1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?
Nonexistent. I didn't run at all. I was 24, in a shiftless, lazy, responsibility-less transition period between my college and graduate school careers, and if we want to get specific, at this exact moment 10 years ago I was in my childhood hometown in California after having driven there from Ohio in my brand-new Jeep Grand Cherokee (awesome road trip).
2. What is your best and worst run/race experience?
This is tricky. I don't know if I can select one specific instance of each. I like random bulleted lists better.
- Running a 6:59 mile in the Presidential Fitness Test my sophomore year in high school and kicking everyone's asses save one boy who was on the soccer team (still my best mile time ever)
- Running through the beautiful woods near Melvin Village, Lake Winnepesaukee, New Hampshire on several family vacations while I was in college (the only time I ever ran all year)
- Breaking my 16-year-old 5K personal record at the Shamrocks and Shenanigans in March of this year
- Completing the Detroit Half Marathon in October 2007, my first half marathon, after a little more than a year on Weight Watchers and losing 50 pounds
- Finishing on the field inside Michigan Stadium at the Big House Big Heart 5K in September 2007
- Achieving my goal of a sub-2 hour half marathon with my 1:56:45 in the Marine Corps Historic Half in May 2008
- Getting totally lost on one of my runs in New Hampshire and being forced to meekly knock on a random stranger's door to ask for help. Luckily the woman there was a regular at the little beach park our rental cottage was next to, and knew the people from whom we were renting, and even knew that we were there from Ohio. A phone call and a few minutes later my dad arrived to pick me up. I was very embarrassed and everyone at the beach knew about it the next day.
- Finishing DFL in the 1989 Ohio High School Athletic Association Northeast Regional race, a race for which we had qualified as a team by winning our district championship for the first time. Unfortunately that day in very late October was freakishly (as in 85 degrees) hot and I, despite running consistent sub-25:00 5K times and setting a new PR of 23:54 that season, was totally wiped out by the heat. Destroyed. I even ended up walking during the race and when I did run I was barely moving. It was awful and very embarrassing (as everything is when you're 15). Even worse, our team didn't advance to the state championships. It was very disappointing after all our hard work during the regular season (clearly this is something I haven't yet gotten over since it was 18 years ago and I still remember it as if it happened yesterday).
- My first 5K after beginning to run again, the Ann Arbor Turkey Trot, November 2006. At the time I felt like I just wanted to curl up and die. It was so, so, so hard and I posted my second-worst 5K time of my entire life. But, this has a silver lining, because not only did I finish the race without stopping, but I've gone on to much greater things, including returning to the same race a year later and totally kicking ass.
I'm going with "best advice" (hey, it does say "best or worst" and because I really can't think of any bad advice I've been given): Know when to replace your shoes. Very, very important.
Also, "cotton is rotten." Once I dumped the baggy T-shirts and got me some wicking wear, I think my running went to a whole new level. It's all about the outfits, yo. Unless that's all psychological mind games and it was just a clever ploy by a certain person from the Running Fit store to entice me into buying lots and lots of beautiful (read: expensive) running clothes.
4. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.
- I'm a classically-trained operatic soprano (currently performing in Mozart's Don Giovanni).
- I had my tonsils removed when I was 24 which was the worst medical experience of my life. Horrible, horrible, horrible. Avoid this operation at all costs if you are an adult.
- I thought rivers could only flow south (to follow the curve of the earth, of course) until I was in college. And to think I went on to become a geologist!
- I have memorized the film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
- I have visited 45 of the 50 states (I am missing Washington, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina).