Member Spotlight: Lizzy Barrett
By: Kevin Brandon
Lizzy, welcome! Could you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you end up in Philly and when did you start running? Did a specific event compel you to become a runner?
I started running in 2nd grade competitively and never looked back. I took cross country and track really seriously in high school and my high school coach is definitely what kept me motivated and wanting to run at a collegiate level. I ended up in Philadelphia since I went to St. Joe’s and fell in love with the city and never wanted to move out. I grew up right outside the city about 30 minutes away, so I was never far. In college, the mile was my main focus. After college, I decided to get into some longer stuff because I didn’t feel like my legs could move that fast anymore! Ha. Might as well start doing races in things I don’t have a PR in, so now half marathons and marathons are my thing I guess!
Once you began running, how did your career develop?
I sort of answered above, but I had such a drive to continue to get better all through high school and college. It was fun to see the progression and what all the hard work can do for you.
We know you ran local at St. Joe’s. What was your experience like as a Hawk?
Being a Hawk was the BEST! I loved St. Joe’s and my team even more. They are some of my closest friends ever now and will be forever.
Did you have a favorite track event at St. Joe’s?
Definitely the mile!
Can you share with us a favorite race memory or general moment of running?
I think my all time favorite race memory is making it to States in high school in both the mile and the DMR. I had just run a PR in the mile of 5:07 as a Senior and then had to come back an hour later to anchor the DMR and ended up winning the State championship in the DMR and running a 5:08 spit. The pictures I have right after crossing the finish line still give me the chills!
How about a not-so-great moment?
Probably since it’s so recent, Broad Street this year. I kind of fell off the wagon for about a year with running after college. I just wasn’t enjoying it any more. About a year and a half ago, I started really training hard again and got into racing again. Once I start to put pressure on myself, it never goes as planned for me. I had a huge goal in mind for Broad Street and just couldn’t transfer my workouts I had to the race, but running is the biggest mental sport unfortunately!! Goal is to stop taking it so seriously and just enjoy it! 🙂
You’re somewhat unique among club members in that you’ve continued to retain a coach post-college. Have you found that practice helps you maintain focus and motivation?
I used a coach for my first marathon in October and for Broad Street. He ran at LaSalle with my brother and now coaches a DI college in California. Having a weekly plan written out for me and someone following up definitely helps to hold me accountable for what I need to do every day. I may try to switch it up for Philly Marathon and go with my high school coach or may keep the same one. Still unsure!
Regarding your running future, what are your near and long-term goals?
My first goal is to break 3 hours in the Philly Marathon. I was off by 2 minutes in Chicago and had to stop unfortunately at mile 21. Now that I know how to fuel correctly and have one under my belt, I think under 3 is attainable. Hoping one day to go sub 2:55, but eye is on sub 3 for now.
Can you tell us a bit about your professional life?
I work in Sales for the Corporate Division of Staples. I have clients all through Center City and the suburbs so I’m always driving around a lot. It helps to have a bit of a flexible schedule and plan my own days.
Any hidden skills, hobbies or talents we may enjoy learning of?
I’m a rock, paper, scissor champ for 5 years in a row at the cross country camp I went to in high school. It’s definitely not a talent, and I have no idea how it happened, haha! Otherwise, no other hidden talents or skills that I can think of. But of course, hobbies are running, having a few drinks with friends in the city, concerts, etc.