Tuesday, March 1, 2011

HRG Runner Profile: Wendy Bungay

I'm delighted that my first HRG Runner Profile is Wendy Bungay. I started running with Wendy last June, when I joined my first marathon clinic at the Running Room. As we progressed ever closer to race day and our group's anxiety level started increasing, Wendy kept us calm and motivated by sharing from her experiences and even sending daily motivational quotes. I've learned a lot from her, and I think you will too!

HRG: How long have you been running?
WB: I have been running approximately 10 years.

HRG: How and why did you start?
WB: My younger sister is an accomplished runner and listening to her talk about her training and watching her run inspired me. After several years of watching from the sidelines, I quit smoking and tackled the treadmill before finally heading outside, following a "walk/run" program she prepared for me.

HRG: Favorite part of running?
WB: Running is the only activity that I do that is totally for me. When I run, I am simply myself - not Wendy the social worker, the wife, the mom, sister, daughter, etc.

HRG: Least favorite part of running?
WB: Hmm...probably not having any control over the weather and being too stubborn to change my mind once I commit to a run, regardless of the weather. Wind is my enemy.

HRG: Favorite time of year/weather to run in?
WB: Early fall, for sure. September is always a rough month for me emotionally and it’s become the month that I train my hardest and with the most focus. It also provides great running weather as the season begins to change. I like the crispness of air and the crunch of leaves on the trails.

HRG: Favorite distance to run?
WB: The longer the better...at least on those week end long slow training runs. For racing, the half marathon distance is a lot of fun and doesn’t require the same time commitment to train as the marathon distance...but the satisfaction of crossing the marathon finish line feels the best!

HRG: Favorite route (training or race) to run?
WB: I love to run the Salt Marsh Trail in Cole Harbour. My favorite race route is more difficult...I really like the Johnny Miles course in New Glasgow - it’s a looped course and, while the idea of running repeats for a race course initially didn’t thrill me, I was surprised with how much I enjoyed the route and try to run the course on a yearly basis.

HRG: How do you keep motivated?
WB: Never underestimate the power of a training buddy - or buddies - to help keep you motivated. While there’s lots of runs I do solo, I really describe myself as a “social” runner and enjoy running with others. When my energy wanes or I’m struggling with competing time demands, I’m much less likely to blow off a run if someone else is expecting me to meet for a run or if I’ve committed to running with a group. I’m probably misquoting someone but the truth is, I never regret running once I’m out there but there’s lots of times I’ve regret NOT going out for a run.

HRG: Best pre-race meal?
WB: The night before a race I like a stir fry of lots of veggies and maybe some chicken or shrimp over pasta....and sometimes Hickory Sticks to combat stress :) On race morning, I try to stick to whatever I’ve been having for breakfast throughout my training schedule, usually a bagel with cream cheese or peanut butter; fruit and yogurt.

HRG: Best post-race meal?
WB: Fish and Chips (and a cold beer)

HRG: Upcoming race goal?
WB: To cross the finish line in Boston on April 18, upright and grinning from ear to ear!

HRG: Tips or words of wisdom for new runners?
WB: “All in good time” is a good mantra to begin with. It’s okay to shoot for the stars but you’ve got to learn how to load the gun first :)
Celebrate each "first" as you experience it, and there will be lots of them in the months ahead.

Remember that you alone define what "success" means for you on your running journey.

HRG's note: I'll be following Wendy as she trains for Boston, and hope to interview her again once she has crossed the finish line in a few weeks' time! GO WENDY!


  1. HRG,

    Enjoyed your concept of interviewing local runners... look forward to reading more!

    Michelle (Adrenaline Junkie)

  2. I saw Wendy at the Running Room on Sunday, I didn't want her to think I was a stalker or freak her out... so I didn't say anything... but I totally recognized her from your blog!

  3. Well, Halifax is definitely a small city, so I'm not surprised! Anyways Wendy is great to run with -- she has tons of experience and she's teaching the marathon clinic this summer!