One of the great joys of compiling our book, The Ultimate Runner, was the joy of connecting with other runners who are also writers - whether professionally or as a way to express their adventures in running. We found the stories seemed to jump off the page and grab us even more when we also knew something about the person writing it.
Over the next few weeks we will be introducing you to the writers and photographers who are responsible for putting in the stories and content. Our first stop is with Samantha Ducloux Waltz from Portland OR. She took some time to record a podcast with us as well as answer written questions. She is a runner, and has a passion and career with writing. But what makes her an Ultimate Runner in my book is that she loves running and is determined to get back to the distances she loves. She is rehabilitating knee injuries, but hasn't given up hope.
What else makes her interesting to us? It could be her cat running partner from her story "My Running Partners". Say...I have a cat who loves to run with me. That's weird. We wonder out loud in the podcast if we have the only two running cats on the planet.
Or it could be her perfect expression of her running, "wildly enthusiastic but not well informed". Wow. That pretty well describes my weakness with my running which has caused all kinds of injuries. Add "stubborn" to the end of the phrase and you have it.
Or it could be that she is looking for other runners, like her, who want to run, love to run, run for health, run for enjoyment, and wish running was less painful. We love that she wants to connect with other runners to make her running more enjoyable!
Enjoy the podcast with Samantha - take her along on your next run. And for more interesting ways to connect with Samantha, read the tidbits below.
Podcast: Download Samantha waltz
Why did you start running?
A friend and I thought it would be fun. And "cool." (I
loved the T-Shirts.) Looking back I realize I was also desperate for a
stress reliever. We could run from the house early in the morning while
our husbands watched our young children.
Best running advice you ever received? Train on the hills and the distance will take care of
itself. (To a point.)
Running wisdom you wished you learned earlier in your running?
I wish I'd known more about the importance of
stretching and of warming up before running hills. In my eagerness to
be a "runner" I didn't inform myself enough and damaged my knees within a
year.Favorite tip you
pass along to runners?
Be thoroughly trained for
the runs you take on. Stretch well before and after. That's your best
strategy for preventing injuries.
Most read/used running book?
Favorite running memory, run or race? The Hood to
Coast. I was in a van of coworkers who were so funny I laughed until my
stomach hurt and tears ran down my face. (The school psychologist,
drama teacher, a counselor and several teachers at the high school where
I taught made up our van. The other van for our team held one of our
vide-principals, another counselor, and several more teachers.) Punchy
with lack of sleep, we revealed sides of ourselves no one at our school
had seen. The school psychologist and drama teacher became a comedy team
creating the best "improv" I'd ever seen. We created the rule "What's
said in the van stays in the van" so we would have at least a bit of
dignity when we returned to school the following Monday. It was magical.
To top it all off, my leg out of Mist, Oregon, I was running literally
in the pre-dawn mist and another runner came along and started
chatting. We loped along, talking and laughing, and I picked up at
least two minutes a mile in my time. More magic. (He must have lost time
but he was running a fourth leg for a sick van mate so he claimed to
not mind.) I was high for at least three days after laughing that much
and running so well.
Your running dream?
my knees to recover enough for me to run distance.
What keeps you running?
Addiction. Nothing gives
the same high, and the same bright spin on life.
Contact? Samantha: Website is www.pathsofthought.com and email at firstname.lastname@example.org