13.1 Q&A WITH MEGAN (4/21/17)

Megan Hill
Meet Megan Hill, a dedicated and experienced runner with a medal collection that is outstanding. Megan is currently training for her first marathon, the Chicago Marathon, in October. She was kind of enough to take the time out of her busy schedule to answer my 13.1 questions. She offers outstanding answers that I’m sure you’ll enjoy just as much as I did. Make sure you follow her on social media through one of her handles below. Thank you so much Megan for being so Runspirational!

Background
Megan is a single mom of 2 amazing kids and an ER nurse at a Level 1 trauma center. I guess you can say she loves the adrenaline rush of saving someone’s life. Running is her me time away from work to clear her head of all of the horrible things she sees in the trauma bay. To date she has completed countless 5ks, three (3) 10Ks, one (1) 4 Miler, and 27 half marathons. She has plans for several half marathons this year, two (2) Ragnar’s and her first full marathon in October in Chicago! She says she’s  not a fast runner by any means but always remembers some of her favorite running quotes including:

“No matter how slow you go, you’re lapping everyone on the couch.”
“The slowest runners get the most out of their entry fee.”
“Running slow isn’t a character flaw, quitting is.”
“A 5 minute mile is the same distance as a 15 minute mile….get off the couch and go run!”

Social Media
Instagram: @maygunrn                  Twitter: @maygunhill
Snapchat: meggiej0                         Pinterest: @maygunhill

1 – What is your favorite thing about running?
My favorite thing about running is crossing the finish line and feeling like I can do anything as well as all of the amazing people I have met. Some of my best friends in the world I have met at races. I always say that there is nobody that understands why a runner does what they do except for other runners. Nobody understands the early mornings, the money, or the obsession like another runner.

2 – What got you into running races and when was your first race?
I got into running in 2011 after my baby was born. At delivery I weighed about 220 lbs and was unhappy. I had several complications during delivery and was stuck in a chair for the next 12 weeks trying to heal and take care of a new born baby. I lost about 60 lbs during that time and I promised myself I wouldn’t gain it back.  She was born in October and I ran my first 5K, Go Girl Run, in Columbia, MO, in April 2012. Running was my way of making sure the weight stayed off. A year later I ran my first half marathon, Rock the Parkway, in Kansas City, MO.

3 – You are running the Chicago Marathon in October, why is this a dream race for you?
I always wanted my first marathon to be a big one. One that is well known not only by the running community but also the general public. In 2015 I ran a couple of half marathons in Chicago and absolutely fell in love with the city. It is my favorite place to visit and their food is amazing. I entered the lottery for the marathon last October and to my very pleasant surprise on December 13, 2016 I woke up to an email at 4:30 a.m. saying I had gotten in. My first full marathon in my favorite city … YES PLEASE!

4 – How will you define success on race day?
Crossing the finish line is always my goal. I am not fast by anyone’s standards but as long as I cross the finish line, I consider the race a success.

5 – What other races are on your bucket list that you haven’t run yet?
My bucket list races are Marine Corps Marathon, New York Marathon and my biggest bucket list race is Boston.

6 – What has been your all time favorite race and why?
My favorite all time race is Hospital Hill in Kansas City, MO. Hospital Hill says it in the name, hills, lots of hills. I hate hills! The race is in June and if you aren’t familiar, June in Missouri is hot and humid. You can never predict the weather and I have done  this race in pouring down rain, heat, cold and  I think once it was nice weather. I think I have such love for this race because of the challenge. Its hard but I always cross the finish line and register for the next year. If you’re really up for a challenge you can do the re-run which is a 5K Friday night and the half on Saturday, of course I do it!

7 – What is the most challenging part of training for races for you?
The most challenging part of a race isn’t the race. It’s dragging myself out of my house to go on training runs. If I had to pick my least favorite part of a race I would have to say the early mornings or waiting in the corrals for what seems like forever.

8 – You have a great photo on your Twitter page of all of the medals you have earned. What is your favorite medal and why?
My favorite medal is my giant medal from Chicago. Its just huge. I also have several from a local race, Running with the Cows, that are super cute and of course cow themed. I’m sure if you ask me again in October I will have a new favorite medal :)!

9 – What do you like to eat then night before races?
I don’t have anything specific I eat before a race. Nothing to crazy and nothing new. Race morning I will grab a banana and chow down on the drive to the race site.  The meal I had the night before my last race was a Chipotle Burrito Bowl.

10 – What are your favorite running clothes/gear/tech that you like to use while training or racing?
My favorite running gear that I use to train and race in is my Garmin Forerunner 230 and compression socks and flip flops for after. I tried running in compression socks and it just didn’t work out for me and there is nothing better than pulling your feet out of your tennis shoes and putting on some nice squishy flip flops. Right now I am using Nike flip flops and Pro Compression socks. I also always run in sunglasses, especially in the snow and rain.

11 – What running shoes are you currently using?
I LOVE my Asics. I have tried other brands but Asics just seem to be what feels good on my feet.

12 – When you’re running long distance, you sometimes encounter some moments of discomfort. How do you push through ‘the wall’?
I think everyone hits a wall during their runs whether you’re starting out doing a couch to 5K or longer distances. You really have to find what works for you. For me, the thing that works is thinking about all of the people that can’t run. Ones who have medical conditions preventing them from doing so. The people that would kill for the opportunity to be out running no matter what the distance.  I also think of all of the men and women that are fighting for my freedom and usually that gives me enough motivation to get past the wall and keep going.

13 – What is the best piece of advice you could give someone who is just starting out with running?
Running sucks. It hurts. You get blisters. You walk like a baby giraffe after long runs and don’t even think about climbing stairs. Sometimes you want to quit. Saturdays are so much nicer when you’re able to stay in your pjs and lounge in bed half of the morning. It’s not a “cheap” sport. Everyone (except your fellow runners) will question your sanity. Sometimes you will question your own sanity, but I promise if you stick with it, there is no better feeling in the world than crossing the finish line for the first time. It’s an adrenaline rush like no other.

Bonus Question – Where and what is your ideal vacation?
My ideal vacation is Fiji. I’ve never been but the pictures I have seen are gorgeous! I would also love to visit China and hang out with some Panda Bears. Adorbs!