Q&A: Liz “Pink Feathers”

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I was able to catch up with Liz a.k.a. Pink Feathers after her 3rd place run at the Corvallis Half Marathon and ask her a few questions about running and her music. It has been 2 months since she has become my coach and I don’t think I could have asked for anyone better in my corner.

What got you into running?

My Dad. I was never good at sports but ran a decent mile in PE class in eighth grade. Since I was starting at a new school the next year my dad suggested that I try running cross country. I would never have considered doing anything athletic otherwise. He ran with me over the summer to help me get in shape. Best decision ever.

Describe your pre race ritual.

I’ll wake up about three hours before the race and have a homemade Pre-Workout Blueberry Muffin with peanut butter (I love these because I can whip up a batch before leaving town and have a dependable breakfast wherever the race is) and a cup of coffee. Depending on the length of the race, I’ll warm up 30-45 minutes before the start with 1-2 miles of running plus drills and strides. I try to wait until the last second to peel off any layers and I absolutely have to be wearing sunscreen and chapstick. I got burned pretty badly in the 2014 Boston Marathon and was in pain for days afterward- never again!

Describe your favorite place to run or train.

I’m pretty nostalgic for my old running routes in Greenville, Illinois where I went to college. I loved the wide open fields and old dirt roads. I kind of miss the extreme heat of summer and the cold dead of winter compared to Portland, where I live now. Our assistant coach in college would have us play “guess the temperature” for our morning runs in the winter and it would always be something like two degrees out. My favorite place to run now is Forest Park.

What is your most memorable race.

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My first cross country race at age 14. Five kilometers was a long way to go and I don’t think I’d ever hurt like that before, but I loved the feeling of accomplishment and relief after crossing the finish line. Who knew working hard could make you feel so good? The 2014 Philadelphia Marathon was also a big one for me because it was my first (and hopefully not the last) time dipping under the three hour mark in the marathon.

If you could give 1 piece of advice to any runner what would it be.

Never underestimate yourself.

What got you into music?

My parents. My mom teaches piano lessons at home so music was always in the background throughout the day. My Dad is a high school choral and musical director and my sister and I would play in the theater while he rehearsed. Music has been a part of my life from the very beginning. I think my parents wanted to make sure I was interested in music by choice, so it was only when I asked at age seven that they signed me up for piano lessons.

What is your most memorable music event?

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Playing Coachella last year with RAC. It was the most massive audience I’ve ever performed in front of and totally surreal just to be there. The Pink Feathers live tour this past fall was also really special because it was my first time taking my original music on the road.

Describe your childhood dream?

To be a Broadway star. My Dad took me up to NYC to see Grease! When I was 10 and that was pretty much it for me.

Describe your guilty pleasure?

Watching the Bachelor and all its spinoffs. And birthday cake ice cream.

If you had a day off from everyday responsibilities how would you spend it?

I’d get up early, hop in the car, and go on an adventure! Maybe a run around Timothy Lake in Mt. Hood National Forest followed by a big breakfast at Timberline Lodge.

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