Meet the Athlete: Emma

By June 25, 2017Fitness, Fuel, Meet the Athlete

About 3 years ago, I was introduced to Emma Huebner through her mother and sister. Little did I know that we would become such close friends and training partners. I enjoyed reviewing her interview responses (below), as there are always little tidbits that don’t come out in everyday conversation–even with the close friends that you seem to talk about everything with–like the little thoughts that go through our heads when things get tough, or the pet peeves we have on the race course. It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you this go-getter medical student-athlete-writer; yet another local “super woman”.

Current place of residence: Splitting time between Ventura, CA (home) and Omaha, NE (school)
Hometown/place of birth: I was born in Boulder, CO, but my family moved to Ventura when I was a baby.
Day job/occupation: Second year medical student at UNMC College of Medicine
Dream job: ER doc volunteering at Everest Base Camp Medical Clinic
Favorite sports or hobbies: Running, skiing, surfing, hiking, writing

Best event: Marathon
Favorite type of running shoes: Brooks Pure Cadence
Dream training camp location: Tahoe
Dream race: Any race with awesome views and some dirt

When/how/why did you start endurance sports? After being sidelined for multiple seasons of track and cross country due to stress fractures, I decided to try a different distance. Longer and slower turned out to be a much better fit for me.
Favorite accomplishment in sport: Beating my dad’s old “record” time running up Mount Sanitas in Boulder, CO [disclaimer: neither of us hold any actual records] Most memorable race moment: Finishing my first marathon and seeing my parents and sister waiting with open arms at the end. It takes a lot of love to hug someone who is that sweaty.
Hardest workout you’ve ever completed: A trail run I did in Aspen, CO last month. I inflicted the pain entirely on myself. The views were worth it though.

Current goals: Finish medical school in one piece and run some more marathons
Why do you want to accomplish these goals? As much as the nerd in me loves school, running is a much needed stress outlet. It is easier to squeeze miles into my daily schedule when I have a training goal, so my plan for next year is to sign up for a few races. Hopefully those goals will make my daily jaunts more motivating, especially during the cold winter months. As far as finishing medical school – I have wanted to be a doctor since age five, so it has been a long-time dream of mine, and I am finally making it happen! It isn’t easy, but blood and guts are fun. Patients are pretty fun too; it is humbling to learn how much each patient I encounter – whether they are 5 or 95 – can teach me about life in general. People are so smart.

Emma (far right) at the 2017 Clif Mountains 2 Beach Marathon, on her way to a 3:18 Marathon PR

Best athletic encouragement you’ve ever been given: 90% of your performance is psychological.
Words of wisdom to someone considering training for their first marathon: Long runs are the most important element of training for a marathon. No matter how “fit” you are, you have to train your body to withstand running for hours on end. Don’t run your long runs too fast! Save the speed for shorter runs and for race day itself.
Something you’ve learned about yourself through endurance sport: I can always go a little bit farther than I think I can.
Who inspires you and why? My friend Brittany. She is one of the most generous people I have ever met. She gives her all in racing, in training, and in day-to-day life with her friends and loved ones. She’s definitely a keeper.

Pre-race ritual or superstition: I haven’t nailed down the perfect routine yet. What I learned from my last race: don’t eat pesto the night before.
Pre-race pump up jams: I usually don’t like listening to music right before I race – I have enough adrenaline going as it is. I do remember Uptown Funk playing at the start of the San Francisco marathon last year though, and that was pretty fun.
Post-race treat: ICE CREAM

What is the first thing and last thing you do each day? First: drink a glass of water, then a cup of coffee. Last: get through a few pages of whatever book I am reading. Currently it is Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.

Training/racing “secrets”/tips: Don’t rely on your watch too much. I try to do the majority of my runs watch-less. It is so much more enjoyable, and I find that it is easier to go the pace my body wants me to go that day.
Racing pet peeve: “Keep it up” is one of the worst things you can yell at a runner while they are racing. What, does it look like I’m just about to fall over and give up? I must say, though, I do appreciate the sentiment.
What motivates you to keep training and competing? That feeling when you are in peak shape and it feels like you are floating instead of running.
What motivates you when it’s tough to start/complete a workout/race? Usually I remind myself that no matter how painful it is, it is better than studying histology.
What does “Fuel” mean to you? Delicious food that powers my muscles to perform the way that I want them to. As a poor medical student, fuel also takes the form of any and all free food. I love free food.
Any favorite recipes to share? I just posted my favorite vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe on my blog – <https://emmahuebner.wixsite.com/emmaretigan/single-post/2017/06/20/Storied-Lives>
What does being “Fit” mean to you? Venturing outside and getting your blood pumping at least once a day, whether it is for 20 minutes or 2 hours.

Pick one:
Long swim or long run? Long run
Open water or pool? If the water is at least above 65°, open water. If not, pool. I am a wimp.
Trail or track? Trail
Snot rocket, sleeve, or tissue? Rocket
Solo or group training? Small group
Chocolate or cheese? Chocolate
Watch on your left wrist or right? Left
Morning or evening workout? Morning
Hat or visor? Hat
Swim cap or no cap? Cap
Cheerios or Wheaties? Cheerios
Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? Coffee
Crocs or Birkenstocks? Birks for days

Any other fun facts about you? I have broken a total of 10 bones (not including toes). Klutz much?

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