Basalt runner Lizotte adjusting to new life | AspenTimes.com

Basalt runner Lizotte adjusting to new life

Jon Maletz
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Ryan Slabaugh/The Aspen TimesBasalt's Megan Lizotte is all smiles after finishing Wednesday's Boogie's Diner Buddy 5 Mile Race. The four-time winner finished 47th with a time of 37 minutes.

BASALT – Megan Lizotte calls this “hibernating from running.”

Sure, she’s scaled back her training – the Basalt distance specialist is logging around 50 miles per week, not the usual 70-plus. And sure, her race times have increased – she is nearly seven months pregnant, after all.

While she is not competing as frequently as usual – the 28-year-old will miss this weekend’s USA Mountain Running Championships in New Hampshire and her chance to earn a spot on the U.S. squad for a fourth consecutive year – Lizotte isn’t quite slowing down.

Instead, she’s diversifying. Admittedly, the change has taken some getting used to.

“You don’t really realize how much you miss something you love until you’re not really able to do it full-throttle. I do have mixed feelings about it,” Lizotte said Thursday. “It’s been a challenge trying to tame the competitor in me. Doing some of these local races and getting passed by people I usually beat by minutes, at first it was frustrating. A part of me was like, ‘Go with them,’ but I’ve got bigger things going on.

“(Husband Andrew and I) found out we’re having a girl, and we’re just so excited. He put the crib together last weekend. Every day it’s getting more official. It’s been a transition, but we’re really looking forward to it.”

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The “respite” has afforded Lizotte the time to explore other ventures. In the spring, she began blogging for both National Geographic and Trail Runner Magazine, providing insights and advice on everything from nutrition to proper technique.

“They’ve both given me free reign, which is great,” Lizotte said Thursday. “It’s been nice to get back into writing really for the first time since I worked at my college newspaper. It’s a great opportunity for me to build a portfolio … and it’s definitely opened up a lot of doors.”

Chief among them is exposure for her training business, Hit the Ground Running, in which Lizotte develops custom workouts – from speed work and core-strengthening to tempo running and hill repeats – tailored to the goals of everyone from weekend warriors to aspiring athletes.

“It’s been fun to kind of focus on the business again and take on new clients I otherwise wouldn’t have had time to work with,” said Lizotte, who currently is working with 20 people across the country. “Since I’m not doing my own training program – my body is in control at this point – I almost get to live vicariously through them.”

One of her clients is preparing for the famed Sierre-Zinal race in the Swiss Alps, deemed by many as mountain running’s equivalent of the New York City Marathon. Lizotte should be able to provide some unique insights: In 2010, she became the first American woman to capture a victory in the event’s 37-year history.

No U.S. competitor had finished first since 1982.

“I’m not going to give away all my secrets,” Lizotte joked.

She added, “I’m very much a people person, so this has provided some added variety. There’s a lot more solitude when you’re not pregnant and working on your own training and goals. It’s been fun being around people and talking about running.”

Lizotte said she is eager to pick up the pace again after giving birth.

“I’ve enjoyed having a little break from competition. It’s been good for the body and all the physical demands, and mentally I’m fired up to come back,” she said. “When it comes to professional running, I feel like I’m still just getting started. I’m excited for what’s ahead.”

jmaletz@aspentimes.com