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2010 Madison Mini Marathon

1.Name: Heather O’Donnell

2.Tell us about your past race/running experience: I started running a little over a year ago and my first race was a 5K.  I finished that race and swore I would NEVER run another race ever again.  In the year since that race, I’ve run 21 more races ranging from 5K’s to half marathons.  I’ll be competing in my first marathon on September 19th – and I’ll be doing it 17 weeks pregnant!

3. What race did you run? I ran the Madison Mini Marathon.  It was the second year of the race and I have to say that the volunteers and organizers did a great job!

4. Why did you sign up for this race? I signed up for this race because I wanted to run another half marathon.  In hindsight, it was probably too close to my marathon, but I had a great time.  I’ve totally fallen in love with the half marathon.

5. What/who inspires you to run? Honestly, I run because I can.  I couple years ago I was deep in the throws of an eating disorder that took away all of my physical strength and most of my mental fortitude.  I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs or carry my son.  I was very depressed and didn’t have any motivation to do anything. Obviously, I got help and recovered!  And now I run because I can!!  And it feels great!  I absolutely love running and since I’ve started running, my husband has also picked it up.  He has run two 5Ks and has another one the weekend of my marathon.  Even my 4 1/2 year old son runs.  He will run his second race the weekend of the marathon.  Running is a family activity.

6. What is your best training tip? Just do it.  There are days when I am tired (hello, I’m pregnant!), but I tell myself that I can stop whenever I want to. But I HAVE to start first.  And some days, I don’t run the full mileage that is on my training plan – .and that’s ok!  Remember: we run because we enjoy it!

7. Water or Sports Drink? 50/50 mix.  An undiluted sports drink gives me a stomach ache.  But I like the flavor and the electrolytes on my long runs.

8. Tell us about the outcome of the race: I was disappointed that my Garmin didn’t work for the first half of the race.  I think I could have run the race smarter if I had known my pace.  Instead, I just tried to enjoy myself.  And I did.  I finished in 2:20:49.  It’s a PR, even though this was only my second half marathon.

9. Your favorite post-race indulgence? Does water count as an indulgence?  I can guzzle a lot of water after a race or a long run! But seriously, I love a Green Monster after a race.  It is my favorite smoothie.  Throw whatever fruit you like in a blender (strawberries, bananas, peaches, etc).  Add some ground flax seed and a handful of spinach.  Yum!

10. Favorite part of racing in a Sparkle Skirt? Definitely the crowd support!  I had so many wonderful comments on the skirt.  And those comments motivated me to keep running.  And they had me grinning like an idiot, too!

Additional info:
Blog: http://runodonnell.wordpress.com
Race recap HERE

The Traveling Sparkle Skirts are a pair of Team Sparkle Running Skirts (one Hot Pink & one Turquoise) that travel the globe spreading the Team Sparkle love. Read more stories of the Traveling Sparkle Skirts HERE.