Dirt in Your Skirt Profile Series – Marianne Maguire
Marianne Maguire is everywhere in obstacle racing these days. This 44 -year old from St. Augustine, Florida spends her days as a bookkeeper for Ancient City Accounting and also as a Martial Arts Instructor. On the weekends she can be found at a number of obstacle races around the country as well as practicing and competing in Tae Kwon Do. Marianne works with trainer, Peter Conant at GoHQ in Florida. Learn a little bit more about Marianne Maguire.
How did you get involved in your sport?
When I was 28, I drove past a local martial arts studio one day and a thought popped into my head, “I think I’d like to do that.” So I signed up later that week. Since then, I practiced off and on until earning my 1st Degree Black Belt in 2012. Earlier that year, in preparation for my testing, I returned to running and began reading Runner’s World. That’s when I first saw an ad for Warrior Dash. It was a photo of somebody jumping over fire. As soon as I saw it, I thought, “Oh, I want to be THAT person!”… So, I became her.
Were you always an athlete?
From grade school through college I participated in soccer, riding equestrian and running. I never considered myself an athlete until my involvement in OCRs. Perhaps that’s when others started referring to me as one.
What are some of your athletic achievements?
Earning my Black Belt, running my first half marathon my 1st overall female win in the Rock On Adventures’ Highlander VI obstacle course race, and finally being able to do 10 dead hang pull-ups.
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
My overall goal is to stride to do better than my best, in every race. On a more measurable scale, I’m going to run a 5k under 23 minutes by the end of the year and will be able to do hand stand push-ups. I will also begin training for the Great Wall of China Marathon in May of 2015.
Who is/are your inspiration?
I have to say that its not who inspires me, but what. I’m inspired by the power of the human body to perform, to move. I’ve learned over the past few years that we are physically and mentally capable of so much more than we think. Our minds naturally set limits on our bodies until we discover how to set ourselves free. Racing, training and martial arts, have allowed me to push beyond those limits, and as a result I have become more than the person I was yesterday.
What is your most proud moment in sport?
Earning my Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do was one of my proudest moments. They say a Black Belt means you’ve mastered the basics. In fact, many of those “basics”, I wasn’t sure I’d ever learn, let alone master…until I did. When that belt was tied around my waist, I knew from then on there would always be things to learn in life, and just because I didn’t know how to do something, didn’t mean I couldn’t learn.
What is your most proud moment in life?
I am most proud when my actions positively affect those around me. Every once in a while, someone will come up to me at a race or send me a message saying that I’ve inspired them. People have told me I’ve helped change their lives. Whether through my athletic activities or in during my everyday life, if I can impress upon someone to live their life more fully, I am one happy person.
How do you overcome a bad race or training day?
Well, turns out, those days are actually the good days, despite the desire to avoid them. Usually on my drive home from an event, I crank up the music and run through the details of my race, step by step. From there I decide what went well and what not so well. Sometimes, you just have a bad day, and I accept that for what it is. But other times, I decide it’s time to stir things up a bit; maybe by tweaking my training, or changing my approach. Perhaps changing my mindset. On these days, I always learn the most; these days, lead to improvement.
What is your training routine like?
I train 4 days a week, about an hour each day. On Mondays & Wednesdays I’m in the dojang practicing a mix of traditional Tae Kwon Do & Muay Thai. On Tuesdays & Thursdays you’ll find me with my trainer, Peter Conant, at Go HQ. Peter’s training consists of a combination of strength, conditioning and flexibility, which is functional towards improving my performance in both OCR & TKD. Finally, on Saturday, you’ll usually see me, toe-to-line, getting ready to kick it up in a race somewhere.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your sport?
Don’t worry about what you know or don’t know. Don’t think about what you can or can’t do. Just get out there and do it, everything else will fall in place. Trust the process, one step at a time.
What is your favorite pre-race and post-race food?
I always start my race day off with oatmeal and I wrap it up with some form of protein, either a Quest Bar, protein shake or a boiled egg, along with a banana or sweet potato.
When not training and competing what do you do with your down time?
For the most part, when I’m not training or competing, I simply enjoy the well-deserved day of rest.
What is your favorite quote to motivate you?
“The best pace is a suicide pace and today is a good day to die.” ~ Steve Prefontaine
What is the best advice a coach ever gave you?
My high school track coach said to me, “If you have that much energy at the finish; you weren’t pushing yourself hard enough.” I still sprint the finish, but I always remind myself to step up the pace in the next race, and I do.
If you could share some advice to the next generation of athletes, what would it be?
Your body is meant to move, so get out there and move, any way you can; and have fun along the way.
What is/are the races you are most looking forward to this year?
I love racing. All I can say is, I’m always looking forward to the next one. My upcoming race schedule includes multiple Spartan Races, road races, 2 Ragnar Relays and a number of local OCRs.
Any additional information you would like to share: I’m happy to say that my son Jack began running OCRs as well. I will usually run in the 1st wave, and run again with him later on, with him going at his own pace. I love seeing his confidence grow as he conquers the obstacles on the course.
Thank you for allowing me to share a part of my life with you. Remember, Life is Good ~ Make it so!