How did you make the transition from swimmer to runner to Ironman?
Growing up I was all about swimming-basically a water baby! In Junior High I started running a bit more because my family did (and I could join XC and track). It was a fun 2nd sport. As a family we went on bike touring trips every summer on the San Juan Islands-it was so fun and hilarious. Naturally I gravitated towards triathlons as soon as possible. The swim was my favorite part. After watching an Ironman on TV I knew that was an event for me and I started training more for triathlons and running events. The longer the better!
What do you love about running?
Although swimming is my first sport love, running is far more convenient with my work and family schedule. Plus, the rest of my family are runners or cyclists. When I visit home in the summer my brother maps out many adventure runs for us to do together. Those are cherished moments. I love to think, create, decompress, and listen to the world around me when I run. Sometimes it's lovely to go into the woods and hear nature and silence and other times it's wildly fun to run through the bustling towns. Not only do I love running for sport, but it's highly efficient and a great means of getting from point A-B and beyond.
What’s your go to gear?
Let's be real-the gear necessary to run is minimal and easy. My go to gear consists of Oiselle Toolbelt or Long Rogas and a Flyte tank, Zensah socks, and my Nathan or Mountain Hardware fuel vest. For shoes I wear Altra Timps in the winter and Hoka Challenger ATR's for train and Clifton for summer. I highly recommend waterproof shoes in the winter! I also wear wool tops in the winter and spring. MITTENS! I have Reynauds so wear ski mittens in the winter and lightweight ones the rest of the year. My car also has spare shoes and gear because you never know when an opportunity arises to head out for a run.
How do you maintain training with family?
When my kids were young and busy, I would get up to get long runs in before their activities. Now I run after work during my son’s soccer practice and weekend mornings. My kids all do team sports-they're so brave. Soccer, tennis, softball, basketball. I did have two swimmers that did awesome but they switched to those ball sports once in middle/high school. Sheesh.
What do the kids at school think of your running?
Almost daily some of my students tell me they see me running. We have a mutual agreement that if they crazy wave at me, I'll crazy wave back. We talk about how running is a great way to release school stress or to formulate ideas/projects that are assigned. And of course, I encourage those kiddos to stop at playgrounds to play mid-run! So many people talk about how hard running is and I agree-it's probably the hardest sport to start, but with time, it's the most enjoyable! You can go slow and still move forward, you can run fast, or do intervals-you can do whatever you want!
You live in Germany! How was it jumping from trail running in the US to overseas?
My trail running really picked up when I moved to Germany in 2008. There were many weeks where less than 10% of my mileage was on pavement-and that was usually due to running TO the trails. Germany has an amazing trail and bike path system. Granted, I live in Bavaria which has amazing forests and mountain regions. Also, you can run from forest to forest on tractor trails, forest trails, and farm roads. It's incredible and I feel very fortunate to have trails within half a kilometer from my front door. When the weather is better I can run commute to/from work (15km each way) and there are about 4 different routes I can choose from. The trails here are multi-use so it's fun to see others hiking, running, or cycling.
What does your diet look like? How did you figure out Skout could fit into it?
One of the major battles I have with my sport is fuel. My GI system is very, very fussy and unpredictable. One year my brother gave me a sample of a Skout bar he got at a trail race. I tried it and low and behold-my stomach was happy. Needless to say, I then started hoarding them that summer followed by ordering online. We did a 36 mile trail run in Aug 2018 and those were my go-to. I also have recently become slightly obsessed with the Protein Coconut Almond bar about 2 hours before a run or after a long bike ride. It goes great with a post ride/run espresso. I am grateful for Skout Bars because I never question or worry about my fuel now. Skout Bars go with me on vacation and have been very helpful for long sightseeing days. For fun, I use the cocoa pumpkin seeds in cookies and quick breads as well as in my breakfast cereal. The pumpkin seeds get added to dinner nightly-they add crunch and flavor to salads, cooked veggies, pastas, and soups.
If we were in Germany, where could we find you?
Since living in Europe my whole trail running has broadened. I'm often looking up various trail routes in neighboring countries. I really want to run the trails on Mont Blanc with my brother-then we could rest up and watch UTMB. This is a pipe dream, of course! Realistically, I am hoping to hit up the trail system in Allgau in Germany. I'm also planning a trip to UK and mapping out some routes there. I currently have a bone spur in my ankle so am looking at some less rocky trails. There are so many choices and when it gets down to it, you just have to pick a place, pack up, and hit the trails. I am fortunate to be able to run some of the neatest trails a stones throw from my door. As an everyday runner who absolutely LOVES to run long, my main advice is to take it easy (don't get overwhelmed), have fun, and be prepared. The more time on your feet the better for endurance. Another tactic I like to encourage is fast packing mixed with running. Using Skout products will enhance the experience and take a lot of guesswork out of fueling. Plus they fit perfectly in all the pockets.