My Favorite Things: Loryn Kromrey

Loryn Kromrey was a soccer player but turned to running after injuries and surgeries. Courtesy Photo

Working in the medical field forces this runner to get her workouts in long before the sun comes up.

If you’re the type of runner who complains about finding the time to run, it’s best to keep it to yourself around Loryn Kromrey. The second-year anesthesiology resident physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital will be the first to admit that she doesn’t do as many workouts as she’d like. But she somehow fits enough running into her crazy schedule to run a 2:54 marathon in Chicago last year; she also recently finished the Chicago 13.1 Marathon in 1:24:48 and was the second female finisher overall. What’s more, she even finished third overall on a hot and humid morning at the Chicago Women’s Half Marathon in 1:25:34.

“I really like running,” Kromrey says. “I spend all day at work making life-altering decisions and spend a lot of time studying, and I think running is the one place where I feel free.”

Since finding a training partner at 4 a.m. isn’t easy, she runs solo most of the time and is often on the treadmill before the start of her 5:30 a.m. shift at the hospital. “We really never know how long we’re going to be there, so sometimes I think it’s easier to just get it out of the way early, even if it means waking up crazy early.”

Kromrey, 29, grew up in Arlington Heights, Ill., where soccer was her first love. She was a member of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Development Program regional soccer team and was the 2001 Illinois high school soccer player of the year. To stay in shape for soccer, she gave cross-country a try as a junior and proceeded to make the all-state team twice at St. Viator High School.

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After high school, she went on to Notre Dame — as a freshman, she was on the cross-country team that finished third in the nation in 2002. Unfortunately injuries slowed her down after that season, and knee surgery kept her out of competition for much of the remainder of her college career. “I was never really able to come back after that,” she says. “I took some time off from running completely after college.”

Though she isn’t training or running at the elite level, Kromrey is still able to harness the competitive spirit of her college days. “I think my competitiveness keeps me going during races even though I’m running at a pace my body may not be physically prepared for,” Kromrey explains. “My future goal is to set another marathon PR after I finish residency and have the time to train appropriately. I think I definitely have room for improvement in the future.”

In the meantime, she has managed to find at least one running partner: The doorman introduced her to Christina Fiduccia, a sub-3-hour marathoner who runs for Fleet Feet Sports and lives in the same building. “I’m probably only able to run with her a couple of times a month,” Kromrey says. “But she’s been great and introduced me to a lot of her friends and other runners.”

Those new friends may find out just how fast Kromrey can go once she can train regularly during daylight hours.

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Some of her favorite things

Favorite place to run: Lakefront or any forest preserve running trail

Favorite Chicago-area race: Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Favorite pro athlete: Molly Huddle, her former Notre Dame teammate and college roommate who competed in the 5,000 meters at the 2012 Olympics and owns the American record in the event.

Favorite post-run indulgence: Maine lobster after the Boston Marathon

Favorite running shoe: Saucony Ride for training and Saucony Kinvara for racing

Favorite piece of running advice: “You should never overthink running. I feel running is the one time in my life I can just go out, run and not think. I rarely even wear a watch.”

Favorite sports team: Notre Dame football

Favorite restaurant: Piccolo Sogno
464 N. Halstead, Chicago, Ill.

Favorite book: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Favorite movie: The Great Gatsby and The Notebook

Favorite TV show: Mad Men

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