Editor’s note: Lauren Elgee has been running with TRL for years. Then Covid hit, her job closed down, and she went to the University of Massachusetts to get a masters in sports administration. Now she’s back, to the delight of those who remember her from pre-Covid, and new members she’s now meeting.
1. How long have you been running and why did you start running? I started running in high school PE class. We had to do fitness tests like the “pacer” and mile runs. I loved the feeling of progressively challenging myself to improve.
2. How long have you been part of TRL, and what drew you to the club in the first place? I first joined in 2015, so it’s been about seven years! I was returning from living and working in China, and while there I had trouble finding the sort of team community that is a big part of why I run. I googled Portland running clubs and showed up at Duniway.
3. What do you do when you’re not running (job, family, school…whatever it is you’d use to introduce yourself outside of running)? I just finished grad school in New England, which was a wonderfully transformative experience! I’m still getting used to having free time again, but I adore cross-country skiing and in the winter you’ll usually find me cruising around Mt. Hood’s trails.
4. What’s your favorite distance/type of run (5K, half-marathon, marathon, ultras, relays, track, trail, etc.)? In terms of running goals my favorite is the track, especially the 1500m. I even stepped down to the 800m a few years ago. I think cross-country is the most fun though, because of how cool it is to have all those Lizard singlets in one spot.
5. Where is your favorite place to run in the greater Portland area? Duniway is my favorite. There’s something special about doing a workout and feeling the collective effort of everyone on the track, even if you don’t know them!
6. What’s your most memorable running experience (or experiences)? In college I studied abroad in Dakar, Senegal. I found a track meet online and went out to watch with some of my classmates. I didn’t realize until showing up that it was a club event, not a professional meet. Everyone there was amused that we’d come to watch without knowing anyone competing! We got some contact info, and eventually joined a training group. It was my first experience on a track team, and still my most memorable in the way that it transcended a cultural barrier and was the most connected I felt with a local community there. Understanding instructions for hurdle drills in French/Wolof is challenging, especially when you are not a hurdler!
7. What’s the best running advice you’ve ever received? I’m not sure what the exact phrasing was, but someone once told me that a bad workout is still a workout. The sentiment was not to continue to push yourself when it’s unwise, rather that progress takes different forms, whether it’s developing your mental toughness, understanding your body, etc. That advice has really helped my mindset when a run isn’t going how I’d like it to.
8. Tell us one fun fact, hidden talent, or something we don’t know about you, but should? I grew up doing a lot of performing arts and still appreciate musical theater. If you see me jogging around with earbuds, there’s a chance I’m listening to a Broadway soundtrack!