In this short interview, local blogger Mary Doman tells us about her blog Minutes Per Mile, why she loves running, and how she rewards herself after a long run.
1 - Tell us a little bit about your blog.
Mary: My blog. Well, as a full-time writer, I wanted to start a blog as a way to practice writing daily. And then I thought, what could I write about every day? Running is a (nearly) daily activity for me; I find it soothing, inspiring, and thought-provoking. In addition to being able to capture the awesome trails and sights DC has to offer, I also feature tips and race strategies for marathon runners and half marathon runners. I've found that my readers really like learning about running in general, trails and sights in DC, and DC running clubs, so I focus on things like that. One thing that has really made my blog special are regularly featured snapshots of abandoned furniture, mattresses, and knicknacks I find on the streets during my run -- it's amazing how much junk is in our city!
2 - What makes you so passionate about running?
Mary: I'm passionate about running because... well, it brings me peace in so many ways. It energizes me for the day, keeps me sane, and keeps me in shape. I know a lot of people hate running, but I think with a bit of practice to overcome the initial pain of trying a new sport, most people would actually come to appreciate the calm and accomplishment that comes with it. I also love running in DC because there's such a big running community here; I've made tons of runner friends! On another level, I'm passionate about running because it appeals to my slightly type-A personality. I like logging miles, calculating pace, monitoring my performance, and seeing what tweaks I can make in my training to improve my finish time come race day.
3 - Is there a favorite local run that you would like to share?
Mary: To pick just one would be difficult! I live near Adams Morgan, so the north end of Rock Creek Park (by the zoo) is one of my favorite hangouts. The most beautiful running sight I've seen is from atop Chain Bridge, in Virginia... I also think the Howard University reservoir, Teddy Roosevelt Island, and Beach Drive are somewhat of undiscovered gems that many runners might not know about. For tough hills, I like to torture myself by running up the zoo, up 13th or 15th street (by Merdian hill park), or to the Cathedral.
4 - What is your favorite DC area race?
Mary: Though I think it's awesome that our city hosts such big-name races (Rock n' Roll, Nike Women's Half, etc.), I'm a fan of the local races held by the DC Road Runners club. They're usually free or really cheap for club members and have a low-key vibe that lets you do your thing without worrying about finding parking or getting run over by people in costume or with strollers. Plus, DCRR has timing mats and all the race fixins that make a good course: water stops, timing mats, instant results, etc.
5 - If you are going to treat yourself after a long run, how do you do it?
Mary: So many normal things become a "treat" after a long run -- for example, I suddenly view food, water, and shelter as real bliss. Other than taking a nap and making some food for myself, I'll "treat" myself after a long run by grabbing a beer later in the day at Southern Hospitality in Adams Morgan, eating a ton of Mexican food at Pica Taco, buying overpriced juices at Whole Foods on P st., and/or riding the S2 bus instead of walking up 16th street for the rest of the day :)