Name: Lora Johnson
Involved in: Running (training for my eighth marathon!), arm and core training
Making work, work!
When I was little, I was a little chunky (and that’s putting it nicely). It wasn’t until middle school, though, that I really noticed it wasn’t fun to be big...especially since I was wearing clothes bigger than my sister who was seven years older than me. My first job was actually at Subway, and I started eating 6” veggie subs with no cheese and riding my bike to and from work (about two miles). That's also when I started running, and I ended up losing about 20 pounds. I joined cross country and kept up with running throughout college, before deciding on a whim to sign up for my first marathon. From that point on I was hooked - this April, I will be running my eighth marathon at the Boston Marathon!
Staying motivated and challenged
GirlsGoneSporty (GGS): What is your motivation for staying active?
Lora Johnson (LJ): I am motivated by many things, but primarily by the fact that I feel good about myself, both physically and mentally. Working out gives me an outlet for stress, and also gives me something to look forward to each day. I also love that I can indulge on junk food here and there without having to run to the scale.
GGS: What sports or fitness accomplishments are you most proud of?
LJ: I am most proud of qualifying and being able to run in the Boston Marathon in 2010, and the opportunity to return again this year. When I first started running marathons, I never thought I would have a chance to run the Boston Marathon because of the qualification requirements. But, I set my mind to it, and lo and behold, I qualified by 12 seconds! I had an amazing time running the race - it's one of those races where you can’t help but think of the historical accomplishments that have taken place on the course. The idea that you are sharing the roads with those same great runners is both breathtaking and surreal.
GGS: How do you keep challenging yourself to improve?
LJ: I keep finding new races and different challenges to make myself strive forward. In 2013, I hope to complete the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge, and this month, I’m running the Empire State Building Run Up. I also started writing a blog – Crazy Running Girl – where I set monthly challenges to help me improve and live a healthier life.
Tools of the trade
GGS: What’s your favorite healthy food or dish?
LJ: I absolutely love salads and actually made these my new go-to breakfast food.
GGS: What's on your workout playlist?
LJ: The sounds of the city. I don’t run with music, but instead listen to my surroundings. It can be extremely entertaining at times as you hear snippets of people’s conversations. In one marathon, there were two men near me who were talking about how crazy triathletes are – this made me laugh because marathoners are pretty much in the same boat!
GGS: What’s in your gym bag?
LJ: Non-matching running gear (the funkier the better!), hot pink and black polka-dotted SPIbelt, sparkly purple BIC Band (seriously, they don't move on your head!) and Nike Air Pegasus 28+… along with some compression socks, Hammer gels and animal crackers.
Live the sporty life
GGS: What does the phrase “live the sporty life” mean to you?
LJ: Living the sporty life is more than just exercising. It is embracing what it means to be an athlete by showing sportsmanship, respect and passion in your sport and really, all areas of life.