Monumental Runner – Ken Alegre

Name: Ken Alegre
Self-described age group: 35-40
Residence: Arlington   
Occupation: Software Tester
Why I run: I run to inspire others to make the impossible possible. If we are dedicated into putting in the time and the effort into improving yourself, especially into improving any weaknesses that we have, we can achieve anything. This applies not only to running, but anything in life that we want to accomplish.

When did you get started running: Back in 1997 when I started college, I had to start running on a regular basis for Air Force R.O.T.C. training. Prior to R.O.T.C., I never ran regularly. I had a huge learning curve to overcome in running. During my two years in the R.O.T.C. program, I ran to try to run 1.5 miles around a track in under a specific time limit. The problem was that I only passed the running test once in my two years, constantly failing at the running portion of the physical fitness test. I had to run fast, but I did not know how to properly run fast without “gassing out.” At that point in my life, running was frustrating because I felt like a failure for not being able to run fast like the other cadets.
Have you taken a break from running: After I left Air Force R.O.T.C. in 1999, I stopped running. I did not get back into running until 2014 because I needed a way to lower my high blood pressure.
Training shoe: I have several training shoes currently in my line up: Hoka One One Clifton 2 and Clifton 3, New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V1 and V2, Altra Instinct 3.5, Saucony Kinvara 5.
The hardest race you’ve ever run: It’s a tie between the 2017 Runners Marathon of Reston and the 2017 Spartan Stadium Sprint at Nationals Park.
Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: I decided to go out of my comfort zone and do an obstacle course race in 2017. I had to take a different approach to training for an OCR, which included doing a lot more strength training and cross training.
Running mentors: Jeff Galloway
My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is: My favorite place in the D.C. area to run is my neighborhood in South Arlington. My neighborhood provides the perfect training course to do hill repeats, tempo runs, sprints, while remaining in walking distance from my house.
Favorite local trail: W&OD Trail
My best race was: 2016 Cherry Blossom Ten Miler
Favorite local race: Parkway Classic Ten Miler
Ideal post-run meal: Pizza (especially after running a race in NYC)
Pet peeve: Races that do not provide the same support/resources to the back of the pack runners that they do to the front and middle of the pack runners. All runners, regardless of pace, should be treated the same, especially when they finish the race under the time limit.
Goals: Finish a marathon in under 5:30.
Your advice for a new runner: Learn how to do run/walk intervals.
Have you dealt with a major injury: At the 2016 Walt Disney World Marathon, I got a strained quadriceps on my left leg. I had to take two months off to let it properly heal.
Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner: The D.C. area provides so many places to run, and there are many running events to take part in throughout the year. The running community in this area is super supportive and motivating.

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