Next up on the road to Boston is Gina DiCello, a real firecracker. We stumbled upon her blog before we met over email. Before long it became clear to us: we want to be her friend. See for yourself. You probably will too. (We're pretty sure she'd happily have you over for dinner, share some training tips with you and send you home with a recipe.)
the road to boston with gina dicello
Gina DiCello calls the Rush Street, Chicago store her local lululemon home. If you've never met anyone with a goal to run fifty marathons in all fifty states, now you have. Her love of running is closely rivaled only by her love of friends and food. (Ah, another ambassador who loves to eat. Good thing we all like to sweat, right?) She's counting down the days to Boston on her blog and she took some time to answer our questions.
who inspired you to start running?
No one in particular, really. I was the girl the coaches always put on the B-team. I took up running when I joined the high school track team to shed my B-team/figure-skating/marching-band persona. Track was the only thing that fit my busy schedule and I thought it was the ticket to fitting in. For two years, I rocked out as an 800-meter runner but eventually, my skating took precedence.
I excelled on skates but I gave it up to be a "normal" college student: sororities, spring break, academics. It was during that time I realized I missed the world of athletics and needed to find my place again. Running was that place. This is when I started training for marathons and decided to do one in each of the fifty states.
Qualifying for and running Boston, is not only a rite of passage as a runner, it’s my way of showing that little girl on the bench - me - that when life puts you on the B-team, all you need is some dedication, determination and a dream. Anything you really want? You can get it.
Going way back in the Gina archives
What’s your goal for the race?
My number one goal for any and all races is to have fun. (If it’s not fun, what is the point?) As far as a time goal, I would love to finish somewhere in the 3:20’s! I’ve had a breakthrough in my training this past year and I’m having a blast seeing how far I can take it. As long as it’s fun and as long as I am still healthy, I will continue to push the envelope.
What has yoga done for your running regime?
Part of the breakthrough I mentioned is due to my paralleled dedication to yoga. I didn’t start practicing until after a terrible cycling accident had me sidelined for about eight weeks. As part of recovery, I reluctantly joined some friends from my run group on their weekly yoga session. Very soon after I became quite addicted.
Almost instantly, I saw a difference in my running – I became less tight and felt the “heavy leg” feeling disipate. My breathing improved which allowed me to hold a higher intensity for a longer period of time. My posture changed, my core carriage changed - everything changed and all for the better.
Where do you run on days when you feel you can conquer anything?
Because Chicago is pressed up against Lake Michigan, the lakefront path is our city’s playground. Ever seen our winters here? It’s really the only place where you can get in quality miles on paved, traffic-free paths. Water fountains, bathrooms and stands to buy Gatorade are plentiful. So is the people watching, or in my case, the man hunting.
On days when I am feeling like I can conquer anything, I put on my brightest Speed Shorts, a matching Flow Y Bra, and some cool aviators. I hit the path around 5:30 or 6pm when it’s likely populated by a sea of good-looking men. There is no greater satisfaction than passing a couple of dudes who think they’re keeping up a good pace!
When you're not training you're...
Thinking about training? Just kidding. When I’m not training, you can find me scoping out Chicago’s restaurant scene, teaching cooking classes to children through a non-profit called Common Threads, building up my marathon coaching business and staying hopelessly addicted to routine Monday nights with college girlfriends.
Gina created this meal off the top of her head. Yum.
What do you look for in training and race gear?
All gear must first and foremost be comfortable and make me feel athletic. Chafing is a very real and big issue for runners, myself included (I have horror stories) and if the garment doesn’t do everything it can to prevent that, I’ll never buy it again. In both training and race gear I like to look put together, matching but also athletic.
Running a marathon with music: yes or no?
It depends. When I ran the Des Moines Marathon in Iowa, heck yes I listened to music. There was barely anything to look at, let alone hold my attention for four hours. When I ran the ING Miami Marathon, I didn’t listen to music. With so much color, crowd support, and activity going on, I didn’t need it. I am neither for, nor against running with music – whatever works for you is great! (Editor's note: Want her Guilty Pleasure Super Speedy 5K playlist? Check out her blog.)
What’s next for you after Boston?
Boston will be my fourteenth marathon on the road to fifty, though it is only my thirteenth state. (I did Singapore in December 2009.) Next up, I will probably be at the New York City Marathon this fall. If I don’t make it through the lottery or by qualifying at Boston (3:23:00 is the cutoff for women), I will run the Rock n’ Roll Savannah Marathon in Georgia. I can't wait.
visit us in boston
If you haven't heard, we love visitors! If you're planning on being in Boston for the marathon, stop by the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo and the Prudential Center store. There's a lot to see and do with us from April 15th to 18th. The store's Facebook page has all the details. (Heartbreak Hill, here we come.)
- Follow Gina's training. She's blogging (and tumbling) the whole thing.
- Contact Gina for training tips. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Meet your local ambassadors. Find out who's teaching classes at your local store.
- Read our first Boston-bound ambassador interview with Sue Anne Clark.
Staying motivated while training for a marathon (or any race, for that matter) can be challenging. Gina's blogging; some of you may be journalling. How do you stay on track when the road to a race is an uphill climb?