Juliane Smoker

Interview with a Runner

This week's runner is one of the most enthusiastic runners we've ever met.  We met Juliane Smoker while she was training for the 2013 Chicago Marathon with Team Fox in honor of her father. Juliane currently lives in Overland Park, Kansas where she works as a nurse at her new job in the operating room at St. Joseph Medical Center in Kansas City, MO. She's pretty sure that she is the one and only Juliane Smoker ever and enjoys the perks of her last name in the running environment after someone yelled after her during a trail run, "See, I told you you'd smoke me Smoker!" Find out what else Juliane loves about all things running - there's a lot!

When did you start running?
I started running, and really running, when I was in nursing school doing an accelerated track program to earn my BSN. Fortunately where I have lived in the Kansas City area, I have always been blessed with great trail systems usually within a quarter mile access. Running seemed like it would be a convenient way to get moving, be outside and just “be.” I found all that and more. I found my strength and determination an outlet. I found a hidden community of people I passed on the trails that I felt connected to, even though I didn’t know anything about them or who they were, just seeing them regularly there. I found that whether I was happy, sad, frustrated, nervous or even had a headache, running always magically was an option that left me feeling better and in good spirits. Oh, and I’ve also found humor. Yes, wedgies, chaffing, fraken-walking, GI issues, farmers blows, etc.

Who or what inspires you to run?
The ability I have to run in itself inspires me to run. My mom used to run when I was younger, but a drunk driver took that ability away from her.  To this day she has a permanently broken ankle with no cartilage between the bones. My dad never ran, and being diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s Disease at age 40, his ability to even walk was compromised. Running the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October 2013 with the Michael J Fox Foundation in honor of my dad was something I am so proud to have accomplished and was very emotional for me! Hot Bird Running provided me with a great deal of support during my training for that marathon which I am very thankful for!

What is your favorite running route? Why?
I don’t have a favorite running route. I just run where I am planted :) But I do find that, once planted, I will establish route options for myself. That I tend to then re-run but not the same way everyday. I love going places and running and exploring. Running helps with critical thinking skills because when you run in a new place you have to make decisions about where to turn next, encounter hills you don’t know are how high, and avoid that big puddle, ice patches etc.

Favorite post-run meal?
I love food! But usually, I focus more on strategy for what I eat before the run. My go to there would be a half banana, egg whites, toast and coffee. Afterwards I listen to my gut! But, in general, I like to keep it well rounded with a definite emphasis on protein. After I ran my first full marathon I went to Kansas City’s famous Oklahoma Joe’s for some good old BBQ.

Best piece of running advice?
Don’t do too much too soon, too hard, too fast. That’s how I got a stress fracture in my right tibia. It was a sad 4 weeks of non-weight-bearing on that leg and using crutches!

Are you running for fun or sport?
I run mostly for fun 65% of the time. But when it comes to setting my sights on a marathon or PR I am all about being hardcore. I attempted to do my first ever trail run February 8th this year in the worst snow Kansas City had this winter. I was all about the research of gear, the route, topography and screwing my shoes to train!

Who would you love to run with and why (doesn't have to be a runner)? 
My mom. I think she misses it, and we’d have fun laughing at each other.

Favorite way to sweat other than run? 
I like to do classes at my local gym, primarily one called “total conditioning”.