I moved to New York 13 years ago from St. Petersburg, Russia with my family after winning a green card lottery (yes there is a lottery). I started working in retail with practically no language skills (which was fun) and was commuting from Brighton Beach to the city. After a year of just working and learning English, I managed to get into college. I was going to school at night and was so busy that I barely made any friends in the 4 years there. For a while my life was just lots of studying and working full-time, which did not leave much room for extra curriculum activities.
After graduating college, I finally started having some time to myself.
I moved to Manhattan, met many wonderful people and started discovering things I enjoy doing outside of work. Besides running I was at some point obsessed with crocheting & knitting (I am a bit of a cat lady).
I also love rollerblading and just simply spending time outdoors. I love traveling (I do not have a flexible schedule but I try to take at least 2 trips a year to places that I haven’t visited before, preferably on a different continent and with a race scheduled :)).
I joined the Whippets in Summer 2014. My favorite thing about the Whippets is that they have incredible team spirit and are great people! I love the speed workout on the track, unfortunately I moved too far from it, but I do enjoy Central Park speed workouts as well. For my running goal—at some point of my life to run a sub 3 hour marathon. Also I’d love to continue eating a lot without getting fat! I usually train at 7something-ish and I cross train by doing Cross Fit. Cross Fit is life!
So far, I’ve ran 4 marathons. My very first one was a miserable NYCRUNS Central Park marathon. It’s the most boring and tough marathon I’ve done so far. Sometimes I do not even count it when I think of the marathons I have done. I did not know any better when I signed up. Not only was I unprepared, but I also got injured a week before, overdressed, went out too fast, was carrying my phone in my hand the entire time & got another injury during the race. Horrible Horrible Horrible. Then I ran Chicago, which was my redemption for the awful first marathon experience. I PR’ed by 25 minutes & had a blast. A week after Chicago I was dealing with post-marathon blues and registered for the Paris Marathon. Paris was, as anybody can imagine, beyond amazing and I also PR’ed. My most recent marathon was New York, where unfortunately I blew it, because I got overly excited and went out too fast. I still had a great time, and high fived half of Brooklyn. I have no running pre-race rituals. It’s always a different setting (coming from home, staying with a friend, in a hotel, etc.). My favorite race is the Brooklyn Half! It’s the perfect time of year, and it ends by my parents’ house.
What motivates me the most to run is that nasty feeling that I know I am going to get if I skip it.
My training tip: Have fun, don’t stress!
(photo by Ben Ko)