Liza Howard
Liza Howard
Date of Birth:
February 1, 1972
Ultra Running
Years of Experience:
Running ultras since 2009
In Her Own Words

Where do you live?

San Antonio, TX

Your favorite New Balance running shoe


Where are the best places for fans to follow you online
(Twitter account, Facebook profile, blog, website, etc...)

Events run (and personal bests)

2011 USA Track and Field National Championships 50mi08:09:591st female, course record
2011 Rocky Raccoon 100 mile 15:33:09 1st female, fifth overall
2011 USA Track and Field National Championships100k 09:35:23 1st female, course record
2010 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50mi 08:48:467th female
2010 Leadville Trail 100mi 21:19:471st female
2010 Rocky Raccoon 100mi 15:45:03 1st female, 2nd overall
2009 Cactus Rose 100mi 21:02:00 1st overall, course record

Major Accomplishments / Honors

Rocky Racoon 100 15:33

What is the oddest trophy or prize you have won?

Steel chicken

How did you get started running?

I wanted to get fit and signed up to run the Philadelphia marathon.

What made you gravitate towards trails?

Spending time work for the National Outdoor Leadership school

Your coach's name

Howard Nippert

Favorite place to train

Hill Country State Natural Area, Bandera, TX

What is your favorite workout (and why)?

Long weekend runs. I get to spend time talking with friends.

What is your least-favorite workout (and why)?

Intervals. I don't have much natural speed and it's painful trying to develop any.

What's the most awesome thing you've encountered in nature during a run?

A huge rattle snake with a body as thick as my thigh. It didn't bother rattling because it wasn't worried about any runner giving it trouble.

Favorite race

Bandera 100k

Favorite type of race

100 milers

What's the most grueling event you've experienced, and why?

The Rocky Raccoon 100 this year was a suffer-fest during the last 40 miles. My stomach and intestines rebelled and I couldn't stomach the gels I had with me. My sports bra was too tight and I had to ask an aid station worker to loosen it with trauma shears. I kept asking my pacers for hugs throughout the race.

Do you have any superstitions related to competing or training?

If I can choose my bib number, I choose 401 because it was my grandmother's area code.

What is your pre-race / warm-up routine?

Standing under a heating lamp if there is one.

Piece of your kit you would never be without:


What gets you most excited to compete?

Seeing old friends.

What is your favorite meal, the night before the race?

Progresso lentil soup.

What is your nutrition strategy during an extremely long race?

100 liquid calories per hour and one gel every half hour. (200 cal/hour)

What is your favorite post-race meal?

Hamburger, fries and a shake from a drive thru.

What gives you an advantage over your competition?

I am older and find meaning in suffering.

What food / snack is your guiltiest pleasure?

Jelly Bellies.

Which character from a TV program or movie best resembles how you think of yourself?

Kermit the Frog.

What is something most people don't know, or would be surprised to learn, about you?

I'm an Army brat.

What activity, apart from running, most represents 'me time' for you?

Reading on the couch.

What person has most shaped your career or life?

Running: Amanda McIntosh, Life and Career: My husband, Eliot Howard

What is the best piece of advice (not necessarily related to running) you've ever been given - and would be eager to pass along to others?

There is more in you than you think.

Why do you run?

I run because it makes me feel lighthearted and capable. It energizes me and moderates my moodiness. I am more patient with my son after a morning run and more likely to enjoy my mom duties.

I run ultras because I think it is important to practice suffering. Suffering in life is assured. Practicing patient perseverance in the face of suffering during an ultra helps you pass through suffering more gracefully when you encounter it in life. Enduring suffering in ultras also teaches compassion. Physical suffering during a run helps me empathize and care better for people who are ill.

What was your darkest moment out on the trail?

When I couldn't finish a run because my foot hurt so badly. It turned out to be a stress fracture.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

A stranger handed me a feminine hygiene product at an aid station during Leadville after asking my crew if there was anything he could do to help out.

What is your proudest?

When I came through an aid station and my three year-old shouted, "That's my mom!!"

Person you would most like to run with

After my dad, Eric Greitens (wrote The Heart and the Fist)

What tips do you have for new runners?

Running should make you happy. If it doesn't, change something in your routine so it does. For me, running with a group was key to falling in love with running. You will run faster and feel stronger when you are happy. You will work out harder when you are happy. You will learn more when you are happy. Most importantly, running happiness affects every aspect of you life.

Warrior PF-Flyers Dunham Cobb Hill Brine Aravon