This profile first appeared in our Sept/Oct 2013 magazine issue.
“I don’t know my PR’s,” Christin Doneski apologizes for the above headline, but she didn’t have to for a couple of reasons. One, modern technology allows us to find her best times (thanks Athlinks). And, two, The Level believes the race isn’t always about the time; it’s about the effort. That’s what makes
Doneski a perfect fit for a Legion Profile. She says, “I’ve run everything for 5k to 50k, but I have never focused on time.” What she does focus on, however, is the experience and the exertion. See, as an example, her 2013 USATF-NE Mountain Series crown. That series, often taking place on perilous precipices and in/declines, isn’t about the numbers on the clock.
Speaking of series, Doneski, an occupational therapist and mother of two, admits that she loves to run them. “With a busy life it helps to have the races on the calendar early and plan around them,” she says. Apparently. She has won the New England Runner Pub Series, the Seacoast Series, and the Capital Area Race Series in addition to the aforementioned mountain one.
All of those victories are surely the result of a rigid training plan, right? Ahhhh…no. Doneski: “Some of my favorite workouts are the ‘accidental’ ones. I have never had a coach and I am not a very structured runner, so I often head out the door without a plan and within the first mile or two I come up with one based on how I feel: fartleks, hill repeats, fast finish run, etc.” There is something to be said for running on feel. She does concede that the one exception to her ‘program’ comes when training for 26.2. When prepping for a marathon, she gets in a weekly long run that is completed at 7:45-8:00 pace. Not quite as fast as one might suspect given her best times.
Trails are Doneski’s terrain of choice when training, but her 0500 weekday runs limit her exposure to them. “I am too clumsy to run with a headlamp,” she says, “Trust me, I have tried.” Thus, she is forced to the roads but luckily they are composed of dirt. She runs these byways year round with her two training partners Julia Burdick and Molly Rossignol.
Although constantly changing, her goals for the moment are to improve her downhill running, compete in the 2014 mountain series, and still be running for decades to come.
To read more from our Sept/Oct 2013 issue, click here.
To read from our current issue, click here.