Monday, January 30, 2012

Get to Know SSR member Julie Ford

1. Since the Striders and Riders is a multisport club, what do you consider yourself

I’m a runner. I had a great time doing sprint triathlons all over the state for a few years, but I never enjoyed the biking portion as much as the running or swimming. I was actually relieved to sell my tri-bike a couple of years ago because I felt like I was giving myself permission to focus more exclusively on running.

2. What is your athletic background?

Growing up I considered myself the black sheep in a very athletic family. I never stood out in any sport (except for standing out as a complete klutz in basketball). I played tennis in high school and worked hard enough at it so that I earned a varsity letter, but I wouldn’t say I excelled. To keep in shape for tennis I decided to join the track team one year (since they are opposite seasons), and after discovering that I didn’t show much promise in the running or jumping events, the coaches put me in w/ the discus throwers. My track “career” came to an end when one rainy day in practice a fellow discus thrower’s discus slipped out of her hands and hit me square on the chin.

I didn’t start running until I was 27. I was in graduate school at the time, working on my dissertation—which can be a pretty isolating experience, and I found myself craving an activity that provided tangible results and got me away from the computer. Running was perfect in that regard. I loved how one week I could run one mile and then the next week I could add a second mile, etc. etc. Then I ran my first 5k and ended up placing in my age group and learned how fueled by competition I can be.

3. On average, can you describe a typical training week for you?

I try to run at least 5 days a week, with one of those days being a long distance run on the weekends. Ideally I swim at least once a week for cross training (that doesn’t always work out w/ my schedule though), and I try to walk a round of 9 holes once a week too.

4. What advice would you give to anyone struggling to find time to work out?

Build it into your daily schedule. Otherwise it can become too easy for it to be pushed to the bottom of your to do list and sacrificed if things get too busy. I try to plan the night before what time I’m going to be able to run that day and then prepare things accordingly (if I’m running in the early morning I’ll have my running clothes laid out- or if I’m running at lunchtime I’ll pack my clothes to take to work). Not leaving yourself any excuses can be helpful. Planning to meet a friend (especially for longer runs) can also ensure you stick to your workouts.

5. Do you have a favorite race and why?

I rarely run the same race more than once (other than of course the SSR 5k races). The favorite past race I’ve done was probably the ½ marathon I did in Oro Valley (Tucson area) back in Spring of 2008. Good size race, well supported, scenic and challenging course, and I managed to beat my time goal. Just an overall good running day for me. Another highlight was the Bix 7, a hilly 7 mile race in the Quad Cities area in Iowa. Eph and I did that race when we lived in Iowa and then returned to do it in the Summer of 2010. It is a huge, but well organized, race with about 15,000 runners and plenty of big names in the running community participating in it. After Robinson competed in the kid’s race, Eph and Robinson and I got to meet Meb Keflezighi (2008 Olympic marathon bronze medalist and 2012 Olympic trials winner). He was very nice (and I was very starstruck).

6. What is your favorite workout and why?

Any one that includes a decent amount of distance, good weather, scenic terrain.

7. Where is your favorite place/route/trail to workout in Socorro or the surrounding area?

My usual route during the week is a 4miler starting from my house, cutting across the golf course, and on to the levee past the observatory. My favorite places though include running the main road in the Quebradas, running out by the Shrine off of HWY 60, and when I’m really in search of a challenge, running up part of the Water Canyon road.

8. Do you have a can't-live-without training aid?

No. I’m a minimalist. In cold weather I can’t live without handwarmers and super insulated gloves.

9. What athletic goals do you have in mind of 2012?

I am looking forward to my first Ragnar with my team of 11 other women (9 of whom are from Socorro). I purposely haven’t set any goals beyond that because I expect I may need some recovery time after that event. I do plan to participate in the SSR Spring series, and if I’m still enjoying long runs as much after finishing Ragnar, I may try to find a late Spring ½ marathon. Or, I may work on trying to improve my speed and go for a 5k PR.

And now for a speed round...

Last song you purchased: We have a monthly Rhapsody subscription, so I don’t purchase individual songs. But I’ve been listening to a lot of RUSH and am fiddling around with learning how to play U2’s “One” on the guitar.
Last movie you watched: Moneyball
Last book you read: Judas Judge by Michael McGerrity
Patriots or Giants: G-Men
Beer or wine: YES! (And sometimes a Michelada)
Buckhorn or the Owl: Buckhorn (although I’m not a huge red meat eater)
Mac or PC: PC
Favorite tv show: Breaking Bad, Big Break (golf channel)
Desired super power: to run up walls and over water
Hollywood crush: I’m drawing a blank on that one

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