RRAC Interview: Alecia Kallos

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Over the next few months, we will be featuring Q & As with our sponsored RRAC (Running  Room Athletic Club) athletes . Today, meet Alecia Kallos!

Photos: Steve Croba

Name: Alecia Kallos

Years of competing: 12

Biggest accomplishments to date:
Winning the Edmonton Marathon 10K in 2017.

Occupation: Health Program Evaluator

Do you have a favourite race?
Vancouver Sun Run. I love running in the city where I grew up and I know the course like the back of my hand. The atmosphere is always great and I see and hear so many people I know cheering along the course.

Post-race:
I’m often not hungry after a big race, but I’ll never turn down a big cheeseburger with yam fries, even if it takes me a long time to actually eat it all.

What is your favourite way to rest and recover?
Taking an Epsom salt bath, painting my nails, baking treats, or burrowing deep into my couch with a light-hearted TV show (like Brooklyn 99).

Tell us something not many people know about you.
I really enjoy reading young adult fantasy novels. I read quite fast, so the longer the series, the better.

What advice would you give to someone considering taking up elite running?
Find your village. It takes a lot of motivation and effort to balance training hard and your other responsibilities, but having people around you who help you prioritize and maintain that dynamic is really important. Running may be a solo sport, but you don’t have to do it alone. I have coaches, teammates, friends, family, a physiotherapist and massage therapist who see my vision and who I can turn to for advice, motivation, company, or a good push out the door on a dreary day.

Who in the sport today do you look up to?
Allie Kieffer, Shalane Flanagan, Emma Coburn, and Lauren Fleshman. They all work hard and lift up other women in the sport.

Favourite season to train in and why?
Spring or fall. I love when the air is a little crisp and has a hint of a chill, but is still warm enough that you end up in a t-shirt and shorts at the end of your workout.

If you could have anything running-related named after you, what would it be?
Gels. I love cooking, baking, and eating, so it would be fitting to have gels named after me. They’d come in flavours like apple pie, chocolate chip cookie dough, cardamom coffee cake, or gingersnap cookie- things I really like to bake.

What do you to compliment your training? (a physical or non-physical practice)
I’m pretty injury-prone so I work closely with a physiotherapist and massage therapist. I do a lot of strength work, ‘pre-hab’ exercises, and foam rolling. Meal planning and mapping out my week are also important things I do to make sure I have the time, energy, and fuel to train and recover.

Could you recommend a running-related book (non/fiction), movie or podcast that you have found influential?
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami—I love Murakami’s writing style and that the novel offers nothing profound, but rather ties the rhythms of running to those of everyday life.

Once a Runner by John L. Parker Jr. – I think this novel is an obvious choice for many runners. I first read it during university when I was grasping what it meant to be a competitive runner. The novel helped me to understand what a competitive mindset might look like and what it could look like to dream big in running.

Running for Real podcast by Tina Muir—I like stories and relatable tips that Tina is able to gather from guests. I find this podcast is accessible for a range of runners–from beginner to elite.

Race morning routine?
Wake up, make a cup of earl grey tea, put on the clothes I laid out the night before. Double check everything in my race bag, play the pump-up playlist which I play pre-workout all through my training cycle. Make and try to eat all of my oatmeal. Re-check the weather for the day. Go over my race goals and repeat them out loud a few times. Make a cup of coffee that I will sip on the way to the race course. Triple check my race bag (add another granola bar or gel if I didn’t manage to get all my oatmeal down) and head out the door, coffee in hand.

Do you ever take on an alter ego persona during a race/close to the finish when you need a boost of motivation?
Not really. I tend to zero in on a mantra during the end of a race, which I end up repeating (sometimes under my breath) as I get closer to the finish line. It helps me to block out everything else that’s going on and shove the pain and emotions aside. The mantra isn’t something I plan, it’s just whatever thought I latched on to during the race.

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