My Favorite Things: Katie Blackett

Katie Blackett competes at the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials. Photo: www.photorun.net

The Colorado-based runner talks about what makes her happy before, during and after a run.

Perhaps it’s the Italian blood of marathoner Katie Blackett, 36, that has pushed her to “grande” accomplishments, both athletically and professionally. “The stereotypes are quite true. We are loud, crazy and over-involved with each other’s lives, but we love each other and respect family more than anything,” she says.

“Balance to me is realizing that running and competing are just one part of my life and, quite honestly, not the most important. Balance makes me a better athlete,” says the Boulder, Colo.-based Blackett, the CEO of the Colorado Mountain Club. “I am very realistic with my sport. I always knew that running wouldn’t pay my mortgage or give me a healthy 401k. Running paid for my education, so I owed it to myself to make sure I took advantage of that education and provided a sustainable career for myself.”

Blackett also has running in her blood, having grown up tackling trails around Flagstaff with her distance-dedicated dad. After winning junior nationals, she went on to compete for Villanova University, win large marathons like Eugene, Tucson, St. George, Big Sur, and the National Marathon, and qualify for three U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon.

Burned out on road running, she turned to trail running last year, blazing to new records in several Colorado races — including the LaSportiva Eldora Trail 10K near Nederland, Bergen Peak Trail Race in Evergreen and The Bear Chase 13.1-miler in Lakewood — and she got invited to participate in the U.S. trail running national championship race.

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Along with the excitement of the invite came another welcomed surprise: pregnancy. For now, all is on hold as Blackett incubates her little one. It’s a nice change of pace, giving her time to reflect on all that running has added to her very full life.

“Running made me more confident and strong in the business world. I think people respect me more knowing I can kick their ass in a sport! In all seriousness, running is and always will be one of my best friends. It brings me great joy and friends in life, and I hope to always do it at some level,” she says.

Running teaches hard work, discipline, balance and modesty, Blackett says.

“Discipline is waking up at 5 a.m. to get your workouts in before work each day, pushing yourself to the absolute max week after week for many years, saying no to that second (or third) glass of wine at night, and icing your legs before hitting the sofa to watch TV,” she said. “I apply the discipline from running to every other part of my life. Both work and relationships take discipline to ensure you are fighting the good fight each day rather than just not caring and letting it slide.”

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Some Of Her Favorite Things

Favorite Shoes: Saucony Fastwitch (road) and Saucony Peregrine (trail). “The Fastwitch has more support than most racing shoes, so my feet aren’t damaged after a marathon. For trail racing, the Peregrines are light but still provide protection and some stiffness from the gnarly trails.”

Favorite Workout: Hill fartlek at Teller Farms in Boulder, Colo. “During rattlesnake season I steer clear, but I love the rolling hills and the feeling of being somewhat in farmland.”

Favorite Post-Run Breakfast Spot: Tangerine, 2777 Iris Ave., Boulder, Colo. 303-443-2333. tangerineboulder.com

“They do an interesting twist on breakfast foods, and you don’t leave feeling as if you’re in a carb coma.”

Favorite Running Watch: Original Timex Ironman watch. “The GPS watches always give me battery grief or carpal tunnel syndrome from the size, so I like my old-school Timex Ironman watch.”

Favorite Sports Medicine Provider: Matt Schneider at Boulder Orthopedics, 933 Alpine Ave., Boulder, Colo. 303-449-2730. boulderorthopedics.com

“He [her husband!] has kept me healthy for over 10 years. Plus he reminds me to rest my niggles before they turn into injuries and I have to stop running.”

Favorite Coffee & Treat: Frasca Caffé, 1720 Pearl St., Boulder, Colo. 303-442-9464. frascacaffe.com

“I know it sounds weird, but a cappuccino and few slices of prosciutto on toast are heavenly. This little café reminds me of my days in Spain.”

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