Runner Questionnaire – Emily Taft

                                                  With Pete in Aspen

When and why did you start running?

I started running for fun as a kid (I’ve always enjoyed being active) but I started training more seriously around 5 or 6 years ago.  Running makes me feel more like myself.  It’s a way to clear my head, get some fresh air, and challenge myself all at the same time. I think improving as a runner has helped me improve as a person. And I love being a part of our amazing running community!

What’s your favorite race to date, and why?

I have awesome memories from the Philadelphia Marathon – my first “big city” marathon and my first ever BQ. The weather was perfect and the crowds were so much fun!  I also love the Cardiac Classic 5k on Thanksgiving in Schenectady. I have run the Cardiac Classic every year since I was 14 or so, and so many of my family and friends run it every year, too!

What has been your biggest running adventure to date?

I’ve done a few Ragnar-style relays that involved running a lot of miles in the middle of the night on some quiet, dark rural roads, off of 1 hour of sleep in a smelly van, and would totally do it again.

What is your approach to training? Do you follow a particular training plan, or do you work with a coach and if so, who?

I am lucky to have my husband, Pete Rowell, as my coach. We mostly follow Jack Daniels for training.  It really is simple when you break it down – keep easy days easy, work hard during workouts. Be consistent and dedicated.

What is your weekly mileage in peak racing/marathon training season? What is your approach to the off season?

Currently, my weekly mileage while marathon training is in the 50s, peaking around 65-70. But not long ago, I would’ve said my peak mileage was 50. I’m hoping to continue improving my mileage as I train more!  I also think it’s important to have down time. I like to take a few weeks of running easy and only when I feel like it after a big goal race.

During our cold winter days, do you brave poor weather conditions or stick indoors on the treadmill? If you do run outside, what safety measures do you take?

I prefer running outside as much as possible (especially for workouts or long runs), but on some of these bitter cold nights, or if it is super icy or snowy, I stick to the treadmill for an easy run. When running at night, I wear a reflective vest and usually a headlamp.

List your PRs: Race, time, year

5k, 18:51, November 2021 (Cardiac Classic)

Half Marathon, 1:26:14, January 2022 (Houston)

Marathon, 3:17:44, May 2021 (Miles on the Mohawk) – hopefully updating this one soon in Boston!

What was your worst injury and how did you get over it?

I had bad knee pain shortly after I started training more seriously about 6 years ago that stemmed from weak glutes. I had to take a few months off and go to physical therapy. Strength training is key!

Your favorite shoe for training and racing

I like Adidas Ultraboost and Nike Pegasus for training, and Nike 4%s for racing.

Ever run in a costume?

Nope! (Not yet…?)

Do you work with a dietitian to enhance your performance?  If so, who?

No. (But I am a big fan of the “Run Fast. Eat Slow” cookbook series!)

What are your favorite pre-race and post-race meals?

For pre-race dinner, a simple pasta and meat sauce type of meal. Pre-race breakfast is either oatmeal or peanut butter toast. Post-race, I go for the chocolate milk right after the race but treat myself to whatever I am craving later on – often a burger and a beer.

What activities do you enjoy when not running?

I enjoy hiking (snowshoeing in the winter) with my dog, Frankie, and my husband. I love spending time with friends and family and checking out a good brewery from time to time!

What challenges / races / adventures are you planning for the coming year?

I am super excited to finally be running the Boston Marathon this April!  (And likely another marathon in the fall.)

What is the greatest piece of advice you've ever received in the sport?

Don’t get too high or too low; be consistent.

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