Race Ready with Running Specialist Vivian Escobar

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RACE READY

VIVIAN ESCOBAR

Just the other day, I met up with our Running Specialist, Pacer, Long Distance Runner and Mother, Vivian Escobar, to get some insights and advice on distance running and to hear how she is preparing for her upcoming race, The MORE Fitness Women's HALF MARATHON. This will be Vivian's third time running the More Half Marathon.


HOW DID YOU GET INTO RUNNING?

 I always wanted to run the NYC Marathon. I used to go to Long Island City and cheer the runners on. In 2003, I ran my first race, the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff (5M) with NYRR. They gave me a medal and I was hooked ever since. My first marathon was in 2011. I have a long list of marathons and races. I even ran up the Empire State Building last year in 22 minutes.

THE WORD AROUND HERE IS THAT YOU ARE DEFINITELY HOOKED! WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO RUN? 

 I use running to stay active in my 40s and to set a good example for my kids of a healthy lifestyle. I really do enjoy running for the solitude and re-energizing part of it. I can run 10 miles and feel happier afterward than going shopping or going out. I don't drink on the weekends and I go to sleep early so that I can wake up rested for my day ahead. 


WHEN DID YOU START WORKING AT PARAGON AND HOW IS PARAGON DIFFERENT FROM OTHER RUNNING SHOPS? 

 I have been working at Paragon since November 2013 and I just love it. Paragon is so much more than just a running store and I appreciate that. I am also a triathlete. Everyone that works here has a specialty and a passion for their sport and are interested and supportive of one another's knowledge and achievements.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TRAINING LOOP?  

My favorite training loop is from my doorstep, over the 59th street bridge to Central Park. Run the loop of the park and head back home. Total 14 miles round trip.


THAT'S A PERFECT NYC LOOP, ESPECIALLY ONCE YOU ENTER THE PARK! DO YOU RUN WITH ANY TRAINING DEVICES?

 I log my runs with my RunKeeper app on my iPhone. I also wear the Garmin Forerunner 10 to keep my pace.  I always listen to music on my runs. I have a playlist of Spanish mixed with Club music and Rap... I'm all over the place! My new favorite song is #selfie ... It makes me laugh at the silliness of it and the music pumps me up.


WHAT IS YOUR SHOE OF CHOICE THESE DAYS? 

My favorite question! I train and run all my races in Newton Running Shoes. My Lady Isaac's are my go to shoes for long distance training.


CAN YOU LIST YOUR RACE DAY ESSENTIALS?

 For hydration, I carry a Nathan Water Bottle, the handheld type. For nutrition, my Gels of choice are Honey Stingers Acai/Berry and if I'm running longer than 3 hours, I take S!Caps. I don't drink Gatorade, only water. I use Chafing Deodorant, a must. And always my iPhone with my Yurbud Earphones and my Road ID, in case of an emergency.


WHAT IS YOUR MINDSET WHEN HEADING INTO A LONG RUN OR RACE?  

Long runs are my favorite type of runs. I like to run slow and steady and add on the mileage.  I don't emphasize speed or PRs. I really like to let my mind flow and relax. I run all my races with my mother in mind. She is a breast cancer survivor.


THIS BEING YOUR THIRD MORE FITNESS HALF, DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR FIRST TIME RUNNERS OF THIS RACE? 

The most important thing is to have fun! Make sure to go slow steady over Cat Hill and Harlem Hill... And enjoy the time you get to spend with other wonderful women who also love to run.


THAT SOUNDS LIKE SOME GOOD INSIDER ADVICE! DO YOU HAVE ANY SECRETS FOR AN EASY POST-RUN RECOVERY ? 

I usually come home, foam roll, take a warm bath, eat something, put on my 2XU recovery tights, go to sleep and wake up feeling recovered.


THANKS FOR YOUR ADVICE AND INSPIRATION... ARE THERE ANY OTHER UPCOMING RACES THAT YOU ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO?

Yes! NJ Marathon April 27th. Brooklyn Half, Oakley Mini, NYC Triathlon in August, Marine Corp Marathon and the Philadelphia Marathon. I might run NYC Marathon if I'm recovered. I'm a Marathon Maniac and yes I have lost my mind!


THAT ACTUALLY SOUNDS PRETTY AWESOME TO ME! GOOD LUCK WITH THE RACE ON SUNDAY VIVIAN!

Vivian is also a pacer for Paragon Sports Running Club's Tuesday Night Runs every week at 6:30pm.  Join her and other runners as they conquer NYC one run at a time. Follow her instagram feed at  VIVIAN_40.

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