At withinUs Natural Health, we are extremely fortunate to have support from leaders within the health and wellness community. These role models are an essential addition to the withinUs Team, and we are constantly in awe of their amazing success stories and accomplishments.
Recently, our TruSupporter - Linda Wong - qualified for the Boston Marathon, one of the most prestigious and difficult races to qualify for in the world. We are truly grateful to have sat down with Linda to talk about her passion - running. Linda shared with us how she was introduced to running, what motivates her to complete incredible distances, how she fuels herself as an endurance athlete, and how withinUs TruMarine™ Collagen helps her post-run recovery.
Congratulations Linda, and thank you for all your support. We wish you all the best with your training for the Boston Marathon 2018!
1. How did you find out about withinUs TruMarine™ Collagen, and how long have you been taking it?
I'm on the Steering Committee for the Pink Shirt Day Luncheon and withinUs TruMarine™ Collagen was generous enough to donate to our swag bag a few years ago. With TruAmbassador - Jennifer Murtagh's glowing reviews of the product, I thought I would give it a try and I haven't stopped since!
2. Why did you initially start taking the product?
Outside of Jen's glowing reviews, I'm often looking for easy ways to incorporate healthy habits, given that I'm an endurance athlete. At first, it was a bit of an adjustment to add something to my normal routine, but withinUs Collagen has become something I miss if I don't have my daily dose!
3. What are some of the benefits you have experienced since starting withinUs TruMarine™ Collagen?
There are 2 benefits I can definitely attribute to taking withinUs TruMarine™ Collagen.
The first is somewhat intangible as it's more of a lifestyle shift. As I've gotten older, I'm making more intentional choices to improve my overall health and wellness to maintain my active lifestyle.
The second is with a chronic injury I've "managed" for several years. What I've noticed is that the frequency by which I suffer from it has decreased considerably. Of course, during times of extreme training, it flares up, but in terms of hindering my training, it's laid dormant...which is pretty amazing.
4. We understand that you enjoy running. How often do you run, and how many kilometers do you average per running session?
I run anywhere between 15-31 miles per week right now. I just completed a marathon a few weeks ago, in which I qualified for the Boston Marathon, so I am training to maintain my fitness and distance right now.
Each running session varies depending on what the purpose of the workout is. If it is a speed session, I may only run 1.9 miles, but it will be 1.9 miles of intensity.
5. How did you get in to running?
My running was influenced by 2 amazing women I worked for almost 20 years ago. One was an avid marathon runner and the other was a huge proponent of health & wellness. Our company entered the Vancouver Sun Run as a team, and I remember asking them if they thought I could do it, and they said yes! I finished the Sun Run (6 miles) that year, felt awful, but was encouraged to continue doing it. The journey has been the most rewarding thing I've done in my life.
6. Why do you run? What does running mean to you, and how did you get into endurance running?
I run for me - very simply put. It's what I do to stay grounded and to show up as the best person I can in my love, work, and community life. Running isn't an activity to me - it's part of who I am, how I stay present, and fuel myself.
Getting into longer distances was initially a personal challenge. My runs used to only be 4 miles and I only raced up to 6 miles. Then one day, I was asked to participate in a relay and my leg of the race was 8 miles - double the distance of what I normally ran! It was a challenge, but when I finished it, I felt great and then the possibility of doing a half marathon was planted. That world of possibility has led me to do the Boston Marathon and the Miwok 62 miles trail ultramarathon. It's work to get there, but it's not work if you're doing what you love, and I have an absolute love for the purity of running.
7. Have you ever experienced joint pain after a long run? Have you noticed an improvement in the recovery time since taking withinUs TruMarine™ Collagen?
I've definitely experienced joint pain after a long run. Whether I run on trail or road, there's always the possibility of joint pain. I've never monitored the number of days to recover since taking withinUs TruMarine™ Collagen, but I do notice that it has sped up my post-run recovery.
8. How do you ensure your body has enough fuel to be sustained on a long run (20+ km) - what do you do to prepare, and what do you do on a run (food, sleep, supplements etc)?
Preparations for a long run include managing my expectations. Ideally, I have an average-sized dinner, something fairly simple and not too heavy, a great sleep of at least 7 hours, and will not have taxed myself physically the day before. That's a perfect world - and I don't live in a perfect world, so I need to adjust my expectations based on what my reality is.
When I'm on my run, however, I make sure I bring fluids that have carbs and electrolytes (Nuun Performance Mix) and I'll bring some type of "food". Recently I've been carrying Huma gels. I keep a regular schedule of when to take what, but again that's a perfect world.
9. We hear that a lot of running distances is mental. What is your running mantra, and what pushes you?
My running mantra is pretty basic "no one else is going to run it for you, so you better go out and do the work."
BUT what I've been learning over the last couple of years is to ensure that your heart and your mind are resolved on why you're out there, and why you're chasing those goals. If you can't go back to that place to remind yourself why you're putting those runners on, then it's time to re-evaluate. At the end of the day, the effort is 100% you and no amount of likes on social media will give you the motivation to climb that next hill or power through to the finish line.
10. What is your advice for people that are new to running and would like to increase their distance?
The main advice I give is to do it slowly and to make sure that you are taking yourself along the way. I am over the moon when I hear that people have just fallen in love with running, and their enthusiasm is beyond contagious. The part that I worry most about is the possibility of injury if they're not careful when increasing distance and intensity. You need to listen to your body - the more you love your body, the more it'll love you.
Linda has been a runner for the past 15 years and racing long distances since 2011. She is now an established runner in Vancouver, and one of the leaders at the Vancouver Running Company. Linda is a brand ambassador for Lululemon, Tiux, Nuun and ON, and is active within the community, helping organize events such as the CKNW Orphan's Fund Pink Shirt Day.
What motivates you to push yourself and stay active?