Thursday, March 3, 2011

Q & A with Guest Blogger and first time race participant!

Last month when I started this blog, I mentioned that family members & friends of mine were also runners, all at various points in their running careers.  Today I want to introduce you to one of my good friends, Annie from Alaska.
Last Saturday morning she participated in her very first road race, the Frostbite Footrace 5k in Anchorage.  Here is her story…
Annie with her friend Michelle
& sister Amy before the race
Your first road race was last Saturday's Frostbite Footrace 5k in Anchorage, AK.  What did you think about the experience?
I loved it.  I wasn't super excited about it when I woke up but once I got there and got started it was very exciting.  This being my first race I didn't have any expectations really I just wanted to see where I stood so that I know how to improve next time.

How were the road conditions?
Cold and icy!  It has been pretty cold here in Anchorage and the roads are very well plowed which means it is slick!  It was 13 degrees on Saturday (which is better than the 0 degrees the weather man had predicted) but there was an icy wind that had blown in over night and it just cut right through all of my was miserable!  Also this race was part of the Fur Rondy winter festival activities and there were parts of the course that would overlap with the dog sledding course so every once in a while you would go from slick road to about 3 inches of slushy snow to bog through for about 20 feet where the two trails overlapped.
A race trail and dog sled tail overlapping, only in Alaska, love it!

What was your favorite part of the race?
This is so cheesy but my favorite part of the race was just into mile 2 when I was starting to get tired and very cold because the race was downtown and shaded by all the buildings so the wind was just biting.  I was listening to my iPod and "This is your life" by Switchfoot came on.  Right when it gets to my favorite part where all the instruments drop out and it is just the guy saying "This is your life, are you who you want to be?" I came out of the shade and the warm sun was beaming on my face and I got an extra push of energy and a little tear in my eye because I was running my first race and yes, I am working on who I want to be.  It was a very emotional moment for me :)
Awesome!  Any runner who tells you they don’t experience some sort of emotion during a race is 100% lying.  Welcome to the runner’s club!

On Sunday morning for Disney's Princess half marathon I was wearing running capris, a short sleeve tech tee and running sneakers.  I am thinking that would not have cut it in Alaska.  How cold was the temperature & what did you wear?
It was 13 degrees but right about 0 degrees with the wind chill factor.  I was wearing a thin pair of running pants with long underwear underneath and a long sleeved t-shirt with a hoody and a fleece headband over my ears.  I wore my trail sneakers because they have extra grip on them and considered wearing ice spikes but decided not to last minute.
Very different race conditions
in Alaska than in Florida!
Why did you decide to sign up for this race?
Because I had gastric bypass surgery one year ago and I told my friend "Next year I am going to be able to run that race!" Then she made me stick to it.
Awesome Annie!  Everyone is so proud of you for what you have accomplished over the past year!

Do you have any more races planned? 
I've decided to run at least one race every month for the rest of the year so yes, I've got LOTS of races planned!  The next one is the Shamrock Scramble 5K on March 19th (the day after my 30th birthday)

I hate running in the hot, humid Florida summers.  What gets you out of bed in the cold, dark Alaskan winters?
It's actually very refreshing to run in the snow/cold.  I hate getting out of bed early but once I get out there and wake up it is really beautiful and peaceful out is one of the very few chances that I have to just be alone with my thoughts.

Any advice or encouraging words for people thinking about taking up running?
"A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step" - Confucius
I'm no runner; I'm a "wogger" (combination walk/jog).  Most of the time I am jogging at the same pace that other people walk.  But day by day, I will get better.  One day I will be a runner!

Thanks Annie!  I think just having the strength to get yourself to the starting line makes you a RUNNER!  Good job & good luck!  Can’t wait to hear about your other races!
All the runners post race on a beautiful day in Anchorage


  1. Annie, Congrats on your first race! Welcome to running. I have heard so much about you and maybe one day we will finally meet.

  2. LOOOVEEEE IT!!!!! Thats my Annie Lou :)

  3. Awesome post! Congrats Annie! I got a little emotional overt the "emotional" part. Like Heaher said, all runners can relate! Can't wait to hear how the next one goes. I admire that you run in those conditions. I complain about but Boston but can't say I have ever contemplated ice spikes! It puts it all in perspective! Good luck!

  4. Congrats Annie, it is a great accomplishment!