Multiview 2: Sara Gordon

16 Mar

Sara is one of my many impressive students. She’s extremely level-headed and smart and pretty unflappable. I noticed during the fall semester that she seemed to be evaporating, and quickly. Turns out she’d kicked up her running and was training for a 5K. She ran that 5K on January 28th and followed it up with the Miami Beach 13.1 a couple of weeks ago. I see Sara out on her regular campus runs a lot these days and training has become a constant topic of conversation before (and oops, sometimes during) class. It’s been awesome to chart her running progress over the last few months. Here’s Sara’s story.

Name: Sara Gordon
: Florham Park, NJ
Current Town
: Miami, FL
Sport(s) of Choice
:…running? Don’t tell my dance teacher though 🙂
Longest distance Covered (on feet/bike/skis/snowshoes/etc…)
: 13.1 miles (on foot)
: Full time student

How long have you been participating in your sport of choice and what got you into it in the first place?

I guess I’ve been running consistently since the summer of 2010…I got into it to lose weight. I had been trying to run, but I held myself back because I was either too lazy or kept using the excuse that it’s bad for a dancer’s legs (which is true, but either way…)

Describe a typical training day.

Typical training day? I guess when I work out, I do a half hour of some sort of cardio, then a weight lifting circuit and then another half hour of cardio. This can change though depending on how much time I have to be able to go to the gym.

Describe a typical eating day.

Eating habits change, but its mostly a handful of servings of fruit, with a Cheerios breakfast, sometimes lunch depending on the day, and dinner changes a lot depending on day and what I have at home/what the dining hall serves

How do you balance work-life and training-life?

I make a point to try to do some sort of cardio everyday. But when I can’t, I don’t get mad at myself or punish myself the next day. That’s counterproductive. I definitely try to go during the morning as that just feels best to me. I work harder on days that I have classes or my desk job, but when I work in the theater dept. hanging lights, I stick to just cardio that day as I get a workout from the lights.

What are your goals? Either short or long term? How are you preparing for upcoming races?

This all started for me as a way to lose weight, which I (at this point in time) am about 15 pounds away from my goal weight. But as I do more racing, I would say my goals are changing to just challenging myself to complete something that I never thought I would be able to do. It helps me let go of the old heavier me and hope that I don’t go back to that. In preparing for races and training and such, I honestly don’t do too much. Even before the AllState 13.1 race, I did the 13.1 once before actually running it. Its more of a mindset thing; I don’t want to freak myself out before the race-especially since that one was my first half marathon. Looking back, could I have trained more? Yes. But I discover that when I’m actually running the race, stakes become higher for me and I just do it. The race ends after the finish line, not while it’s happening.

Can you recall a particularly challenging moment in training or racing? How did you deal with it?

Probably one of the most challenging races was my first 5k as I was super under prepared and signed up for it the day of. I ran the whole thing in about 32 min but I didn’t train or anything and I just could not believe afterward that I did that. I was so proud of myself for pushing through the whole thing but afterward I was dying. Like, several people thought I could have been having an asthma attack and I don’t even have asthma. Another, more recently was during the 13.1 as we were coming up the Julia Tuttle causeway back to Miami Beach. I could not believe that the bridge had that much of an elevation. I took it slow though- and kept telling myself that once I got to the top, it would be smooth sailing down.

Any interesting/funny/inspiring stories you want to share from training or racing?

One time I was running through a parking lot after doing the loop to get to the gym faster and tripped and fell? I thought it was funny, but then again I laugh at myself a lot 🙂

Talk to me about equipment/product. What do you wear? What do you ride? What gels do you like?

I love my Nike Air Max shoes (although it might be time for some new soles…) and I like microfiber shirts but also don’t mind the random T-Shirts the university ends up giving students. I do always run with yoga pants- I don’t mind shorts while running, but if I’m going to be lifting after a run, I prefer to wear my long pants.

Any advice for the “noobs” out there?

I still consider myself a noob, but I guess when I try to get my friends to go running or to the gym, I would say take it slow. Endurance doesn’t build overnight. And if you fall off the horse, its ok. Just remember to get back on it.

Anything else you want to tell us about yourself or your sports life?

…If we’re being completely honest, if the race has a medal, I’m running it haha


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