Claudia Becque reminds herself during tough periods in her life or training that the feeling of pain is nothing compared to how it feels to quit. Although Becque relies on her own determination and perseverance to make it through her gruelling training, she also credits her training group in Chicago, and her new training group in California–New Balance Silicon Valley, as well as her coaches who encourage her to press on towards her goal. Above all, Becque is grateful for the love, support, and commitment that her husband Paul shows in order to help her chase her Olympic dreams.
Runners Feed: Take us through a typical day of your life
Claudia Becque: On Monday and Thursday mornings, I get up around 4:45am and shuffle my way around the house to prepare for a tough track workout at Stanford. I meet my coach, Tom McGlynn and other athletes from Focus-N-Fly for a grueling 6:30am workout. It is such an amazing place to start the day, even if it is all in the dark, that sometimes I have to pinch myself in between the pain of the intervals. Post workout, I quickly eat a good snack on the drive home to jump start the recovery process. Once at home, I stretch for a bit and get in a good breakfast which if I am lucky includes a protein smoothie made by my husband before he leaves for work. Fortunately, my schedule is pretty flexible so sometimes I can sneak in a power nap before I see my first patient around 9:30/10am. Since I work out of my car, I try to pack a big lunch full of veggies, an apple, a turkey breast sandwich, and a salad so I can snack throughout the day. My 2nd run of the day is usually around 4:30 or 5:00. My husband works at Oracle which has a great fitness center and is just off the Bay Trail. We recently moved from flat as a pancake Chicago, so the Bay Area hills have been a bit of an adjustment. My husband usually bikes or runs with me in the evening where we catch up on the day. On my hard training days, I try to get some weight training in, but if my body screams “no,” I’ll lift a different day. Once home I start to get ready for the next day. I am a huge reality TV fan so in the evenings I am usually catching up on my TV shows while doing some final core work. My husband loves to cook, so usually while I am showering, I am spoiled by him whipping up some creation for us to eat. It can range from buffalo burgers, to grass fed beef, to tasty chicken with a salad and some sort of carb like quinoa, orzo or my favorite – sweet potato medallions. If I killed a workout, he might even open a bottle of wine from the top shelf of our wine fridge (those are the fancy bottles). I try to get to sleep by 9:30pm as I need about 9-10hrs night. My coach is always very impressed with my naps, which after a long run on Saturday can last up to 3 hours. Guilty pleasures…
RF: Do you work full or part-time while training? If so, what do you do? If not, what has kept you afloat while you pursue your dream?
CB: I recently left my job at a medical device company to work part time at a home health agency. I was diagnosed last summer with a bulging disc along with some glute issues which my MD said was caused from the upwards of 200 miles I would drive a day. My husband and I decided it was the perfect time to leverage my nursing degree, pursue different job opportunities that would keep me healthy. I am blessed to have such a supportive husband to allow me to chase after my dreams. My coach, Tom McGlynn, has done such a tremendous job of building my schedule around my life and keeping me focused on the key things to keep developing. Being able to interact with him on a weekly basis and getting instant feedback to my workouts has been invaluable. The support and camaraderie of the other Focus-N-Fly teammates help carry me through the morning workouts. The support from Dena Evans, New Balance Silicon Valley and Apercen Partners have helped me pursue my dreams through travel, housing in altitude, and great people to run with. The New Balance WR890’s have been a dream, even at over 100 miles a week. GU keeps me energized through all my training, whether it be GU Brew or Gel and I can’t believe that the new Peanut Butter flavor has replaced chocolate mint as my favorite!
I owe my family, high school coach, and friends, especially my Fleet Feet Chicago crew, a huge thank you, as they are my rock. They were there training with me and picking me up when the 2008 trials looked like all of a pipe dream. I would have never made it through those mile intervals, Michigan workouts or 20 milers in single digit temperatures without them. They pushed me hard and never let me forget how hard I trained and that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Finally, I wouldn’t be where I am today without my husband Paul, P as everyone knows him. He is not only my best friend, but my #1 supporter. Time and time again, good race, bad race, he is there with a smile on his face with his arms wide open to hug me when I did well or to hold me when I did not succeed. He cooks for me, does the laundry, cleans, and fills up the gas tank so I don’t have to stop at the gas station before morning workouts. He bikes with me during workouts and long runs and doesn’t let me quit even when I beg him that I want to retire for the hundredth time and take up knitting.
RF: When the going gets tough on the 14th what will keep you gunning for the finish line?
CB: I am dedicating my race to my sister in law who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She is the most positive person I know, a fighter whom I can only hope to have that much perseverance as I get to those last miles. She is fighting for her life so I want to do the same on January 14th. One of my favorite quotes is “pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit.” She is not a quitter and I want to drive to succeed to for her.
What will you eat the night before?
CB: Pasta and chicken with red sauce, veggies, and some bread.
Race day shoes?
CB: New Balance 1400s. The colors are so fun, they just want to make you to run fast.