SoleMate Spotlight: Julia Hakim

Today we're shining the spotlight on Julia Hakim, one of our SoleMates for the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon! Read on to get to know Julia:

Why GOTR? - I coached for Girls on the Run during college in Rochester, NY, and loved the program and its mission. I also happen to love charity running, so I was thrilled to see that GOTR was an official charity partner for the NYC Marathon. I coincidentally have a 10-year-old cousin who participated in her elementary school's GOTR program this year, so it means a lot to fundraise for an organization to which I have a more personal connection. My cousin even called me after her program's 5K to say that she wants to run a marathon with me when she's old enough!

Is this your first marathon? - This is only my second marathon. I ran the NYC Marathon last year for the first time and even though I was sure I would only do a marathon once, as soon as I crossed the finish line I found myself already excited to register for the next year's race. There are few events that can match the energy of the NYC Marathon, so I wouldn't be surprised if I end up running this one race over and over again.

Favorite place to run? - Central Park for short runs (always fun to people-watch while running those hills) or along the West Side Highway for long runs, since that path pretty much never ends.

Favorite time of day to run? - I love to sleep, so I can't bring myself to exercise before work, which means most of my runs occur in the evening. I've come to really enjoy this, especially in the summer when the sun is still up relatively late and there are plenty of other runners/bikers out. On the weekends, though, I'm all about the morning long as it's not before 9am!

Favorite post-run snack/meal? - Barbecue (like Mighty Quinn's) or pizza. These were the two things I always found myself craving after every long run when I trained for my first marathon. I may or may not have housed an entire Domino's pizza by myself after a 12-mile run once...

Favorite running accessory? - Do headbands count? I never run (or do any workout, for that matter) without wearing a headband. Oddly enough, I don't even need them since my hair is long, but I just feel off without one! For something a bit more running-related, though, I always wear my Zensah compression sleeves. I first bought them several years ago after experiencing shin splints for a few months, and they made a huge difference.

Group or solo run? - Solo run. Running for me is very much about getting some alone time to think or even just to zone out and listen to the "Hamilton" soundtrack nonstop. I find that running helps get the creative juices flowing in my head and often end up coming up with some great ideas or solutions to problems while I'm mid-run.

What shoes do you run in? - Pink and blue Asics. I was fitted for them at a running store before my first marathon and they served me well, so I ordered the exact same pair for this time around. PSA: everyone should get professionally fitted for running shoes! It's one of the best things you can do to avoid injury, and who doesn't want that??

Favorite non-running activity? - Sewing! I'm actually somewhat of a beginner still, but I love making costumes and started taking sewing classes last year. It's a great practical skill to have, and I'm currently working on a fun skirt with pockets.

Farthest distance you’ve run? - A marathon, 26.2 miles. I have major respect (and awe) for anyone who runs farther than that, but I definitely think a marathon is the longest distance I'll ever do.

Inspirational Quote/Words to Live By? - "Little by little, one walks far." While it's certainly relevant to marathon training, I first found this quote years before I started running seriously, and think it's a great reminder that even the most daunting things in life are achievable if you just take them step by step.

What’s your Myers-Briggs? - ISFJ, though it's been a few years since I've taken the test...wonder if I've changed!

Thank you, Julia, for contributing so much to Team Girls on the Run! You can support Julia's fundraising efforts by visiting her virtual fundraising campaign here.