Running Ambassador: Sarah Monte

  • October 13, 2017

I have been doing this half marathon since 1999 when it was the Rodale Press Half Marathon. Throughout the years I have lived in many different places and always made it a priority to come home to run this race. My immediate family still live in the Lehigh Valley and it’s always nice to come home and spend time with them while I’m there for the race. I currently live in Tennessee and this past year’s race I ran it with my boyfriend for his first half marathon!

I have run this race in as fast as 1:47 and as slow as 2:45. I’ve had foot surgeries only months before the race and I’ve even run it with a broken foot! I’ve trained hard for PR’s and also run it on little to no training at all. Over the years it has become more important to me to run consistently and injury free than to get faster. I stopped running with headphones and now enjoy the sounds of fellow runners and the great music along the way.

Sarah Monte at St. Luke's Half Marathon

Sarah and her boyfriend (his first half!) at the 2017 St. Luke’s Half

I have an ‘everything in moderation’ mentality with training and food and I think that is what has enabled me to run mostly pain free and maintain a healthy weight in the recent years. I have an active physical therapy routine that I practice religiously in order to stave off injuries.

I love sharing my stories of running with others, and giving advice where I can. I don’t consider myself an expert, but my passion for running has given me the motivation to learn about training, diet and injury prevention.

Q&A with Sarah:

How long have you been running? About 22 years

Best part of running:
Mind clearing and good feeling

Do you remember your first race?
Yes, I won my age group!! It was the Jingle Bell 5k.

What do you love most about the half marathon distance?
It’s enough of a challenge to train for but no so hard that I spend weeks recovering from it.

I don’t hate anything about half marathons.

What keeps you coming back to run the St. Luke’s Half Marathon?
It was my first half marathon and its in the Lehigh Valley where my immediate family lives.

What does a typical training week look like for you?
Three runs a week: easy, hard and long; biking once or twice a week, yoga, PT exercises and strength training.

Pre-run breakfast?
Coffee for shorter, easier runs; yogurt, smoothie or banana for longer, harder runs.

Treadmill or outside?

Morning or evening runs?
Early morning.

Hot or cold weather runner?

Your worst running injury was…
  I had a weak gluteus medias muscle on my left side that caused debilitating pain in my hip. I had to stop running for a year and go through intense physical therapy. I was misdiagnosed many times before I was able to find out what it was and begin treatment. However, I still ran the St. Luke’s half that year, albeit very slowly!

What are the three things you do to prevent injury?
1) Listen to my body while running and stop when it hurts.
2) Consistently do my PT exercises and stretches.
3) Begin all training programs slowly in pace and in distance.

How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?
I put runs in my calendar with alerts and I lay my running clothes out the night before. I also read a really great technique that said when you don’t feel like running, tell yourself you will only go out for one mile… chances are after running that mile you will finish your goal.

When is your next race?
Possibly in November.

I can’t run without…
really, nothing comes to mind! I don’t run with music, anymore. I don’t really care about wearing my Garmin. I prefer good running shoes, but will run in bad ones. The one thing that can ruin a run for me is if my long hair is not secured!