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Open Mic Friday: Meet Julianne

Open_mic_fridayThe best way to face the challenges of  2009 is with running--to be fit, to de-stress, to achieve goals and to have fun.

We wanted the first Open Mic Friday interview of the year to be someone contagiously upbeat.  Her blog name is I *heart* running and she has enough energy in her posts to fuel a long run.  She just wrapped up an exciting year in and outside of running.

We bring you a wonderful runner to kick off the year and we know you'll enjoy meeting her.

Welcome Julianne!

You combined in one year three marathons, a very impressive PR, and oh yeah, you also squeezed in your wedding.  Can you put in words what a year it’s been for you?

Duane and me3 2008 was truly a memorable year. Getting married and running 3 marathons (one being a sub-4 hours) were more than I expected for 2008. They were all very big dreams and goals for me. I am thrilled that it all happened in 2008! I am still amazed that I was able to train for a marathon (marathon #4) and plan a wedding at the same time. It was stressful but really rewarding. Also, staved off stress! Running a sub-4 hour marathon for me has been a great accomplishment. Whenever I think of 2008, my heart gets really FULL. :-)

ROHOS at Chrismtas Tell us about your running and blogging friends.

My running really has taken a life of it’s own since I started blogging. I encountered dozens of running bloggers that I share similar running experiences with. Not only that, they encourage and motivate me to the next level. I honestly don’t think I would have signed up to do the California International Marathon in December if it wasn’t for the fellow bloggers. Or run a PR race. Having an outlet to share my running adventures have led me to run more than ever! It’s fun to share my life and running journey, too. The other wonderful thing that came out of blogging is that I have met really wonderful runners who live near me. We’ve connected in various ways and run together regularly. A few of us have even started our own running group! We’re already signed up for a few races in 2009. Watch out for the Running Our Hearts Out (ROHOs)!

Tell us how you got started running and racing? 

It started very benignly on the treadmill at the gym about 7 years ago . The first year I started running, I only ran 1 mile on the treadmill. Then, it led to 2 miles, then 3…. Then, I ventured outside and the rest is history. Running a marathon was on my bucket list and well, after I started running 5+ miles, I decided to look into a marathon training program online!

Sail and Trail_Sept 08 049 Most of us have warm climate envy right about now.  Go ahead, make us jealous and tell us how wonderful it is running in the mild climates of California.

Oh man, I ran 8 miles this past Saturday with my husband, along the San Francisco Bay. It was 60 degrees when we finished right before noon. It was sunny, crisp and perfect. It’s been unusually cold this winter in Northern California but still, running in cold weather here is like Spring training anywhere else in the country. I also went out for a lunch time run this week and it was in the mid 50s. It felt so good!

What are you most looking forward to about running in 2009?

SFM 2009! This will be my 5th year running the SF Marathon and really looking forward to it. Not only will I be on the "legacy" list for running 5 year in a row, it's a huge milestone for me. I am also looking forward to beating my PR this year. Of course, the ultimate dream would be to qualify for Boston but I'm going to baby steps, or rather, one minute at a time.

At nike marathon What would your family and friends tell us about your passion for running?  

They think I’m crazy. But in a good way, if there is such a thing! I’ve lost a lot of weight running and they say things like, if YOU can do it, I know I can. Yeah, I was that lazy and overweight before! I’ve incorporated running into my life so that my friends schedule activities around my running schedule. It’s great!

 You have a great blog.  What makes it unique and interesting?

Hmmm. My best guess is that the readers are interested in a not-so-thin girl’s running aspirations and beating the odds (from time to time)? Oh, I really hope that’s what it is! Or maybe they like it when I poke fun at myself. Have you read my latest mishap on my stationary bike at the gym earlier this week?

Which blog posts have been the favorites of your readers?

I really don’t know if there is a “favorite” post but, right after I posted my initial results for the CIM, I had an overwhelming response from my readers and friends. They were all so excited and happy for me! I was really touched and overwhelmed by the comments they left. I need to PR more often!

What gets you excited about running?

I get really excited about my one-on-one time with me when I run! I get so caught up with life that I don't pay enough quality time with myself. I look forward to fresh air, clearing my head and getting in "the zone".

At the border in afghanistan. yikes, i used to look like this Favorite race?

Hands down, the San Francisco Marathon! It’s not the easiest course but it’s my home race and I absolutely LOVE it. It’s also the first marathon I’ve run and have a deep connection to it. It will also be my 5th year running the SFM this coming July.

Favorite distance?

26.2! I also like other distances, too, but I find I like the marathon distance the most. There's a huge satisfaction and self reward after finishing a marathon. And, like others, I have to really dig DEEP to finish that last 6 miles. It's a place I didn't know I could find or get to. It's a mental challenge for me but "digging keep" really take me to another level.

Greatest running accomplishment?

Running sub-4 hour marathon. Seriously, it’s huge for me!

Current running goals?

Qualifying for the Boston Marathon is next on my agenda. Not sure if I can do it in 2009 but I will definitely try!

Greatest running moment?

I remember seeing the 18 mile marker at the CIM and realizing that I had a good chance at making under 4 hours! I was so excited I wanted to shout it out to the world. I didn't, of course. I saw my husband a few miles later as he was cheering for me and I told him, "I'm going to make it under 4 hours!" I also started tearing up and got all choked up, I couldn't finished my sentence! He understood and was so excited for me. I only saw him briefly but it was really wonderful sharing that moment with him. I'm getting all teary just thinking about it again!

Girls on the run What is one unique thing about you that most people don't know?

I love to volunteer. Currently, I'm in the process of getting trained as a Wish Grantor for Make-a-Wish Foundation. I am really looking forward to getting involved granting wishes to terminally ill children. My most recent volunteering stint was a runinng mentor for Girls on the Run program in the SF Bay Area, for the Lollipop Run in December. I had so much fun with the girls. Several years ago, I also got to combine my love for volunteering and traveling. I got to live in Kazakhstan for 18 months to volunteer and do non-profit work. I also got to travel to various neighboring countries like Uzebekistan, Afghanistan and China. It was a life changing experience!

If money could buy you a running dream, what would it be?

I would love to run a marathon in all 7 continents. Yes, there is one in Antarctica!


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Great stuff, Julianne is a real star!


Great interview. I am a big fan of Julianne and love her positivity.

Marathon Maritza

I'm hear to attest that Julianne is just as lovely in person as she sounds on her blog and in this article. She is truly sweet, one-of-a-kind and contagiously upbeat. Looking forward to running more races with you this year, Julianne!


P.S. loved the RoHo shout-out!

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