Most of our customers and partners have spoken to Julie Allen, Inside Sales Manager on the phone or via email. Chances are that if you have purchased anything from us in the past seven years, Julie’s your gal. What you may not know about Julie is that on Sunday, November 10th she is ran in the 8th annual Gateway Bank Outer Banks Marathon in Kitty Hawk, NC.
Julie moved down to the Cary area after graduating from University of Rochester in 2006. Not sure what she wanted to do as far as a career, she applied for an administrative assistant position with Carolina Advanced Digital. At the time, Carolina Advanced Digital was headquartered in Siler City and only had four employees. “I really enjoyed the family atmosphere and knowing that everything that I do makes a positive difference in our customers’ lives,” Julie states. After two years, Julie was given the opportunity to move in to a new position which would focus on customer relations and inside sales. She has also been a coach for Triangle Volleyball Club for several years and looks forward to the new season. But in recent months, training for the marathon has taken a huge chunk of Julie’s time.
The OBX Marathon is a 26.2 course that is mostly flat and has two points of elevation—first at the Nags Head Woods Preserve, and at the Washington-Baum Bridge -a 35 foot incline that will lead into Roanoke Island at mile 23. Landmarks that Julie passed included the Wright Brothers Monument and Jockey’s Ridge State Park, home of the largest sand dune on the East Coast. Weather was fair and sunny for the 7:20am start. “It was the perfect running conditions,” Julie says while checking her weather app on her iPhone. Julie is originally from upstate New York and welcomes any crisp fall morning that doesn’t involve snow.
Originally inspired by her cousin who recently ran ING’s New York Marathon, Julie and her husband, Scott took up a training program that included running an average of 30 miles a week since early July of this year. Along with 5- and 6-mile training sessions and running 12-20 miles on the weekend, Julie gave up things like cheeseburgers and after-work adult beverages. “It’s easy to eat well when you know how your body runs on junk food. But, at least I get to eat a lot of what I do like!”
Other training rituals have included running with new gear, water bottle contraptions, and consuming recovery snacks while on the move. “The first rule of marathons is that nothing is new at the marathon,” says Julie. Meaning if you are going to wear a hat during marathon, you must train while wearing the hat. This eliminates distraction and ensures that you are giving 100% focus to the race. While reflecting back on a training run, Julie comments “We completed a 14 mile run one weekend without any supplements while running and it was tough. The next weekend we completed 16 miles with Clif Bar Shot Bloks and noticed a huge difference.” These chewable blocks that resemble gummy bears contain sugar and electrolytes, giving the body the endurance that it needs to carry it through the full 26 plus miles.
Over the past six months, Julie totals that she has ran 500+ miles during her training which is about 80-85 hours of running and 60,000 calories. When I asked Julie if she wanted to do this again, Julie gives one of her soft grins and says “I don’t know, yet… probably. I hear it’s addicting.” In fact, some stats report that most marathon runners usually tend to compete in multiple marathons.
One thing is for certain, Julie is looked forward to the end of the race. When asked about her immediate plans after the race she commented, “I’m had a large pizza from Sliced Pizzeria in Kitty Hawk and I ate it all.” Congrats to Julie and her amazing race!