Inspiring Running Woman Interview Series
Marny Pregnant Ultra Mountain Runner
What was it like to run the Pikes Peak marathon?
It IS incredibly hard! But also incredibly worth it! I have only done the race once, but I try to run to the summit once or twice a season on my own. It is such a fun trail and the views from the top are amazing.
The high altitude has a very cool affect on the body. A lot of people claim to experience clarity up there. I agree. It's like a drug! And like drugs, it can have some nasty side effects.
I was pregnant when I ran the race this year, but only *barely* pregnant. I think I was 4 weeks along. I hadn't experienced any symptoms yet.
What kind of nasty side effects?
It's harder to breathe at high altitude. Some people feel "loopy," like they are a little drunk. And they stumble a lot.
Some people experience altitude sickness which can be pretty intense headaches or nausea or both. For me, it is a tired, loopy feeling and I find it hard to suck in a good breath. But I think most people would say that.
Do they offer oxygen at the race to combat this?
No, they don't offer oxygen. But it gives you more motivation to turn around and run down fast!
How would you compare running this to a marathon that doesn't go up and down a mountain?
It is a totally different kind of running. Most average runners can expect to nearly double their marathon times. There are a lot of sections that we average joes have to hike.
Even fast runners average 15-20 minute miles during the last few miles at the top. Excluding Matt Carpenter, of course.
What advice can you give to me and any other running woman who wants to run this badass marathon?
If I lived out of state and wanted to prepare for Pikes Peak, I would find the biggest hill or mountain I could and run up it a bunch of times with cotton balls in my nostrils. (Just kidding!) But really, sign up, get in as much hillwork as you can and get in a few 5+ hour runs and you should be good!
Have you ever run a flat race?
Yup. And a couple downhill races too.
What do you enjoy more, running in the mountains or running on flat ground?
Mountains. Hands down. But I do appreciate road running too. Especially when I go out of town. It's a great way to explore new towns. When I pick out-of-town ultras, they always double as mountain biking destinations for my husband so he's happy.
What do you carry on your runs?
Usually handheld water bottles and some gels or chews for long runs. For really long runs I bring my Nathan hydration pack because I can fit more water and some extra layers in it. For short runs, usually just water or nothing.
When do you find time to run?
Being unemployed, while I'm certainly not proud of it, definitely helps. I have a child in school full time right now and no job. But until recently I was mostly a stay at home mom and I worked evenings and weekends. So I traded babysitting hours with my friend so I could run during the day. Early mornings when I had to.
Do you cross train?
Yes. I do Crossfit type workouts.
What is crossfit?
Crossfit is short, but very intense workouts. They include lots of dynamic strength moves that incorporate the whole kinetic chain. It also includes some running, jump roping and other cardio, but usually mixed with a variety of strength moves. There is a different workout posted on the website every day.
Another workout routine I love is Bodyrock.Tv. They are also short, intense workouts but mostly use only your own body weight. They are usually an interval or circuit type of workout and they're brutal! Like crossfit, The workouts are free and posted every day along with a tutorial.
What are your running goals?
To run under 10 hrs on a Colorad 50 mile course . And to run under 9 hrs on a flat 50 mile course. Also to run 100!
What running achievement are you most proud of?
I don't know! I am most proud of running achievements that are not my own. When I was on Tara's crew at Heartland 100 and she finally broke 24hrs (waaay under 24) and got 2nd place, I was so ridiculously proud of her and of the whole crew. I love crewing!
So there you have it, running woman inspiring each other!
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