Blane Bachelor is a runner that has found personal fulfillment in the sport. You can read more about Blane in her RootsRated profile.
Do you belong to any running groups? Formal or informal?
Since moving to San Francisco, most of my runs have been solo, but I’m really looking to get connected with a group soon. I was part of a really great group in Atlanta, where I lived for nine years before moving to the Bay Area, and I miss the camaraderie of those awesome runners. My husband introduced me to the group, and many of them became close friends.
I just love running around the Presidio and Golden Gate Park – both are such an easy, quick way to get an escape to nature, right inside the city. I have to admit, I always feel a little smug running there, because there are always a ton of tourists, and I just think to myself, they’re only visiting, but I get to live here! I also love the Marin headlands. Just a wealth of options there.
Morning runner or after work?
If I can get in my run in the morning, or around lunchtime, I am a really happy camper. The exertion and the mental escape are such a great way to start or reset the day. But, most of the time, I’m a post-work runner. I wish I could shift that strategy, but because I work from home, the pull of my desk is hard to overcome. But I do love the way that running after work feels so therapeutic. With every step, it just feels like I’m leaving the stresses of the day behind.
Treadmill: yes or no?
A tentative yes, if there are no other options. If there’s the possibility for me to use a treadmill, it’s usually in the gym of a hotel, and if I’m staying in a hotel, I would much rather explore by going for a run outside.
Do you run year round? Winter-outside or in?
Living in San Francisco, I have the luxury of running year round outside. But I don’t mind colder temperatures – I find it very invigorating to bundle up and head out for a run, which I used to do during the Atlanta winters. I’d much rather run in cold weather than really hot, anyway. The humidity in the South is brutal.
Go to or favorite pieces of gear?
If I’m going for a solo run, my iPod is a must-have. And I really love my New Balance trail shoes. The grip is fantastic for rocks and dirt.
What’s your routine? Describe. Coffee first? Out the door fast or slow transition?
It sometimes takes me a while to get out the door for anything. My husband jokingly calls the process “the extraction,” but he’s right, so I’m trying to be better about getting my shoes, keys, and iPod all gathered ahead of time. Sometimes, I’ll put my running clothes on first thing in the morning so if I hit a lull in my workday I can just dash out the door.
Do you listen to music? Favorites?
I listen to music when I’m running solo but never during races. I may catch some flak for this, but I don’t understand not being completely immersed in such a fun, spirited environment, when people are cheering for you and there’s music at the finish line and all of that, by putting earbuds in your ears. I think it’s a bad trend in recent years. That said, I do love listening to music on routine runs. I like upbeat stuff: Michael Jackson, Rihanna, The Rolling Stones, The Beastie Boys, and kicky, old-school Motown and funk like Earth, Wind & Fire.
In the middle of a hard race and devil on your shoulder telling you time to quit, how do you keep going?
I don’t want at all to make this sound like I’m comparing running to serving your country, but when things get tough my mind turns to all of the U.S. service members who are out there in the trenches fighting for our freedom. They endure unimaginable hardships every day, often unrecognized, and if they can do that, then by god, I can finish a hard run. On a less cerebral level, I sometimes also count my steps in groups of eight. I don’t know when or why I started doing that, but it’s a good way to escape mentally.
Favorite post race long run activity/approach to recover?
A good, long stretch is essential to avoiding unnecessary aches and pains, and if I can get to a yoga class the next day, even better. But the best thing about a long run or race is a hearty meal with afterward friends. I find myself craving protein like eggs or a hamburger, and a beer, of course.
Bucket list races? I’ve done three marathons, and after two knee surgeries, I’m not sure I have any more 26.2 milers in me. But it would be pretty amazing to run the New York Marathon. And I would love to do the Havana Marathon. I’ve been to Cuba once, and it was a very transformative trip. I’d love the chance to interact with local runners there, even though it would be like running in a steam room.