How I Run: Team LUNA Chix PDX’s Sharlene Murphy

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In honor of our inaugural Team LUNA Chix Portland Run season, I’ll be introducing my teammates via this interview series throughout the next few months…get to know these impressive ladies, and come join us for a run Monday nights from 6:30-7:30 pm in Portland (click here for details)! 

Meet Sharlene Murphy, another fabulous member of our inaugural LUNA team. If you see her at practice, feel free to ask her about her “dogter” or chat about one of her many weekend adventures (she’s got the lowdown in everything from local camping to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro) — but whatever you do, don’t let her bright smile and easy-going attitude fool you; once the gun goes off, this woman is a lean, mean running machine.

family medicine doc by day, Sharlene’s an avid yogi who enjoys camping, hiking, snowshoeing, running and cycling, among a host of other outdoor activities (just try and keep up!) in her spare time. Oh, and did I mention that she’s currently working on a new addition to Team LUNA Chix Portland Run, coming in a few short months?

That’s right, Sharlene may be running for two at the moment (congrats!!), but that certainly isn’t holding her back. Fresh off a shiny new 10K PR back in April at Bridge to Brews, she then went on to run a blazingly-fast race at the Portland Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon in May.

And although she’s not training for anything else major this season, event-wise, Sharlene is setting a great example for a healthy, balanced and fit approach to pregnancy. We can’t wait to meet her mini training partner later this year!

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1. What’s your favorite route? Anything by bodies of water — rivers, lakes or ocean. Or mountains! I really love running the Springwater Corridor on a Saturday or Sunday morning. It is filled with runners of all shapes, sizes and speeds — everyone is quick to give a smile, nod and wave as you go by. I love our tribe of runners.

2. What shoes do you wear? I have been wearing Brooks for the last three years. Currently I am in the Ghost 7’s, but previously wore with happiness the Defyiance. I have also donned Asics, Nikes, New Balance — you name it! I am lucky to have a neutral gait and stride (knock wood) so I feel like there are a lot of good options out there for me.

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3. What other run gear can’t you live without? I’m most recently obsessed with my GPS watch — the Polar M400 — and my running belt — FlipBelt. I also cannot imagine running without my gloves in cold weather.

4. What’s your best time-saver or “runhack?” My runhack is probably one on race days. When I am able, I like to bike to my race. It makes for a more convenient commute to a sometimes very busy race location. It also warms up my legs and body in a different way than jogging does.

5. What running-related thing are you better at than anyone else? Also race related: I love to cheer on the spectators (especially the ones cheering) at road races. There is nothing better than getting encouragement during a race, regardless of who it is from. I am grateful for those who show up and give support! Insider’s secret: if you cheer for them, THEY CHEER LOUDER!! Such a boost!

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6. What do you listen to while running? My running playlist is my only shameless, guilt-free music time — whatever I like, regardless if it is couth or not. Spinning these days is Sean Paul, Bon Jovi, Luke Bryan, Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Paramore, Miley Cyrus, The Turtles and Kayne West.

7. What are you currently training for? No big events in the immediate future. I like to do longer races in the spring and fall when the weather is cooler. I have some shorter distance events planned for the summer (love the Bowerman 5K). Just running for the health of my life right now. This also allows for more cross-training.

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8. What are your recovery & sleep routines like? Since completing residency a couple years ago (I am a family medicine physician), my sleep has FINALLY returned to near normal. Before, I was oscillating between being up for 30 hours straight to sleeping for 18 hours to recover. Now I get a reliable 7.5-8 hours every night, and I am a more reasonable person to be around. I like to recover from a long run or race with a good meal and a movie on the couch.

9. What’s the best running advice you’ve ever received? Run the mile you are in.

10. What’s your favorite running-related memory? I was fortunate to participate in Hood to Coast in 2012. What an experience!

I’ll never forget my second leg – somewhere between St. Helens and Jewell, in the middle of the night with a clear sky filled with thousands of stars…and I was all alone. Although the moon lit my way a bit, it was joyful (and a bit unnerving) to run with very little visibility — all I could focus on were my immediate steps.

Fun fact: Sharlene has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya!

Fun fact regarding another active memory: Sharlene has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya!

I will also never forget my state-qualifying 1600m race as a junior in high school. It was starting to lightly drizzle, the sun was setting and I was coming around the final 200 meter stretch.

My entire track team was on the edge of the track cheering on myself and my teammate (as we were leading the pack), and I just remember getting this sudden surge of endorphins and confidence and the two of us went on to beat our biggest rivals in the race! We felt like we were on top of the world!!

11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to go on a run with __________. My high school cross country and track coach. He really encouraged me to pursue long-distance running. Its partly because of him that I still love running today — fifteen years later.

Thanks, Sharlene! Can’t wait to meet our newest addition to Team LUNA Chix in just a few short months. 

Runner friends, shoot me a note — info (at) kineticfix.com — so I can feature you, too!

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