training for a marathon, so not running isn’t an option. I also attend a weekly spin class. I wish I could do more, though. I’d love to take yoga two or three days a week and lift weights more often than I do. Between work, school, writing, and my training schedule, it’s hard to fit all that in.

My Inspiration: Pushing myself beyond my perceived physical limitations has always inspired me. When I used to run five miles, my “unattainable” goal was ten. When I ran ten miles, a marathon seemed like Everest. When I ran my first marathon, the new goal was to qualify for Boston. I just ran the insanely vertical North Face Endurance Challenge trail marathon in San Francisco last month and have my eye on the North Face 50K next year. I’m also going for a personal best at the Orange County Marathon in May, so I’ll need to find some new inspiration for speed work.

My workout habits/Personal Strategy: Food and music are critical to my running success. I always try to eat an hour and a half to two hours before running. I have really low blood sugar, so running on an empty stomach is disastrous for me. I’ve nearly fainted on runs before, so I never take chances. Since I have to run before or after work, timing meals and snacks around my runs can be tricky. I schedule my long runs (12-22 miles) on Sundays, which means getting up around 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. to eat and get out the door before dawn. Those are hard days. I also have to refuel every five or six miles, so I usually stash packets of GU and Fig Newtons in my pockets.

Music is also really powerful – it’s super corny, but I always listen to the Top Gun soundtrack in my car when I’m driving to a race. By the time I get to the starting line, I’m pretty amped. The right song can also keep you going when you think you’re not going to make it. At some point during a marathon or long training run, I enter a zone in which time seems really abstract. Sometimes hours pass, and I realize I’ve listened to the same song on my iPod for miles. I ran about 17 miles of the 2009 San Francisco marathon to “It’s the Climb” before it occurred to me to change the song. Thank goodness for the zone, though; it helps you forget how much pain you’re in!


1 Comment

  1. Elmira said,

    May 14, 2017 at 6:09 AM

    I cannot tell a lie, that really hepdel.

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