Q&A with Mackenzie Lobby Havey

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New Balance and RootsRated have teamed up to profile runners making a difference in their communities. We asked each of our runners a series of questions to learn a little more about what running means to them, where they like to run, and what are some of their running goals.

Running has played an influential role in every part of Mackenzie Lobby Havey’s life. She met her husband while working at Marathon Sports, a running store in Minneapolis. She coaches high school distance runners and a master’s degree in Kinesiology informs her career as a freelance writer covering running and endurance sports.

Do you have a favorite trail and race? 

  Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis. At Theodore Wirth it’s pretty cool to run in the woods and see the Twin Cities skyline. It’s quite a contrast.

The Twin Cities Marathon is still my favorite marathon. It’s really cool to see the Twin Cities community come out and support that event. It shows what a neat city we live in. Not only do we have so many people participating in the marathon but also to see so many people come out cheering makes me proud to live in a community like this.

Do you have a favorite piece of gear? 

  I have a pair of prescription Oakley sunglasses. They have totally changed my running. Now I can recognize people on the trails and see the intricacies of the terrain under my feet. I’ve become dependent on them and wear those even when it’s cloudy.

 ** What's your routine?**

  Running provides a nice natural break in my workday. If I’m lucky and the weather is right, I’ll take my dog with me.

 ** Do you run outside all winter?**

  There may be only 4-5 days every winter that I deem too dangerous to run outside. I always prefer a bone-chilling winter wind to the monotony of a treadmill.

Treadmill Yes or No?

I will go on the treadmill when the terrain outside isn’t great in the winter and I want to get a hard workout in or if I’m feeling like a whimp. Run in shorts and a T-shirt for once in the winter.

 ** In the middle of a hard race and devil on your shoulder telling you time to quit, how do you keep going?  **

During a longer race, one of the techniques I use when I’m approaching the wall or I really want to quit is to change my stride slightly and count off 50 or 100 steps. When I’m counting I might focus on driving my knees or leaning into my stride. That approach helps me shake things out and reset both physically and mentally. Usually you realize if you can endure the rough patches that you can come out on the other side feeling good.

 ** How do you answer friends when they ask, "Why do you run?"  **

A really good run can inspire every aspect of my life. Running makes me a better person, a better writer and a better coach. Running injects a sense of vitality and balance in each day.

What is your favorite way to recover from a long run or race?

  As soon as a race is over, it’s a protein recovery drink and compression socks. But shortly after that I'll reach for a Fulton craft beer and pizza from Pizzeria Lola.

 ** Bucket list races?**

  I’m planning to run the Superior 50k next spring. For dream races there’s the UTMB (Ultra‑Trail du Mont‑Blanc) and a marathon in Norway called the Nordmaca Forest Marathon. I still haven’t run the New York City Marathon and there are races along the Columbia River Gorge that I’d like to try. I could go on and on.


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