13.1 Q&A with Lora Johnson (2/9/17)

Lora Johnson, Crazy Running Girl
Meet Lora Johnson, who does a fantastic job with her blog Crazy Running Girl. Lora is currently training for the Boston Marathon and was kind of enough to take the time to answer my 13.1 questions. Her answers are great and I hope you enjoy them as much I as did. Thank you so much Lora for being so Runspirational!

Background
Once upon a time, Lora Johnson hated running – so much in fact, she tried to sprain her ankle so she didn’t have to do it in gym class. And now, with 23 marathons down, her passion for running has gone in the other direction. Lora shares her running adventures – including her quest to complete her first ultra marathon in 2017 – on her blog, Crazy Running Girl. As a certified running coach, Lora uses her blog to help inspire others to find a love for running – sharing running advice and tips, training recaps, race and product reviews and her own challenges as she struggles everyday life with a passion for running.

Social Media
Instagram: @loramarie03                  Twitter: @loramarie03
Facebook: Crazy Running Girl          Pinterest: @loramarie03

1 – What is your top goal for 2017?
It may sound weird since it wasn’t on my list of goals for 2017, but my top goal is to go sub 3:30 in the marathon! I have been chasing the goal for a really long time and feel like I have a pretty solid formula down. I’m just hoping that Mother Nature cooperates on Boston Marathon Monday so that I can make this dream a reality. My current PR is 3:31.19 (which I’ve run twice… yep, down to the second!) so I just need to get rid of that pesky extra minute and 20 seconds.

2 – What was the first race (post high school/college athletics) you ever ran in and when was it?
The first major race that I ran was the Twin Cities Marathon. Before that, I ran a 5k – but it wasn’t really a 5k because they didn’t measure the course correctly, so I really don’t count it. I had no idea what I was doing – I liked to run, but had never run double digit miles before, and before I knew it, I was celebrating my pending college graduation by registering for the 2006 Twin Cities Marathon. I bought a book – Four Months to a Four Hour Marathon – and ended up finishing at four hours on the dot.

3 – What has been your favorite race that you have run?
Honestly, the Boston Marathon will always top my list. This year will be the fifth time that I’m returning and each year is so very special. I still can’t believe that I’ve managed to qualify for the Boston Marathon – especially considering how out of shape I used to be! Among the Boston Marathons I’ve run, each one is special for it’s own reason. 2010, because it was my first time; 2012, because it was SO hot and everyone just ran like we were out for a summer run; 2013, because we had no idea what was happening that day until it happened and I feel like it forever united everyone who was there that year; and 2015, because it was my redemption year. And I hope I can add 2017 to say that it’s been I got a huge PR!

4 – What is your favorite distance to run while training?
I really love that distance between 10-12 miles. It’s long enough where you get the benefits of a long run, but not so long that you have a long recovery afterwards. I’ve always had luck finding some great 10 mile loops too (in Austin and in Minneapolis!) – maybe that’s why I’m biased?

5 – What is your favorite race distance to run?
The marathon. It’s a hard distance, but it leaves me feeling so fulfilled and happy.

6 – What are your three favorite songs that motivate you when you’re running?
I rarely listen to music when I run; if I am stuck running on the treadmill, I will tune into some podcasts (right now I’m loving 2 Dope Queens). I am the type of person that loves to listen to a song on repeat so if I do run with music, I usually play that song. Right now, it’s Tomorrow Never Comes by Zac Brown Band.

7 – What three races are on your bucket list that you haven’t run yet?
I really want to run the Golden Ultra, which I will knock off my bucket list later this year (I know, I’m finally venturing into the ultra realm – a little scary). I would also love to run the Berlin Marathon and lastly, the Flying Pig Marathon. I’ve heard it’s a really hard course but that the organizers do a great job putting the race together and making it a fun adventure.

8 – What do you like to eat prior to a race?
I’m still figuring this out, but before a run (since I’m a morning runner), I’ll snack on some PROBAR Bolts and if it’s a longer run, I may throw in a PROBAR Bite as well. The night before a race, I’ve been focusing on some clean, organic foods – like fresh fish with wild rice and some light vegetables.

9 – What was the most recent running shoes/clothes/accessories you’ve purchased?
I recently got the Brooks Launch 4, which will be my shoes to run the Boston Marathon in. I train in the Brooks Glycerin, but have been using the Launch for my shorter runs and cross-training and love the lighter feel, but they still give my body the cushioning that they need since I’m a heel striker.

10 – What is your favorite thing about running?
I love that it serves as a form of meditation for me. It’s been there when I’ve been having the worst days; it’s been there for the best. I love to go for a run when I feel stressed because there’s something about it that is a complete stress reliever and helps me organize my brain. I know I’ve mentioned a few things already, but I also love how it helps me be the best version of myself – both physically and mentally.

11 – What has been your favorite medal you’ve received after completing a race?
I am a huge fan of the medal I got at last year’s Grandma’s Marathon! There was so much detail that they put into it and it was where I set my new-old PR of 3:31.19, and I know how much blood, sweat and tears (literally all three) went in to getting that time.

12 – What do you do with your bibs after a races?
Right now I have them in a pile, but I have a few ideas of what I want to do with them… I may share on the blog soon, so stay tuned.

13 – Besides running, what is your next favorite form of exercising?
I love hiking! Whether it’s at home in Minnesota or somewhere in the mountains in Colorado, I love how close it makes you feel with nature. There’s something about being surrounded by nature’s beauty that puts you in your place – in a good way.

Bonus Question – What is your favorite meal?
This is such a good question! I absolutely love pizza – pizza that has so many veggies on top that just after one slice, you feel like you are full!