Interview with a Runner

This week's runner is Stephanie Paddock who currently works for The Michael J. Fox Foundation, helping individuals fundraise as a part of the grassroots fundraising program Team Fox. Stephanie has called Brooklyn her home for over 10 years now. She enjoys traveling to new places and has a definite sense of adventure, climbing Kilimanjaro in 2012.  She loves that Brooklyn is her home and taking part in quirky local events like the Idiotarod and the Royal Palms shuffleboard league. We love Stephanie for inspiring us to run for a cause!

Stephanie wither her dad, her number one inspiration for running.When did you start running?
I’ve always been active dating back to middle and high school sports – basketball, soccer, tennis, track – and then gave rowing a chance in college. Once I realized that being on the crew team meant having no life, I quickly made the switch to rugby which was more my speed (more social, more beer). I used running as a way to stay fit both during and out of seasons, but never really considered myself “a runner” until my first half marathon in 2008. It was the Fred Lebow Half – 2 loops of Central Park on a FREEZING January morning. It was my first and almost my last – I definitely hadn’t trained as well as I should have!

Are you running for fun or sport? Current running goals?
Mainly, I run for Team Fox as a way to fundraise for Parkinson’s disease research. My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s over 13 years ago, so I started fundraising even before landing my job at the Foundation. My first triathlon in 2010 was for Team Fox and I’ve racked up quite a few races since then – most notably my first marathon, the 2011 NYC Marathon. While I’m more of a “my goal is to finish” kind of girl, my competitive nature has me wanting to improve with every race. Current goals include a sub 2-hour half marathon and to complete my first 70.3 triathlon.

What is your favorite running route? Why?
My number one favorite is a Brooklyn Bridge run early in the morning so I get to the bridge around sunrise. It’s really the only time I can handle being there (I hate crowds) and it’s so fulfilling to know that my run is going to be done before most of NY is awake. Ultimately though, I love choosing new routes and running when I travel as well. It’s a great way to see new places!

Favorite post-run meal?
Beer. And a bacon, cheddar, avocado burger – no bun!

Best piece of running advice?
A good friend once said “You should be well trained or well rested – at least you are well rested!”

Who inspires you to run? 
My dad is my number one inspiration, followed closely by all of my Team Fox friends. This past year, we had 7 runners with Parkinson’s run in the ING NYC Marathon. If they can get out there week after week and train to run 26.2 miles, why can’t I?

Favorite way to sweat other than run?
Crossfit, almost to a fault. I train at Crossfit South Brooklyn which is an incredible gym and many days would much rather go there than put in the mileage!

Interview with a Runner

This week we're highlighting someone extra special, Jessica's dad, Dennis Elliott.  Dennis inspired Jessica to start running at a young age because it was a way for her to spend time with him and he made it look so cool. With a marathon PR of 2:47, this dad of six is one natural born fast runner.  One of the best parts of moving back to Oregon is getting to run with this guy again!

When did you start running?
I started running during my first year in law school. I had a friend who introduced me to it as a way to stay in shape. I needed something to counteract my part time smoking habit. It actually worked.  I quit smoking after law school and kept running.

What inspired you to run?
I spent a lot of time in Eugene, Oregon in the mid 70s, and it was a hot bed of distance running. The crowd I hung out with was into marathons. I ran to keep up with them. I'm still trying to catch them.

What is your favorite running route? Why?
My favorite running route is Tryon Creek State Park in Portland, Oregon. It is shady and cool in the summer, full of color in the fall and awash with trilliums in the spring.

Favorite post-run meal?
Margarita on the rocks, no salt.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Train on hills. It gives you twice the workout in the same amount of time.

Are you running for fun or sport? 
Six years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. I now run to help keep the disease at bay. My pace and distance have reduced considerably, but I still enjoy running (flat and short).

Favorite way to sweat other than run?
An intense game of family pickleball. I spent years purposely losing to my kids. Now that they're grown up, they never let me win.