Colorado Runner recently caught up with elite distance runner Tera Moody. This speedy 31-year old who hails from St. Charles, Illinois but now resides in the Colorado Springs and Boulder areas is not only one of the top female distance runners in Colorado, but is also a gracious, kind and energetic elite athlete balancing the difficult combination of work and play with training.
Find out what it takes for Tera to continue to stay on top of the podium, as well as how she “fuels her fire” for the sport of long distance running.
Name: Tera Moody
Hometown & Current: St. Charles, Illinois – Colorado Springs/Boulder, Colorado
Professional & Educational background: Journalism major (graduated in ’04 from CU Boulder), started TLM Properties in 2006 and currently self employed.
Sports participated in: Growing up I tried pretty much everything. I started playing soccer around age 5. I also tried swimming, softball, gymnastics, horseback riding, tennis, golf, skiing, etc.
Years in current sport: Running. Mostly road races and my favorite distance is the marathon,
Sponsors/Affiliations: MBT, powerbar, Boulder Running Company
The Long Run
What are some of the biggest highlights in your racing career?
Qualifying for jr. world cross country in 1997. It was just really unexpected. I felt amazing during the race and couldn’t believe I made the team.
Placing 5th at the Olympic trials marathon in 2008. It was the best I had felt in a marathon up to that point and everything just really came together.
The World Championships Marathon in 2011. I had to take 4 months off after I had foot surgery and I wasn’t sure I would be the same runner after it. To be able to race again was such an amazing feeling. I had so much fun in that marathon and its something ill never forget. I was also really happy with my performance especially after such a short build up. (I ran 232:04 in 77 degrees and over 80% humidity).
What are your long-term goals?
I want to run a lot faster. My PR is 230 but I know I have a lot more in me. A lot of the marathons ive done have had pretty tough weather conditions. I would like to get a good weather day on a flat course and blast my PR. I would also really like to make an Olympic team.
Colorado has a lot of great places to train and the altitude is definitely a plus. But I think one of the biggest benefits is being around like minded people. It seems like everyone out here is an athlete and you can get a lot of support and encouragement from the community.
Take us through a “day in the life,” what type of training regimen do you follow?
When healthy and training for a marathon I run up to about 100 miles a week. I do more long singles and only a couple doubles a week. Recently I’ve incorporated a lot more cross training in my routine. I like to do my main workout of the day early in the morning and I tend to do a lot on the treadmill. When I’m not training I’m typically working. I own and manage rental properties and it keeps me really busy. My biggest hobby is reading and I go through books like crazy.
What are one or two things you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
I take my easy days super easy and try to listen to my body. Some days I will even run 9 mile pace if I’m completely exhausted and that’s what my body tells me it needs.
Do you follow any specific nutrition plans?
The main thing I do nutritionally is make sure I eat and drink something immediately after exercise. I don’t always feel like it but I know it’s important for recovery. I always have a box of Powerbars and Powergels in my car so I’m never stuck without food even if I drive to a trail to run.
I also try and eat healthy most of the time. I enjoy and crave a lot of healthy foods and rarely eat any fried stuff. But I do have a huge sweet tooth and I eat candy every day.
Do you have any recommended resources to share (books, seminars, websites, coaches)?
My coach is Brad Hudson and he is awesome. My favorite part about working with him is that he never takes a cookie cutter approach. He knows athletes respond differently and plans the workouts accordingly. He really listens and lets me have some input in my training and racing.
What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?
Lately my biggest challenge has been staying healthy. I had the foot surgery and then ended up hurting my hamstring on the other leg. I think I was still compensating from the surgery. So I’ve been getting a lot of treatment and doing strengthening exercises. I have never had a stress fracture or anything like that but these seem to have taken even longer to heal.
What are your favorite races in Colorado?
I have only run them once but I loved the pearl st mile and the superior downhill mile. Its such a fun distance and a good change of pace.
Where do you like to train in Colorado?
My favorite run is up flagstaff in Boulder because the views are so incredible. I also like gold camp road in Colorado Springs. And of course the treadmills at 24 hour fitness.
Favorite running shoe: Hoka
Favorite post-run/race beverage: I drink powerbar sports drink after my regular runs and workouts. But after a race on a really hot day there is nothing better than a cold beer.
Favorite post-run/race meal: Roast beef sandwich from Potbelly. I wish we had them in Colorado!
Role models: My parents and my older brother.
Day job: Real estate
Solo runner, running partner or team/group? I mostly train by myself but occasionally meet up with friends. Now that my coach lives in Boulder ill probably do more workouts with a group. He coaches several people and theres a group long run on Sundays.
Have you experienced a breakthrough, and if so, what led to it? I would say 2008 was a pretty big breakthrough. I think getting some of my sleep issues under control really helped.
What was the best advice you were ever given? To not be lazy about recovery (sleep, taking care of injuries, massage, etc).
What keeps you motivated? Where do you draw your inspiration from? I definitely don’t have a problem with motivation. I think that’s because I truly love to run and race. I wake up in the morning and want to run. I think about upcoming races to keep fueling the fire.
Photo courtesy of PhotoRun.