Cherry Blossom 10 miler

Interview with a Runner

This week's runner, Jerami Garcia Ramadan, chose one of the worst winters in history to start running and she perservered! Jerami was born and raised in AZ and is now constantly freezing in DC.  She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV), married to a fellow RPCV she met while in Peace Corps who happens to be Jessica's cousin. She's the oldest of 8 and currently works for USDA's Food and Nutrition Service. Over the last 16 weeks Jerami has transformed herself into a true runner with sports bra chaffing, track workouts and 9+ mile runs to prove it. Cheer Jerami on this weekend in her first race ever - the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run in DC! You go girl! 

When did you start running?
I started running this past year as part of a 30 b4 30 goal list. Before I started, I'm pretty sure the last time I ran was when we were required for PE in high school. I've always wanted to get into running because I know it can be really good for you, but it's always been a struggle. By signing up for the Cherry Blossom 10- mile race here in DC and getting coaching from Hot Bird, I've been able to tap into some of my other motivating factors to get me out there!

Who or what inspires you to run?
I wish I had some sort of really noble inspiration like some of your other runners, but honestly I'm just trying to treat my body well. I'm really thankful for my health and don't want to take it for granted. I know there are a lot of people that would give anything to be able to throw on some shoes and take a run around their neighborhood without a second thought. I guess a big inspiration for running is my family. I'm always thinking about setting a good example for my siblings and my previously inactive lifestyle was not a good example.

What is your favorite running route? Why?
I don't really have a favorite running route yet. Anything that is close and doesn't require a lot of stopping (in the city can be hard). I really like running routes I've previously walked (b/c it obviously goes much faster) or that I've previously ran because I know what to expect. DC is all about running so there are a lot of great spots around that I'll explore when the weather stops being my worst enemy.

Favorite post-run meal?
It's funny because I think the only times in my life when I am not hungry are when I am asleep or right after a run. I do try to drink a green smoothie or some protein powder with nut milk when I get home, but I usually just eat whatever we are having for dinner later that evening. I do make sure to go out to one of my favorite restaurants on my long run days.

Best piece of running advice?
Um, everything Jessica tells me. Seriously though, it's so nice not having to sift through the massive amount of information out there on how to run properly or how to train for a race. I constantly get feedback on specific things that I am having trouble with as a new runner.

Are you running for fun or sport?
Neither? Signing up for the race was more about having a tangible date to work toward and I don't think I can call running "fun" just yet. Ask me in two week after my race.

Who would you love to run with and why (doesn't have to be a runner)? 
I'm pretty happy with my current running buddy, my husband. But I would love to run with my sisters (all teenagers). I miss them so much and their energy would definitely keep me on my toes.

Favorite way to sweat other than run? 
I'm a huge fan of Jillian Michael's videos - so convenient and they really make you work. I also love bikram yoga, but I don't get out to a yoga studio to do it very often.


Interview With a Runner

Stephanie Baker, is our featured runner this week.  We have known her for over 10 years, since our days at Hamilton College. Steph lives in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood in Washington DC. She's an international policy analyst with a federal agency who loves both running and lifting heavy weights. She's a force to be reckon with - both on the race course and off!

How do you know us - Hot Bird Running?
I went to college with both Meghan and Jessica.

What are your current running goals? Are you training for anything? 
I'm currently recovering from an injury, so my main goal is to get back to running pain free!  I'm currently signed up for the Cherry Blossom 10-miler and DC Nike Women's Half Marathon and am focused on staying healthy so I can cross both of those finish lines!

Who or what inspires you to run?
Just being able to be outside, exploring new and familiar places inspires me to hit the pavement as much as I can.  and moving my body motivates me to hit the pavement.  10 years ago you never would have been able to convince me that I would run a mile, let alone 2 marathons.

What is your favorite running route/place to run?
In DC, I have a great 10-mile loop that takes me around the Capitol, National Mall, Lincoln Memorial and Rock Creek Parkway.  It is such a refreshing and inspiring run.

I also travel a lot to Paris for work, so when I'm there I run along the Seine and just take in the beauty of the City of Lights. I always pinch myself on those runs - it doesn't get better than that.

Who is your favorite person to run with and why? 
My best friend.  I convinced her to run the Chicago Marathon with me last fall, but got injured during training.  Fortunately I was able to run the last 5 miles of the race with her and had such a blast.  I don't have many friends that run and now that she's caught the bug, we're constantly planning our next races.

What is the best piece of running advice you ever received and who was it from?
Well it came from the Hot Birds of course!  They told me to focus on quality not quantity.  That advice helped me to economize my training runs and gain speed.

What is your favorite running gear/piece of clothing?
My boyfriend got me a Garmin Forerunner 610 for Christmas and now I can't live with out it.