Monumental Runner – Lisa Johnston

Name:  Lisa Johnston

Self-described age group: Almost a Master

Residence: Reston

Occupation: Environmental Scientist 

Volunteer roles in the running world: Run club at my girl’s elementary school

Why you run:  loaded question, could write a novel on this topic, but for today – I run for self therapy and to set a good example for my girls (8 and 12)

When did you get started running: eighth grade track (like 1,000 years ago)

Have you taken a break from running:  Yes! A few years here and there due to having kids and injuries and burnout  

Training shoe: New Balance Zante 

Coach or training group: Potomac River Running training groups 

The hardest race you’ve ever run: Marine Corps 17.75K – those hills! Great training for Boston

Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: setting a goal of ten consecutive Boston Marathons (I made it through 6)

Running mentors: high school coaches Rick Lytton and Joe Huddle, and Adam Lesser – PR Coach

My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is:  Hard question!!! My favorites are the paved Reston trails through the woods and also the run commute from Reston to Arlington on the W&OD and Custis trails 

Favorite local trail:  Reston Nature Center trails

My best race was: Boston 2019, although one of my slower Boston’s – overcoming a heart procedure and a fairly major knee injury meant more than any “fast” time

Favorite local race: Reston 10 Miler (something oddly satisfying about those hills and that distance)

Ideal post-run mealWaffles, wings and bourbon 

Favorite flavor of gel, gu, etc: Huma Apple Cinnamon 

Pet peeve:  negativity 

Goals:  re-qualify for Boston 2021 (I made it through 6 consecutive Boston’s before a heart problem and knee injuries from falling stopped me), goal is now to overcome my chronically messed up knees…

Your advice for a new runner:  Learn to fight the doubter in your mind, and make sure you follow a consistent routine. The first weeks, months hurt and may seem tedious and not worth it. Hang in there (and listen to those who warn you about overtraining), it’ll all pay off.

Favorite running book: Boston Bound by Elizabeth Clor

Song in your head during a run: Dog Days are Over by Florence + the Machine

Have you dealt with a major injury: Yes, more than one. First one was a hip labral tear (physical therapy fixed that) in 2013. 2018-2019 were rough years starting with a heart problem that was finally resolved towards the end of 2018. I fell in my house a little over a year ago resulting in a chondral defect in both knees, permanent cartilage damage with no real solution for people my age.  Running life  has been pretty rough following my surgery last July, but the more I run and lift weights, the better the knees feel. 

Running quote: I will keep that simple: Never give up. 

Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner:  I can’t think of a better place for a runner to live. There are endless trails to choose from, so many sites to see (trees, wildlife, the sunrise over the Potomac, lakes, monuments), a great running community, great races to choose from throughout the year, and so many options for training groups/classes. Did I mention I can run my entire work commute (21 miles) all on a paved trail? Can’t get better than that for a runner! 

Recent Stories

Ten years ago, a federal shutdown came in one of the busiest months for road racing,and nearly cancelled the Marine Corps Marathon.

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After a nearly year-long hiatus, Pace the Nation has returned with St. Andrews graduate and Georgetown recruit Tinoda Matsatsa.

Running Shorts

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