NYC resident Kate McGowan is a speedy 3:24 marathoner, Ambassador and active member of Gotham City Runners, triathlete, AND a former competitive swimmer. Read her Runner's Life story here:
How did you get started running and/or what inspired you to run?
I started running to stay in shape, get to know my local community, socialize, and give me a competitive outlet. Growing up and throughout college, I was a competitive swimmer. Living in New York City, it can be hard to find a good, inexpensive pool open during normal hours. Striking out with the pool, I laced up a pair of sneakers and headed to the East River for jog instead. I felt free!
Your favorite running moment?
Running the Boston Marathon on April 18, 2016 is my favorite running moment. It was not my best time; actually is was nearly my worst time, but I am most proud of that race for many reasons. Since November 2014, I have competed in 5 marathons (2 Boston Qualifiers), 1 50k ultramarathon, 1 Half Ironman and multiple shorter races. Thanks to an amazing coach (Josh Maio), a trusted plan, and a healthy body I am proud to say I have remained injury free since I started running competitively in 2013. [If you are not as lucky as Kate and find yourself injured, check out our list of go-to Physical Therapists for Runners and Running Doctors in NYC]
The Boston Marathon was the goal and it was an incredibly emotional experience. Leading into the race, I was suffering from an extremely tight right leg. I couldn’t walk up/down stairs the week prior to the race. Race day morning, I woke up and the adrenaline kicked into high gear! I went out there and ran the first 14 miles at a 7:50 pace. That is when I realized I had run past the location where my family was cheering. I stopped dead in my tracks and made the decision that sharing the race with family was more important that finishing the race with a personal record. I ran back half a mile (.5 miles) to say hi, hug them and take pictures. From there I went on to finish the race in 3:47:36 completing 27.1 miles.
This was the best decision and I am proud to have shared the moment and my first Boston Marathon with loved ones.
Who/what do you think you'd be like today if you did NOT run?
Stressed out! Seriously, running is a huge stress reliever for me. I also would not have met some of my best friends, boyfriend, or a larger and greater community of New Yorkers and world citizens. Runners are a different breed of people and I love the community we share across the globe. [Couples Who Run Together, stay together]
Why do you keep on running? and running and running...
I run to stay healthy and to be my best self. Running gives me the means to be myself. I have gained much confidence in the past couple of years and I truly like myself. I also enjoy the company of my teammates, coach, and the people I have met along the way. Even vacations usually have a running element--whether I travel to new destinations for races or get to know new places by running the local streets. Running has become part of my DNA.
What is your favorite post-run/race indulgence?
My favorite indulgence after a race is a cold beer and meal including dessert.
Oddest, most unusual, weirdest running experience...
In February 2016, I was vacationing in the Poconos for President’s Day weekend. My long run was supposed to be 15 miles that Saturday. Unfortunately, it was -3 degrees outside and I couldn’t bear to leave the confines of the living room where my friends were gathered near the fireplace. By that Monday, my coach told me to suck it up and go outside and run. I needed miles under my feet, pace didn’t matter. My boyfriend followed me in the car to ensure I was “safe.” My buff froze around my neck, my breath was freezing, and I barely had feeling in my extremities but I pushed myself and completed 10 miles. It was a good lesson on pushing through environmental factors and gutting it out. Along the way I looked to my left and realized a family of deer was following me. Five or six deer were staring at me about 10 yards away. It was the perfect picture of serenity and it made me feel one with nature.
I am not sure this is exactly odd, unusual, or weird but it was a memorable experience from which I learned a tough lesson. Suck it up. Move your feet.
Would you want Boston to be your fastest marathon time or to enjoy the experience with your friends and family? What's the coldest weather you've ever run in? You can find Kate on Facebook, tweet her @kate10003, check out her latest Instagram pics @katemcpic, or snap her at katemcpic.