Monday, January 01, 2007


One of the nice things about my speed, or lack of, (depending on how you look at it) is that I tend to finish my races near some of the top local women runners. So when I ran a good race at the Fetzer 20K in April and didn’t recognize the gal ahead of me, I had to find out who she was. Julie Nelson, (no, not Julie Nelson from KARE 11) 33, of Eyota, MN runs for the Run ‘n Fun race team. While she doesn’t race a lot, from what I can tell she won nearly every race she entered in 2006. Her worst performance (place-wise) was 11th at the Guidant Heart of Summer where she ran a very respectable 36:45 – just 10 seconds from her PR. (Photo courtesy of Paul Phillips at Competitive Image)

When did you start running? How’d you get involved?
High School is when I actually began to RUN! I went jogging a few times when I was really young with my Dad.

I got involved because my older sister was in Track with her friends and it seemed like a good sport to get involved with.

Did you run in HS/college?
I ran in both; High School at Dover-Eyota and College at the University of Nebraska (CC, Indoor and Outdoor T&F).

What are your PRs?
I could call my Dad and he would rattle them right off – I know I will be close:
Mile = 4:48
3000 = 9:39
5000 = 17:00
10000 = 36:35
½ Marathon = 1:22
Marathon = 2:48

What’s your fondest running memory?
Running my best Cross Country race at the U of M…I ran for Nebraska –however, loved to run in my home state!

I first “met” you at the 2006 Fetzer 20K. After you beat me by about 30 seconds, I looked you up on raceberryjam. The first thing I noticed is that you ran Fetzer nearly 5 minutes faster than 2005. What’s the reason for such a large improvement?
Training and feeling better, I put more training in prior to April in 2006 than my race in 2005; I didn’t feel the best during the race.

In addition to Fetzer, you had several other very good races in 2006, including 17:48 (5K), 36:45 (10K), and 57:28 (15K). Were you happy with your performances during the year?
WOW, you are about as good as my Dad with stats!! Yes I was happy; it felt like I was finally in shape to really compete again!

What are your goals for 2007?
Keep focused on my family and still stay in decent shape to race!

Do you have a favorite race? Why?
The Ronald McDonald MacAttack 5K; Food/Entertainment/Team/Fun!!

What’s your training philosophy?
Never run so much that it is no longer fun

Are there certain plans (Pfitz, Daniels, Lydiard, etc) that you tend to follow?

What is a typical training week like for you, in-season (i.e. mpw, types of hard workouts, etc.)?
50-60 mpw; Long run on Saturday – hardest workouts include 10x1 mile or 20x400!! (During Marathon training)

What is your training like during this time of year?
Minimal – 4 miles/day.

Do you have a favorite workout?
400 repeats are the most “fun” and I have an 11 mile loop that is my favorite route/run!

Do you have a least favorite workout?
Just when I don’t have time to do it and have to squeeze it into a BUSY day.

Do you ever take a day off? How about extended downtime at the end of the season?
Every week – one day off – at least 2 weeks off at the end of the season.

Do you prefer running alone or with friends?
Morning runs with friends – Mostly alone at night.

Who do you enjoy training with the most?
My sister.

If you could run with anyone (past or present), who would it be?
My best friend in college was an excellent runner – Theresa Gosnell (Stelling) and/or Fran ten Bensel (Both very inspiring to run with!!)

What do you wish you’d known when you first started running?
How much more fun you can have when you are in shape and that you get to choose that as an athlete – the more you put in the more you get out!!


Runner Susan said...

Wow, look at those abs. Soooo not fair.

Anonymous said...

What a great interview! Just a little to add ~ Julie is not just a great runner, but she is an outstanding coach for the Dover-Eyota/St. Charles Cross Country team. She's taken the girl's team to state three consecutive years (2003-05). PLUS, she has a husband and three children, and a full-time job. Amazing woman!