This Week’s Featured Runner! #2

I’m excited to introduce you to another great local runner!

{I have a great lineup of runners who are ready to share their stories, goals, training plans, favorites, and much more.  I hope to introduce you to one of them each week.  If you are interested in becoming a featured runner, I would love to hear from you.  Email me:}

This week’s featured runner is one of the sweetest runners I know!  She’s been a dedicated runner for years with an impressive running resume.  She also shares a lot of great favorites of hers!

Meet Melissa!

I am a school counselor at Watkins Glen High School and I love my job!  For the past 2 years I also coached the Elmira Track teams both indoor and outdoor seasons.  I live in Elmira.  I have a 3 year old boy named Nathan and am hoping that he gets into running someday too 🙂

Melissa and Andy at the Warrior Dash

What are your goals?  (This can include why you started running, upcoming race plans, a distance you want to build up to or a pace you want to be able to hold, etc.  ANYTHING you want!)  I started running in middle school when I joined the track team and haven’t stopped since 🙂  Currently I don’t have many set race plans since I have been dealing with shin splints all summer.  My goal for the end of this year is just to get healthy.  My ultimate goal is to break 18:00 in the 5k.  That is currently my preferred racing distance.  It seems like everytime I start heading towards that goal and getting in great shape again, another injury comes along and I am back to running over 20 minutes again.  I wish I had a personal trainer/sports therapist to help me to stay healthy enough to get to my goal! 🙂

What is your weekly mileage/mileage composition?  After my last few set backs, I decided that instead of going by weekly mileage/weekly workouts, I would start on a 12 day cycle.  So in a 12 day cycle I would fit in 1 long run, 1 tempo run/workout and 1 interval/rep mix workout.  The rest of my runs would be easy runs, trail runs, etc.  I am not as worried about mileage as I am getting in quality workouts.  For me, high mileage = injuries.

What are some of your race day rituals OR pre race day rituals?  I love eating pasta the night before a race because it really fills me up and gives me extra energy the morning of a race.  For breakfast, I usually like toast with peanut butter or something similar.  I don’t really have any strange rituals…just a good warm up, some strides and drills, etc.

What is your favorite race? (race name/location/distance), favorite race distance, or a race on your bucket list? OR include all three!  My favorite race distance is currently the 5k.  I did try an 8k this year though for the first time and really liked that as well.  One of the most fun races I have run was the Warrior Dash.  I don’t really have a favorite road race that stands out.  My favorite used to be the Convention Days 5k in Seneca Falls.  We would do that every summer in high school while training for XC.

What changes have you made that have most helped you to improve as a runner?  One of the biggest changes I have had to make over the years is accepting days off and really listening to my body to help prevent injuries.  This can be very frustrating at times.  I hate taking days off and really wish I had more cross training activities that are available.  I am thinking about joining a gym soon so that I can get more cross training in and stay in better shape when I can’t always run.  I would love to swim more if I could, but I need to find a pool that is easily accessible with convenient hours.

What are your favorite snacks, products, gear, recipes?  I love most everything with peanut butter pre race/workout because it helps fill me up and give me energy.  Post race workout, my favorite is Chocolate milk or milkshakes!!  I think it is the best recovery drink ever, lol mmmmmmm.  I love my new CEP compression socks, they have really helped me a lot with my shin splints.  My foam roller and stick definitely come in handy for helping my legs feel better.  I just bought an ultrasound therapy machine this summer and I love using that on sore muscles as well.  I think that helps speed up recovery.

What is your biggest accomplishment running-wise?  My biggest accomplishment in running was my senior year in high school.  It was the longest period of time I went without being injured in my life.  During this time I was a 2x NYS medalist (went to states in the 3000m and 4 x 8), a 2x federation medalist and a 2x national medalist and All American.  My 4 x mile relay team was 3 seconds off of being National champions during indoor track, so we set our goal for spring track to go to the Adidas National Championship and win the National title.  We came in a disappointing 2nd place, but ran the 5th fastest time ever run in country at that time.  We had a lot to be proud of that year but were very hard on ourselves and were always striving to be better.  My drive and motivation stems from then…if we weren’t winning or we didn’t have a record in something, we always had to strive to get to that point.  I’m never truly satisfied with where I am because I know I can do better.  I’m very hard on myself as a runner.  In college I was never able to reach my goals because I was always dealing with one injury after another.

What is your favorite activity you use to supplement your running?  Hiking – it helps me to strengthen my leg muscles and stretch them out… I would love to supplement running with swimming but I need to find a pool to get into a few days a week.  I am also hoping to start biking by next year….the expense is what is stopping me from getting into that currently.

How do you get through a tough run?  Honestly not sure…lol, somehow…sometimes I get done and I have no idea how I made it home…there are a lot of times where it is hard not to give up when training by myself.

How about a random fact about yourself?  My favorite color is purple 🙂

A little side note that I’m adding to Melissa’s post:

We ran on the SRC Seneca 7 relay team together.  Melissa was the first leg and got our team out to a great start.  Our team took second overall for the coed teams.  I just HAD to share our team picture!

Seneca 7 Relay Team

Thank you for sharing Melissa!

We wish Melissa and her team luck this upcoming year.  We hope to hear back soon that you reached you 5k goal!

  • Do you have a questions for Melissa?
  • Have you ever had to deal with a running injury such as shin splints?
  • Have you broken 18 minutes in the 5k?


3 thoughts on “This Week’s Featured Runner! #2

  1. I loved reading this. I happen to know Melissa and she is a fabulous runner. Not just because she is so fast but because is also a very sweet person. She coached my son and was very patient! Good luck with the 12 day cycle. My husband is injury prone and has used this with success. Best Wishes to you and speedy recovery!!

  2. Hi melissa!!! Weve met briefly at the Glassfest this year. Ive been struggljng with shin issues also, that have also affected my feet. Do you have any pointers as to how to get rid of this nagging problem? I foam roll and stretch daily, and for the first time ever, shin & foot pain. Btw, if you are ever looking for a running partner, get ahold of me!!! Loved reading about you! Another great feature, Jenelle!!!

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