A stand-out hurdler in high school, as well as a collegiate runner, Maine mother runner Carrie McEneaney, 37, returned to running in 2011 after having her second child. These days you’ll find Carrie, an avid baker, running a variety of distances, including several summer races. She’s signed on for the Kennebec River Rail Trail Half Marathon this coming weekend, Bath Heritage Days 5-Miler on July 4—“and maybe the MDI Marathon on October 19,” she says.
Best recent run: I’ve been lucky and had a good string of great runs. I think having a positive attitude helps with that. My last 13-miler of this training cycle was a nearly perfectly executed progression run where I got faster every mile. It gave me a lot of confidence for my upcoming half-marathon and proved that I can still keep going strong even when I’m tired. It was a huge mental boost.
My Running Journey: I ran track and cross-country in high school and was a top runner in the state in the hurdles. I also ran indoor and outdoor track for the University of Maine. I liked the individual aspect of the sport. Even though I was part of a team, my success was determined by the work I put in and not dependent on someone else. After college I ran here and there, but didn’t pick it up again until 2011 after having children—and I’ve been running year-round ever since.
My Best Mile: Mile 26 of the Maine Marathon in 2012. It was my first marathon and even though at that point I had resorted to a run/walk and it was by far anything but my fastest, I knew my family was waiting for me at the finish, I’d be able to hug my boys very soon, and I was about to accomplish something I had worked very hard for.
Running shorts or skirt: Skirt, without a doubt!
10K or Half Marathon: Another tough one as I like both for different reasons, but I’d choose the 10K.
Best way to cross train: Ugh, I’m bad at cross-training, but I dabble in yoga.
Favorite cake flavor: That’s hard, but I’d have to go with yellow - carrot being a close second. (I’ve been wanting to make a running shoe cake.)
Running quotes I love: Two of my favorites - “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.” ~ Dean Karnazes and “That’s the thing about running: your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is.” ~ Kara Goucher
Worst running injury and how I coped/dealt with it: I’ve been pretty lucky so far. I dealt with plantar fasciitis in 2012 and lowering my mileage with extra rest days was the only way to get rid of it. Other than that, I’ve been injury free! *knocks on wood*
Most frustrating part about running: Not being able to control the temperature and weather! I’d be a happy runner if it could be 40-50 degrees year round. I hate being hot.
Best part of calling myself a runner is _____: I’m doing something for my own well-being that also sets a good example for my children.
What I thought about during today’s run: I tend to think about nothing but the rhythm of my breathing and footfalls. But I also thought about the fact that I’m running a half-marathon in a week! Eek! Hoping that it will be cool or rainy. Envisioning the course and sprinting through the finish with a PR. That it’s going to stink going to work that night.
Ideal place to run in Maine: Anywhere! There were some gorgeous views when I ran the Mount Desert Island Marathon last year and the Sugarloaf Marathon course through Carrabassett Valley is amazing. My family used to go camping up there every summer when I was I kid. I also love just exploring where I live. I can run in the city with beautiful 18th and 19th Century architecture, or choose to run along the river and see American bald eagles, blue herons and other wildlife, or on the miles of trails that are a part of the extensive forests within running distance from my front door.
My running, in three words: Keeps me sane!