Laurie and I spent a lot of time together at college in San Francisco. Even then– long before I started running– Laurie was an inspiration, running and biking around Lake Merced. Through the years, Laurie challenged me to eat clean, exercise and stay active. As my miles increased, Laurie- calling on her own experience as a distance runner- shared tips and tricks, how to run smart and remain uninjured.
1. Every runner has a “WHY.” Why did you start running? I started running because I couldn’t afford a gym at the time.
2. What pushes you to keep going? The freedom to run anywhere and any time. It’s time efficient, cost efficient, and I love the feeling of being outdoors with just me and my thoughts. It keeps me in great shape.
3. What is your running/fitness routine for a typical week? When I’m not training for a race, I run twice a week at 4:30 am, four to 8 miles On the weekends, I’ll run anywhere from six to 10 miles. I’ll up all the miles when training for a race. Yoga every day.
4. What is your favorite distance to run? Why? In races, it would be ½ marathons. They’re not as long as marathons and not as grueling and taxing on my body. I can go at a good pace , but not a sprint like in a 10k. Perfect distance.
5. Best running memory? Boston Marathon. I just ran it this year (with the bombing). I wasn’t feeling great before hand; my back had been bothering me. I figured I had to go; it’s Boston. I decided I’d just go and do what I can do. I felt amazing for the first 20 miles. In fact, I was flying and on par to set a PR. Then all of a sudden at mile 20, my body shut down, legs stopped and I had to walk/run the final 6. I wound up coming in at 4 hrs. and made it before the bombing. I was there when it happened, but to say I finished Boston is a lifelong goal and achievement.
6. Trail, track or road? Trail. Best for my legs.
7. Craziest thing that has happened to you on a run? At the San Diego Rock-n-Roll marathon, I was so ready and trained so hard. I missed the cut-off at mile 15 for the full and wound up going through the shoot for the ½ marathon (only I didn’t do the ½ and was at 16 miles at that point). I was three miles off course, and never went back on. I can look at it now as crazy, and after that I did the L.A. marathon and qualified for Boston.
8. Do you race for the medals or the memories? Memories.
9. What is your worst running moment? Probably the same as the craziest moment of not finishing San Diego.
10. Give your younger self some advice about running. Listen to your body and take care of it. Stretch, do yoga while running. Swim, don’t stress and go out and enjoy it. Breathe, take in the scenery.
How do you connect with other runners or runner communities? My town is filled with runners, I live in a beach community so I know a lot of runners. We have many running stores here with events and races. A lot is word of mouth, and honestly I love to run alone. It’s peaceful, and I can do what I want. If I’m feeling strong, I can go harder; if I’m not, I can slow down and nobody has to be waiting for anyone else.
Editor's note: Photo, courtesy Laurie Peterson