Q&A with Asheville Runner Julie Wunder

Julie Wunder
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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.

Julie Wunder is a well-known Asheville TV personality who happens to be a serious runner.  She shares her thoughts on her running career, what keeps her moving and what she loves about the sport.

Do you run in the morning or after work?
Even though I don’t work as the morning meteorologist for the local television station anymore, I am still a morning person.  Up until a few months ago, my 2AM wakeup call for work meant I had to run after work in the afternoon, but my new career has so much more flexibility.  I now run usually in the morning, but sometimes I adjust the time to find the most pleasant weather of the day.

What’s the story behind Running in a Skirt?
I spent 11 years as meteorologist and morning news personality for WLOS in Asheville. I left to find a healthier balance in my life. My blog, “Running In a Skirt” is my focus now. My mission is to make life a little healthier, happier and stylish.

I started Running in a Skirt in the summer of 2012 while training for the Chicago Marathon. I was raising money for Girls on the Run and started writing about running to help my fundraising efforts.  After finishing the marathon (yes, in a skirt,) I had so much fun sharing my experience that I decided to keep blogging.

What’s your routine before running?
I get hungry really easily, so I have to eat before I run.  If I am running long I will have a peanut butter smeared bagel and a banana.  I’ll have some hot tea or coffee depending on how I am feeling.  It is a cliché breakfast, but it really works for me.

Do you listen to music when you run?
I almost always listen to music.  I am a huge fan of country, so I’m usually listening to something in that genre.  I also gravitate towards songs with powerful messages, not just powerful beats.  Recently I took a break from running with any electronics and that was nice for a change.

How do you keep going when faced with challenges in a hard race?
I keep several mantras in my head to fight those little voices that want me to quit.  My favorite are “There will be a day when you cannot do this, today is not that day.”  “Pain is temporary pride is forever.”

Motivation for racing?
I’m not super fast, but I have improved over the years.  I love being competitive with myself.  I enjoy finding a way to get a new PR or run a smarter race.  My motivation isn’t really to beat other runners, it is to run better than I have before.  Most of all, I want to have fun along the way.

How do you answer when friends ask: Why do you run so far?
My friends are used to me getting up and running.  They usually ask when my next race is.  I’m very lucky to have a lot of support and friends who know and understand how much I love running.

What is your favorite approach to long run recovery?
I always do yoga stretches after I run, which I credit for keeping my legs fresh.  If I have run really long I try to use a foam roller and even an ice bath/bucket if necessary.  If I run longer than five miles I try to eat a high protein snack/ smoothie within thirty minutes of my run.

Bucket List?
Right now my bucket list race is to the Disney Coast to Coast challenge!

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