I recently had the opportunity to interview Desi Linden, an American long-distance runner, who represented the United States in the 2012 London Olympics women’s marathon. She also finished 4th at the 2015 Boston Marathon, just a few week ago, in 2:25:39, which is the fastest time for an American woman. Impressive, right? My friends at Brooks coordinated our interview since Desi is one of their sponsored athletes. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity, and I hope you enjoy reading it!
When/how did you get into running?
I started playing sports when I was 5, soccer and softball. I was too small for soccer and too hyper for softball. I was perfect for the 1500-meter run.
What’s your favorite distance to run and why?
The Marathon. It’s such a journey, from all the training that goes into getting ready for race day, to the race itself. You learn so much about yourself in the process.
What was your favorite part about running the Boston Marathon?
Right on Hereford, left on Boylston. You can’t beat the crowds in Boston. They are phenomenal, and no matter how you are feeling on that last stretch, the crowds cheer you in like you are winning the darn thing, it’s pretty special.
If you could change one thing, what would you have done differently at Boston?
I would have won instead of getting 4th!
Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?
I always write a race plan, literally pen and paper write it out. I think having a plan on paper holds you accountable, when you have a moment of crisis during the race or doubts start creeping in, you mentally go back to what you wrote down and remind yourself to just focus on the next part of the race plan, it’s a great mental tool.
What’s your favorite post-race meal (or treat)?
Cheeseburgers and beers, baby!
What’s the best piece of running advice you’ve ever received?
Enjoy the process.
What’s a typical training day look like for you?
6:30 a.m. Coffee.
7:30/8 a.m. 12-14 mile easy run or workout.
10:30 a.m. Coffee and breakfast.
10:50 a.m. Coffee.
Miscellaneous (Physical therapy, yoga, massage, probably just a nap)
4:30 p.m. 4 mile easy run
6 p.m. Dinner
10 p.m. Bed
What’s your favorite and least favorite workout?
Favorite – Two by six miles at five seconds faster than race pace. It’s at that point in training where I’ve become calloused to being tired and just feel strong. If I hit this workout I walk away with a ton of confidence. Plus, there are only two of them
Least favorite – Five by two miles at 10 seconds faster than race pace. There are five of them, that’s a lot of work.
What’s the best part about being a Brooks-sponsored athlete?
SO excited to see this! I’m a huge Desi fan and was rooting for her so hard during the marathon. I was watching at work and was so inspired by her tenacity and strength the entire race! Great interview, and it’s good to know that elite athletes drink tons of coffee. That means it’s alright for us to drink that much too, right?
Tina! Would you do an interview of a bikini competitor sometime?
Here you go! http://carrotsncake.com/2012/04/confessions-of-a-bikini-competitor.html
the women in running are always an inspiration,and I love how she keeps it real. Cheeseburgers and beer, check! nap, check check!! Desi proves that hard work and perseverance pays off.
Wow! That’s a lot of running in one day.
This is awesome! Desi is incredible!!!
Less than 2 1/2 hours to run a marathon? Yeah, that’s badass. I don’t even know what to say that!
I love her! Great interview!!! So cool you got to meet her etc!
She had the fastest time for an American runner in Boston – this year. Right? Shalene Flanagan did it faster last year in 2:22:xx….but the weather was more wild this year leading to slower elite times all around I think!
Sweet interview opportunity Tina!
I loved reading this!! Desi is a huge inspiration for me, she’s such a fierce competitor and has an awesome attitude. She knows what she has to do to be great, puts in the work, and then races with such remarkable tenacity and confidence in herself. Thanks for the interview Tina!
I LOVE her. She is one of my girl crushes! Awesome interview!!!
Great interview! I love all the coffee breaks she has!
I met her before she was married in 2011 when I volunteered with the elites. She was super nice!