Until I became serious about running, just two short years ago, I didn’t know that Donna was such a dedicated runner – and I’ve known her all her life. In the past few years, my dear cousin Donna has run 9 half and full marathons. She’s one tough competitor and not at all afraid to get dirty for the sport she loves so much.
1. Every runner has a “WHY.” Why did you start running? I started running short distance (under 5 miles) for general improved health and fitness. More recently when my father was diagnosed with Leukemia, I wanted to do something, anything, and in a totally helpless situation I knew could run, so I did. I trained for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon and raised over $3,000 for the Leukemia Lymphoma society through Team in Training. That was in 2011 and I have been doing distances ever since.
2. What pushes you to keep going? The need to be healthy, and my own vanity.
3. What is your running/fitness routine for a typical week? When I’m not training, it’s usually 15-20 miles per week.
4. What is your favorite distance to run? Why? Five to 6 miles is a perfect run. Usually it has to with how much time I have available, and how early I want to get up. An hour is about what I can spare during the work week. It also works because in my neighborhood
all our streets are about a mile+ in length, so I just run around the block. I consider that another plus, because I really hate running down and backs.
5. Best running memory? Big Sur marathon in 2012. What an amazing, and incredibly difficult run for my first full. My husband met me at mile 21 and ran the last five with me!! I was so glad to see his face; I really needed the support and it couldn’t have been better timing.
6. Trail, track or road? LOVE, love trails! They are just so much more relaxed and pretty. Sometimes, the added benefit of a view can make or break a long run.
7. Craziest thing that has happened to you on a run? Again in Big Sur. I went in to use the port-o-potty. (This is far more amusing in my head I’m sure) Someone had pulled the locking device out of its hinge, so I had to hold the door closed while semi squatting. Well, fatigue and shaky legs had me pretty unstable to begin with, and I had to hold the door closed as well. Mid-stream, I had the misfortune of an uninvited guest attempt to join me. He pulled the door open so forcefully (remember I’m holding the door) that I came off the commode and I almost face-planted on the gravel. This guy shrills at the top of his lungs and runs off like he’s just seen the walking dead, which may have been the case, as far as he was concerned.
8. Do you race for the medals or the memories? Oooh, I’ve gotta say it’s a combination of the two. I like accomplishing a goal I’ve set for myself and that medal is the pat on the back for the achievement. Although I really love trail/mud/obstacle/fun runs as well, and that is solely for the amusement.
9. What is your worst running moment? Same as the “craziest.” Just kidding. It has to be running cold or wet with a wind gust. For me, it’s generally weather that ruins a run. I’m a fair weather gal! I did have a pretty significant injury just before my Nike event (Achilles tendon avulsion) which put me out of commission and in a cast for six weeks.
10. Give your younger self some advice about running. Just put your god damn running shoes on!
How do you connect with other runners or runner communities?
Thanks cousin Donna!
Editor's note: Photo, courtesy Donna Martinez