Interview by Chris Cloyd:
“Christie Jackson is one of the few DPMR members I knew before we connected through running. I’ve been so fortunate to meet so many wonderful friends and acquaintances through trail running in general and DPMR, specifically, and it’s always special to connect via our mutual love of singletrack. That being said, I’m proud to call Christie a friend and (for the most part) we rarely talk running! We met over bikes at the gym, even talked about triathlon (!) for a while, and she also happens to be my (excellent) optometrist! We’ve shared some fantastic miles over the years (the trails were great, but the best part was the company) at our annual 50k beer runs, at social runs at our springtime DPMR picnics, and (when I’m bold enough to join her) at DPMR speedwork sessions. Over the last couple of years, Christie’s put on a lot of speed leading DPMR’s weekly speed sessions while also training for an unfathomable (to me) amount of road marathons. She finds time for all of this while also managing a successful family eyecare practice in Truckee, raising a beautiful family, and contributing to our club in so many ways. From where I’m sitting, Christie’s grace on the trails is only superseded by her grace as a professional, mother and wife, and community member. If you don’t know her yet, read on and come out to our next speedwork session on May 4th, introduce yourself, and try to keep up!”
Where are you from and where do you live now? Born and raised in Irvine, California. I moved to North Lake Tahoe in 2007 to live the “ski bum” lifestyle for a few glorious years before heading down to Berkeley for grad school. I’ve been living in Truckee since 2014.
When did you begin running and/or long-distance running? Why? My introduction to running was watching my grandma run marathons. She is an incredible runner and even in her late eighties still competes in the Senior Olympics. I guess I’ve always felt running is in my genes. I joined the cross country team in high school and later went on to race for UCSB xc and track team, specializing in the steeplechase. Like any long-term relationship I have had my ups and downs with the sport, but it has always been incredibly important to my mental and physical health…I am so grateful to get out in nature and move my body in this way.
Do you race? Does racing motivate you? If not racing, what motivates you? I love racing and it absolutely motivates me. The problem is that I’m very competitive with myself and hate to race if I’m not feeling in shape for it. During grad school I was competing as an Elite in triathlon and really learned how to stop approaching each event in a state of anxiety and instead show up to the start line ready to “thrive”. Those were definitely my most fun years of racing. Then came two kids and now that my youngest is 3 years old I am finally starting to feel some of my competitive spirit kick back in. I’m looking forward to running more in this trail racing community.
Do you have any dream races (either hoping to qualify for or get selected for)? I’m excited to dabble in trail racing and see where it takes me. I’d also love to do an Otillo swimrun.
Do you have a favorite on-trail food or nutrition strategy and favorite post-run meal or beverage? Luckily my stomach can handle a variety of foods when running (I’m guessing that will change if I start running longer distances). During the marathon I alternate between some kind of chew and some version of Gu. I am pretty consistent with drinking a refreshing beer the night before any race! And I highly recommend the Horchata Recovery Drink Mix by Skratch Labs, so tasty!
Do you have a favorite recipe to share? This is seriously delicious veggie lasagna. Don’t let the cottage cheese dissuade you…it’s so good! https://cookieandkate.com/best-vegetable-lasagna-recipe/
What was your favorite running experience this past year? I forced my husband (who typically only runs to advance a ball towards a goal) to train for a trail run together in Kauai. We did an incredible 14 mile loop from the Nu’alolol trailhead.
What was your most challenging/ character-building experience this past year? I’d have to say the buildup for the CIM marathon. It was the first time in a decade that I’ve done consistent physical and “mental” training. It can be daunting to hold myself accountable for a goal time and I am so happy I did. The race was a success and I’m excited by the progress I made.
What are your upcoming racing/adventure plans? I am super pumped to race Broken Arrow 26K. I’ve registered for my first 50K at Overlook and really hoping to break the 3-hour barrier in the marathon this year.
What do you do for a living? Is it hard to fit in time for training? I’m an optometrist and business owner of Truckee Family Eyecare. Yup, it is certainly hard to juggle my work hours with family life and running. I don’t put in a ton of mileage, but I enjoy the miles I get. Now that I am no longer chronically sleep deprived from young children I am able to get early morning runs in. I’m constantly trying to tamper down the “mom guilt” when I purposely carve out a couple hours for myself to run – I am sure other parents can relate. It’s a balancing act that I am getting better at.
What led you to join DPMR? I joined DPMR in 2014 when I moved back into town and wanted to learn new trails and meet other runners.
What has been your favorite DPMR experience so far? Love Chris Cloyd’s Pub Runs each fall even though I’ve never completed the entire thing. I’ve also enjoyed kicking off the season by leading the morning track sessions – it’s a great group of people!
Favorite local trail? Probably the Donner Rim Trail/Castle Peak area. I’m also a big fan of running from my house to the Sawtooth trails.
Do you have a mental training technique, mantra, or similar that you rely on to combat the mentally trying times of a longer run? I count my steps to get up a hard hill or difficult patch. I found Deena Kastor’s book “Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory” to be incredibly helpful at learning how to reverse a tiny negative thought into something positive. You have to be diligent about it, but I’ve noticed amazing results from those mental tricks.
Do you listen to audio while you run and if so, what have you been enjoying lately? I listen to podcasts for the first half of my long runs. I’ve been enjoying Laughter Permitted with Julie Foudy. She interviews so many amazing women athletes and shares their incredible stories. Highly recommend!
Recovery technique(s) that you swear by? Well… I’ll admit that I hate stretching, I don’t foam roll and unless there is a nearby creek I don’t ice either. Despite that, I am good at listening to my body and addressing little pains with PT and/or chiropractor before they become something major.
Do you have a favorite piece of running gear? The Thule Urban Glide 2 running stroller. That thing was incredible for running with a baby.
What other outdoor or indoor interests do you have? I sure do enjoy reading, traveling and drinking wine with my girlfriends. I usually take a couple days off of running a week to either swim, bike, ski, climb or skate.
Any interesting facts about yourself you would like to share? I took up the sport of ice hockey this year and absolutely LOVE it.