Sunday, July 10, 2011

HRG Runner Profile: Nancy Holland

Well, it would appear that I'm not quite ready to start running again. I sneezed this week while walking and ended up hurting my stomach so bad that I couldn't walk or stand for several hours...Bummer, because it's a beautiful sunny and breezy day out here in Halifax today, and it would have been nice to be able to slip on my shoes and head out for a Sunday run. But that will have to wait a few more weeks.

So while I give my body more time to heal, I'll take this opportunity to introduce to you Nancy Holland. I first met Nancy through the Editors' Association of Canada, and she and I quickly discovered a mutual love for running, in addition to an editor's love for language and grammar.

Nancy also happens to be the president of Run Nova Scotia, as well as a member of the Halifax Running Club, and she is pretty connected to the road running culture in the province, and committed to promoting healthy lifestyles and active living. If I ever want to know what races are coming up and whether I should consider participating in one of them, I know to ask Nancy!

Without further ado, I give you Nancy Holland, today's HRG Runner Profile!

HRG: How long have you been running?

NH: An eternity. Or since 1994, whichever comes first.

HRG: How and why did you start running?

NH: I couldn’t take being a couch potato any more. I was athletic in high school but, like most young women, I stopped doing anything once I graduated. I ran off and on (in pre-minimalist minimalist shoes no less) through the 80s. When I moved back to Halifax, I had an apartment on the Common and there was the perfect running track right outside my door. The first lap nearly did me in, but I kept going and haven’t stopped since.

HRG: Favourite part of running?

NH: It’s a tie between finishing a run and hitting that magical runner’s high when you feel like you can run forever. That doesn’t happen very often. Oh! And the people I meet. I tap into local running groups when I travel and have made some great friends along the way. But the running community in Nova Scotia is tops!

HRG: Least favourite part of running?

NH: The runs that suck. You know the ones: your leg feel like stumps and/or you can’t breathe. Every step is a struggle and you start to doubt that you’re a runner at all.

HRG: Favourite time of year/weather to run in?

NH: Early mornings when the sun’s out. Fog’s nice, too, but I’ve had enough running in fog this year. Gentle snow’s good.

HRG: Favourite route (training or race) to run?

NH: So many to choose from! I like doing long runs on the Halifax peninsula. Running in Shubie Park is always awesome and challenging. Favourite races include the Liverpool 5-miler, the Berwick 5-miler, the Louisbourg 8-miler, the Enfield 10-miler, and the Nova Scotia Half Marathon.

HRG: Favourite distance to run?

NH: 5 miles or 10K

HRG: How do you keep motivated?

NH: I love food so if I want to fit into my clothes, I have to run!

HRG: Best pre-race meal?

NH: For long races (10 miles and further), some kind of pasta thing. I don’t eat anything special the night before shorter races.

HRG: Best post-race meal?

NH: Chicken wings and champagne after the PEI marathon. Best. Meal. Ever. But the hamburger at the Union St. Café in Berwick is awfully good, too.

HRG: Upcoming race goal?

NH: Decide which fall marathon I’m going to run.

HRG: Tips or words of wisdom for new runners?

NH: There will be good runs and bad runs; be thankful you can run at all. Run in any weather. Keep a running log. Leave your watch/Garmin at home now and then. Always thank race volunteers. Look both ways before crossing the street. Be fitted by a professional to get the right running shoes for YOU. Don’t put your running bra in the dryer. In a race, always move to the side of the road before stopping or taking a walk break. Smile.

HRG: Anything else you want to add?

NH: Running may seem like it should be innate, but it isn’t. We can all benefit from some coaching now and then.

HRG: Thanks, Nancy!


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