FNF recently caught up with Mallon as she traveled with family over Thanksgiving break....
1. You have recently qualified for your second Olympic Marathon Trials at your hometown race, the Santa Rosa Marathon. How was the experience of getting to run, win, and qualify at home?
It was an awesome experience. I have always loved Santa Rosa. We just moved back and it meant a lot. I had a lot of support; it was an easy and flawless start. No long lines in the bathroom. We ran through a new area of Santa Rosa that I actually didn't even know about. You can't beat waking up in your own home on race day.
2. Running has been a part of your life as a high school star, a college All-American, a young grad working hard in New York City, and now a mom of two. How has your perspective changed on running through all those stages of life...or has it?
It has changed a lot. In high school it was all new and I was very focused. I had the 100 percent support of my parents so didn't have to worry about all the outside stuff. College was fun and I had a good time. My perspective was to hopefully run after college, but with my accident that no longer became an option. It forced me to look for a new area of focus, so I headed to New York. In New York it became a luxury to run if I wasn't so tired from work. Running was basically an outlet - a chance to run super early in Central Park when it was so quiet and relaxing- my favorite part of day. Now I have come full circle to have my own family, and I hope my focus is more on sharing the love with my kids and also have it be part of their lives. I want to have them love it and I can't wait to do a 5 mile run with them. The other day my almost three year old ran 2 miles. It was awesome. I tried to get her to stop but she wanted to run all the way home.
3. You have had the chance to run and race in a lot of interesting places and races. What are some of your most memorable experiences?
Cuba!!!! [Julia represented the United States in the 3000 meters at the 1997 Junior Pan-American Games in Cuba] After living in Miami for three years I now realize how amazing it was to be there. I met so many friends who haven't gone back. Or really can't. It was as if you stepped back in time.
4. What originally got you started running when you were younger?
I always loved it! I used to sneak out and try to run with my dad early in the morning. I actually used to play soccer, but they told me I should run since I was a great runner and not so great of a soccer player.
5. Who have been influential or inspirational individuals in your life as it relates to running?
I never had a role model. I just wanted to get faster and challenge myself. It was that competitive spirit.
6. What are your goals for the upcoming year as well as long-term?
I love running. It would be great to break 2:40 in the marathon, then break 2:35, then 2:30. I have to take it one race at a time.
7. What inspired you to make the jump to marathoning as an adult?
It was a lot easier to run longer than get faster. I also got hooked!
8. What piece of advice would you give to our recreational athletes who are gearing up for an important goal marathon?
To love the long runs. Then, in the race break it up. You have the first 10k, then a half marathon then another 10k for the final 6 miles. When you think about it that way it isn't overwhelming.