1. What do you like best in running and what is your pet peeve?
I’m very glad to be able to participate in races. I like how running connects people from all around the world. I combine running and travelling, often a race is the reason to travel to a new place. What I don’t like is tempo training sessions, when you have to work really hard.
2. What would ideal running/racing conditions look like to you?
I like warm weather, and it’s easier for me to run in the heat rather than in the cold. So, the perfect weather would be 19— 18 degrees and no wind.
3. What running dream do you have? If you had everything you needed, what would be the wildest, most impossible dream?
I have a special list of exotic and interesting places in the world. My runner’s dream is to run a marathon in each of those, but I realize it’s not physically possible, so I just try to do 1-2 of them a year. So far, I’ve been ticking these places off my list for 3 years now.
4. Tell about the toughest training you had. What was the outcome? And what was the most valuable takeaway?
I’m a bit ashamed of myself for this, but I try to avoid tough training sessions. So, for me it’s the next race that’s hard. During the training I usually don’t push myself to the limit. I’d also mention hurdling as one of the toughest things in preparing for a race. I did it once, and all in all I was pretty good at it, apart from the fact that I bumped my knees a lot of times, so on the next day they were all blue and swollen.
5. What body part would you name that would be the most important when it comes to running? What body part you're most thankful to?
For me it’s definitely the legs. But I’m thankful to my whole body, as we use all our body parts in order to run.
6. Did you do sports when you were a child? Was running among the activities you were fond of? If not, why did you eventually decide to start running and when did that happen?
I had physical training classes at school, nothing special. Although I must say I was in a very good shape and participated in many kinds of sports during those classes. Nevertheless, I never liked running and didn’t take any effort in developing this skill. However, when I was 39 I found myself getting off the sofa and going out for my first 5k run. A week later I participated in my first race. And so I’ve been running till this day now.
7. What do you feel when you're at the start line and when you've just crossed the finish line? What is essential for you to have when you're about to run a race and what do you usually do after you've run it?
I try to stay calm and not give much thought to the upcoming race. When the event starts, I just run. After the finish I’m happy it’s all over. I would have preferred if other runners followed their original chosen tempo. Apart from that, I don’t have any other expectations or dislikes. After the race I just go home; I don’t have any specific rituals. Everything depends on how the race goes, how well the orgs do their job and what my mood is that day.
8. Was there something that changed in your views on running since you started?
Now I’m more critical of the info I find on the Web, as well as of other people’s thoughts and opinions. I have developed my point of view on running, races, training, and equipment. I also feel that I have more respect for fellow runners’ achievements, as now I know what it takes to get to the finish line.
9. What goal that you set to achieve in the beginning of your running journey now seems to be something that's too ambitious or maybe even impossible to do?
I actually have no particular goal, I run for the fun of it, don’t expect exact results and don’t really plan ahead. What will be, will be. I’m happy each time I finish a race. I’m not aware of my max pulse, I prefer to run without a heart rate monitor and I don’t check with my speed, I just run.
10. What goal do you have now?
My goal is the dream I’ve talked about earlier. Run all the marathons from my list. Each of them attracts me for one reason or another. I want to run in places I’ve already been to and where I feel comfortable, as well as discover new beautiful sights.