Running survey (because I have writer's block)

1.  Would you rather run along a beach path or on a mountain trail?
Mountain trail for sure. I love the beach and the ocean and all that jazz, but I don't like the sensation of running in the sand. I'd happily take dirt paths in the mountains, no matter how hilly. 
2.  If you could choose the flavor of Gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?
Lemon lime, which works out swimmingly because that's the only flavor of Gatorade they've had at any race I've ever participated in. All other Gatorade is disgusting.
3.  If I gave you a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?
I would just put it towards a great pair of Brooks. Most Brooks run between $100-120 retail, so I wouldn't have any money left, but on the off-chance I found a pair on clearance and had a little bit leftover, I'd probably grab a pair of arm warmers ... mostly to annoy Clayton because in his words, "If you arms are cold, JUST WEAR SLEEVES."
4.  Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?
My right eye started twitching just THINKING about going for a run without a plan. I always have a plan. Even during an easy recovery run, I got into it knowing exactly how many miles I want to do. It is kind of OCD, but it's also because I know the number of mileage I want/need to do on certain days in order to feel trained for a half marathon. Even when I'm not training for a race, I know the kinds of workouts and miles I need to put in to maintain fitness and hit new milestones. 
5.  Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill or start your run with the downhill and end with the uphill?
Start on an uphill and end on a downhill. I'm all for pushing yourself hard at the end, but I also know that running up a beasty hill after running for almost an hour is killer. Though I also believe in challenging yourself at the start, middle, and end, so would it be totally weird to suggest sprinkling in a few hills along the entire workout? ;)
6.  When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?
I love physical activity and fitness PERIOD, so I'm always looking for new and fun things to try. I've done swimming, yoga, spin classes, P90X, Tae Bo, hiking, walking, rollerblading ... just let me get out there and sweat. 

7.  What is your preference: Out and back, point to point or loop runs?
Oooo ... I like all of those options! I try to do all three and it just depends on where I choose to run on that particular day. I think out-and-backs are great for your mental game (Ok, I can turn around in X amount of miles) and I also like the idea of doing smaller loop during a long run (Okay, I ran that 3-mile loop in X amount of time, let's see if I can do the loop faster the second time). Having a variety of places to run keeps it fresh and exciting.
8.  If you could recommend ANY running related item to a new runner, it would be a ...?
Getting a pair of shoes that fits YOUR unique feet and YOUR specific running stride is key and I think any runner would agree that you can't stress the importance enough. But I'd also advise to invest in good socks. Buying thick, cushioned socks made from moisture-wicking material made a huge difference in how I felt during and after a grueling run. I definitely recommend Bombas.
9.  Do you ever see any wild animals while out on your runs?

10.  Ever gotten lost while out on a run?
No, thank GOODNESS because my sense of direction is très terrible and my picture would easily end up on a carton of milk. 
11.  If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a long run for the next 30 days … what would that meal be?

12.  Capris or shorts… what do you run in most often?

I'll try to wear shorts in the middle of winter because I don't like feeling suffocated by clothing while I work out. But I also suffer from a great deal of um, chafing in the summer months, so I feel like my pants preferences are seasonably mismatched.

13.  At what mile (or how many minutes) into your run does your body start to feel like it is warming up and ready to go?

Mile 4 is my magic number. Which is really unfortunate sometimes when I'm only running 3 miles. 

14.  What do you do with your key when you run?

I once shoved my car key into my bra and nearly punctured a boob, so I invested in a super unflattering fanny pack that I can hide under my shirt. 

15.  If you could relive any race that you have done in the past, which one what it be?

The first time I went sub-2 hours in the half marathon. I will never ever forget that feeling. It was only my third half marathon and considering my first half marathon only a year earlier was 37 minutes slower, I was in joyful shock. And also, crossing the finish line at my first full marathon. I don't care who you are of how fast or slow you are, 26.2 miles is flat-out AMAZING and it's still one of my proudest accomplishments.