Profile: Asst Coach Monique

Assistant Coach Monique is enjoying her first year as an AC with red and purple groups. Although she has completed only one marathon, she hopes to run many more!

Favorite marathon:
I completed the Portland Marathon – my first – in 2011. When it comes to half marathons, I always look forward to running Helvetia. It is a challenging, but gorgeous route.

Biggest obstacle you face in training:
Up until recently, my biggest obstacle was finding time; between working full time, commuting 90 minutes a day, and raising two young children, it takes 100% dedication to keep up with this sport. I’m very protective of my running schedule! My most recent obstacle is knee pain, although I can usually avoid it by walking instead of running.

Favorite race day musician/song:
In general, I love anything that makes me want to dance…but there’s nothing that can fire me up better than AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck.”

My finish time for the Portland Marathon was a rather turtle-like 6:05. Since it was my first marathon, I was afraid of bonking and wanted to keep my pace slow and steady. Once I hit mile 22, I knew I was in the home stretch and picked up my pace substantially. My family and friends had been tracking my pace online so they’d know when to go down to the finish line. As it turned out, I made it there before they did!

What motivates you to keep going when the going gets tough?
Ten years ago, I weighed 100 lbs more than I do today. For me, quitting is not an option! I know how easy it is to revert to old habits, and I have worked far too hard to face that kind of a battle again. As a wife and mother, my health and well-being are more important than ever!

Best advice you’ve ever received:
There has only been one run with Portland Fit that I hated: the 21 mile benchmark run. It was hot, I wasn’t feeling great, my clothes were uncomfortable, and my morale began to suffer substantially after about 15 miles. I remember crying when I got to the out-and-back along Barber because I really didn’t think I could do it. Along the course, one of the ACs gave me a pep talk. He said that in his experience, a crappy 21 miler just means that you’ll have a great marathon. As it turned out, he was right!

Strangest sight while out on a run:
I’ll never forget a costumed runner at the Run Like Hell half marathon a few years ago. He was running barefoot, dressed like Barney Rubble, pulling a double jogging stroller with his two children. For 13.1 miles!!!!!

Favorite running gear:
I geek out over my orthopedic inserts with metatarsal pads. (In all seriousness, I can’t live without them…or Bodyglide, Lycra, or my Garmin!)

Words of wisdom:
Running fast has never gotten me anywhere! I would love to be a speedy runner – don’t get me wrong – but I have come to realize that for me, it’s just not worth it. When I run too fast over a long distance, I don’t enjoy myself and my body revolts for days afterward. So – if I have any advice to offer, it is to slow down. Enjoy the social aspects of this sport, get to know your fellow Portland Fit members, and make it through the finish line on your feet…not a stretcher!