13.1 Q&A With Willa

Willa , RunningMomto1
Meet Willa. Willa recently completed the Boston Marathon and was kind of enough to participate in Runspirational’s 13.1 Q&A. Her love for running is infectious. She participates in 10Ks, half marathons, marathons, trails, and ultras. Check out her answers below. I’m sure you will enjoy them. Thank you so much Willa for being so Runspirational!

Willa has been running for 30 years! Her running journey began in Colombia. Yes, South America. She was a swimmer and moved to Colombia for six months. She couldn’t find any swimming pools to work out in, so she took up running temporarily. Well, temporarily is what she thought, but she hasn’t stopped since. She competed in triathlons for a few years, including the Ironman, until she gave birth to her daughter. After a few years off, she started again and quickly found out she wasn’t too bad at it. She’s been loving it and now does all kinds of races. She runs 10Ks, trail, half marathons, marathons, and ultras. She is part of a running group that she adores. They travel to do runs together all the time.

Twitter: @runningmomto1                         Strava:  Willa 🏃🏻

1 – You recently completed the Boston Marathon (CONGRATULATIONS!), what are your biggest takeaways from the experience?
You need to enjoy the race. The work was done getting to Boston and that day is really your victory lap. Also, wear your medal all day after you are done. People in Boston want to shake your hand, congratulate you or even buy you a beer to honor you as a Boston marathoner.

2 – How did this Boston Marathon compare to the past?
Same time and not my best but had fun! I’m not going to win and I’m not getting a PB so I keep perspective and don’t let my times get to me.

3 – Now that you’ve completed Boston, what are your remaining goals for 2017?
I will be doing a few 10k races for speed, another marathon to get a faster BQ, and to do an ultra in BC in the mountains with my run group. I am in Australia this summer for a few weeks so I’m trying to find one there too.

4 – What got you into running races and when was your first race?
Years ago I was a swimmer. I went to Colombia for 6 months and the town did not have a pool so I decided to take up running while gone. I never stopped. That was 30 years ago. My first race was a triathlon and it was a learning experience – I needed to learn about pacing!

5 – What is your favorite thing about running?
Running is my mental health time. I think about things or not think about anything. It is also a time to laugh.

6 – What do you do to recover from long runs?
I always seem to recover easily so even though I take one day off i usually bike or swim on recovery day. Post run I am never hungry. I tend to drink a lot. I always try to sit in the hot tub after a long run.

7 – What other races are on your bucket list that you haven’t run yet?
What other races are on your bucket list that you haven’t run yet? So many … Chicago, London, New York.

8 – What has been your all time favorite race and why?
I think doing the K-100 relay in Kananaskis has been the most fun because it’s 10 of my great run friends and their families for a weekend. How could you not love that?

9 – What is the most challenging part of training for races for you?
Two things. Speed work. I just don’t like it but I know you need to do it.  The other thing that is tough is training in winter. We can get very cold weather (-20C and colder) and it’s hard to train in that type of cold.

10 – What do you like to eat the night before races?
I usually eat early, about 4:30-5 and always pasta.

11 – What are your favorite running clothes/gear/tech that you like to use while training or racing?
I like my Nike shorts and new balance run pants. I don’t like run tights very much.  I mostly wear tech race shirts and I have several Adidas coats of different weight. I don’t use any belts or bottles on anything under 25km. I use a camelbak for ultras and just got a Solomon so I can pack more gear. I just started tracking workouts 2 months ago and I’m using Strava and am looking to buy a watch and no idea what brand I’ll end up with.

12 – What running shoes are you currently using?
Asics. The Cumulous. They work so I haven’t ever switched.

13 – Do you have any racing superstitions, routines, or good luck charms?
I never wear a race shirt before the race. I always stand in line at the porta potties – the last thing I do before the race starts!

Bonus Question – What is your favorite hobby (besides running of course) and why?
I have a few but I pick reading.  I like to read suspense and mystery because I like to figure it out before the book ends. I love the forensic aspect in the books.

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