7 Questions for Runners

7 Questions for Runners

Tomorrow, Saturday, February 3rd, PrintSouth is one of the sponsors of the for the MGC Long Run 15k and 5k, in Columbia, South Carolina. Six weeks ago, we posted How to train for a 5k in 6 weeks to get you prepared if you decided to participate in the run.

Today we are asking two of our resident runners seven questions about their running experience.


Left to right: Karen Varnadoe, Richard Coulter and Mark Jones.
Karen Varnadoe, our Executive Assistant (the person who does everything the boss doesn't want to do), has been actively running for 11 years. She has participated in multiple competitive races and charity runs over the years and can provide an insight into the life of a seasoned runner.

Q: Why did you start running?

A:
I didn’t have a choice. It all started with Tim Graham and one of his 12 week Saturday challenges. This one began in January 2007. Part of the end result and “graduation” was to run in the Get to the Green 5k. My first ever race, but not my last.

Q: How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?

A:
I have to admit, it is a struggle. There are so many times that I really am not motivated. Without sounding like a cliché – it’s a love hate relationship. Most times, I am happy that I decided to put on my shoes and run.

Q: What was your best running experience?

A:
Best running experience, that’s funny. How about I tell you my most accomplished run? April 2017, Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Half Marathon, Roanoke, VA. The course was 2.5 mountains. My goal time was under 3 hours. (Lexington doesn’t have mountains for training) You may not think that this a big deal, but add a cold rain. Now it becomes a big deal – 2:57:43!

Q: What was your longest run, how did you do it?

A:
Longest run is a half marathon 13.1 miles, did it by putting one foot in front of the other. Seriously, training for any distance, whether it is a 5k (3.1 miles) or a 50k (31 miles) is vital. Be smart about your training and your abilities.

Q: What do you not like about running?

A:
Running. Hahaha. No matter the distance for me, the first mile is a killer. It’s the worst part of the run trying to get into sync with breathing and stride.

Q: What was your worst running experience?

A:
October 2016, Myrtle Beach Half Marathon. Things were great, everything was in sync. My pace was spot on, was going to finish around 2:15. Then it happened. Mile 8. Cramps. Worst calf cramps I had ever experienced. I was hydrated, I had fueled properly, why am I cramping? I stopped to stretch and started walking again, then to a run. I got about ¼ mile before it started again. I finished the race walking. As I crossed the finished line that day, burst in tears because of the pain. One of my worst half marathons ever with a finished time of 2:39:01. I have no idea what happened that day, but it did not discourage me. You have good days and bad. This one was a very bad day.

Q: What do you hope to achieve from running?

A:
I believe I already have. I have achieved so many personal goals, have met so many people, have participated in some fun and interesting running events and the best part, introduced others to running. I can honestly say, even though there are days I would not admit it, I do enjoy the freedom of running. I continue to learn more about who I am, what I am capable of accomplishing in other areas of my life and just reflecting.

Richard Coulter, an Account Executive, has recently began running. He is working and training in order to post quicker times on his 5k and 10k runs. Being a “rookie” runner, Richard knows what it takes to stay motivated and laser focused.

Q: Why did you start running?

A:
I started running because I wanted a new challenge in my exercise routine that I could set goals with and work toward. People are running into their 80's today and I'd love to shoot for that.

Q: How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?

A:
I stay motivated to by taking on new races and setting time goals for them. It’s neat to see new places and meet new people along the way.

Q: What was your best running experience?

A:
My favorite running experience thus far was taking a trip with Karen Varnadoe and Mark Jones to run the Belmont Rail Trail 5k in Belmont, NC last year. We had a great time! I also enjoyed a race (Savannah Bridge Run) and weekend in Savannah recently.

Q: What do you hope to achieve from running?

A:
I hope to stay fit and remain healthy with my running and hope to continue to get faster for a long time. I also hope to continue to meet fun people and enjoy the journey with them.

Q: What was your longest run, how did you do it?

A:
My longest run was a quarter marathon at the Carowinds Run & Ride this past fall. That's a little longer than a 10k and it was fun to run all over the Carowinds grounds.

Q: What do you not like about running?

A:
The only thing I don't like about running sometimes are aches and stiffness after a challenging run or being cold outside in the winter.

Q: What was your worst running experience?

A:
My worst running experience was over the Christmas holiday in the early morning when I ran in 32 degree weather with wind. I'll pass on that in the future and run indoors or do a different exercise routine inside.

Running and exercising is very beneficial to your health. If you can’t make it to the run tomorrow, we hope you can take the experience above and get motivated to start running. And keep at it! Do it for yourself, or your loved ones.

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