Liza Howard

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a national champion runner with multiple records in distances ranging from marathons to 100 mile trail races.

June 2011
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Scolding and pre-race fun

LizaLiza

If Brian hadn’t hustled me out the door this morning, there’s no way I would have made it to the pool to aqua jog. And if I’d known the water was going to be 77 degrees when I got there, I would have thrown a fluffy pillow at him and stayed in bed until 9. I am not fond of cold water. It did make me aqua jog a bit faster than usual though. I almost aqua ran. The old fellow in the lane next to me asked me if I was okay in the cold water and I told him my hatred for aqua jogging was keeping me warm. I figured out that I should treat the water sessions more like swim workouts and that’s helping me keep my sanity. I still have to take a break after two hours though. One can only pretend to be running through the aspens on the way to Twin Lakes outside of Leadville for so long.
Today I got to watch a swim instructor terrify five year-olds. “Were you listening to what I just told you at all?” “OK, there are a lot of things you’re doing wrong right now, but let’s just concentrate on your kicking.” He made a little hypothermic girl cry with a five minute description of when she should take a breath in relation to her arm stroke. Later the Speedo clad guy laid into me about getting a stress fracture. He quizzed me about my diet and my plans for the rest of the summer. I was saved from a longer scolding about racing again in August by the arrival of another young swim lesson victim.
Afterwards Brian and I headed down to Squaw Valley for the Western States pre-race briefing. (Chris tweaked his back on a run this morning and opted to skip the two hours in the car until tomorrow.) I wondered if it might be kind of miserable to be surrounded by all those runners with intact metatarsals, but it was fine. It was more than fine really. It was great to be surrounded by so much pre-race excitement. And I always love sighting famous runners and the briefing was rotten with them.
Here is Brian and Chris’ favorite pre-race briefing story: So the friend we’re crewing for asked us to sync our watches with the official Western States countdown clock. And as we headed to the clock, we recognized a famous runner ahead of us on the path. Now I’ve met this famous runner before. I even bothered them for an autograph. And I would have had to say hello as we passed by on the off chance they remembered me. And suddenly I really didn’t want to do that. Famous was surrounded by friends and my inner seventh grade shy girl took control. I asked Brian if we could take another route to the countdown clock. We made a huge circle, went through a building, I hobbled up a flight steps in my immobilization boot, and we came around a corner — and there was Famous Runner standing under the countdown clock. It gets better. Famous Runner’s friend asked me if I could take a picture of them all standing there. Famous runner couldn’t have remembered me less. Take that shy seventh grade girl.

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Comments 6
  • Lisa
    Posted on

    Lisa Lisa

    Reply Author

    Liza, you are too cute in that big log chair! It sounds all very exciting what you are doing. Listen, fame is way overrated that is for sure!
    have fun!


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      The Foresthill aid station is going to be packed with folks tomorrow because so many of the earlier stations aren’t accessible due to the snow. They said two weddings were planned to take place there too with 200+ wedding party members. Looking forward to watching it all.


  • Tony Maldonado
    Posted on

    Tony Maldonado Tony Maldonado

    Reply Author

    You’re famous in these parts! Today while running in Leon Creek we ran into other trail runners and Lauren, Larry, and I were identified as “the people who run with Liza”


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      Funny, I always get asked if I run with Tony and his wonderful friends.


  • Paige D.
    Posted on

    Paige D. Paige D.

    Reply Author

    LOL! I would TOTALLY do the same thing you did with your Famous Runner, ha!


    • lizahoward
      Posted on

      lizahoward lizahoward

      Reply Author

      So glad to know I’m not the only wingnut.