See that girl there? Yeah, that’s me. I’m Dana. I’m a 21 year old college student in Dayton, OH. I attend school full time and work 2 jobs. I have two dogs, one a runner and the other…not so much. Bailey, my border collie, runs more than half of my miles with me. My other dog, Gracie, is a chihuahua that wouldn’t (and couldn’t) run a half mile with me if her life depended on it. She’s cute though so that makes up for it! Check them out:
I started running in December 2011 and have some pretty big aspirations of completing ultra marathons, the Goofy Challenge, and eventually someday a triathlon. If all goes as planned and I can avoid further injury, I will complete 4 half marathons and a full marathon in year one. I may be getting ahead of myself somewhat but I have dreams of running my first ultra (likely a 50K) in 2013.
I am a barefoot/minimalist runner. I started out last year running in regular running shoes and I don’t run barefoot for the typical reasons that most barefooters choose. I started doing it because I was invited to a barefoot group run by some people that noticed I had been running in VFFs on some trails previously. I was determined to stay in shoes, even after my first barefoot run, and only run barefoot occasionally when the weather was pleasant. To be honest though, that has changed drastically over the last several months. I ran my first half marathon in shoes and that was the last straw for me. I had slowly been building up my barefoot mileage at that point but because of an injury to my mid-foot, my doctor suggested running in shoes, which I complied with grudgingly. I ended up coming out of that race with so many freaking blisters and lost a toenail and had a really nasty toe thing going on and that was my ultimate deciding factor in completely changing over to barefoot. I’m planning to do my next half marathon sans shoes and hope to continuously increase mileage up from that point on.
Most people that choose to run barefoot/minimalist do so for the health reasons and to avoid regular running injuries, etc. That’s totally not me. I run barefoot, and you’ll laugh at me for saying this, because I love the way it makes my feet feel. It’s a really nice exfoliator for my feet and I haven’t had to bust out a pumice stone since I started :) Yeah yeah, I know, it’s totally girly, but I can be that way sometimes! There really is nothing like feeling of the ground on your feet when you’re running and I hope that I can continue to do it for the rest of my life.
I am not a fast runner and I will be be the first to tell you that. I have days where I can go out and run a 7:30min/mile pace (only for a couple miles) but I have more days where I run a 9-9:30min/mile pace, sometimes slower than that even…that’s not even nearing what I hit while on trails though. I’ve learned to become ok with that fact, though. I think at this point if I put too much effort into pushing my time to become faster that I’m going to stop enjoying what little parts of running that I enjoy now. Makes sense, right? Right.
Running isn’t my life’s passion, it never has been, but someday I would like it to be more of one. I enjoy whitewater kayaking, soccer, watching most sports (no golf), backpacking, and just a little bit of everything outdoorsy.
Most days I follow a strict diet, at least when I’m training for a race. I am on a mission to lose some weight but at this point, how much is still to be determined. When I’m actually in a training cycle, I have found that bad food leads to feeling bad and like I’ve wasted workouts, thus the reason for the change. I’ve noticed a drastic change thus far and hope I can continue to stay with this lifestyle change for a long time because I am on a mission to lead a healthy and happier lifestyle.