Meet Blaire ‘Osgood’ Bernard, runner for decades and dedicated Soxpert. Osgood and Soxxy founder, Sarah Stabile, grew up playing soccer, lacrosse and ski racing together. “I’m in awe of Blaire for running marathons, while balancing family, friendships and a demanding career. Her level of discipline and dedication is inspiring. She’s an incredible teammate, athlete and friend,” says Stabile.
How many marathons and half marathons have you run?
I have run 7 marathons (Boston 4 times; San Diego, DC and NYC each once).
How long have you been running?
The first time I ever put on sneakers but for no reason other than “going for a run” was in 8th grade. I had just made this state-level soccer team and I was by far the worst player. I knew I had to step up my game and getting in better shape seemed like a good first step. Seeing as I was 14 then, you can do the math!
What’s your favorite race distance? Why?
I really love the marathon. The pre-run and post-run energy is addictive. And at some point around mile 18 – if you are having a good run – you hit this stride and sort of forget that you are even running. That doesn’t happen when the races are shorter.
How do you make time to train for endurance events such as a half or full marathon?
Full disclosure: I decided to go into temporary retirement from marathons after the NYC marathon (Nov. 2014) for this very reason – it was getting a bit too hard to find the time to train. I had other things – more important things – competing for my time and I had to make a choice. But it was easy because I have had a great experience with marathons and now I wanted to spend Saturday mornings on the side lines of my daughters’ soccer games. BUT, never say never. I think I’ll have more marathon training in my future. And when I do turn back to it, I’ll revert to my old routine which consists of waking up super early to get runs in before work and then dedicating the better part of each Saturday to the long runs. It’s basically like running a half marathon every Saturday for 3 months.
How often do you typically run per week? And what sort of distance do you cover? Do you do anything other than running for training?
I try to run about 3 times a week and average about 4-5 miles per run. When the spirit moves me, I’ll do a 7 mile run over the weekend. To cross train, I do yoga. Love yoga.
Training for such long distances is a lot of wear and tear on the body. How do you recover after long runs?
I swear by ice baths. I have a love-hate relationship with them, but I swear it is the reason I have been able to run the way I do without any injuries (knock on wood).
How do you prepare for race day? What do you wear? Any “must have” items?
The only thing I am superstitious about is what I eat the night before – it has to be chicken parm. I ate that the night before my first marathon and now I’m scared to eat anything else. I also have my race-day packing down to a bit of a science: pretzels, roller stick, warm clothes, iPod for music, garbage bag (comes in handy in so many ways) and gu (gotta have gu).
What’s your favorite thing about running?
I have to call out two things: (1) my friends. I have a group of women that I run with and the experience is so much more than just going for a run. It’s therapy on the go. Some of my best memories are of experiences I have had with my friends when we have been on runs or doing races together. And (2) It is so simple. I love that I can go whenever it is convenient – no class schedule to work around. I can do it in any weather (if I’m in the mood to deal with rain). Granted, my sneaker spend budget is a bit high but I’ll pay that over a gym membership any day. My life can feel pretty hectic with a full time job, 2 kids on the go, a dog and an active husband – going for a run is like hitting the easy button.
What’s your motivation for staying active?
Sea Salt and Vinegar potato chips. My first pair of “Sevens” jeans that I bought in 2001 that still fit. My husband and kids. Not in that order (necessarily).
What advice would you give to someone who just signed up for their first marathon?
Don’t over train. Don’t over think it. Invest in good compression sox!