Today we got the opportunity to catch up with Fiona Van Alstyne. Fiona is a Marathon Maniac, USATF Certified Coach, and (when she’s not out running) founder of tech consulting and digital strategy firm, Left Bank Labs.
She’s a well-traveled runner with a wealth of knowledge about the sport and the industry.
Read more about Fiona’s running life below.
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get into running? I’ve always liked running, but really fell in love with the sport after a long injury layoff. Now I’m just really grateful to be out there — rain, hail, or shine. I’m constantly blown away and inspired by the accomplishments of people I meet at races, and there’s nothing like that tired and happy feeling of crossing the finish line with new stories, friends, and an even bigger list of “someday” races!
What races have you run in the past? Mostly marathons (12 in 2012) and 50Ks. Some halfs and shorter races in the past, but I prefer longer distances these days — 5Ks hurt too much!
Do you have any future race goals? If so, what are they? I love to travel and my big goal is to run a marathon or greater distance on every continent, including Antarctica. Some day I would like to run Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon, Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, and Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc.
What was your favorite/most memorable race and why? Hard to choose but the Vancouver Marathon was a really beautiful course, and my Marathon Maniac qualifier, so probably that one!
Funniest race experience? I couldn’t move my hands enough to skip a song or pull my headphones when I got hypothermic during a nasty trail marathon. Ended up listening to Dora the Explorer songs while wading through knee deep water and muddy trails.
Any advice for someone (perhaps starting out with a couch-to-5K program) who thinks they could never run a marathon? Take it slowly, get good shoes, and believe you can do it. Running 100 miles seems as unfathomable to me as 10 miles once did, but now I know the unfathomable is possible if you just keep working at it.
What’s your favorite running gadget and/or gear? Definitely my Garmin watch. I love the freedom of being able to explore anywhere I want and still cover the miles I need, without being stuck to a predefined route.
What motivates you when you don’t feel like training? It’s always much easier to get out there if I have races on my schedule. I also think about how crappy the later miles of a race will feel if I’m not well trained.
What’s on your running playlist? Right now it’s Mogwai, M83, Muse, The Lonely Forest, and Radiohead. Also, Ultra Runner Podcast which is inspiring and funny.
If you could run any race, anywhere in the world, what would it be? Hard question as there are so many! For the scenery, Tarawera Ultra in New Zealand. Marathon du Medoc is a fun marathon I’d like to do some day too. Also, any of the Rainshadow Running events in the Pacific Northwest.
Want to meet Fiona? Feel free to connect with her via Twitter.
Like this post? Join Gametiime free and discover the best way to find your next race!