A Q&A with a new marathoner

In the past few months, I've talked way too much about me and my training. It's time for you to hear from someone else. Meet Steena, who blogs at Freak4Fitness ("I'd like to call myself fit -- or a runner"). You can also find her on Twitter and on Daily Mile. Steena recently completed her first marathon -- the Chicago Marathon -- and, while being too hard on herself, is looking forward to big things ahead. Be sure to visit her blog today to read a Q&A with me. Chicago MarathonQ: On your blog you say you signed up for the Chicago Marathon on impulse. Tell me about that night. Are you usually an impulsive person?

Late one February evening I read a tweet “Word is, Chicago Marathon is filling up quick, if you want to register, you better do it now.” Prior to that tweet, I had never considered training for a marathon. At this point in time my longest run was somewhere around 7-9 miles. It was nuts, I thought out loud, “Could I run a marathon?” My husband said yes, next thing I knew I was asking him for his credit card.

Ironic enough I took too long on the online registration and my session timed out. I wailed, “If I can’t finish the registration quick enough, what makes me think I’m going to finish in less than six and a half hours??”

I’m tempted to say that being impulsive is my biggest weakness, but then again it got me training for a marathon, so being impulsive isn’t all that bad after all.

Q: What do you like most about running?

Being able to eat somewhat carefree is what I like most about running. All my life I’ve had to be very conscious of each and every calorie that goes into my mouth because of a slow metabolism. Running freed me from having to constantly worry about what goes into my mouth. Watching my pant size get smaller over time has been the coolest experience ever.

Q: What did you learn about yourself while training for Chicago?

It didn’t occur to me until recently, but what I’ve learned about myself during training is that I’m way too hard on myself. For whatever reason, I judged all my runs by the clock, which is silly. If it feels good, then darn it, it was a good run! On a more positive note, I learned that my legs are amazing for carrying me through all those long, hard, HOT and humid summer long runs.

Q: What are your goals for 2011?

My first reaction to this question is to say that I want to smash my first marathon finishing time of 5:17:33, BUT, I just want to finish a marathon with a big smile on my face. The weather conditions during Chicago Marathon drained me, I might as well have been in a coma! Next marathon there will be more smiles! (and finished in less than 5 hours!!)

Q: For anyone just starting out with running, what is one piece of advice you'd give them?

Register for a 5k run. It will be fun, inspiring, for a good cause, and will leave you hungry for more. I think registering for a race really changes a person, they become a runner. After registering you become less likely to skip the run, you’ll do things you never thought you would, like RUN IN THE RAIN (and god-forbid leave the iPod at home)!!!

Q: Lastly, what is one thing that people might find surprising about you (not related to running)?

In high school I was a band geek. I was in the marching band, the jazz band, the regular band, woodwind ensemble, etc. I played everything: trumpet, trombone, french horn, saxophone, clarinet, and flute. Oh, and I went to band camp. Twice.

If you’re interested in being a guest blogger or doing a Q&A, please contact me by filling out the form on the Contact page.

Previous Q&As and guest posts * A Q&A with Steve Spiers, June 2010 * A Q&A with Half of Jess, June 2010 * A Q&A with 265andfalling’s Steve, April 2010 * Chrohn’s doesn’t mean can’t, December 2009 * But I did it anyway, September 2009 * Are we really born to run?, August 2009