Name: Ruth Driscoll-Lovejoy
Self-described age group: 30-35 (ageless wonder according to my husband)
Occupation: Environmental Policy Analyst
Volunteer roles in the running world: I used to organize a volunteer team for the annual D’Feet Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk in Galveston, Texas. In DC, I’ve donated more than a few sweatshirts to MCMers for “throw-away” attire. My understanding is that these are collected and donated to charity after the race.
How has your running changed in the last six months: It’s been a lot of feeling like I’m getting somewhere, pausing, and having to start all over! The last race I ran was a half-marathon in November before I started a PRP (that’s platelet-rich plasma) treatment series that halted running for several months. With a stuttering start, I had just been cautiously cleared to begin running and build mileage in March. Over the last six months, I’ve gone from a painfully slow rebuild to being a steady 10K runner being forced to slow down again. The past few weeks, I’ve just been enjoying four-mile runs.
Why you run: I definitely run for balance and my mental and physical well-being and because I enjoy being a part of the running community. I also like to joke that running races is the closest I can get to that feeling of earning an A+ on a test. It doesn’t really matter where I place, but if I’ve trained and I do my best, I make the grade.
When did you get started running: I started running cross country in middle school.
Have you taken a break from running: Yes, several times.
Training shoe: Altra Escalante 2.5 for road, Altra Lone Peak for trails
Coach or training group: Running buddies
The hardest race you’ve ever run: MCM 2016. My first marathon and my feet were already severely injured so every step after mile five felt like stepping on knives. I should have stopped training, but I’d raised a nice amount of money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and was very committed.
Most adventurous decision you’ve made with your running: My now-husband (also a runner) and I decided it would be a great idea to run the Bourbon Chase Ragnar Relay that ended the night before our wedding! It took a lot of coordination on top of an out-of-town wedding, but we had a runderful time with friends on our team from all over the U.S.
Running mentors: If anyone, it’s local legend, Nubbins. (He’s going to laugh at that)
My favorite place to run in the D.C. area is: Probably Roosevelt Island or along the Mall and up and around the Hill
Favorite local trail: Capital Crescent Trail
My best race was: This little neighborhood race called the Highland Cup. I very nearly caught up to my much taller and always faster, older brother.
Favorite local race: I really love the energy building up to and surrounding the MCM, even if I’m not running it. It’s like a local holiday for the runners and running fans!
Ideal post-run meal: If I run or race in the morning, then all I want is my first cup of hot, black coffee. Evening run? Cheese-laden nachos!
Favorite flavor of gel, gu, etc: Tried a gel once. Never again.
Pet peeve: Folks who walk side by side so that they cross the entire path and who don’t pay attention to the courteous wheezing requests of a sprinting/tired/asthmatic/what-have-you runner trying to get past them.
Goals: Take care of myself well enough so that I can run for the rest of my life.
Your advice for a new runner: Somedays you’ll be slower, and that’s okay. Listen to your body, what your feeling, and enjoy yourself on occasion!
Favorite running book: My stepmom gifted me You Know You Are a Runner… by Richard McChesney, Illustrated by Brighty & Bock. The cartoons are spot on.
Song in your head during a run: Janelle Monáe, Dance Apocalyptic
Have you dealt with a major injury: Yes. I don’t know that running will ever be as easy or comfortable as it was a few years ago, but I still love it and don’t want to give it up. I’ve been through extensive physical therapy and a few series of PRP injections in my left foot, calves, and hips to improve it.
Running quote: “Some days it just flows and I feel like I’m born to do this, other days it feels like I’m trudging through hell. Every day I make a choice to show up and see what I’ve got, and to try and be better. My advice: keep showing up.” – Des Linden
Why is the D.C. area a great place to be a runner: The running community! The D.C. area is full of highly-mobile folks like me. My first sense of community after moving to the area was after I joined the Pacers 14th Street Running Group in 2015 and then hopped onto some local Ragnar teams in 2016. Whatever you do as a profession or wherever you come from might be interesting, but its secondary to the equal playing field of running shoes and sweat that runners in D.C. bond over. Everyone is supportive of whatever kind of runner you are or want to be. Plus, there are all these great trails and all the monuments to run to!