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The Chicago Runner Series

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Name: Mariano B. Lising
Age: 37
Day job: Nurse, Consultant

Why do you run? On July seventh 2012, I went to the ER, was admitted and had emergency abdominal surgery with complications.  For a month or so, I was in and out of the hospital. The post-surgical recovery time I spent in the hospital was life changing.  It’s amazing what being confined to a bed will do.  You really reflect on the life you have lived, you find out who your true friends are, you think about all the simple things you took for granted, what really matters in your life and you become uncertain of everything.  For a while it seemed as if I wasn’t going to get better.  Those were dark days.  It wasn’t until 9 months later that I slowly started to get active again…beginning with light jogging and yoga.  After some coaxing from friends, I decided to sign up for the Rave Run with the goal of crossing the finish line regardless of my time.  I did it under 40 minutes.  Crossing that finish line was extremely emotional.  If you asked me before the surgery if I would have run a 5K, I would have laughed.  Now every time I run, take a yoga class, go on a hike or cross a finish line, it reminds me of how far I have come.
What makes someone a runner? I never considered myself a runner.  I thought that “runners” were those special breed of people that I would see running at 7 a.m. along the lake while I was stumbling home from a long night of 20-something debauchery or more recently, a night shift.  However as a fellow runner, Shayna X once told me, you are a runner every time you put on those shoes and run and that it doesn’t matter how fast or how far you go, what matters is that you are running.
Miles per week:  5-10 miles/week
Mile time:   Average- 11:30 and getting better everyday.
Races you’ve competed in:  A couple of fun runs.  Rave Run. Race Against Hate. Pride Run.  Also walked and volunteered in the NYC AIDS Walk and will do the same for the Chicago Run/Walk and Wisconsin Run/Walk.
Favorite running route(s):
  Evanston is an awesome place to run.  I love to follow the lakefront trail from Rogers Park through Northwestern, and up to Gilson Park and Bahai Temple in Wilmette and back down through Downtown.  I mix the route up so I am exploring my town while I run.  Plus on those rainy and lazy days, it’s nice to know that I can always hop on the purple line if I don’t want to run back!
Best run:
My first 5K- The Rave Run.  The lights, the music, the energy, the people, my friends and all the support I received made for it to be the most amazing run ever.  It’s what got me to take running seriously.
Do you run with music? Why/Why not? Music is the soundtrack of my life and my runs.  I need my tunes to motivate me especially when I’m not necessarily wanting to run.  I learned quickly though that safety is important and I choose to just have one of my earphones in so I can hear what’s going on around me.

Top Five Running Songs:   Too many to list.  As of now: New Day (Alicia Keys).  Clarity (Zedd).  Hit or Miss (Odetta).  Apache (Michael Viner).  I Love It (Icona Pop).  Vipassana (Macklemore/Ryan Lewis).  Anything Bjork, Gotan Project or uptempo and catchy.  Just no Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus or One Direction. 

Favorite Running Gadget: My smartphone (Samsung S3…yeah I’m not an iPhone person)  The apps help motivate you by tracking your progress.  Plus you get to listen to cool tunes and that can be the best motivation.  And in the beginning it was a great motivator as I would tell friends that I would be running and they would cheer me on via texts.  Plus you never know what cray-cray things you will see, so my camera comes in handy!

The Treadmill: Discuss.—When I was younger I thought I was the king of the treadmill.  Then I was introduced to running on pavement and that kicked my butt. [Now] I think its great for winter, to build endurance on an incline and for interval training.

Best pre-run meal: 
Night before- Something with lots of rice and preferably Asian.  I’m Filipino so rice is comfort food!  Day of- a piece of fruit, granola bar and coconut water.

Tips on running through a Chicago winter?
 I hate Winter. I’d say either run indoors, on a treadmill or outdoors when you in Florida. 

Favorite temperature range:  50F-65F and Sunny.

What running gear do you love? Why?   As a novice, the biggest mistake I made was to choose form over function.  I would pick things to wear that made me look good, but would end up being completely impractical and would irritate me the entire run.  I am still learning the ins and outs of it all, but I can say this less is more.
Tips for a novice runner?  Just jump right in and have fun!  It shouldn’t feel like a chore.  Sign up for a fun 5K with a group of friends.  Having friends there takes the edge off your first run.  Always believe in yourself!  Don’t compare yourself to others and most importantly don’t be hard on yourself.  You are not going to be a marathon runner overnight.  The greatest sense of achievement is knowing that you are always improving, and becoming stronger and healthier everyday. 

Brief Bio: Mariano B. Lising is a self-proclaimed aficionado of good design, lover of life and all things luxe. Not quite hipster- not quite yuppie. Jack of all trades, Nurse, Activist, Medicare/Public Health Consultant and Lecturer, Grad Student, oh and part time aspiring yogi, rugger and Artist/Musician. Chitown homebrew- born and raised. Midwestern work ethic with progressive politics and attitude. He loves to travel domestically and internationally and lives in Evanston with his partner of 13+ years and his 13 year old Jack Russell who is aptly named Jack.  

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This page contains a single entry by Sarah Terez-Rosenblum published on September 2, 2013 5:47 PM.

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