Name: Naomi Warner
Self-described age group: mid-thirties going on 22
Volunteer roles in the running world: (as applies) Unofficial and official race pacer – I’ll be pacing the 4:15 group at the Disney World marathon this month.
Why you run: I run because it gives me life. Running is my therapist, happy hour, social time with friends, a way to clear my head, a break from the stresses of work and family.
When did you get started running: Late in college, I started to run as a way to stay in shape. I started more seriously running in 2011, when my husband convinced me to sign up for my first 10k and then my first half marathon.
Have you taken a break from running: I took a break for about 4 years between grad school (2007) and when I picked it up in 2011, then again for most of 2012 when I got pregnant and had my daughter. In 2013 I came back with a renewed passion and have built up more races and mileage each year since.
Training shoe: Hoka One One Clayton 2 for distance (discontinued!), Hoka One One Challenger ATR 4 for trail, Adidas Boston 7s for faster running (5k, 10k, speedwork)
Coach or training group: I run with friends met through my local MRTT chapter, and currently am coached by my training partner Liz Badley (@coachlizruns).
The hardest race you’ve ever run: Probably my first 50k – the North Face Endurance Challenge D.C. in 2017.
Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: Making the switch to interval running (run walk/Galloway method). I was struggling to break 4 hours in the marathon, and it (so far) has gotten me down to a 3:46 marathon, plus training with intervals has made me faster in the shorter distances even when I don’t use intervals – 22 min 5k, 46 min 10k, and 1:41 in the half.
Running mentors: Scott Jurek, Jeff Galloway, Mike Wardian
My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is: Around the D.C. monuments at sunrise, or one-way trips on the W&OD – like running from Reston to D.C. and then take the metro back.
Favorite local trail: The W&OD.
My best race was: The GW Parkway Classic 2018 – I surprised myself with a 1:14 finish time and enjoyed every minute of the race. I love 10 milers – short enough to push your pace while long enough to not to suffer.
Favorite local race: The Runners Marathon of Reston (I do the half every year)
Ideal post-run meal: Vegan grilled cheese and a smoothie
Favorite flavor of gel, gu, etc: Currently Spring Energy Canaberry
Pet peeve: Getting pushed in a race when switching to walk breaks (with proper signalling). Only happened in Chicago so I guess D.C. runners are just more courteous 😉
Goals: I would love to qualify for Boston and run all 6 Abbott World Majors.
Your advice for a new runner: Take it slow and short, and stick with it – it seems so hard to get started, but after the first few weeks it will get easier. I also highly recommend run/walk – try alternating 30 seconds of running and 30 seconds of walking – it will keep you from getting out of breath.
Favorite running book: Eat & Run by Scott Jurek – I read this book 5 years ago and it inspired me to finally make the jump to veganism
Song in your head during a run: “All The Way Up” – Fat Joe/Remy Ma
Have you dealt with a major injury: Of course! I have been battling high hamstring tendinopathy for the past 3 years on and off.
Running quote: “Once you make the decision that you will not fail, the heart and the body will follow.” -Kara Goucher
Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner: The community and the trails. I feel like we have some of the best networks of running trails – the C&O, Nelly Custis, W&OD, Potomac Heritage Trail; and the best community of runners. There are so many runners and running groups in this area it is easy to find running buddies and mentors.