Team Run Hub: Connie Corine Gardner

Leading up to the Eugene Marathon and Half Marathon, we are featuring a few of our Team Run Hub athletes who have been training with the group since the end of January. If you’re interested in joining a future Team Run Hub training group, click here. Our next training program starts in August for the EWEB Run to Stay Warm. Registration will open in July.


Meet Connie Gardner, a runner thanks to music


Why did you start running? And how long have you been doing it? 

I started running in my first year of college while studying music. My clarinet teacher told me I needed to build my lung strength and suggested running. The idea that my body was a tool that I could use to play my instrument revolutionized the way I thought about my body and exercise. That was eight years ago, and now I still train my body to play clarinet, but also to be able to do anything else I might want to do. Which I guess now means marathons.


Why did you join Team Run Hub?

I started coming to the Run Hub group runs a year and a half ago, and I’ve just gotten more and more involved with the group. I saw how Team Run Hub really helped my friends with their running goals last year and I wanted to have the support and enthusiasm of the team while I worked towards my own goals.


Which race are you training for? And what’s your goal for race day (could include time, feel, effort, experience, etc.)?

I’m training for the Eugene Marathon! My first goal is to finish, but I would really like to run sub-12 minute miles throughout the marathon.


What motivates you to run?

The idea that my body is a tool that I can use to do anything motivates me to keep running. If I wake up and decide I want to run or hike 10 miles, I want to know that my body can do that.


Which do you think is harder for you, speed workouts or the long run? And why? 

Speed workouts are definitely more difficult for me right now. I have a naturally slow pace that I can maintain for a long time, and pushing myself to go faster is tough.


What stands out as your favorite aspect of the training program so far?

The coaches are my favorite part of the training program. I have never had anyone be so dedicated to helping guide me toward my fitness goals. They don’t treat me differently because I run slower than the rest of the group; they know I take my training seriously, so they do the same. Since I’m new to training, they also help me with figuring out basic things like pacing and understanding running terminology.


Favorite post long run fuel?

A huge glass of orange juice!


How do you spend your rest/recovery days? 

I’m the principal clarinetist with the Salem Philharmonic Orchestra, so my rest days are really practice days. Otherwise I’m out exploring all the gorgeous Pacific Northwest has to offer!


Do you have a most memorable run or workout? If so, tell us about it. (It doesn’t have to have been during training since we’re only a few weeks in.)

My most memorable run was when I ran a two-mile timed trial in under 20 minutes. Even though my teammates had done the workout two days before, they came out to cheer me on and support me. Having them there meant so much to me and gave me the little extra “oomph” I needed to accomplish my goal.


We love your attitude, Connie! And best of luck on the marathon!