What made you start running?
I lost about 60 pounds after my daughter was born and a good friend asked me to go on a 2-mile training run with him for the Long Island Half Marathon. I decided to run that race for the accomplishment, and figured I’d retire after running one half. I lied.
When and why did you decided to you were going to run a half-marathon or marathon on all seven continents?
I motivate myself by continuously setting new goals. And I continuously teach my kids about the importance of setting goals and seeing them through. The reality is that if you don’t set the goal, you’ll never actually do it. I have always wanted to see Antarctica. I figured there was no better way to do it than to set the goal of running there.
How do you stay motivated through all those miles?
I visualize the finish. I bring my focus between my ears. No matter what pain I feel in my legs, I remind myself that my mind will never quit.
How many marathons and/or half-marathons have you run?
12 marathons and 13 half marathons.
What is your favorite race and why?
The New York City Marathon. It’s iconic. The crowd is electric. And as you cross the Queensboro Bridge in pain and silence, you know there’s a wall of sound that’s about to hit you as you turn onto First Avenue. It lifts you like nothing else. That support can carry you through the whole race.
What race did you learn the most about yourself?
The 2018 Boston Marathon. The conditions were awful, driving rain, gusting headwind the whole way. It felt like I was running in a freezing car wash. It felt like 26.2 miles in strict survival mode. To this day, when I see another runner wearing the coral 2018 jacket, we just nod to each other, a mutual respect, knowing we survived something that cannot be explained to anyone who was not there.
What is your favorite part about running and traveling?
I love that running is about competing with yourself. Most of us are not elite runners. But you can always improve. You can always learn new strategies about nutrition, training, gear, etc.
I’ve always had a fascination with different cultures and languages, since I was a kid. You can learn so much by experiencing other cultures. Whenever this life is finished, I want to be able to say I saw as much as I could, and learned as much as I could.
It doesn’t have to be a race, but what is your favorite place/city to run?
Vancouver, British Columbia. It was my first marathon. But aside from the race, the city is just beautiful, and the scenery in the distance is truly spectacular.
What word would your friends use to describe you?
What words of advice would you give to someone who is training for their first marathon or half-marathon?
Put in the miles during your training. Core strength is also important, so I also implement yoga and Pilates into my routine. Pay attention to nutrition and hydration. Do all your experimenting during long training runs, never on race day. I don’t carb load as such. I eat a lot of protein and vegetables, and I eat a fairly substantial breakfast on race day, about three hours before the start. Resist the urge to fly out of the gate. You’re going to have a lot of emotion. Find your pace and settle into your rhythm. Take hydration at every station, even when you think you don’t need it early on. Enjoy the crowd and the scenery. And trust your training.