Deena Kastor gets the Nine Questions from Jeff Benjamin, for RunBlogRun

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RunBlogRun opines: I was in Athens for the 2004 Olympics. The conditions were hot, humid and horrific. Over the last 10k, Deena Kastor moved faster than any of her competitors, running around 32:20 for the final 10k of the challenging course. Deena was flying. Her run onto the track, and finish were amazing, and her bronze medal was well earned.

In 2015, I had seen Deena Kastor break the Masters record for 5k at the RNR San Jose, just prior to the Chicago Marathon. I noted in my notebook that Deena Kastor was very, very fit. The next weekend, I watched her run the AR for the masters Marathon. It was impressive.

This interview with Deena Kastor, one of our sport's most articulate champions, was done by Jeff Benjamin, Staten Island senior writer for RunBlogRun. We thank Jeff Benjamin, as always, for his love of the sport and knowledge of texting and social media.

Post update: Thanks to our friends at Letsrun.com who gently reminded us that Deena did not run Chicago in 2014, it was 2015. So corrected. Thanks to my friends at Letsrun.com on that one. I will blame it on senior moment!

IMG_1239.jpgJeff Benjamin with Deena Kastor, photo courtesy of Jeff Benjamin

In an illustrious career, Deena Kastor has utilized not just the physical preparations to become one of the world's greatest distance runners. Kastor's positivity and optimism have played just as much a role as well, and it shows!

17-Time USA Champion in Cross country, on the roads and the track.

2-Time World Cross Country Silver Medalist

2004 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Marathon

American Marathon Record Holder, Marathon, (2:19:36)

It doesn't end there, as the ASICS-sponsored Kastor has now set about going after and breaking Masters records as well.

Her" secrets" have been detailed in her book, "Let Your Mind Run", which is co-authored by Michelle Hamilton.

Here are 9 quick questions for Kastor below--

RunBlogRun, 1) How Did you get into running?

Deena Kastor: "I got into running after being totally unenchanted by other sports. I was bored with, and terrible, at soccer and softball. I was awkward in ice skating. It was my first day of track practice that I ran on trails and fell in love with the constant movement, simplicity and scenery of running."

RunBlogRun, 2) Did you consider yourself a slow or fast developer?

Deena Kastor: "I developed quickly, but whether I found joy because I was talented, or talented because running gave me joy is up for question."

RunBlogRun, 3) Most memorable Youth Race?

Deena Kastor: "My most memorable youth race was winning my first Junior National Championships. I couldn't believe I was in the lead, and then I was still in shock when I crossed the finish line in first. The race was in Raleigh, North Carolina and was run in the pouring rain. I loved stomping through the puddles. I wasn't sure how I won, but I was thrilled to have done so."

RunBlogRun, 4) Most memorable Race at any level?

Deena Kastor: "My most memorable race is surprisingly not my Olympic medal or American record, but the 2015 Chicago Marathon where I kept getting chances to steer myself toward my goal of breaking the American Masters record in the marathon. I had challenge after challenge and was able to refocus. It dawned on me that at any of those chances, I could have given up, or given in, but I didn't. I was relentless and resilient which allowed me to reach my goal."

RunBlogRun: 5) How's it different being a pro athlete from your HS/Collegiate days?

Deena Kastor: "I learned my greatest lessons as a professional athlete, but those lessons of commitment and immersion were always there, I just wasn't mature enough to receive them."

RunBlogRun, 6) What Training philosophy(s) have you followed?

Deena Kastor: "My philosophy is "If you have it, share it," because I learned that all that we possess, whether time, money, food or knowledge increases in value the moment we share it. I reflect on a long career, and the times and places stand out less than the moments I shared with others."

RunBlogRun, 7) Do you incorporate any cross training and/or Weight training?

Deena Kastor: "No."

RunBlogRun, 8 ) Tell is about the book!

Deena Kastor: "My book highlights the moments of my career where the power of positivity impacted my training and racing. In order to get the most out of my physical potential, I also needed to incorporate a strong and positive mind."

RunBlogRun, 9) What advice can you give to young Runners??

Deena Kastor: "No matter the challenge, keep finding ways to progress!"

To Order a copy of Denna's book and to learn more about Deena please go to

http://deenakastor.com

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