Welcome to the Orca Running Ambassador Q&A. Each month, we chat with one of the inspiring women on our panel. This week, we are talking to Megan, 32, who moved to the Pacific Northwest from Arizona about two years ago—mostly for the awesome running weather. Megan loves that she can take her sport with her anywhere. “One of my favorite ways to see a city I’m visiting is to go for a run,” she says. “Those always stick out as my most memorable runs.” There’s just one thing she can’t remember…exactly how she got started running.
Q: When did you start running? And why?
I started running 11 years ago. I was a recent college graduate living in expensive southern California, so I couldn't afford a gym membership, but I could go running, and I found I liked it and enjoyed setting new distance goals and getting to them. It took me four years of just running for exercise/therapy/fun to get involved in races.
Q: When friends come to you asking how to get started running, what do you say?
I didn't do it myself (I honestly don't even remember what my first months of running looked like, I think I just played with MapMyRun and thought, “Oh, that would be a cool route to do, I'll run that”), but I've heard really good things about Couch to 5K to break up the daunting idea of just running into manageable intervals of running and walking. I've recommended it to my mom and sister just this year and they really like it.
Q: How has running helped you in your life?
Running balances me. It's just something that has become such a constant in my life that if I start to feel off, I realize I probably just need a run! Even on days when it's hard to motivate myself to get out the door, I come back so happy I did it. One of my running mantras is, "you'll never regret going for a run." I've also met great friends through the healthy blogging community, on hodge-podge Ragnar teams, and at running groups.
Q: What’s your favorite distance? Why?
I really like half marathons. It's a challenge and it gives me something to focus on for a few months, and it really motivates me to stick with my training.
Q: What is the most challenging thing about running/fitness for you?
Right now, treadmill running has been so hard for me! I love it for interval training, but if I'm planning on an endurance, or even a recovery run, I find it so mentally challenging to stay on the treadmill and keep a good pace.
Q: What are your running and fitness goals for 2017?
I'll be running two half marathons this year and would like to run them sub-2:00, which I finally broke on my two 2016 races. I'm also looking at adding in a sprint triathlon this year. I've done two before, but the last one was in 2012. To keep myself in shape for those races, I'm incorporating strength training, which has helped me increase my speed in the past, and yoga, which has really helped prevent injuries since I started the practice six years ago.
Q: I see you moved from Arizona. When did you move to the PNW? How have you adjusted to the weather differences?
I've been in Seattle for two years now and I love it! I know people get tired of gray, but I got tired of sunshine, and right now when we're heading into prime running weather, it's already too hot in AZ! One big reason I moved was for a year-round running season (so I really shouldn't complain about the dreadmill, I should get outside)! I've learned how to best dress for running in different temps through trial and error, but I think after two years I've got it down!
Q: What Orca races will you be running this year?
I'm doing the Birch Bay 15K in a few weeks and the Orca Half in September. Both are going to have great weather and great views!
Good luck with your races this season, Megan! Follow Megan’s journey on her blog, Pretty Active, and join her this week as she takes over Orca Running’s Instagram feed @orcarunning.
Kerrie Turcic is a runner from Maple Valley, Wash. Kerrie is currently a copywriter by day, and also a