Monumental Runner- Olivia T.

Name: Olivia T.

Self-described age group: Dang millennial (25)

Residence: Silver Spring

Occupation: Scientist – I work in an applied biology lab

Why you run: I really like carbohydrates and it helps keep me (somewhat) sane. My long runs alone with a good podcast are often the highlight of my week.

When did you get started running: I ran cross country in high school, but didn’t pick up the longer distances until after college, when I started training for my first marathon in the summer of 2016.

Have you taken a break from running: I didn’t really run at all for most of college. Studying and beer were way more interesting to me at the moment. Looking back on that time though, I don’t know how I just didn’t run at all. Since 2016 though, I don’t think I have taken more than five or six days off in a row, and that is only after hard races – otherwise, I am out there 5-6 times a week.

Training shoe: Saucony kinvara, hands down. I have like 10 pairs in my closet.

Coach or training group: I have started going to a few group runs recently, but I am a solo runner and trainer – I use plans I find online and modify them to fit my desired level of difficulty and life.

The hardest race you’ve ever run: I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 2017. It is a great race, but it was my first “big city” marathon and I got caught up in all the excitement and went out way too fast and hit the wall hard by mile 20. I didn’t think the last 6 miles were ever going to end.

Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: Sometime, I do my out and back runs in the opposite direction and head south down the trail instead of north 🙂 I am not an adventurous runner. I have my favorite routes that I run time and time again. I don’t find it boring, I find it comforting. Plus, I do not have a great sense of direction and I am not trying to get lost in the woods.

Running mentors: Both of my parents are still running regularly and doing some marathons here and there. I know more about training than them, but I consider them my mentors/role models because I hope I am still as active as they are and running when I am there age.

My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is:  C&O canal towpath – flat, shady and so pretty up near Great Falls

Favorite local trail: Sligo Creek Trail  

My best race was: Chicago Marathon 2018. While its no longer my PR, its the most fun I have ever had in the race. I kept waiting to hit a wall, but it never came.The whole thing felt like a party, the crowd support was amazing and they gave out beer in the chute.

Favorite local race: NCR Marathon or Half Marathon. Its always the weekend after Thanksgiving on the NCR trail in Maryland. Extremely well organized, small race on a nice paved trail with great premiums. You get some sort of long sleeved running gear AND this huge warm blanket

Ideal post-run meal: A big bowl of sugary cereal. I am really loving chocolate Lucky Charms at the moment.

Favorite flavor of gel, gu, etc:. I actually LOVE energy gels and I am loyal to the Gu brand. I typically just go chocolate or salted caramel because they are easier to get, but I loved the Smores and the birthday cake flavors too.

Pet peeve: People who don’t run but feel the need to tell me, “Running is bad for your knees” *eyeroll*

Goals: I would LOVE to run all of the Abbott Major Marathons – I have knocked out Chicago and am qualified for Boston 2020.

Your advice for a new runner: Stick with it. We all start somewhere. And if you love running and do it, you’re a runner. You don’t have to run fast or run marathons, just learn to love the sport.

Favorite running book: 26 Marathons by Meb Keflezighi

Song in your head during a run: Any and all Taylor Swift. She is on a perpetual loop in my head. “Shake it off” never fails to keep me going when I start feeling low energy on a run.

Have you dealt with a major injury: No, thank god. Fingers crossed it stays that way

Running quote: “Keep showing up”

Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner:  There are so many runners around here! I love crossing paths with other runners during a run. There is always that nod or wave, which I see as acknowledgement of the shared passion we have. It is basically saying “I know you’re a stranger, but you’re a runner so we get each other and I respect you.”

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