Name: Anna Unger
Day job: Bookkeeper
Why do you run? I love the feeling of giving my all and being totally worn out in the best possible way.
How long have you been running? A little over 2 years.
What makes someone a runner? Anyone who runs is a runner, whether they believe it or not.
Miles per week: On an average week when I'm not training for something specific, 20-25 miles.
Mile time: For a leisurely run: 10-10:30. If I'm pushing myself to the max: 8:30-9:00.
Races you’ve competed in (if any): Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon, F^3 Lake Half Marathon, Chicago Half Marathon, Chicago Marathon
Favorite running route(s): You can't beat the lakefront path. Beautiful all year round and much less crowded in the wintertime.
Best run: 2012 Chicago Half Marathon. Everything fell into place. I had done a handful of half marathons before this and there was always something holding me back, from high temperatures to injury. On this day, though, the weather was cool, the sun was shining, I was running fast, I felt great and my friends were there to greet me when I finished.
Worst run: Any time I'm running, I'm happy. That being said, I did a 16 mile training run this summer on a very hot day and I was very glad when that was over. After a while my legs just stopped working like I needed them to, so I stopped and walked for a while. Then I used all my energy to run the last mile. Even so, that run was very important to my training. Sometimes your worst runs show you just how much you are capable of. It may have been hard, but I finished those 16 miles and even though I walked some of it, I didn't quit.
Do you run with music? I used to, but one day I stopped and I never looked back. I love to be present in my running, to hear my feet on the ground and all the sounds around me.
Favorite Running Gadget: I wear a simple Timex Ironman watch. Nothing fancy, but it does the job.
The Treadmill-- Discuss. To be avoided if at all possible. With the right clothing, running outside is possible all year long. No need to torture yourself with stationery running. However, given the lack of hills in Chicago, the treadmill can be a good stand-in.
Favorite time to run: Sunrise
Best pre-run meal: A Larabar and coconut water. Simple and delicious.
Tips on running through a Chicago winter? Find a group to run with. On cold Saturday mornings when you might otherwise want to stay in bed, knowing a big group of friends is waiting to go running with you is a great motivation. I run with the Chicago Endurance Sports Winter Warriors and they keep me running all winter long. Also, get a warm pair of tights and a neck gaiter to keep the wind off your face.
Favorite temperature range: 45-55 and sunny!
What running gear do you love? For winter, I love my Brooks Utopia Thermal Tights. They keep me warm no matter how cold it gets.
Tips for a novice runner? Don't be too concerned with how fast or slow you are. Just get out there and run. The speed will come with time and practice.
Biggest accomplishment: Finishing the Chicago Marathon. Difficult and emotional and so totally worth the pain I was feeling by mile 26.
Brief Bio: Anna is a runner and a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society DetermiNation program. When she's not running, she likes to play the banjo and try new raw and vegan foods.
A writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum freelances for sites like Pop Matters and
afterellen.com Her debut novel, “Herself When She’s Missing," was called “poetic and heartrending” by ALA Booklist. Sarah is also a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago’s StoryStudio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She's kind of looking forward to it actually.
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