Testing 1, 2, 3 … Podcast Running Session

The Running Couple Podcast

I had the honor of being the first guest on a podcast show called The Running Couple. Mark and Lissett Lineberry, aka The Running Couple, are a cool duo who are busy parents of four and share a passion for running. They travel all over the US participating in running races of various levels and distances. I had a blast being interviewed by them! I hope that my session inspires you to go out and conquer any physical fitness challenge, small or large, that brings you enjoyment.

Be sure to check out their website and other inspiring podcast session interviews!

Outtakes From Running Podcast

The Running Couple Podcast

Here is the original transcript of my podcast interview with The Running Couple. I am sharing it in hopes that as you begin to set your fitness goals for spring and the rest of 2018, my journey will motivate you!

Kimberly Evering started her blog, Gal on the Go, years ago as part of a grad school project. She’s had so much fun doing it, that she’s kept it going for 10 years. Kimberly was originally inspired by a story Ted Leonsis shared about his bucket list on DC101. She decided to create a fluid bucket list about her life experiences through blog posts and photos. Gal on the Go organically grew into an adventure theme with a custom logo and the tagline “Use your fears to become fearless!” After three significant surgeries over the past three years, Kimberly decided to take control of her circumstances and work hard to make healthy comebacks each time. She entered a variety of races including Spartans, 10Ks, Tough Mudders and triathlons all over the world. Kimberly maintains her blog in hopes that her stories encourage other girls and women to lead healthy lives and try things, within reason, outside of their comfort zones. Her ultimate goal is to start a foundation one day!

Q: What was your favorite race this year (2017) and why?
A: My favorite race was the VA Momentum SUPTri in July because it combined a new sport for me, paddle boarding with a sport I have loved since I was a little girl, cycling, and a sport I just started a few years ago and that I am still learning, running. The race presented a weather challenge that I had never faced before in the form of a torrential downpour. During the very hilly cycling portion I was cursing Mother Nature, but then I realized I needed to see it as just another challenge and tackle it in that way.
Q: What drew your interest to running?
A: I ran for the first time a few years ago as part of a boot camp class. I thought it would be unenjoyable, but surprisingly it wasn’t! I moved to a different city and visited a local store called Pacers Running. Doug, the manager, told me about a community group that meets up at the store for fun short runs on weekdays and long runs on Sundays. I joined a three-mile weekday run and liked it so much, that I continued running with the group. I learned a lot from Lissett (half of The Running Couple Podcast) and from other experienced runners in the group.
Q: What keeps you running?
A: I continue running to improve my skills and because I enjoy the comradery of others.
Q: What’s playing on your running playlist?
A: I am a HUGE music lover and serve on the board of directors of the college radio station WBNY. Ironically, however, when I run solo I don’t wear headphones because I try to be as alert as possible to my surroundings, and when I run with a group I like talking with others. In my car, you can catch me singing my heart out to my favorite tunes on Spotify … sorry to those stuck at red lights beside me.
Q: What’s the biggest obstacle you had to face?
A: Physical recovery from a surgery and then having to do it again two more times! The biggest surprise obstacle has been fighting my mental doubts. I got into running and serious physical fitness late in life. At first, I thought is it too late to get into running? Should I even try? I pushed the self-doubt aside and figured why not! The running, yoga and challenge race groups I am part of consist of people of all skill levels and ages — there’s no judgment; which is very inspiring!
Q: Do you run for speed or for distance?
A: Currently, I run for distance because I am still learning about pacing and speed. During races, I try my hardest to be fast, but I have not figured out a good consistent pace for myself yet. I tend to run at the pace of those around me … or at least I try.
Q: Are you a trail, pavement pounder, or treadmill runner?
A: I am a pavement pounder! Give me a nice paved path to run any day. Trail running is a close second because it usually provides cool scenery. My least favorite running is on a treadmill because I spend the bulk of my day working in an office, so the last thing I want to do when I am off the clock is being stuck inside.
Q: Are you a morning, afternoon or evening runner?
A: I prefer morning or evening runs, especially during hot summer months. I found that I usually have a more productive day when I kick-start my energy with a form of physical activity in the morning. Also, it’s nice to get my workouts in early so that if other things come up I don’t feel cheated missing out on my favorite activity of the day.
Q: Where’s your “wall”?
A: My wall seems to be about 10 miles. I look forward to working on increasing my “wall”, especially given my goal of doing a half-marathon.
Q: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen while running?
A: Hmmm, probably the time when a baby deer ran swiftly across only a few inches in front of a group trail run I was part of — it hung out on the side briefly watching us. I wondered if it thought it could show us a thing or two about grace and speed!
Q: What’s your favorite running resource or gear?
A: Since I am still fairly new to the running scene I continue to experiment with gear by different brands. When I first started, I ran in Nike sneakers, but someone recently turned me on to Brooks® Ghost 10 Running Shoes and I really like them. My absolute favorite tool that I use for all my fitness activities is my trusty Endomondo app on my phone! I use the free version, which provides a range of valuable data. I have been promoting the app to others for years, so much that I should be a brand ambassador for them!
Q: What’s the best thing that happened during a run? What’s the worst?
A: The best was reaching a final distance I was unaware of during a group Sunday run and being proudly in shock when I found out how far I had run. The worst was when my legs cramped badly during a challenge race, which in turn held back my teammates. I felt horrible and helpless.
Q: How has running helped you?
A: Running has provided me with an interest in a sport new to me and the determination to see what level I can reach — I am currently up to 10K level. Everyone needs to start somewhere! (UPDATE: This year I will attempt my first half-marathon in Vancouver, BC, as a SeaWheeze participant. SeaWheeze has been on my fitness bucket list for many years before I knew what serious running entailed just because of its “fun factor” reputation. I didn’t deserve to participate in the event before, which I respectfully realize. I now have the running knowledge and training to merit my place as a SeaWheeze participant and true appreciation for the opportunity.)
Q: What’s the most special race you’ve participated in so far?
A: The Dulles Day 10K, known as “the flattest, fastest race in the beltway”, is my favorite for sentimental reasons because it was my first 10K and the longest run I have completed so far. The challenge races I’ve done like Spartan and Tough Mudder involved a lot of intense running through woods, but the running was broken up between obstacles, so it’s different. Dulles Day was also memorable because it took place on the full length of the Dulles Airport runway shut down special for 2,500 runners, providing unique views of planes and the airport tower.
Q: What’s the craziest thought that has popped into your head during a run?
A: Oh no, major wedgie (and there’s nothing I can do about it if I am running with others)! I also think about unexpected obstacles like tree roots or rocks, hoping not to trip and fall on my face!


Street Cred

Philly 10K
4,500 Runners (Sold Out)
Bib #1221

My friend Tracy from high school, aka #somekindarunner, and I made plans to meet up at a halfway point over the summer and do a fun race together. Enter the Philly 10K, a 6.2-mile loop through South Philly and Center City along 76 city blocks. This annual race has been going on since 2014, hosted by a group of proud Philadelphians to celebrate the history and diversity of the city. The race entry fee includes a finisher T-shirt and keepsake, but no medal. The robust crowd was very friendly and the race was well organized. Even if medals aren’t involved in a race, I still try to do my best and use the opportunity to compete against myself and put my training efforts into practice. My end time was 1:05 with an average pace of 10:28. After the race, we enjoyed the street festival, headed to the hotel to clean up, and then went for a delicious meal before parting ways on our mini road trips back home!

Power of Positivity

My boyfriend who was mean and dismissive is now out of my life, as Bono eloquently put it, “What you don’t have you don’t need it now.” I joined a fitness Meetup group to keep busy, which has resulted in friendships with amazing people who have all added joy to my life. We gather every Saturday morning at the Reston Town Center. Our fearless leader Irina always brings enthusiasm and provides us with a kick butt workout. One Saturday, she had us run the stairs of the five garages, and when we reached the top of each garage we paused to appreciate the beautiful views of Reston and take silly pictures. Another Saturday, she had us alternate single and double steps up seven flights of stairs in variation for 40 minutes with a loop run every time we reached the rooftop. There is genuine camaraderie among the group, which consists of individuals at all fitness levels. Members look out for each other during the workouts and yell “you go girl” or “you can do it.” We share photos of our time together at the end of each Meetup and Irina adds inspirational fitness quotes to them. A fun way to spend mornings!

Embracing My Primal Roots

Ten months ago a friend asked me if I wanted to participate in a race called the Spartan Super with her. It sounded fun, so I said sure. Afterward I went online and read what the race consisted of — 7.5 miles and 27 obstacles. I was like C**P what did I get myself in to?!? We spent the months leading up to the race training, which involved mixing conditioning classes, weekly runs in increasing increments, and hikes of various lengths and difficulty levels on local trails.

Fast-forward to race day. It was a foggy, rainy, cool morning at Wintergreen Resort located on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We picked up our race packets, handed over our backpacks at the bag check tent, and hung out stretching until it was time for our 9 a.m. slot. The thick fog caused the start times to be delayed. When they called our group we gathered in front of a mini wall that we had to hop over to access the starting line. At the starting line our entertaining announcer T.C. advised us, “Don’t slip, trip or fall or you will become a speed bump.” I had no idea at the time how true his words were!

While running and hiking through the Blue Ridge Mountains some of the intermittently disbursed obstacles we came across included:

wall jump / RUN / out-over-through wall / HIKE / cargo net / angled wall / HIKE / sandbag carry (20 lbs.) / tractor pull aka cement block on chain pull / swim under tubes and climb over wall / carry cement stone 2xs / climb up and down wall-plank / monkey bars (I had to do the 30 burpees penalty) / sandbag pulley 3xs (52 lbs.) / bucket of rocks carry (70 lbs. of rocks) / spear throw (I had to do the 30 burpees penalty) / A-frame cargo net / log flip 2xs / death march aka zombie: 23% grade for .8 miles at 1,000 elevation / pull tire by chain up hill and back down / log carry up and down hill / traverse wall / roll under barbed wire: 16% grade for 800 feet / swim under wall / rope climb (I had to do the 30 burpees penalty) / fire jump

The cargo net toward the beginning of the race was hanging by clips at the top and secured by racers who would take turns holding it down. I reached the top of the net OK, but while I was climbing down the other side someone had let go of anchoring the net. My right arm got stuck, but my body continued in a downward motion — it felt like my arm had been ripped off. I sucked up the pain and kept going.

I have an aversion to water and while trudging through the woods about three hours into the race I declared, “I would pay $100 for a glass of tea or juice right now.” This guy came over and handed me a packet of energy gel and said, “I believe you said something about $100.” I replied, “Sure, my bag number is 249 you are welcome to go to bag check and claim your money.” He laughed and continued on his way. About five hours in my dehydration became severe. I spotted a big blue Gatorade up on a ledge at a water station. I shouted, “Who’s Gatorade is that?” One of the volunteers replied that it was hers. I asked her if she would please fill one of the cone paper cups with some of the Gatorade and she kindly obliged. It was only about 4 ounces of liquid, but it was glorious!

During the roughest points of the course I kept telling myself to remain focused and tackle one challenge at a time. Spartan is known as a sport, a community and a philosophy. The camaraderie I witnessed among the teams and between strangers was a powerful motivator throughout the day.

Seven plus hours later when I finally reached the finish line, a woman placed a medal around my neck and I began to tear up from a mix of exhaustion and pride. In the end it was one of the most physically challenging days of my life and also one of the most rewarding accomplishments! I wrote-off the cuts and bruises I collected along the way as temporary souvenirs.

There are three types of Spartan Races:

  • Sprint = 3+ miles/15+ obstacles
  • Super = 8+ miles/20+ obstacles — This is the one I participated in and finished. Keep in mind that I only competed in three traditional 5K races prior to Spartan. Careful what you agree to do.  😉
  • Beast = 12+ miles/25+ obstacles

Blank Canvases

My friend Jane and I participated in the Color Me Rad 5K. Our plan was to drive up Friday night, get our packets, stay at a hotel, wake up early and do the race. We expected race obstacles, but not road obstacles! We started our journey right after work on Friday and about half way there hit traffic that had us moving at a turtle’s pace. The packet pick up location was closing at 7 p.m. We made it there at 7:15 p.m. and the crew was packing up, but they kindly allowed us to check-in and get our bag of goodies. We grabbed some dinner and then headed to the hotel. It was in a shady area, but we were tired and ready for a good night’s sleep. When we entered our room we were horrified … it was dirty, smelled and there were mystery stains all over everything — the counters, dressers and bed. Super gross! We bolted out of there and made calls from the car to find another hotel, which turned out to be a nice place. We woke up excited for the race and headed out. A half mile in we discovered the ramp to the highway was closed. We tried to use GPS to go another way, but it kept taking us in circles. We started to stress then noticed a cop car in a parking lot, so we stopped to ask him for alternate directions. He put us back on track and told us the ramp/highway was shut down due to a fatality. We drove on, arriving at the race 10 minutes after the last wave time. No time to waste, we took a quick before photo and then hit the trail running — miraculously catching up and surpassing some participants. Along the route there were five stations where we got pelted with different “color cannons” in purple, yellow, pink, blue, and orange. We started out as blank canvases, but at the end we looked like walking pieces of abstract art. I’ve wanted to participate in this run for years. I’m happy I finally did it because despite the road blocks getting there, it was a BLAST!

(Side Note: The proceeds from the Color Me Rad race go to a different charity in each city where the race is held. The charity recipient of our race was Special Olympics Maryland, Prince George’s County.)

Divas on the Run

Me and my friends Jane and Katrena trained together for our first 5K sponsored by Shape magazine. It was a blast because the 5K included different obstacle course stations along the way. The temperature was nice and cool with welcome random breezes. We completed the course in less than 45 minutes. We named ourselves the Daring Divas and we were beaming with pride when we reached the finish line. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos during our run because I was focused on making it to the end. The Daring Divas are already planning our next running challenge…