Angie Voight is on a roll. She broke 3 hours for the first time at TCM in October and then ran 2:58:13 at Houston in January. At Get in Gear, she set a 10K PR and on Saturday she placed 3rd at the New Prague Half Marathon in 1:21:47, a PR by nearly two and a half minutes. She’s been able to accomplish that while attending medical school at the University of Minnesota. The 30-year old Minneapolis resident now has her sites on the women’s Olympic Marathon Trials standard of 2:47. (Photo courtesy of Wayne Kruduba)
How did you get involved with running? Did you run in high school and/or college?
I didn’t start running until I was in college. During my freshman year at Bethel College the track coach asked me to join the team and convinced me that it would be a good way to get in shape for basketball. I joined the track team but almost quit after the first interval workout because of how awful I felt after running repeat 400s. I stuck with it and eventually quit basketball so I could train throughout the year for cross-country and track. I decided to start running marathons after I jumped in with a friend at mile 20 of the Twin Cities Marathon. Everyone was cheering for me and telling me how good and strong I looked for being at mile 20 and I knew I wanted to try running a marathon. I ran my first marathon at Grandma’s in 2001 and this year’s Grandma’s Marathon will be my ninth marathon.
After TCM you were able to string together of month of 70-80 mile weeks, but then you had to battle some knee pain. How were you able to deal with that and still manage to PR by nearly 2 minutes at Houston?
I had taken two weeks off in the six weeks leading up to the Houston Marathon and then I slowly started running again right before the marathon. I was almost certain that I wouldn’t run the marathon because I hadn’t put in the training I needed to. My last 20 mile run had been done on a treadmill six weeks prior. The thought of doing a marathon in warm weather with some of my friends made me reconsider my decision and I made the trip to Houston. I started out slowly, stayed relaxed and tried not to worry about my time. I ended up negative splitting the race and surprisingly ran a PR.
How has your knee been lately?
It seems to be completely recovered, thanks to my physical therapy and some low-mileage weeks after Houston.
You ran a solid 29:49 (6th place woman) at Human Race 8K and then backed it up with a terrific 36:54 at Get in Gear – good enough for 8th place among women. Are those PRs? How do you feel about those races?
The Get in Gear race was my 10K PR. I thought the race went very well and it makes me excited about trying to get a marathon PR at Grandma’s.
What are your PRs?
5K - 18:06 (college PR, I haven’t run that time since)
8K - 29:16 Human Race 2005
10K – 36:54 Get in Gear 2007
Half Marathon – 1:21:47 New Prague 2007
Marathon – 2:58:13 Houston 2007
You have your sites set on the women’s Olympic Marathon Trials standard of 2:47. Some may say dropping 11 more minutes within the year is a rather aggressive goal. Does having friends/training partners like Jenna Boren and Erin Ward, who’ve both had significant breakthroughs lately, help?
If I’m ever going to drop 11 minutes from my PR it’s going to be by training with faster running partners like Erin and Jenna. I am so impressed with their recent PRs and it really inspires me to try to have a breakthrough marathon like they have. I train a lot with Erin and she kindly motivates me by one-stepping me on most of our training runs. I’m planning on running three marathons (Grandma’s, TCM and probably Houston) between now and the Olympic Marathon Trials in April 2008, so if I can drop a few minutes in each marathon I might be able to run the 2:47 standard.
In general, what is your training philosophy? Do you tend to follow a certain plan?
My general philosophy is that you have to train consistently over a long period of time to achieve your running goals. I’ve gradually gotten a little faster over the last few years, although I don’t think my training has been consistent enough due to school and injuries. I hope I’m getting to the point where I’m able to start training at a high level consistently and run some faster times. My general training plan is to prioritize long runs, tempo runs and intervals, in that order, as I prepare for marathons. I don’t always have a specific workout plan, but I try to get in the key types of workouts each week.
What has your recent training (mpw, workouts, etc.) been like as you prepare for Grandma’s Marathon? How have had to adjust your schedule due to medical school rotations? How will it change since graduating earlier this month?
I have only recently been able to achieve some high-mileage weeks, which is about 80 miles per week for me. I tend to get injured if I run too many miles, so I won’t run much more than 80 mpw and instead try to increase the intensity of my workouts. I really need to do some good long runs and tempo runs; they tend to be the most difficult runs for me. My training schedule is often less than ideal when I’m doing a difficult rotation for school, especially when I have to be on overnight call. However, I just graduated and I don’t start residency until the week after Grandma’s Marathon so now I have a few weeks to focus on training, eating well and getting enough sleep. I think it’s going to give me the opportunity to have a great race at Grandma’s.
Do you have a key benchmark workout that you’ll do leading up to Grandma’s?
I don’t have any specific benchmark workouts planned, but I’m going to do the New Prague Half Marathon five weeks before Grandma’s. I like to use my races as indicators of my fitness more so than workouts. [Note: Angie ran 1:21:47 at New Prague]
Do you have a favorite local and/or national race?
There are so many fun races in Minnesota that I enjoy running, it’s hard to pick one. I think the Twin Cities Marathon is at the top of my list. The marathon course is the most beautiful course I’ve run on and the spectator support is amazing.
If you could run with any Minnesotan, past or present, who would it be?
I think I’m fortunate to have some of the best Minnesotan women on my running team (Run N Fun) right now. People like Bonnie Sons and Kelly Keeler are amazing runners who have set numerous state records and continue to perform well each year. I have always admired their accomplishments and continue to look up to them as examples of what I hope my running career can become.
Finally, what do you know now that you wish you’d known when you first started running?
A few of the things I’ve learned about running: Always bring your own toilet paper to races. Don’t ever eat a bagel covered in Gu between races. Even if you want people cheer for you during a marathon, don’t write your name on your arm if it’s a sunny day; your name will be tanned into your skin for months after you wash it off. Don’t try to run 1000 miles in your training shoes before replacing them to save money; you will spend all the money you save on physical therapy for your injuries. Don’t mix chocolate espresso gel with fruit flavored Gatorade for your marathon water bottles, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. Don’t ever be afraid to set high goals for yourself in running, you just might achieve them with a lot of patience and hard work.