Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Featured Runner: Tiina from One Crazy Penguin

Whew! What a week!  Sorry that this blog has kind of taken the backburner as of late, but with Christy having moved to Manhattan and getting ready to start school and I having been away all last week, it's been a little difficult to get some good running in, much less write about it here!

Anyway, hopefully we'll have some more posts for you later on in the week, but for now, we have Tiina from One Crazy Penguin as our featured runner this week!  {Sorry this wasn't posted last week...see above for our excuse, LOL.}  Tiina is one awesome girl and you'll just love her and her blog.  I love her story of how she just decided to randomly run a marathon without hardly running before...sounds familiar, haha. 

Meet Tiina.

1.  What inspired you to start running in the first place?
I played Varsity Basketball for Washington University and originally began running in order to get in better shape for season. I wasn’t expecting to keep running once season started, but I found that I really fell in love with the uninterrupted quiet time that running allowed me. Eventually I graduated and basketball has slowly faded from my life, but running is here to stay.

2.  What is your most memorable running moment?
There are so many good ones to pick from, but I have to go with the Lewis and Clark in 2008. Hurricane Ike decided to hit the morning of race day. My friend who was running with me and I had to *literally* swim from our car to the start line because some of the parking lots had flooded. In the end, they cut the race short by 3 miles because the course was under about 6 feet of water. Definitely not my easiest race, but absolutely my most memorable. It was like something out a movie with the torrential downpours, cold temperature, massive winds, and flooding. Finishing that race in those conditions is one of my proudest moments. Crossing the finish line at my one and only marathon didn't suck either though :p

3. What piece of running gear will you never run without?
Hands down my Garmin (named Huey!). I’m a numbers person. I get giddy every time I come home and get to pour over my numbers. I can’t help myself!

4. Any upcoming races?
I’m running the Lewis and Clark Half Marathon in October in St. Louis, the Hot Chocolate 15K in November in Chicago, and the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February in Orlando. Don’t laugh, but my friend and I are already planning our outfits for the Princess Half! Woohoo pink tutus!

5. What is your *dream* race or distance?
The Goofy Challenge. It’s the Disney Half Marathon on Saturday followed by the Full Marathon on Sunday. I think it would be a fun challenge....or at least a challenge. Plus, the medal is too cool!

6. What advice would you give for someone who is thinking about taking up running?
Find a running buddy or running group. Running solo for so long was a mistake that I made. I only recently discovered the social aspect of running and it has made me fall in love with the sport all over again. Miles tend to fly by a little bit faster with friends. It’s also a good way to meet new people and make new friends. Plus, it’s a lot harder to skip out on a run when someone is waiting for you!

7. What advice would you give to a first-time marathoner?
Up until race day the marathon is only about one thing: training. If you put the miles in during training, your body and mind will be ready. On race day it switches though. On race day it’s all about heart. If you hold back at all, the marathon will beat you. But, if you commit heart and soul to running on race day, you will rock that marathon and cross the finish line with a smile on your face.

8. What's one thing you don't like about running?
Is it bad that I can’t think of anything for this question?

9. What is your favorite form of cross-training, if any?
Everyone is shocked when I don’t say basketball since I played for so long, but my favorite is actually soccer. I started playing in an indoor league about eight months ago and our games are always a highlight of my week. As much as I love running, it’s enjoyable to be able to use running in a big picture way….like beating someone to the ball and scoring the winning goal! :)

10. Tell me about your very first race.
About six months after I picked up running, a good friend of mine invited me to join her for the St. Louis Half Marathon. Basketball season had just ended and I was in great shape so I figured, “Why not?” I had no idea of what to expect, had no race plan (didn’t know I needed one…), had barely trained, and winged the entire thing. I was aiming to finish sub 3 hours, but with a couple of miles to go I had the 2:10 pacer in my sights. I couldn’t quite stay with her so I ended with a time of 2:12:11. It’s still my PR. I’m aiming to beat it sometime soon though and go sub 2:10. The second I crossed the finish line I knew I was hooked on racing.

11. How do you get yourself out the door on the days that you hate running?
It normally doesn’t take much. Most of the time it just takes reminding myself that it would be a shame to break away from my training schedule after sticking to it for so long. Guilt works wonders. If I have to, I bribe myself….perhaps a new pair of shorts or a nap or a scoop of ice cream. When that doesn’t work I call a friend to meet me to work out. It’s pretty easy to say no to myself, but I won’t back out if someone is waiting for me.

12. What running shoes do you swear by?
Saucony Triumph 7. They fit like a glove, are light weight, and have just the right amount of cushioning. It’s like a hug for your feet. I tried to stray away once and it ended badly. I’ve learned my lesson and won’t be switching anytime in the near future. Though, I’ve recently been bit by the barefoot running bug and bought a pair of Vibrams. Although a bit strange at first, I really enjoy running in these shoes and now I use them on most of my shorter runs.

13. If there was one running accomplishment that you wish you could achieve with no possibility of failing, what would it be?
My dream is to qualify for and run Boston. If I ever complete that I think I could happily hang up my distance running shoes and stick to half marathons or less for the rest of my life. It seems like a pretty lofty goal though so…..*Fingers crossed

Thanks, Tiina!  We loved featuring you! :]

Alright, now is the time where you tell us who should be featured next!  Leave some blog links for some awesome running bloggers that would make for a great feature, and you and all those you nominate will be eligible.  We'll announce the next runner sometime on Thursday or Friday.

Happy Running!


  1. Great interview! Tiina is such a motivator - I want to lace up my shoes right now and go for a run!

  2. Good luck with settling into school.

    That was a great interview - and a powerful statement about the marathon day means switching gears to running with your heart.

  3. what a great post!

    i nominate...me! just kidding (a little) :)

  4. She is awesome! I knew from seeing her picture on main street with the tree behind her that she and I share the same love...lol Goofy's challenge is tough...I'm amazed at people who can complete that! Great interview! :0)

  5. great interview! I am running the disney full this year and I am quite nervous!

  6. Hi, hope it's OK to contact you here. We would love to include your blog on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout (http://www.giveawayscout.com). Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog (http://www.giveawayscout.com/addblog/ ). thanks, Josh

  7. hmmmmmm i nominate Shelly from http://itsjustonefootinfrontoftheother.blogspot.com/

    because well she is amazing and is always there to talk when you need it! Never met her in person but whenever I'm having a rough time I know she's there for great advice!


we {heart} comments!