Hello and happy Friday! It’s another beautiful one here in DC, as was yesterday, when I took advantage with one last early morning run through those gorgeous cherry blossoms. 🙂
I can’t get enough!
My college friend Kathleen and I met up down by the Smithsonian metro and then ran over to the tidal basin from there. The blossoms are officially on their last legs, but it was still gorgeous.
Kathleen and I ran two laps around the tidal basin, stopping a couple times for photos, of course, before heading back to our starting spot. We covered 4.6 miles; it was great to catch up with her, especially amidst views like this! We could not have had a more beautiful morning for a run date!
In other news, my feet matched the Cherry Blossoms! 😉
My friends at Brooks sent me these, which are the new Brooks PureConnect 4 lightweight running shoes, as part of my ongoing Run Happy blogger ambassadorship with them. I first got on board the PureConnect train when the PureConnect 2’s were out a couple years ago – while I love the Ravennas for my longer runs, I prefer a more lightweight shoe for speed/track workouts, and the PureProject line features lighter shoes with less of a heel lift. I fell in love with the PureConnect 2’s and wore them absolutely to death before switching to the updated 3’s last year. At first the 3’s weren’t my favorite, but once I broke them in I fell in love again, and I’ve been wearing them for all of my track workouts over the past year. I love how lightweight they are, and how form fitting to the foot – perfect for the track! The 4’s feel great, too – this was the first time I wore them and I didn’t feel like they needed breaking in like the 3’s did. You’ll be seeing these peeking out of all my track workout GPS watch photos from now on! 🙂
And now, speaking of Brooks, I have something really exciting to share with you all! I had the cool opportunity to interview one of their elite athletes, Desiree “Des” Linden, who joined the Hanson’s-Brooks team in 2006.
Des will be lining up with a bunch of you guys on Monday at the Boston Marathon, where she will test her strength and capabilities against a field of U.S. women that will be similar to the competition she’ll be up against in the Olympic Trials next spring. In 2011, Des finished an amazing 2nd place at Boston, and in 2014, she was the 2nd fastest American woman. Her marathon personal record (PR) is a blazing 2:22:38. I’m excited to see how she does in Boston this year!
With the big race coming up on Monday, I thought it would be interesting to hear how she’s feeling going into it – and what tips she has for those of you running Boston, too.
Q&A with Elite Marathoner Des Linden
· In 2011, you finished an amazing 2nd place at Boston, and in 2014, you were the 2nd fastest American woman. How are you feeling going into this year’s Boston Marathon? Are you approaching it any differently than you have in the past?
I’m feeling ready and excited. I’m 100% healthy and had very solid training going into this year’s race, I’m looking forward to getting on the line and putting all the hard work to use. My approach to this year’s race will be very similar to the past, I’m going to focus on running my race and getting everything out of myself on the day.
· What do you think about or do to keep yourself motivated when you start to feel tired near the end of a race? Do you have any mantras?
I always make sure to break the race down into manageable segments instead of thinking about how much race is left. I try and set small and simple goals that help me cover ground and keep a positive attitude.
· What’s the toughest mile of a marathon for you and why?
Any mile after 20 is especially tough. That late in the race, I know it’s not necessarily just a rough patch, it’s where the race is supposed to start hurting. It’s also the fun part where I can really test myself and find out what I’m made of.
· Do you have a pre-race ritual or any good luck charms?
· What do you eat before a marathon?
I keep it pretty simple, toast or a bagel with peanut butter and coffee.
· Any tips for my readers who are running Boston on Monday for the first time?
Marathon 101: don’t go out too hard! This is especially important on the Boston Marathon course. The first few miles are downhill and with the energy and excitement you’re going to feel GREAT during the early miles. If you get in over your head during the first six, your quads will be screaming at you in the later miles of the race.
· When did you first fall in love with running – and why?
My first year of track, I immediately recognized that running is You vs. You, and I loved that I could put in the work and challenge myself in both training and during competition.
· Why do you like working with Brooks Running?
So many reasons! I love Brooks’ Run Happy philosophy. Run Happy can be mean so many different things, some days it’s about setting PR’s, others it might be as simple as exploring a new trail with teammates. No matter where I find my Run Happy, I love that I’m supported by a company that understands and wants people to enjoy the process of running.
A huge thank you to Brooks and Des for the opportunity to do this interview! We’ll be rooting for you on Monday, Des – good luck!
Who else is heading to Boston this weekend for the race? Good luck out there and have fun! It’s my dream to someday qualify for and run Boston… something to work towards! 🙂