This Week’s Featured Runner #5

I have had the opportunity to introduce all of you to some pretty amazing runners through my Featured Runner Posts.  This week’s runner is no exception.  She shares some inspiring responses and I’m glad I can pass them along for all of you to read.  She also has a really important goal that’s quickly approaching and needs our help to get her there.  Read on!

{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:}

Meet Reggie!

Hi – My name is Regina Cavanaugh – but most people know me as Reggie. I am 58 years old and live in Horseheads, NY. Although not a native I have lived there over 1/2 of my life so I consider myself one. I am married and my husband, Bart, and I have 4 children and 7 grandchildren. I have a pretty stressful job as the Controller at Arnot Health (a health system consisting of three hospitals, Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital, and St. Jospeh’s Hospital) – Besides running I love to read, mysteries, romance, and of course stories about running and runners. My favorite time though is time spent with my grandchildren, they light up my life and I treasure my time with them.

What are your goals?  My current goal is to finish, upright, the NYC marathon.  I am doing two 1/2 marathons prior to that, but am using them as training, so not really focusing on my time for them.  I am doing the NYC marathon as part of the LIVESTRONG team, in memory of Dana Carr, to read his story, or make a donation go to:

What is your weekly mileage/mileage composition? (types of workouts you do or enjoy doing)  I don’t have really high weekly mileage, I have a very arthritic knee (bone on bone and have been told my several orthopedic drs that they can’t believe I can run on it) due to a high school skiing mishap, so i try to limit my weekly mileage.  A typical week when I’m not marathon training will be one long run of about 9 – 10 miles and 1 medium workout of 5 miles and a couple of 3 milers.  I up mileage on the long run during marathon training.  My goals aren’t to be really fast, rather just to finish and not embarrass myself.

What are some of your race day rituals OR pre race day rituals?  I’ve learned all of my rituals from my daughter, Amy Balash.  I get everything ready the night before.  I try to eat a bagel but no matter what the distance I’m running I get really nervous on race day, so I have a hard time eating anything.  This causes some problems on my longer races, as I tend to tire quickly, probably because I haven’t eaten. 

What is your favorite race? (race name/location/distance), favorite race distance, or a race on your bucket list? OR include all three!  My all time favorite race is the Sharmrock 1/2 marathon in Virginia Beach.  I love the course, and the race is very well organized.  Names are printed in large letters on your bib and all volunteers are cheering for the runners by name.  I’ve run my fastest 1/2 times at that race – and feel great after completing it.

What changes have you made that have most helped you to improve as a runner?  I try to better prepare for my races.  I started running later than most people, mid forties, and only did 5k’s until a few years ago.  My first few longer races were not good experiences, due to the fact that I hadn’t trained properly.  It didn’t matter a lot in a 5K, but was quite painful in the longer races.  I also listen more to my daughter’s advice, on everything from shoes, to nourishment, to training plans. 

What are your favorite snacks, products, gear, recipes?  My favorite snack is mint m&m’s, I know they are not that heatlhy but it’s my vice while running.  I have a hard time ingesting anything, and have never been able to drink and run (I have to stop to do this).  I also like mixed nuts after I run, or some fresh cut pineapple.  I have been known for my diet pepsi addiction, and am working on cutting back on that.  I have recently discovered zip fizz and really like it.

I’m having a hard time finding shoes that I like, so I tend to jump around alot.  I like to wear running skirts or fun gear (tu tu’s, sparkle skirts) for races, it reminds me that this is supposed to be fun.  I am a huge fan of compression socks, they really do help my shin splints.

What is your biggest accomplishment running-wise?  Definitely completing my first marathon last fall.  I was 57 years old, and never thought I could do it.  My friend Kathy Rohrer and my daughter Amy convinced me I could.  I can’t begin to describe the feeling of crossing the finish line, being saluted by a marine and having him place the finisher’s medal over my head.   

What is your favorite activity you use to supplement your running?  I used to do strength and core workouts, but have gotten away from that.  The longer distances have taken more time, and I had to choose.  I can feel the difference in my running without them, so I am trying to make some time to get back into that.

How do you get through a tough run?  Lately I think of Dana, and remind myself of everything he went through, without complaint.  I use him as my inspiration.  Sometimes I pick a land mark not to far off and tell myself I have to make it to that.  When I get there I pick another one.  Or I ask myself how will I feel in 15 minutes if I quit.

How about a random fact about yourself?  I started running on a whim – my kids ran.  I would go to the races and wait for them to finish.  I decided they should be waiting for me.  My favorite thing is when my daughter is running the same race as me, she finishes ahead of me, comes back out and runs in with me.  It has gotten me through some tough races.  Running has helped me to drop 35 pounds, made me feel good about myself, and I feel I am healthier at 58 than I was at 40. 

Thanks Reggie!

I was fortunate to grow up down the street from Dana.  Anyone who was lucky enough to know Dana, couldn’t help but be inspired and motivated by him.  His resume of accomplishments during his short time here on earth is more than most can ever dream of accomplishing.  Along with his many achievements, Dana also demonstrated a strong work ethic and good character.  He is missed dearly by so many!

 Reggie has obviously chosen an amazing person to honor.  My husband and I have donated to her cause and we hope you will consider donating as well.

Visit her link to donate:

  • Any questions for Reggie?
  • Have you ever run in memory of someone?

5 thoughts on “This Week’s Featured Runner #5

  1. Your story is wonderful!!! Have you tried running with a camelback? It makes getting fluid in so easy you just grab the hose and bite down and sip, it takes the stress of pinching those tiny cups at races in just the right place and trying to pour in the side of your mouth instead of down your shirt. Also a lot of the energy gel’s hurt my stomach so I got the book Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide for Endurance Athletes by Brendan Brazier. I’m not a vegan, but the homemade energy bars, and gels do not upset my stomach at all. There also are great recipes for high energy dinners that will help you not get tired during your race and post-race recovery smoothies. Keep up the great work at good luck at NYC.

  2. It is so inspiring to hear of another late starter running marathons! I just started training for runs and tris a couple of years ago and feel like I’ll never get beyond a half mary or a sprint tri. But I guess you never know until you try, right?

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