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Athlete Spotlight - Heather Dougherty

Athlete Spotlight - The Run Formuila Mission Athlete Heather Dougherty Coached by Jack Pilla

Questions for Heather

How long have you been racing?

Middle school, the 2-mile in run club!

What are your goals for this season?  Long Term?

Luckily, I already accomplished my goal for the season. I raced Umstead 100 and broke 20 hours, which was faster than I anticipated.  

Long term: Stay as injury-free as possible and stop being a wuss on technical terrain.

What is your favorite workout?

Progressive runs because they’re normally the day after a rest day and I can breathe easier than hill repeats.

What brought you to running?

My older sister was in our middle school run club and I, of course, had to do everything she did and try to do it better, so I went on my first day. Her goal was to get a medal at ANY race and she hadn’t yet when I showed up in 6th grade. In my first race, I got a medal and she threw up Swedish Fish at the finish line without one.  (She thinks she got a medal at some point that year and now lives a happy, non-running life in Chicago.)

What did you do in 2020 to keep yourself motivated?

First half of 2020: I flew to Berlin in 2019 for the marathon and I couldn’t even walk two blocks in the city without falling and breaking my shoulder. I had surgery and now am the proud owner of a plate, 12 screws/pins, and a sweet scar! I couldn’t run for a few months and at the beginning of 2020, I was up to about 15 miles/week, which is not ideal for an ultrarunner. I had to get back into shape…at least it wasn’t a leg injury?!

Second half of 2020: I moved to Colorado Springs in July for a year and I was finally comfortable trail running again and CO is NOT a bad place to do that. I had to try to see as much as possible in a short amount of time!

When did you begin with The Run Formula?

A few years ago after my first 100-miler (Yay VT100! – I’m still pictured on the race website)

Why did you decide to train with The Run Formula?

One of my coworkers trains with the QT2 Systems for triathlons and I figured it should help my running. Well, it has!

Who is your coach?

Jack Pilla took over after my shoulder break and after Lindsay Simpson took a coaching break.

What do you like best about working with your coach?

I would not try as hard or run as far without Jack. I saw 90 miles one week on my Umstead plan and was nervous that I would be tired…I’m an ultrarunner, I SHOULD be tired!

Questions for Coach Jack

What do you like most about coaching Heather?

Heather has been a great athlete to coach.  She rarely complains and gets her workouts done.  During 2020 she came up with creative "events" to replace cancelled races.  She ran her birthday miles one weekend, and another weekend ran the 50 State Streets of Washington, DC. for over 50 miles of running.

What is one thing which stands out most about Heather?

Her determination and willingness to train hard are awesome, but what stands out even more is her positive attitude and ability to have fun with her running!  



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