Johann tagged me with a few questions, so here goes:
1) Do you prefer winter or summer running? Why?
I prefer running in winter. I loved running during the winter in Tuscany, even though the fog was so thick and sometimes there was some intercostal pain involved. Here in New England I love the cool, crisp mornings. The silence of running in the rain or snow is beautiful, and makes me truly thankful that I summoned up the energy to go out for a run. During summer my running really suffers. High humidity is a death knell for me, and I really struggle. During summer the gym is my friend.
2) What's been your toughest race to date?
My toughest race was in Abbadia San Salvatore, at the end of the race year in Siena a long time ago. There was a prize for the best new comer of the year, and I knew I could win my age group as I had run the entire year, and knew all the women in my category. Everyone else in my club thought so too. But I had a Canadian friend, Roxy, whom I had introduced to running and she was faster than me. I used to invite her along to some of the club runs and I knew she would love to participate in this event. But I also wanted to win that trophy - in the end I invited her. The hardest part was seeing her pass me on a very steep hill, grit my teeth and keep going. I never did catch her, but she came running towards me at the finish line, arms outstretched and hugged me. It was a tough race, from start to finish - she has since stopped running, but we are still friends.
3) Running goals for 2011?
I am concentrating on improving the quality of my running this year. I would like to be more focussed, and train harder. My main goal is to increase my endurance and speed. My first big event is my vertical run up the Empire State Building in February, with lots of anaerobic training! I am thinking of doing the Two Oceans Half Marathon in Cape Town at Easter, as I am going to try and see my mum. I definitely want to do the Karhu 13.1 half here in Boston in July, and the Wicked Half in Salem in September. I also have a marathon on the cards, and am thinking of the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington in October. In between I think I will be going to Switzerland and Italy, and hope to do a local 5K there, or in nearby France.
4) Do you have any other passions in life?
I love watching foreign films - that along with reading are my two main passions. I also listen to a lot of music (from classical, to world, to rock, pop, blues, opera etc). I enjoy adding to my record collection, and spend a lot of time in second hand music shops. I love ice hockey very much, and am a Bruins half season ticket holder - we went to the Torino winter olympics and watched 6 ice hockey matches, 2 man bob, moguls and short track (yes, I did see Anton Apollo Ohno). I am also enjoy southern hemisphere rugby, and love watching the Springboks. I have some other passions, but enough for this round.
5) If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Hmmm, tough one. I would love to live back in Siena - with a pied-à-terre in London and New York! Whilst South Africa is and always will be my connection with the earth, Siena is my home. It is the place I feel most in my own skin, and at ease. The countryside is stunningly beautiful, and the runners are very friendly - besides you get the best race loot there: olive oil, pasta, wine.....
The three people I have tagged for this are: The Black Knight, Jenny, The Yogi and Scarlett.