Thursday, January 18, 2018

Meet Kentucky Runner - Tina Muir

In the next interview of my KY Runner series I talk to Tina Muir.  Not sure how many of you know Tina but I had heard her name before, as I try and stay up to date on all things running, but did not know she lived in Lexington KY until I was listening to her podcast with Phil Maffetone.  As you will see in the interview Tina is from the United Kingdom and in case you did not know Kentucky does have a connection with across the pond.  When I was in High School, in Arizona, in the 70’s Nick Rose from the UK; along with Tony Staynings, Dave Long & Chris Ridler – also from the UK, led the Western KY Univ Hilltoppers to second in the 74’ NCAA Cross-Country Championships with Nick’s overall win and I followed him after that even thinking about coming to WKU.

Make sure to read all the way to the end as I have a couple links there that expand on Tina's story that she did not speak to in the interview.

Now to the interview with Tina:

Tell us a little about yourself not necessarily related to running: age, where born, education, area you live in, etc…..

I am from St Albans in England, UK…no not University of Kentucky campus, the actual UK, the United Kingdom, but I do now live in the home of the UK we know and love, Lexington, KY. I went to high school in England, but came over to the US on a full ride scholarship, going to Ferris State University in Michigan for my bachelors and La Salle in Philadelphia for my masters.

What is your profession?

Well, I guess I am still technically a professional runner, just on a hiatus as I start my family, but I am not rushing back to the sport after my daughter arrives, so for now, I will say I am an entrepreneur.  I founded Running for Real, a website and community for Runners.  If you are not already a member (it’s free!) of Running for Real Superstars, come see what it is all about :)  I also host my own podcast, the Running for Real Podcast.

How did you start running and what prompted you to do so? 

I actually didn't always like running, in fact, I hid in the bathrooms for the cross country tryouts as I didn't want to do them, but I soon found my way to the top of my class in cross country class in school, which landed me on the team. I soon discovered I actually quite enjoyed it…once the success started…and from there I just began to take it more seriously. 

How long have you been running?

About 15 years, although only four as a professional.

Did you participate in any other sports over the years?

Yes! I was on the Tennis and Field Hockey teams in school, although I don’t think I was actually any good at field hockey, I could just out run most people! I also know how to surf and love it…but we know living in Lexington there is not exactly a place to do it around here, but someday I hope to live near the ocean to be able to!

So we get an idea of where you have been with running can you share your PR’s for: 5K, 10K marathon and any other distance you may have run in the past. 
  • 5K  -  16:08
  • 10K - 33:24 
  • Half Marathon - 1:13:21 
  • Marathon - 2:36:39

What is your most memorable race or races and share a little about at least one of them?

My favorite race was the first time I represented Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the World Half Marathon Championships, which had been the goal I had been working towards since I was 14, that one day I would earn that Jersey and represent my country. To do it after 14 years was the most incredible feeling. I was smiling ear to ear despite the weather being terrible!

What is your favorite distance to run and race?

The half marathon, I feel like you get a good balance of enjoying the first part, being able to take it in, but then getting to the part that tests you relatively soon, so you can dig down and see what you are made of. You don’t have to hold that pain for too long, but get a lot of the same celebration!

Do you have any long-range plans?

I still have a 2:30 marathon on my bucket list, along with running each of the marathon majors, so we shall see if and when that happens :)

What do you like best about living and running in KY?

The beautiful green everywhere! Although we cant run in most of the horse fields, it does make it truly beautiful, and places like the Legacy Trail are just so unique and beautiful to run through.

What do you struggle with most with regards to running?

Trying to find flat ground to do my marathon workouts on! There are only so many loops of Coldstream Park we can handle ;)

What do you see as a trend in running?

I *think* there are more and more runners coming out in Lexington, which I love to see, and hopefully makes the area more and more runner friendly! I can tell the city is trying hard to give us places to run.

As for bigger scale, I see more and more people being honest about their struggles, rather than posting only the good stuff on social media, the more we can share and be honest with one another, the more we can grow together :)

If you had one, well maybe two or three, things to say those that are running to encourage them what would it be?

Listen to your body. I know this is clich√© and doesn’t really give anything specific, but your body really does know best. I have a phrase in my community called #nowatchme and that means not relying on your GPS watch to tell you a pace you deem acceptable, but instead let your body tell you, run by feel, what feels right that day, and it will help you run your best when it matters.

I would say to try as hard as you can not to compare, remember that what you see on social media is just a snapshot of someone’s life, you never know what is going on behind the scenes, so never let another runner make you feel bad about what you are doing, like you are not enough.

Finally, I would say to come join my community!! You will learn so much there and have a wonderful place to meet other runners!

Do you have a website or other social media site you would like to share?

Any closing comments?

Be Brave. Be Strong. Be YOU :)

Hope you enjoyed the interview and please checkout Tina's website and other links.  She also has a very good story with regards to her stopping running not too long ago so as to be able to get pregnant.  Along with the above article is an important where Tina talks with how she overcame hypothalamic amenorrhea.  It is commendable that Tina dealt publicly with an issue that many in the running community, and elsewhere, may suffer from but not much is said about.

Also, if you want to hear a podcast with Tina Heartland Running did one back in Oct 2017

Updated: January 18, 2018 - Tina just gave birth to her daughter Bailey Grace Picucci


  1. She has a great story and is super inspiring. Great podcast too! Dudley

  2. Dudley, she sure does, thanks for leaving a comment - don't get many:)